Posted by: Travis | October 5, 2010

Lost in Austin

Okay, so we didn’t actually get lost (well kind of), but we did go to Austin last weekend, and i just liked the way ‘Lost in Austin’ sounds when said quickly (‘laustin-austin’).

Rachel and i have been scoping out wedding venues in Central Texas since getting engaged in August. Logistically, it just makes sense for the two of us to fly to Texas to get married, which is within driving distance for around 80% of the people who will be coming, plus, we love the Texas Hill Country. We thought we found a winner but wanted to go see it in person before committing. I hopped on some airline websites and saw that JetBlue had a $99 non-stop flight to Austin last Friday night, so we booked it, with a plan to use Southwest miles to fly back on Sunday.

If only it were that easy. We had Rachel’s uncle give us a ride to SFO Friday afternoon. We checked out bags, went through security and were ready to hop on the plane when they canceled the flight because of a mechanical problem. We got put on a different flight the next day, Mark came back to the airport to pick us up, we went back to their house and contemplated bagging the trip altogether, since flying half way across the country to be in a city for 16 hours is just silly. After talking to our parents (all four of whom were planning to drive to Austin to meet us there for the weekend), we found a flight with Southwest out of San Jose the next morning that would work. We got up at 4:15 and headed down to the airport, checked bags, went through security, boarded the plane, and then found out there was a mechanical problem with the plane and we were going to miss our connection. Luckily, Southwest being awesome as they are, put us on yet another flight that got into Austin about and hour later than the first Satruday morning flight, a full 18 hours after we had originally planned on arriving Friday night.

My parents picked us up at the Airport and we met Rachel’s parents and some friends at a bar to watch the Texas-OU football game. With Longhorns and Sooners in the group there was some trash talk, but it wasn’t much of a game.

We checked out a wholesale flower shop that sells to the public (Rachel wants to do her own flowers for the wedding), mainly to see what they have, what their prices are like, and what they have in season in October, since we’ll be getting married 10/29/2011. Add in some delicious gelato from Teo’s to get the blood sugar back up and we have a group of happy campers.

After some discussion we realized that despite all of the time i’ve spent in Austin (though i’ve never lived there), and the two years that Rachel lived in Austin while her dad was in law school, that no one had ever seen the famous Congress Bridge bats. Since sunset was nearing and we wanted to give Chuy’s some time to clear out from the dinner rush, we headed over to the bridge,  found a grassy spot on the southside of the bridge and waited for the bats.

I was expecting a sudden swarm of bats from under the bridge, so when they slowly started to trickle out, i was a little disappointed and couldn’t see what all the hoopla was about. Then, over the course of about 10 minutes, the number of bats grew and grew until they were everywhere. Obviously, it’s tough to take pictures of bats flying around in the dark, but Rachel did her best using a flash.

After having gone batty, we headed over to Chuy’s to fill up on margaritas and some classic Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas with chili gravy. I was previously unaware of how badly i needed my fix.

The next morning Rachel, Tyson (her Dad) and i got up before dawn to head out for a run. Rachel’s training for the Philly marathon in November and was supposed to run 14 miles. Bike racing is in the off season right now, but i’m trying to mix it up with some running so that i’m doing something, so i agreed to go with, and Tyson is pretty much running all of the time. We headed out in the dark from our hotel to the trail along Town Lake and ran from I-35 all the way to Mopac. We got lost, ran into the fence at Barton Springs, and wandered our way around Zilker park (where they were setting up for ACL, oh what i would give up to go back this weekend for ACL!) and back onto the north side of Town Lake for the return trip. Rachel didn’t get all 14 miles prescribed, but Tyson and i hung in for all 10 miles, which i sure wasn’t expecting.

We met up with my parents and then headed south to the wedding venue off of Canyon Lake, which is about half way between Austin and San Antonio. It’s looking like it’s going to be fantastic. It’s a property with 25 cabins and cottages, a gazebo with a view of the lake, a big hall (with huge kitchen), a pool, sand volleyball courts, bocce ball, and about 20 charcoal grills and smokers that litter the property. The plan is to rent out the whole place for Friday and Saturday night and have a camp-style wedding weekend with all of our favorite people in the same place for 48 crazy hours of fun, during which we will happen to have a wedding. The accommodations aren’t spectacular, but it ain’t camping either. My take is that if we did have really nice rooms, people would just stay in their rooms all weekend, but this way, if people aren’t sleeping, they’ll be out socializing. Our friends Corey and Beth who live in San Antonio and got married about a year ago drove up to meet us at the venue and everyone who was there got more and more excited about how perfect a venue it is. So it’s official. We put down a deposit and everything. October 29, 2011 and Canyon Lake Cabins and Cottages in Canyon Lake, Texas.

Before heading back to the airport, we all went to lunch at the Gristmill restaurant in Gruene, TX, the likely site of our rehearsal dinner. It was just as good as i remembered from college. Next door is the Gruene Dance Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas.

After lunch it was back to the airport to fly home. Two more flights delayed over an hour and a botched final approach into SFO that we had to pull out of and try again later, and we were home safe and sound.

Good times.



  1. You guys are so smart!! Sounds like an awesome plan!!

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