|"THE DETAILS ARE NOT THE DETAILS. THEY MAKE THE DESIGN." — CHARLES EAMES|
I'm certain about very little in life, but I've got some really great news for you. I just KNOW this past weekend won't be the last time you see me. That's right, I WILL be back for more of YOU! But until that future rendezvous occurs—may it be five years or five decades from now—I thought I'd remind you of our colorful past. You know, in the event you forget about The Fines...
- Our love affair began November 10, 2013. Flyboy and I were living in San Antonio at the time and we made our way east to see what all the buzz was about. I'll admit my first impression was that you were too cool for me. Despite the bevy of brunch options and bicycle shops, I felt like I lacked the hipster vibes your town not only attracts but adores. Sorry!
- But then we came back a month later so I could attend Blogshop and I was wooed by your character and quirk. Armed with a new camera and personalized blogger cards, the inspiration of the course and the people that surrounded me was infectious. I can't say One Fine Day has amounted to much since the creative seminar, but we got a lay of the land à la Camille Styles and began discovering Texas-sized treasures around every corner. It left us craving more!
- You're the home to some of my favorite foods and libations. That's a title you should wear like a badge of honor because eating good food and drinking good drinks is EVERYTHING to this family. Notable mentions include: the Yellow Cake Donut at Gourdough's (I have dreams about you.), the perfect Burger at June's (Somebody stop me!), the Blueberry French Toast at Elizabeth St. Cafe (A necessity when in ATX.), and the House Punch (GIN!) at Hillside Farmacy. In fact, the hardest part about visiting your lovely city was deciding where to eat next. That's not a bad problem to have at all...
- Do you remember the first time we visited you after we had Max? Yeah, it was a disaster. Flyboy and I took shifts eating and drinking so we could ensure our child kept moving and to avoid being a spectacle with our screaming baby. Sigh. I'll never forget noshing on a $30 Lobster Roll at Perla's in the company of a pigeon perched on our table and then looking across the street to see my boys doing laps up and down the sidewalk of South Congress. Bless it!
- I wish I could say Max was the only family member to keep things weird with a meltdown, but then there was that time I took my mom and sister to visit. I kind of hope you forgot about this one. Anywho, I was four months pregnant and emotional as hell when I realized we'd been walking in the wrong direction. In a state of panic, I whipped out Google Maps to figure out where we were in the city when my sister tried to lighten the mood by suggesting the three of us take a selfie. At four months preggo with a midsection that appeared to be more beer bloat than baby belly, tears squirted from my eyes as we stood in front of the Texas State Capitol because I felt hideous—and HORMONES! Then, hours later after popping into STAG for some shopping, my mom insisted one of the guys was flirting with me. She totally meant to make me feel better about myself, but I bawled AGAIN. And probably a dozen other times that day.
- Devouring delectables, emotional roller coasters, and shopping aside, the fun-tivities in this town are hard to beat! With each passing trip, we see how much Max has grown over the past three years when we visit places like Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool. From snoozing peacefully in his stroller to being smothered in SPF and then dunked into chilly water, we've looked to these spots as a way to escape the mundane of Swell Rio and create new family memories. What a gift!
- It's your fault, but I will ALWAYS think of you whenever I sweat profusely and I mean this in the best way possible! Approximately ninety percent of our visits entailed steamy temps that left Flyboy's back sopping wet and me requesting that my dear husband walk behind me in case I sweated through my chambray dress or wide-leg khaki culottes. Gulp!
- Sometimes I think we had TOO much fun in ATX and we paid for it royally on our way home. Remember the Babymoon of 2014 when that dumb vulture took out the driver's side mirror on The Rig? What a mess! Then, after staying in Austin last December on our way back from Missouri, we picked up our new VW station wagon and came home to Beesly throwing out her other ACL and Tripp's passing? Ugh, that one still stings. A lot. And just when you might think our spell of bad luck was over, we drove home last Sunday riding one *last* Austin high only to have the passenger side window of the Touareg collapse and shatter (How? We have NO clue!) 75 miles outside of Swell Rio. You can't make this stuff up!
We probably should have explored more Texas attractions over the past four years, but there's just something about your charming city that kept calling us back for more. I'm so glad we listened! At a time when we craved a colorful escape from the monotony of being new parents situated in the hamster wheel that is Swell Rio, you were the kind of mental reprieve we needed. Thanks for being such a bright spot in this chapter of our story. We're forever grateful for the memories we created with you as an adorable backdrop!
P.S. I'll spare you from doing anything corny like mentioning that hokey Blake Shelton song (I bet you've heard that joke a gazillion times!), but I have every intention to start planting seeds that Max should go to college here. Never mind, we both know that rogue child is going to do whatever he wants anyway. But I promise we WILL be back one day—and I still love you. #SORRYNOTSORRY