I think I have officially decided that trips to visit friends are the best. You get to see a city from a local’s perspective, they are normally inexpensive, and to top it all off you get to hang out with a good friend! Talk about an ideal set-up!
A couple weeks ago, my sister and I went to Texas to visit our friend Caitlin. We met Caitlin at church while she was living in Missouri for a couple months. If you think I’m adventurous, you should meet her. She’s lived and traveled all over the world, but is currently staying in Amarillo, Texas.
She’s got a huge heart, is an amazing host, and loves to be outside. She treated us so well during our stay and I can’t thank her enough for it.
On our first full day in Texas, Caitlin gave us the grand tour of Boys Ranch, where she works. We saw the school, the gardens, the houses, the horses, and then had lunch with some of the kiddos! It was so fun to see where she was living and what they are all about there.
After lunch, we headed out to see more of Amarillo. Now there isn’t a ton there, but there is definitely enough to have a fun day exploring! We started at the Cadillac Ranch, which is basically just an open field with 10 Cadillacs stuck in the ground that people can spray paint. A wild concept, but it’s an Amarillo classic so we had to go.
Caitlin is a big coffee girl; she has her own roasting business, Cold Bear Coffee. We of course had to go to one of her favorite local coffee shops, the Palace coffee company. We chilled there for a bit (it was darling!) before heading to the Amarillo Botanical Garden.
After the botanical garden, we grabbed dinner at Joe Taco. It’s a super fun Mexican restaurant with delicious tacos and margs! What more could you want?! We wrapped up the first day with a girls night at Caitlin’s apartment making earrings and watching friends!
All 3 of us love the outdoors, so we went hiking at Palo Duro Canyon State Park on our second day. We took the lighthouse trail and it was gorgeous. Just driving through the park to get to the trailhead was beautiful, so if hikes are your thing make sure you check this park out.
After the hike, we grabbed lunch at a fun pizza place called Barrel & Pie right in Canyon. Before heading back, Caitlin wanted to visit a new local meadery called Honey Buzz. Never heard of a meadery? Neither had I. It’s like wine, but made with honey. Delicious.
Going to a rodeo just feels right when you are in Texas, so Ashley found us one to go watch. From the little kids in chaps to the twangy announcer, it was everything I wanted from a Texas rodeo.
While planning the trip, I convinced Ashley to take a little (okay, big) detour to see Austin and Waco. We hit the road early on our third day to get down to Austin with enough time to explore.
Ashley is a farmer so the drive right through the middle of Texas was beautiful to her. We stopped at a Whataburger so the drive wasn’t all bad for me. As soon as we got to Austin, we checked into our hotel, tossed our bags on the bed, and went out.
Side note: I splurged for a room at the Line Hotel and let me tell you, this was the place! It was in a perfect location, trendy as can be, and really not all that much more expensive. If you are headed to Austin for a girl’s weekend, I can see this being the perfect place to stay
The first thing I wanted to do was paddle board on the Colorado River. Conveniently, our hotel was about a 0.2 mile walk from a rental spot, so we walked down and got right on the water.
After we returned our boards, we quickly changed and went out for dinner on South Congress. We ate at Guero’s Taco bar and I swear it was the best Mexican food I have ever had. All the food on south congress is amazing, but if you are feeling Mexican, I definitely recommend this spot.
Before heading out of Austin, we grabbed a smoothie at the Squeezery and some donuts at Voodoo Donut. It’s called balance, right?! For real though, the last time I was in Austin the Squeezery had just opened right across from where we were staying. My sister and I went there twice a day on our trip because it was that good. I couldn’t leave Austin without going back.
After breakfast, we checked out and started heading towards Waco. We of course had to do all the Magnolia things: eat at Magnolia Table, explore the Silos, and visit the Little Shop on Bosque Boulevard. If you are driving through Texas, definitely make Waco a stop. What Chip and Joanna have done is amazing and it’s such a darling city to explore!
I absolutely loved getting to see so much of Texas in one trip. It turned out to be just as down home and country as I hoped it would be. You won’t find me turning down any opportunity to go back, that’s for sure.
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