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It’s been a long year since travel has been accessible. I for one have missed the rush of experiencing a new place for the first time. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit an old friend of mine in Austin, Texas! The last time we were together was about 4 years ago on our trip to Greece, where we first met. When she extended the invitation to come visit her in Austin, I just couldn’t resist, so my two friends and I packed our bags and cowboy hats (of course) and headed on down to Texas!

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect about Austin or Texas in general. The city really took me by surprise right away. As urban as it is downtown, Austin in the general scope includes a lot of suburban areas as well. It also is home to a lot of nature as well. We spent our first day exploring Zilker Park, the Botanical Gardens, and Barton Springs. Zilker Park had great views of the city and bridges that surround the area. It was really pleasing to see all the people enjoying the warm spring weather, socially distanced!

Later that night we headed back into the city to check out some restaurants and bars in the area! We hopped around Sixth Street and Rainey Street. Again, it was great to be able to experience the Austin nightlife with all the safety precautions in place making it accessible and safe. We had the best time meeting new people from all over!

Later on in the weekend, we visited the campus of the University of Texas. I was unaware of how large the school was and how beautiful as well! We also shopped around the vintage and thrift corner of UT. We stopped in a few record stores, a buffalo exchange, and my personal favorite was this local consignment shop called “Pavement Modern and Recycled Fashion.” It was this huge store featuring all thrifted and consigned pieces in a more urban way. The store had a pretty similar vibe to an Urban Outfitters but everything there was second-hand! I was able to score some pretty neat pieces for myself. 

I think my favorite part of the entire trip was our cute and quaint Airbnb! It was super close to the campus at UT and was about 10 minutes from my friend we were visiting, overall a great location! About the place, it was a small studio apartment but the character made it feel huge. All of her furniture and art made the place feel homey. The furniture was definitely second-hand, my favorite being her lime green couch! The bookcase and shelves were filled with collage pieces, art, books ranging from art to Upton Sinclair’s ‘The Jungle’, and even a beginner’s guide to Tarot Card readings! I’m not sure if all the art along the walls was her own work but she did not hesitate to cover the place in it. I think out of everything, my favorite part was her record collection! It had every type of record you could think of ranging from Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumors’ to Built to Spill’s ‘Carry the Zero’. This host has got some real good taste in art and music. Unfortunately, she told us it was currently broken, otherwise we would’ve been free to use it as we pleased. The apartment also had a mini stage which was home to a vast range of books on top of a huge plug-in speaker as well as a bass and keyboard. Needless to say, our stay was more than we could’ve imagined.

As our weekend came to an end, we said our goodbyes and farewells to one another and the great city of Austin, Texas. Our trip was eventful to say the least and could not have asked for anything better. Only one person rode a bull, one person had a mini fender-bender, but we all left our hearts in Texas (and saw an armadillo!). So thank you to the city of Austin and thank you to my sweet friend Anastasia for hosting us. We will for sure find our way back there again sometime soon. Hook ‘em!

Morgan is currently a junior at Emmanuel College majoring in Communication and Media Studies with a minor in Marketing. In her free time, she loves to explore the city of Boston and all it has to offer. You can find her at any coffee shop, museum, concert, or antique store!
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