One of my best friends came to visit Austin the other weekend. Guests are always a great excuse to get out and enjoy the city I so often take for granted. It forces me to get out, spend some money, forget about homework, and have a good time—and clean up the apartment! At the risk of sounding scripted, I figured I’d share what Meg and I do when hosting company in Austin for the weekend.
When Meg and I pick company up from the airport (we are both from Atlanta, so our friends and family tend to fly in), we head straight to Torchy’s to grab some delicious tacos. Atlanta doesn’t have queso—never call it cheese dip!—like Austin does, so we always get a bowl to go with a taco or two. If we’re really looking to start the weekend off with a bang, we’ll get some Lil’ Nookies, which are deep-fried cookie dough balls, AKA delicious!
After grabbing Torchy’s and letting some of the food coma wear off, it’s about time for dinner. We’ll head towards downtown for something like Tacos N Tequila or East Side King on our way to Rainey Street. We typically start the night at Easy Tiger, so if we can’t think of anything we want to eat, we’ll grab a sandwich or pretzel there. After spending some time eating, playing ping pong, and hanging outside on the bleachers at Easy Tiger, we’ll walk back to Rainey for a little while. The end of the night is a great time to hop into Bangers and eat homemade sausage before running across the street and getting mini donuts at the food truck park. Our night is usually over by midnight because we’re tired and full and have a day’s worth of events already planned for the next day.
On Saturday morning, Meg or I will go to Rudy’s for breakfast tacos and pick up Starbucks for everybody. The two places are polar opposite environments, but their combination is undeniable. The morning is a great time to take friends to the Zilker Park trails and get a nice run or walk in. Truthfully, though, that never happens—we tend to watch Netflix until lunch. Because Meg and I live off of Far West (about 15 minutes from campus), we go to lunch at the Anderson Lane Hopdoddy. No lie, it is the best burger you can eat! Even though our next stop will be South Congress, the Anderson Lane Hopdoddy has a much smaller line than the one on SoCo.
South Congress is probably what everyone thinks of when they think of the “weird part” of Austin. I like going into Allens Boots, Lucy in Disguise, Uncommon Objects, and Goorin Bros. It’s about all I can take of shopping, but it’s a good smattering of what is available in Austin. Of course, because it’s Austin, we also grab Amy’s Ice Creams while on South Congress.
At this point, we’re really not hungry anymore, but it’s probably around dinner time, so we’re going to eat again. We’ll find a place near whatever we’re doing that night. Saturday night tends to consist of meeting up with more friends or going to West (not East!) 6th/4th/2nd Street. Because we tend to walk more and are even fuller on Saturday, we don’t even make it to midnight.
On Sunday morning, everyone is pooped because we’ve walked and eaten our way through a lot of the city. We’ll start the morning with a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee and take our time getting our day started. We’ll let our company pack up, so they aren’t stressed to make their flight. Once we’re ready to roll out, the gang will probably visit campus or Zilker, but last time, we visited the graffiti park. When we’re done doing our last activity of the trip, our friends to get to the airport, so naturally, we’ll stop by Torchy’s on the way. After Torchy’s, we drop our friends so they can get their wheels up and head home.
Friend Weekends help remind me that Austin, Texas is so much more than McCombs School of Business, and there are way more fun things to do than study. The truth is, Austin is an easy city to host in, and visits from friends and family are a great way to see the parts of the city that I like the most. It’s always great to see friends and family and to eat all the delicious food. Unfortunately, when the weekend is over, Meg and I have blown our budget, outgrown our jeans, and face the grim reality of work and school the next morning; however, it was all worth it!