I’ve always had a heart that yearns to travel and see as much of the world as possible. I may not always have the funds for it, but the desire is always there. This year, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been able to take two trips to places that I had never been before. I traveled to Michigan in June and just over a week ago, I traveled to Texas.
Though I spent most of my time in Austin, I was also able to spend a few hours in San Antonio as well. Both cities are very unique but I definitely want to go back and explore San Antonio some more. Between the missions and the Riverwalk, I definitely only scratched the surface of things to see there.
I arrived in Austin around 11am on a Wednesday and immediately set out for downtown once I had obtained my rental car. I knew I wanted to see some of the UT-Austin campus and pick up a shirt or something with the Longhorns emblem on it (I’m weird, I know) and grab some lunch. Well, I had recalled a couple days earlier that there was an In & Out Burger in Texas and the Austin location wasn’t far from downtown and the University. In & Out and I didn’t have to travel to California to get it? Perfection. Central Texas was in the midst of a heat wave (heat indexes in the 102-105 range) so I didn’t do much walking around, but I grabbed an Iced Coffee from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (another California favorite!) and perused the University Co-op and the cute little courtyard that was out back. Awesome “Greetings from Austin” mural and giant Texas Longhorn? Check.
Later that day, I ventured out to Gourdough’s Public House for dinner, which I was actually a little nervous for! Dining out alone always seemed kind of sad and lonely, but let’s face it, I wasn’t going to be able to experience Austin’s great food scene unless I ventured out there. Gourdough’s is known for their donuts…and they use them in everything! As in, even their chicken and dumplings are made with donuts. The dumplings are donut holes and are served with a garlic and herb donut. My appetizer was garlic parmesan donut holes as well! Sounds odd, but trust me this place was delicious!
The next morning, I woke up early (to try and beat some of the heat) and drove down to San Antonio. I got to the downtown area just as the Alamo was opening and it was so nice to be able to explore the grounds with a relatively small crowd. I just wish we were allowed to take pictures of the interior; so cool! After the Alamo, I ducked down to the Riverwalk for a few moments before driving down to Mission Concepcion.
Mission Concepcion is just one of several missions on the San Antonio “mission trail” and it was absolutely gorgeous. It’s been renovated on the inside and is actually still a functioning Catholic church every week!
The church is almost haunting from the outside and as you walk around, the rich history is nearly palpable. I couldn’t help but kneel by a pew and spend a few moments in prayer and gratitude, not just because I was raised in a Catholic church but because in that moment, I just felt so thankful for the opportunity to travel and to see beautiful sights like this.