We just got back from a week in Austin. Even though I had to work, it was nice to get away and the kids always enjoy a hotel stay. This was an impromptu trip - I was looking for a place to stay and stumbled upon an incredible price on Expedia - $105/night for the Barton Creek Resort which is a a fantastic place. So my client gets a great deal on my expense report, the family gets a free hotel stay, and everyone had a great time.
We drove down Sunday morning, arriving in time for lunch poolside. It was HOT, but perfect for hanging out by the pool all afternoon. Barton Creek is set in the hills of West Austin, and the area is just gorgeous. While you can't stop all development, Austin has done a pretty good job keeping the hills from being overrun. Some areas are kept off limits altogether, and others are used sparingly, which means the few homes that do get built are just magnificent. And expensive.
Being the sucker that I am, I just had to try running the hills. I had a 45 min run on Monday and a 60 min run on Wednesday to keep up with my LHR training. See those 2 white water towers dead center in the picture? Looks far away but it's only about 2.5 miles one-way. 5 tortuous hilly miles round-trip. With inclines that busted my heart rate. With declines that could wipe you out if you didn't run with your brakes on. But it was all good. I ended both runs with a solitary dip in the pool (yes, I did shower off first, duh). And it was still only 7:30am :-)
I'm glad I ran, because I sure as hell ate. After work each day, I was so ready to meet up with the family again. I don't know Austin well enough anymore to know all the good places, but there are a few reliable local favorites. We hit Magnolia Cafe, Chuy's Tex-Mex, County Line BBQ, and tried a new place Gumbo's. Along the way, there might have been a Shiner or two.
The pièce de résistance? Our new discovery - the kids only saved half of one for me, but it was absolutely the best I've ever had. I'm not kidding. I take my cupcakes very seriously.