I was beyond thrilled when Three and Five agreed to visit me at the end of my internship! I knew they were a bit dubious about the prospect of coming to Texas, but I think I speak for all of us when I say the visit was practically perfect in every way. I spent my summer living and working in Houston, but when they came we decided to drive up to Hill Country to explore Austin--which. we. loved. Hit the jump for our complete guide and itinerary.

Despite excessive partying the previous night (have you ever been to a honky-tonk?), we woke up bright and early to begin our Austin adventure. We had planned to pick up donuts on the way, but opted for happy cola, happy hippos and Justin's peanut butter cups instead, cause we're happy, cool and health conscious like that. When we arrived in Austin, we stopped by the pretty little house we had rented for the night. Actually, we spent quite some time attempting--unintentionally--to get into the next door neighbor's house...luckily neighbor didn't seem too concerned when she came home to find four youths scrummaging through her flower pots and under her door mats, trying to find a spare key....Woops! Anyway, after getting into the correct house, we headed to Hopdoddy.

Hopdoddy -
We had heard it was good, but nothing could have prepared us for the flavors which entered our mouths there. Seriously the best veggie burger I've ever had. Think uber fresh, locally sourced ingredients on exquisite homemade bread -- but much better than anything you're imagining. And according to Astro Boy, the meat options weren't too shabby either.
Lunch left us slightly comatose, so--though we had made more ambitious plans to explore the city--we just sort of lumbered around South Congress Street for awhile.
After meandering and recovering from the food orgy, we headed for the Whole Foods Flagship Store.

Whole Foods -
Now, you're probably thinking: "Wow. These kids eat. all. the. time." And you're right. But this place was amazing. Really, truly inspirational. Samples everywhere--cooking classes on-site, maybe 7 legit restaurants inside the grocery store (I may be exaggerating, but 7 actually seems like a conservative guess to me...). It was insane. Obviously, we loved it. Moving on -bats.

Bat Bridge -
There's one bridge in Austin, accurately dubbed "Bat Bridge", which plays host to the largest urban bat colony in North America. We arrived about 30 minutes before sunset and the place was already teeming with people. There was just enough space for the four of us to squeeze in with the crowd on top of the bridge. Beneath us were dozens of kayaks and river rafts, and the bank beside the bridge had another two hundred or so people waiting to spy the bats. All 1.5 million of them. I can't do justice to the experience with pictures, but it was pretty incredible. Really so. darn. cool. We walked back to the car dazed and delighted by the mass of fuzzy flying things we had encountered.

The next morning, after church, Astro Boy found a donut joint for breakfast. If you have a chance to visit Austin, go to Round Rock Donuts. Their plain glazed concoctions were mad-delicious. But only the glazed ones. Also, everyone who worked there definitely thought Astro Boy was very famous. They told us so--many times.
All the donut eating inspired us to do something active, so we headed to Mount Bonnell--which was supposed to be a lovely hike. But, despite its impressive name, Mount Bonnell is more of a scenic overlook than a hike. Seriously, you climb a set of stairs and you're there. Still, we liked it--and the view was spectacular!

Because the "hike" hadn't satisfied our desire to spend time with nature, Astro Boy suggested we explore the Lady Bird Johnson Wild Flower Center. It was a very good idea. Founded by the former first lady, the wildflower center is devoted to protecting and preserving North America's native plants. It was certainly my favorite stop of the trip. 
The grounds could not have been more thoughtfully or beautifully curated. A combination of Spanish, German and Italian inspired structures punctuated the incredibly charming landscape. It was so, very lovely--we even munched on wild Texas persimmons! *Swoon*

Our final stop was the Magnolia Cafe which featured super satisfying comfort food. Favorite treats included the gingerbread pancakes and the veggie reuben. We ate way too much. But we were so happy :)
Probably more information than you ever wanted, but we had so much fun--I had to share!