For our summer vacation this year, Seth and I decided to drive all the way to Austin, TX to see friends and hang out at all our favorite places. We hadn't been back to Austin since we moved back to TN in 2006, so this visit was long overdue.

Its a long drive from Knoxville to Austin...about 17 hours according to Google we did all sorts of things to stay entertained on the drive. We kept track of how many butterflies flew into the car (7), how many deer we saw on the side of the road (5), and how many signs for adult bookstores we saw (14, and those were mostly in TN and Arkansas). Oh, and we tried to see a license plate from every state in the US and got all the way up to 42!

We thought it was hilarious to take pictures of Seth pretending to take a nap while driving...

...and saw a beautiful sunset.

Once it got dark I started playing with the different settings on the camera and got some cool shots.

We broke up the drive into 2 days on the way down, and it was nice to be leisurely about getting there. On our first full day, we did a little nostalgia tour:

The old house on Depew I lived in from 1999-2000.

Waterloo Records, Seth's old stomping ground and one of the best independent record stores in the country.

Dirty's Kum-Bak burgers, where I used to get my double cheeseburger for lunch almost every day in 2000. So good. Unfortunately I didn't go in this time since I'm not eating meat right now...just couldn't bare get a bean burger at this place.

My old gym from 1999, and I'm still not sure why I chose to get a year membership at this place. Notice the veiny arm sticking out of the side of the building. It is a hardcore body builder's gym with no machines, only free weights and mirrors. I stuck out like a sore thumb the 3 times I went :)

Our old apartment. We weren't there long but have some good memories there.

We finished the day with Conan's pizza...just as good as I remember.

The nostalgia/must-see Austin stuff continued for the rest of the week...

Beautiful Barton Springs, which stays 68 degrees all year round.

It was way too cold for me, but Seth got in and swam for a bit. I think I'm getting wimpy in my old age.

The Austin Zoo with my good friend Mimi! We saw the cutest pig sleeping in the mud.

We also saw Some Kind of Wonderful at the Alamo Drafthouse, sang karaoke at Ego's (Seth did a great rendition of Stayin' Alive), ate at one of our favorite Tex-Mex places, Guero's, and had lots of good friend time with all our Texas buddies. I wish I had taken more pictures...I hate that I didn't get a single one of our friends Heather and Patrick. Boo. You guys will just have to come to TN to visit so we can get some then, okay?! :)

Oh, and did I mention it was hot??

After 6 nights it was time to head home. We had planned to break it up into 2 days again but ended up driving all the way back to Tennessee in one was a fun-filled 16 hours and 45 minutes in the car! Actually it wasn't that bad, and we'd done it once before in 2005 so we knew it was possible. Plus we were anxious to get on home to our gal Ruby.

All in all a great trip! Thanks to all our Austin pals for being up for anything and hanging out with us so much (and for giving us a great guest room to sleep in, A & J!!). We miss you all already and our guest room is ready for you anytime :)

Love this man

This is what he does on his day off :)


Love this girl

In case you ever wondered why they're called blue heelers...

One of the best ballgames ever

Saturday night Seth and I went to one of the best ballgames ever. It had poured rain all day and the sky looked like there was more to come, but we decided to risk it and go see the Smokies anyway.

It ended up being one of them most exciting games of the year (3 home runs and a triple!), and we got to see a gorgeous sunset.

It just doesn't get any better than that. I love the summer so much!