(I, on the other hand, buy the things I want [that fit into our budget] and have a list a mile long of things I'd also love to have. Anthropologie or West Elm bowls, earrings, anything with a monogram, pens, slippers, mittens: the list really never ends. I love cute stuff, especially for my house.)
Back to Jeremy...for Christmas last year, I did a year of dates. He loved it, and it was lots of fun to put together. Twelve dates plus an extra since it was a leap year. Or since I couldn't narrow it down to one date in February. Whatever. Blue Man Group was in town on Leap Year Day. What better way to celebrate?
This Christmas, I felt a little overwhelmed at the thought of a gift nearly as creative. Since he was taking off the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, I decided to surprise him with a trip to Austin. When we first married, we took little trips pretty often. But busyness and life set in, and we chose to stay home during any free time. I knew that he'd love a few days away, though. So the planning began...
[Whenever we go on vacation, I scour Living Social and Groupon for the city we'll visit. The daily deals often include reduced rates for transportation, shows, restaurants, and lots more. I've gotten some really great deals, especially for our week in Chicago last summer. New things are posted every day, so a quick look at lunch every day can save lots of cash. We like to use our saved cash on nicer restaurants while away.]
To start our trip, we detoured just a bit so that we could drive through Shiner, Texas and visit the Spoetzel Brewery. (This was actually part of a birthday present that I gave Jeremy a couple of years ago, but we hadn't done!) It was so much fun! You receive four FREE tasting tokens to taste some of what they had on tap. The tour isn't very long, but you get to see the conveyor and the copper brew tanks.
reflection in the copper tanks
outside the Gonzales Memorial Museum
Then we headed to Austin! Our first night in Austin was a blast. We stayed downtown. (Thanks Dad for the hotel room!) We were able to walk to dinner. We found Parkside on 6th Street. Amazingly, we got in without a reservation. I had the yummiest oysters and sweet potato soup. Weird combo, but so good! The sweet potato soup had bits of toasted marshmallow on the bottom of the bowl. Just divine.
After dinner, we headed to a ghost tour. Before you get all worried about our salvation, you should try one. It's fun to hear even more history of a city with spooky stories thrown in. We love going on these tours when we visit major cities.
The next morning we had brunch at Magnolia Cafe (an Austin institution) before we drove out to do Jeremy's "big" Christmas gift. I found a one-hour trapeze session for him. He had so much fun and was so good at it! I loved watching him from the ground and videoing each turn he had to fly. They recommended he come back for the two-hour session.
the 30 ft ladder to the trapeze platform
i wouldn't even think about climbing it
my super-talented + cute, amateur trapeze-artist husband
flying through the air, upside down
After trapeze lessons ended, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We are huge Top Chef fans. The winner of last season, Paul Qui, is from Austin. We were desperate to hit up his former restaurant, Uchiko. Y'all. It was phenomenal. I actually don't know if I will ever eat sushi that good ever again. Ever. Unless it's at Uchiko.
Before we left the next morning, we headed to Gourdough's for donuts Although they have a brick-and-mortar store, we visited the Gourdough's food truck. They make the donuts to order and have the craziest, most decadent combos. Donuts are too sweet for me in the morning, so I opted for a breakfast taco at the truck next door. What a perfect set up!
We had a wonderful time in Austin, and it really was a perfect gift for Jeremy. There was a great mixture of activities and relaxing in the hotel room and eating great food. Next I'll share my gift from Jeremy...