Welcome back for this week’s Sweet Summertime Reads post! This week we’re discussing road trips. Yesterday Ginger shared her desire to road trip along the California Pacific Coast Highway. (Sidenote: Five years ago, Magan called San Diego home and Ginger’s post made her extremely nostalgic. Friends, if you ever have the chance to drive with your windows down and meander along the PCH, please, please do so!) But back to business — for our road trips, we thought it would be fun to share a few places we’d want to take one another if we got to hang out together in our hometowns. Are you ready? Buckle your seat belt!
Well, you see. I grew up in a town of 350 people. Yes, as in that was the population. There were NO stop lights and a blinking intersection made its way town as I was making my exit. The nearest Wal-Mart was about a 30 minute drive away. As you can guess, there wasn’t a whole bunch to see there. I’m kind of cheating and taking Estelle (and you!) on a road trip through Austin, where I currently live. It’s way cooler. And there’s a ton more to do. (Also! Estelle will be visiting me in a few short weeks so some of these things might really be happening, y’all!)
One of my favorite, favorite locations in Austin is Mount Bonnell. It’s a lookout point over Lake Austin. You have to climb tons of steps to reach the top, but the view is so worth it. On a clear day, you can look left (south) and see downtown Austin. Turn your head 180 degrees to the right and you can see the gorgeous lake curving around the city.
Oh, and you wanna know why this spot is a favorite of mine? It marks the beginning of my marriage to Dustyn. He proposed to me here one somewhat rainy November day almost TEN years ago. We climbed out to the farthest overhang and he feared for his life so he didn’t drop down on one knee (he doesn’t have the best balance), but he whispered sweet words to me and asked me to be his wife. *swoon*
Next up on our road trip would either be Hamilton Pool or Barton Springs Pool. It can be your choice, I promise. You see, we’re doing a summertime feature, so I’m assuming that you’re visiting in that time frame…and guys, it’s HOT here. We’ll need to cool off, especially after our climb up Mount Bonnell. Hamilton Pool (below, left) is absolutely gorgeous. Stunning really. It just seems like it’s carved right out of the earth. And Barton Springs Pool (below, right) — well, it’s about 68 degrees year-round, according to the Parks & Rec website. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?
And our final stop for the day would most definitely have to involve some food, right? I think yes. We’re hypothetically going to have a long day of climbing and swimming (or getting a tan). We’re going to be hungry after all of that. AND, I can’t let Estelle or you guys come to Austin, Texas and not have some BBQ. Allow me to introduce you to one of my most favorite BBQ locations, The Salt Lick. There are a few locations around Austin, but I wouldn’t be a good host if I didn’t take you to the original out in Driftwood, TX. It’s located about 30 minutes outside of Austin, and has more seating (read: picnic tables) and BBQ than one could possibly imagine. Their food is absolutely delicious. In fact, my stomach is growling right now. Yum, yum.
So that wraps up my day trip through Austin, Texas. Whatdya think? When are you visiting? 😉
Greetings! I’m going to tell you something revolutionary: New York City is really hot during the summer. If someone (Magan, perhaps) asked me what time of year they should visit, I would probably suggest the fall or Christmastime. But alas, I will play tour guide for any of my pals when they come to visit. Here are a few of the stops I think that Magan (and you!) should put on your to-do list for your next Manhattan visit!
I’m going to start with the good stuff. Forget the romance in Serendipity. How about the friendship? I always loved that scene where Kate Beckinsale and Molly Shannon had dessert at the restaurant of the same name. Known for this delicious frrrozen hot chocolates and lovely vintage/eclectic decor, this little gem of an eatery is worth the long wait. (For those of you who are wondering, the actual real food a.k.a. not dessert is super delicious too.)
Since Magan is a photographer extraordinaire, I wanted to think of a place with some amazing views. I’ve never been to the High Line before. It’s an elevated park built on a freight line and it has an interesting mix of greenery and the concrete jungle that NYC is all about. During the summer, the park has some great events including STAR GAZING on Tuesday evenings. I asked Magan if she thought that was too romantic to include for a gal pal date but because she’s the best sport, she loved it. So not only did I think the High Line would be a great place for Magan to shoot, but we can also sit back and read on the lawn, or grab a cold drink or snack from the food trucks. So fun!
Reading Tara Altebrando’s Dreamland Social Club last year convinced me Coney Island was a must-do. This trip (it’s about an hour out of Manhattan by subway) would have a bit of everything: Nathan’s hot dogs, a walk on the boardwalk, a dip in the ocean, and just a nice summer way to escape the city. Plus there are fireworks every Friday night during the summer. That sounds like the perfect ending to a beach day!
On Thursday, be sure to stop over at Fiction Folio to see where Tara is road trippin for Sweet Summertime Reads.
What are your favorite places to explore in your own hometown?