Austin Explorin’ with my Sis Part 1!

Good morning!! How are you this morning? Moving through July, one of the big highlights was my older sister, Andrea, visiting me in Austin. It’s rare we get to hang out just the two of us outside of holidays, so this was really special!

On July 9th, I had the day off clinical. I ran to get my eyebrows waxed because they were in desperate need of help. Well y’all, I didn’t think about the fact that I use an over-the-counter product with a small bit of retinol in it, and the skin under my eyebrows came right off. It almost looked like I was wearing pink eyeshadow under them. It was painful more than anything, but easy to cover up with makeup and healed quickly with aloe and moisturizer- but I learned my lesson!

Little did I know I had more lessons to be learned that day…

Andi’s flight from Colorado was scheduled to arrive around 7 pm. Unfortunately, it was delayed, but fortunately, only slightly. When she did arrive, I could not find her anywhere at the airport pick-up. We kept exchanging land marks and nothing was linking up. Another passenger mentioned to my sister that they were in an entirely different terminal about 15 minutes from the regular airport- I didn’t even know this terminal existed! So learn from my mistake pro-tip- apparently Frontier and Allegiant fly in and out of the South Terminal if you are ever picking someone up. Even after knowing about the terminal, I could not find it even after entering it into my GPS for at least 30 mins. My GPS just kept taking me in circles. We had a reservation for dinner at 9 pm, so we decided it may be best for her to grab an Uber and meet at the restaurant.

I entered the restaurant into my GPS and only a couple minutes into the route I passed a huge sign that said “South Terminal”, naturally. I frantically called my sister to let her know I was there and luckily she hadn’t called a ride yet. I zoomed in, picked her up, and we booked it to the restaurant.

On the way I realized I didn’t blow out a candle thinking we would be right back to the apartment from the airport before dinner. Aba was really close to our apartment, so I parked in the back lot and sprinted up 6 flights of stairs to put out the candle (my calves were sore the next day). Note taken- always put the candle out before leaving.

We were 15 minutes late to the reservation, but the staff was super understanding when we called to let them know we were on the way!

We finally made it!!

Aba is fairly new to Austin, and it can be tough to get a dinner reservation. I think I had to make ours a solid two months in advance. Shout out to my sister-in-law, Laura, for recommending it!!

Sista sista!This is easily one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever been to. The decoration was breathtaking. We couldn’t stop commenting how gorgeous it was- these pics could not possibly capture how stunning it was in person!

Not only was it one of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve been to, but it was one of the best meals I had in Austin (which y’all know is saying something because that city knows good food!).We started with a couple of their dips- the hummus and whipped feta. We concluded after trying them that the hummus was spectacular, but the whipped feta was possibly…yes I will go there… life-changing. Gosh, I crave that stuff somethin’ fierce. Also- we ate the hummus and feta with veggies, pita and gluten free crackers (my sis eats gluten free). I tried one of the gluten-free crackers and may have liked them even better than the fluffy pita! The crackers had this wonderful rosemary flavor. Also, they have a full gluten free menu, so if you are gluten free, this is a really solid dinner choice in Austin.

We also tried the side of potatoes and the waiter suggested we dip them in the whipped feta- heaven I tell ya.

And it doesn’t even stop there. Next we tried the squid- which was divine. I am talking melt-in-your-mouth. 

After saying how good the food was about 24908509 times, we walked down South Congress. At this point in the evening (I think it was probably 10:30ish), SoCo was pretty empty. It was fun seeing it this late at night like that- It felt like we had the road to ourselves (and not in the eerie way like early on in the pandemic).

After a nice walk, we drove back to the apartment. My sister’s bday is in late July, but we rarely ever have the chance to celebrate in person, so we deemed this her bday night! I went to Mr. Natural’s in town (where Kevin got the AWESOME vegan muffins for the Baustin Weekend). They also had a wide array of gluten free options- so I grabbed a few for us to enjoy! We could not believe how good they were.

