This week my parents, Mom and Dad, came to Austin to see what this whole cross-country relocation thing was all about. Their journey here was anything but smooth–a 4-hour delay in Sioux Falls that made them miss their flight out of Minneapolis. Luckily they were rescheduled on a later flight and only had to spend four more hours at MSP. So, after waking up to take the shuttle to the FSD Airport at 4am, they finally arrived at Austin-Bergstrom International around 5:30pm. I had taken a half-day from work to pick them up at the airport at noon, but even after learning of their delays decided to take the vacation time as scheduled and better prepare for their visit. I also took the next three days off to be a full-time tour guide.
I have blabbered on and on about how much there is to do in Austin, but when presented with the challenge of entertaining guests for 90 hours, it became evident that most of the fun here is food-related. We ate at the following restaurants over the four days:
- The Tavern – welcome-to-Texas beers
- Curra’s – interior Mexican
- Whole Foods – not your typical Whole Foods, but the flagship mother of all WF stores
- NXNW – brewpub
- Torchy’s – our favorite everyday taco place
- Alamo Drafthouse – complete dinner with our movie
- Hopdoddy – crazy intriguing burger joint
- Salt Lick – BBQ adventure in the middle of freaking nowhere
- South Congress Cafe – first in line for fancy shmancy breakfast
We also showed them a whole bunch of Austin and San Antonio hot spots including:
- Hiking with beagle at Great Hills Park
- State capitol and visitors’ center
- South Congress shops and food trailers
- Mount Bennell, overlooking city
- Apartment pool(s)
- Dog park
- Zilker Park
- Barton Springs
- Alamo Drafthouse
- The Alamo
- San Antonio River Walk
We missed a few spots even. Places I had on the itinerary that we never even visited included:
- Bat bridge – I guess it is out-of-season in February
- Elephant Room – wanted to see some live music
- Sixth Street – probably not the place to go with parents
- Driving range – it rained the entire time they were here, plus Dad’s fingers got hurt and he couldn’t grip a club!
- Sporting event – Longhorn baseball and Stars hockey were options
Okay, enough of the silly lists. This may sound like a lot, but believe it or not there was also a lot of downtime at the apartment where I couldn’t think of any way to entertain us all. Mom and Dad are both about as laid back as can be. I asked a lot of “what should we do now?” questions and received a lot of “I don’t care” and “whatever you think” kinda answers. We even had time to drive an hour east of town to the village of Thrall where we checked out a pickup on Craigslist which I intend to purchase. By tomorrow this time we plan to own a 1994 Chevy pickup. Dad was kind enough to lend us the money, and once we are able to sell the Grand Prix, we’ll repay him. Easier than dealing with a real auto loan!
Baxter was a very bad beagle whenever we were gone. He tore up his biggest chunk of carpet to date, which resulted in us finally admitting he has a real problem with separation anxiety. Mom accompanied me across the street to the vet on Thursday morning where we learned Baxter has an extreme case of the disorder. From now on, he’ll be medicated and we’ll be seeking out additional training. After that, Baxter accompanied us virtually everywhere, including The Alamo and Riverwalk in San Antonio! He sure is well-behaved when he’s around everyone.
All in all I think it was a successful visit by the Glanzers. Who knows when we’ll be back to South Dakota to see them again… maybe sometime this summer, or at least this fall for my cousin’s wedding in DeSmet. We’ll sure miss having them around, that’s for sure! I think we also gained some experience we can use to better entertain future guests. We got this great guest room with private bathroom… anyone need a place to stay for the big upcoming SXSW festival?
I’ll vouch for Ryan and Lauren as great hosts for anyone who wants to visit. We had a great time and will surely come back again and hope for better weather. Thanks for all the tour guiding you guys did, we’ll highly recommend Austin to anyone thinking about a vacation there.