3. AUSTIN, TX

This blog post for Austin has been nearly impossible to complete. I actually wrote three posts for our subsequent stops before I was able to scribble down even mindless notes from our stay.

I initially attributed part of my block to performance anxiety. Austin was uber hyped from the beginning and any city that officially encourages you to "keep it weird" naturally runs the risk of trying too hard. What if our version of this fabled city fell into a giant hipster wormhole?

But, after a few days passed, I came to realize Austin was simply not far enough away from the things we already knew too well. It wasn't, strangely, weird enough.

Were the bars amazing and the music scene happening as ever? Totes. Did every restaurant have impeccable design sense and an equally trendy menu? Si. What about the balance of grunge vs granola? Perfect. And nature vs night life? Check.

So what then made our experience with Austin so terribly conflicted?

While it did not fail to deliver on funky food trucks, tattooed hipsters, and a plethora of amazing shops, it was, for us, just not far enough away from the demands of normal life. Not far enough away from work... or a phone that didn't stop ringing ...or an uncontrollable inbox.

Not. Far. Enough.

Don't get me wrong, I realize this is a whiny, first world complaint to file during a month long road trip. But maybe this bucket list-type trip was already going too fast. Here we were, in one of the most anticipated cities of our journey, with the least amount of time to get weird.

There simply weren't enough hours to do our most favorite things like eating meals, like our first, at the hip and happening Easy Tiger where we split the German Easy Board. A gigantic pretzel served with bratwurst, kraut, beer cheese, potato salad and house mustard. No way, never enough.

Making gigantic pretzels at Easy Tiger, aka, Bread Heaven.

Making gigantic pretzels at Easy Tiger, aka, Bread Heaven.

Or like the next morning when, on a friendly pro tip, we had breakfast at Kerbey Lane Café savoring their famed poppy seed french toast. Or that afternoon, where there was barely enough time for the week's provisions at micro-grocery in.gredients, staples at Wheatsville Co-Op and a fresh bread at Upper Crust Bakery.

Or dinner at the hyper-popular La Condesa where our hostess graciously offered a private tour of the lower level “Flour House." Built atop a former underground tunnel to the river? Enough already.

Lest we forget Wednesday's 7-mile round trip trek to Bartan Springs Pool where, along the way, we tried to decide which was weirder — the minimalist approach to suburban architecture or the amount of folks running and cycling in the 100+ degree heat like it was normal.

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Or the post-walk treat at celebrity-owned Walton’s Fancy and Staple followed by a quick trip to REI, the Whole Foods original mothership and some harmless lusting at Spartan.

And dinner? Dinner was a big, fat open-air hit at Contigo where our server didn't skip a beat as he suggested a dessert for the evening because he felt it was the “most photogenic."

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On Thursday, and with more than enough adorable hair for all of my mom's born-bald grandchildren, 5 week old Euna joined our hosts Jeany and Mose for a quick family photo. Zan snapped a shot of them against the airy, light-filled apartment that had felt a lot like home the past few days.

It was the middle of the end of our last full day and it seemed we would barely get to know them enough.

Our trip ended with a self-proclaimed Food Truck Thursday starting at Veracruz All Natural (thanks for the Migas tip Jeany!) and ending with Gourdough’s (courtesy of a tip from Chris at District in NOLA).

Did we unapologetically conclude our insatiable trip to Austin with diabetes-inducing donuts like The Puddin’ and Mama’s Cake.

Duh. Of course. 

Because, when it comes to the weird things in life, could there ever really be enough?