On July 10th we were all carb loaded and ready to do Orange Theory!

We had an excellent workout and after just walked around the South Lamar square for a while admiring the artwork.

After, we zipped over to South Congress again for some post-workout fuel. I had a hankerin’ for some coffee & Andi said a smoothie from Amy’s sounded great! I quickly grabbed an iced coffee from Jo’s.  I can’t believe I hadn’t tried this sooner. This is easily some of the best coffee in Austin. Top 3 favorite coffee shops without a doubt!

Andi loved her smoothie from Amy’s too!

We went back to the apartment, got cleaned up, relaxed for a bit and then walked across the bridge to Cooper’s BBQ in downtown Austin.

Even though I don’t eat meat, these BBQ spots have the best sides! My favorite is still Terry Black’s, but this was darn good. Their coleslaw and mac n’ cheese was my favorite.

If you didn’t use half a stack of napkins, did you even BBQ?!

We grabbed a quick picture of Mr. Cooper himself.

To top off a wonderful afternoon, Andi suggested we go to reflexology. I have never done reflexology before and wasn’t familiar with it. It was awesome though- it’s basically a long foot massage!

And that wraps up our first part of the weekend.

Much more to come in part two 🙂

Thanks for reading!

17 thoughts on “Austin Explorin’ with my Sis Part 1!

  1. Whew! That was a challenging start to the fun! What a relief that everything worked out ok.
    Aba looks like such a magical place – and I didn’t know whipped feta was a thing. Looks so yummy!
    Precious sister time … looking forward to Part 2!

    1. It really did work out so well in the end! Magical is the perfect word to describe Aba!! Thanks for reading, Ju-Lyn 🙂

  2. Still one of my all-time favorite trips! Of course the fact that I had not travelled anywhere in the past 18 months made it more memorable. 😁

    I liked the list we came up with for all our “life-changing moments.” Like who knew I am a fan of hot sauce on my bbq?! How is the goat milk soap treating you?

    Love you sis!

    1. Mine too 🙂 Yes yes I love that list too! LOVE the goat milk soap & we both need to stock up on that hot sauce. May be a hot commodity (pun intended) for White Elephant Christmas this year 😉 Love youuu!

    1. It was quite an adventure- but it all worked out in the end- and most of all we didn’t miss out on the whipped feta! 🙂 Thanks for reading Lori!!

  3. The Iced Turbo and the Smoothies were my favorite drinks in this post and the BBQ looked tasty too! How nice you got to visit with your sister and see all the sights.

    1. I kinda of wish I had tried that Iced Turbo while I was there- sounds delicious!!

      It was such a wonderful time we had together 🙂 Thanks for reading, Linda!

      1. Well, the next time you return to Austin perhaps. But, I guess if you’re visiting former cities where you lived, you might visit San Francisco first to visit your sister-in-law (if you can find her in all the smoky skies).

      2. So true!! You have such a good memory. Amy very recently bought a van to travel the country in!! She just got in town here, so I’m really excited to see her!

  4. So great that you got to spend a great weekend with your sister in your hometown before that hometown status lapsed! That airport terminal is no joke, it’s almost like a little game of hide and seek to find it–so glad you eventually did and just know that you’re not alone!

    So happy to see pictures of Aba here! We *finally* went last week (I made the reservations the afternoon after we had brunch–it took that long to get in ohmygoodness) and it really is beautiful! The crispy potatoes were one of my favorite things (that and the pork belly with grilled peaches, which was a good combination of sweet and salty) so thanks again! Never would have known to go there without your recommendation!

    1. Oh my gosh, you have no idea how happy to hear I’m not alone about that crazy airport 😅

      Ahhh you went to Aba!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it- yesss! those crispy potatoes 😋 The pork belly and grilled peaches sounds divine too- I really think it’s the type of place anything on their menu would be just amazing!

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