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Moving to Austin

Guest post by Sunshine
Becca got into the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, so sooner or later we had to get all, well most, of our stuff to Austin.  We chose to do it in late July, via a rented Budget moving truck and a great old American road trip.  Due to time constraints imposed mostly by my need to get back to DC and my job, our stops were limited.  Despite this, the trip was still long and eventful.  The following is a brief recap with pictures…including a giant bug!
photo 3-roadtrip

The Plan:

Get as much of our stuff from DC to Austin between Sunday, July 27th and Monday July 28th.  Our route consisted of 1318 grueling miles of Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas.  I have cousins just outside Nashville, so that would be our mid-wayish stopping point.  The drive broke down into 11 or so hours of road time on Sunday, and 13 hours on Monday.

The Execution of the Plan:

Like most moves, it went slower than expected.  Also, the movers broke my dresser in a couple places, one of which I had warned them about not breaking.  (Damage claim form is pending with the company).  Even though we hit the road later than we wanted, we made good time through  northern and middle Virginia.  We drove right by the Natural Bridge Zoo, one of our favorite spots in that part roadstops for its ELEPHANT RIDES and TIGER CUB PICTURES.  The only major downside to this leg of the journey was learning just how much gas the truck guzzles down.  It was a lot.  I think we stopped for gas 7 times over the two days.  And so ends Virginia.

We eventually entered the Volunteer state with a head of steam.  However, that quickly dissipated when we learned that the apartment we planned to move into the next night had bamboozled us with the old bate and switch.  At least that’s how we see it.  Best case scenario for them is that it was an accidental miscommunication over which utilities were included.  Either way, we were now pissed at them and wanted to find a different place, rather than rent from them without some concession on their part.  Driving a moving truck full of stuff 1300+ miles with no place to move into can be a bit stressful.  Becca handled it with ease.  As I drove us due west along I-40 in Tennessee, Becca hit the phone and started working us a deal with another apartment while we waited to hear if the original apartment would honor the deal we were offered.

Tennessee then hit us with the craziest lightning storm I have ever witnessed.  For over an hour and twenty minutes, a 120 degree space of sky to the south and north of us lit up like the 4th of July, just with the fireworks shooting down, not up.  It was constant lightning, with no exaggeration.  There was always a lighting flash or several for over an hour!  I was so impressed, the horrific rain that came with it at times didn’t even bother me.  The rain did slow us down quiet a bit, which wasn’t fun.  But all in all, I am happy I got to see the lighting storm.

We finally reached my cousin’s place around 11:45pm.  After trying to walk into their neighbor’s house, we were quickly redirected to the correct home, where we showered and passed out.  It was a short visit, as we hit the road by 7:00am, but the Bautistas are great hosts no matter how short or long the stay is.  Becca and I love Nashville, so we were sad we couldn’t get into town for some live music and a beer.  If you have the time, we recommend it.

photo 4-roadtrip

Monday morning saw us headed west along I-40 again towards Memphis and the Mississippi River.  Becca got back to work on the phone to find us an apartment that we could move into that night.  It was a bit stressful.  We stopped for breakfast somewhere between Nashville and Memphis, we will call it Nashphis.  I mention this only because there was an enormous moth on the wall of the place we got breakfast.  So enormous I took a photo with a dollar for scale.  Shortly after the photo was taken, the moth pushed me up against the wall, called me a nerd, and took the dollar from me.

