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My first trip to Texas was a success. Blake and I spent five days in Austin eating and swimming, eating and swimming. The dry heat was a nice break from the Charleston humidity and I couldn't get over the gorgeous desert blooms -- succulents, cacti, blue bonnets, fire wheels.

We frequented Barton Springs as much as possible, day and night. That place is what dreams are made of -- less scary than the ocean, more exciting than a pool, invigoratingly freezing water. I wanted to swim forever. We stayed with Blake's best bud Stephen, and the days we went from the Springs to the grocery store to Stephen's backyard to grill, sunburnt and hungry, ended up being my favorites.

A few favorites (although I'm sure we only skimmed the surface): Elizabeth St. (incredible noodle bowls), Lick (dark chocolate olive oil ice cream), Antonelli's Cheese Shop, Spartan Shop (gorgeous everything, especially caftans), Weather Up (beautiful drinks in a peaceful courtyard), Hillside Farmacy, and Flat Track Coffee (nicest people & best coffee). I was also introduced to the genius that is avocado margaritas and if you aren't already, I urge you to get on that train ASAP.