Without question, 2016 been the craziest year ever.
This year has been more challenging and rewarding than we could have ever imagined.
Since May 23, we have:
Along the way, we’ve enjoyed food trucks, beverages, sights and music in countless cities and towns, taken thousands of photos, reconnected with a handful of friends and family and slept in more Walmart parking lots than we care to count.
And we’re just getting started.
This week, we’re back in Colorado (again, we just can’t seem to stay away) preparing for a snowshoe trip in the mountains to ring in the new year. And after that we’re heading south for the winter.
We have no idea what 2017 will hold but if it’s anything like this year it’s going to be one crazy adventure after another.
Thanks to everyone who’s been supporting our journey so far. We love sharing it with you.
How are you celebrating the new year? We love hearing from you.
For me, travel is all about finding local flavor and Austin has no shortage of that.
After a few days exploring Austin, I’m starting to understand the “keep Austin weird” slogan that’s plastered all over local businesses, downtown murals and social media. Austin is weird. And I like it.
We gawked over Christmas lights; drooled over food trucks; hiked; laughed ourselves silly playing retro video games in a bar made from shipping containers; scoured independent bookstores, listened to live music at historic venues; discovered curious antiques at vintage shops across the city; and had a throwback roller skate date night.
I’m not convinced my words would do this city justice so here are some images of the local, Austin flavor I loved so much. Enjoy.
Food trucks, breweries and music are our go-to in a new place. Where do you find local flavor in a new city?
I’m finally starting to feel like I’m achieving some of the travel goals I had for our yearlong adventure. I’ve been able to find some work on the road, discovered several unexpected roadside gems and have started enjoying the little things like quirky shops and Christmas decorations. Texas has been good to me in that way.
It took a while to get settled into traveling full time. Then we had a few minor setbacks that held us up a bit. But six months into our trip and I think we’re getting the hang of it. It’s nice to take a breath and see new things and meet new people and focus on enjoying life instead of stressing about the day to day. My stress hasn’t gone away completely but I feel like it’s decreased greatly, especially in the past few weeks and Texas is at least partially responsible for that change.
After a week in wine country we headed to Houston for a visit with some friends. We had the best pork chop of our lives from Perry’s Steakhouse, some five-star homemade libations courtesy Noah and got wild and crazy with a puzzle.
Visiting friends and family on the road has been one of the highlights of the trip so far.
While in Houston, we discovered the ugly Christmas sweater headquarters on 19th Street, spotted a few murals and found some gorgeous holiday decorations at the Galleria.
I had forgotten how much fun traveling can be.
On our way from Houston to Austin we spent a bit of time in the middle of nowhere. Grassy fields and the occasional home filled our view for about an hour until we decided on an impromptu stop in La Grange. Not only is Old World Antieks my absolute favorite antique store of all time, but they had my dream tiny home.
What an awesome find. I love the surprises like this on the road.
What’s your favorite road trip surprise? Comment below. I love hearing from you guys!
We had big plans for Texas Hill Country including wine, hiking and exploring, but six days into our adventure I’m relishing in the rest.
For the first time since our trip began, we spent an entire day cooped up in our hotel room watching Netflix and lounging. I wanted to be annoyed at myself for wasting the day being lazy when my time in Fredericksburg is limited, but I couldn’t. All I felt was relaxation. The rain might have been our excuse, but I think we really just needed a day off and it was lovely.
Despite cold, rainy weather, we spent only one day hunkered down in our hotel.
We’ve been exploring area wineries throughout the week drinking wine, making friends and ogling hilltop views of the vineyards. So far, Innwood Estates has my favorites wines, Sister Creek‘s historic mill has been my favorite tasting room, Pedernales had the prettiest property and Lost Draw Cellars had the friendliest staff.
A short detour to Luckenbach provided some fantastic music, authentic folks and rustic scenery.
What a cool town. I understand why Waylon and Willie sing about this place.
Downtown Fredericksburg has also exceeded our expectations. Several blocks of cute, local shops and restaurants are dripping with Christmas decorations, which always provides an unfair advantage in my book.
The rain finally subsided today and we headed to Enchanted Rock where we hiked to the top of the summit at the dome rock (1,800 feet elevation) for a panoramic view and wind gustier than Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountain peaks. We hiked about three miles from the summit around the west side of the state park and back to the trailhead.
It was a little chillier than expected but it felt great to get outside and soak up some fresh air after nearly a week of rain. Plus, we had the best Mexican food of our trip so far at a dive-y local joint on our way back to town.
OK, so maybe I’m not that great at resting but I had fun and that’s what counts.
Overall, Fredericksburg has been a big success and a great place to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We’ll be back.
Now, on to Houston to visit some friends before heading to Austin. Thanks to everyone who has sent recommendations our way so far.
In the spirit of the Lone Star state, which is your favorite Texas town and why?