As I wheeled and Becca dealed, it became clear we might actually get a cool place in a nice apartment building in the Zilker area of Austin.  However, we needed to stop, find some internet, and take care of some emails and online applications to get the apartment.  The City of Memphis, with their crazy pyramid obliged.  Memphis is home to Fedex and the Fedex Area where the Grizzlies play.  It is also home to a random hotel with free wifi where we stopped to take care of business after the Starbucks wifi wouldn’t work.  After 45 minutes of applying and whatnot, we decided to walk around the famous Beale Street.  It was pretty cool, even at noon.  We got a refrigerator magnet, snapped some photos, and took in the vibe as best we could, before hitting the road.  I’m sure the local Memphis stations play it like every 30 minutes, but as we left the city and crossed the mighty Mississippi, the truck radio played Walking in Memphis.  We ate it up.

memphis

A new state, Arkansas!  Becca and I had never been to Arkansas before, so this was very exciting, until it wasn’t.  Sorry Arkansas, but we were in a hurry, so we couldn’t take in more of your exciting features, like the Diamond Crater Park.  The Memphis stop and huge moth encounter just ate up too much of our time.  Also, Arkansas gives off a very flat, boring vibe.  Next time I make the drive, and their will be a next time,  I will find a diamond or stop somewhere cool, and update this section.  Still, Becca and I experienced Arkansas, so we crossed another state off our list.  (without looking, we are each somewhere around 30; so more than half done!)

Into Texas:  Texas was exciting to enter as it was our last state of thephoto 7-roadtrip trip.  Unfortunately, it is huge, and therefore, we were still nowhere close to Austin.  As the miles cruised by, Becca got our approval through at our new apartment and confirmed our breakup with the previous place – circle of life.  After the 7th gas stop, we were finally getting close.  Just to mess with us, the travel gods gave us our first taste of bad traffic in the last 20 miles.  Things slowed down to 5-10 miles an hour for a bit, and my sanity yo-yoed about the cabin of the truck.

Eventually, we got into Austin.  We took in the night skyline, and then found our new building.  After picking up our keys from the leasing agent around 10:45pm, we were ready to pass out.  Unfortunately, the movers weren’t coming until Tuesday morning.  So after some sweaty, curse-filled minutes fighting through the moving truck, we liberated our mattress, boxspring, and a box of our potted plants.  Sadly, no sheets or other linen like items could be obtained.  We decided the mattress was good enough and passed out about midnight.

That’s how we got to Austin.

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Authentically Austin

I’ve been lucky enough to visit this vibrant city two times now, so I thought I would share my love. If you know me, I just love small town charm and although Austin is large in size with it’s many individually owned businesses and start up mentality, it still manages to keep the hometown feel but with the energy of a big city.  Austin’s vibe is a unforgettable, its food mouth watering, and its creativity contagious. Walking around enjoying the sunshine, you just want to stop and take everything in. It’s an Instagrammers’s dream.  Here’s a few things I just loved!
post card mural austin texas

    • Visit Rainey Street and stop in one of the once-house-now-converted-restaurants.
    • Try fall off the bone BBQ at La Barbecue while hanging out by the pool.
    • Dance the night away at Barbarella.
    • Eat breakfast taco’s at Torchey’s Tacos or at my best friend Jenny’s apartment.
    • Try on cowboy boots at Allen’s Boots.
    • Take a photo at the famous “Greetings from Austin” postcard mural.
    • Boot scoot at Rebels and try not to drool too much over the line dancing cowboys.
    • Hang out at the patio at Little Woodrow’s.
    • Cheer on UT at a football game. Hook ’em! Texas Football Game
    • Eat along Lake Austin and say hi to kayakers galore.
    • Hike up Mt. Bonnell and enjoy a beautiful aerial view of the city. mt bonnell
    • Walk down the dirty 6 at night and revel in the mayhem.
    • Tour the UT campus, pretend you’re a student, and have lunch on the South Mall lawn. Learn more about UT and it’s history here.
    • Shop along South Congress. Stop and grab food at one of the many food trucks. south congress austin texas
    • Grab coffee at Joe’s.
    • Take a pickle shot at Kung Fu Saloon.
    • Stay outside as much as possible. I highly recommend scooting around the city with your best friend.

Just writing about this makes me want to go back. After one visit, I’m sure you’ll be ready to pack up your bags and move to Austin…at least I did.

Here are some other posts about Austin worth checking out:

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