Last weekend Katie and I headed to Austin to spend the weekend with my brother, Nick, and his family. As we were the chauffeurs, there wasn’t room for Max in the car, so we left him with friends.
We drove up to Austin Friday evening and crashed with a friend (a friend with a dog to help treat our Max withdrawal!). After a long drive we were pooped so we just went for a late dinner at 24 Diner then called it a night.
Saturday we picked up our three guests and spent the day at Austin’s Greenbelt. I’m a little embarrassed that this was my first time at the Greenbelt because it . . . is . . . awesome! Less than 10 minutes from downtown Austin (more like 5, depending on where you enter), it’s a huge park (800+ acres – roughly the same size as New York’s Central Park), full of woods, trails, eight miles of Barton Creek, swimming spots, and all sorts of flora and fauna. Oh, and it’s all off-leash for dogs so we’ll have to bring Max the next time we’re in town!
We hiked up past one swimming hole and hopped in the water at another: Sculpture Falls. It might have been a bit generous to call them “falls” – after all, this was a creek, not a raging river. Still, there was lots of room for swimming, from waist deep water to way over your head. In the deepest part there was a rope swing that we could use to launch ourselves out into the creek. Some people were chilling in the shallows, some were actively swimming around, and some were just playing with their dogs. What a blast – we could have stayed forever!
Eventually we left, though, and, after a workout on rings that we hung from one of the trees, we had a great dinner together. After watching the bats come out from underneath Congress Ave Bridge, we crashed and prepared for another busy day.
Sunday I woke up early and ran around Town Lake. The 10-mile trail is quite pretty, very barefoot/minimalist friendly, and packed with other runners – even around sunrise (maybe especially around sunrise, given how hot the day was likely to become!). After an epic breakfast at Kerbey Lane, we went and visited Inner Space Caverns. There we found even more bats, but this time clinging to stalactites instead of the underside of a bridge.
After two fun-filled days, we finally had to drop Nick et al back off at the airport. Once again it was too short but we’ll take what we can get when it comes to spending time with those we love!