Baustin Celebration!

Happpyyyy New Year’s Eve!! I have been sooo so stoked to write this post, and I’m hoping reading it will feel like we are ringing in the New Year with a celebration! Leaving off the weekend before starting our fall semester (late August), DJ requested we keep that last Saturday totally free. Fine with me! All I had on the agenda was an 18-mile training run. Little did I know all else he had planned. 

On that Friday, DJ recommended one last trip to Aussie’s, our new favorite spot in town. I was not about to turn down an opportunity for those shrimp tacos! When we arrived I had a moment of utter confusion when I spotted my mom, Pete and Halston sitting at one of the patio tables. I could not wrap my head around what was happening! I quickly learned they had all planned a “Baustin” weekend since I would not have the Boston experience we had planned prior to the marathon since it went virtual rather than in-person. I did not have any idea about all they had planned! They pulled off this surprise so well, and DJ helped coordinate it during a time he knew I wouldn’t be bogged down with school. *Please note, COVID precautions were taken*. 

We enjoyed some apps and meals at Aussie’s while I sat in shock, and then my mom handed me this itinerary for the weekend! 

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After dinner, we went our separate ways but then met back up in the morning to let the festivities begin! We picked up some Summer Moon coffee to go, along with some light pastries to tide us over to lunch. I’m telling ya- if you have never had Summer Moon- prioritize trying it if you find yourself in Texas! The “moon milk” will change your life. I like the 1/4 sweet moon milk because I don’t like too much sweetness with my coffee, but you can adjust to your tasting! 

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One place we have all wanted to go together since we moved to Austin is The Oasis located on Lake Travis. It is primarily known for its gorgeous views. 

We arrived around 11 am and made it before the lunch rush. Thankfully, there is plenty of outdoor patio seating and we were seated far away from anyone else. 

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They don’t have a reputation for having the greatest food around, but I thought was actually pretty dang good!!! 

After soaking up the views and fueling up for the day, we went to a place nearby to pick up a boat rental to take out on Lake Travis. It could not have been a more perfect day for boating.

We had the absolute best time. Those hours out on the lake were not only one of my favorite memories of the year, but of ever. Pete drove the boat and found the best spots to anchor down so we could swim. Swimming is one of my favorite things in the world, and we just swam and swam out there for hours. There is something about being in the water that it feels like the world stops for a second. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0fb71966-71eb-43e9-8cf9-4750a7adb3e1-1024x768.jpgAfter returning the rental, we returned home and got ready for the evening. My mom then planned a whole “expo”. And she went all out. She had an assortment of “samples” (typically my favorite part of expos, hah) including protein bars and gu, hair-ties, other goodies, a can of New England Clam Chowder (ha!), and a lot of personalized Boston memorabilia including a Nike Boston Tank and Boston bag. A family friend made the coasters, coffee mug and wine glass! There was also the book Run the Mile You’re In. I definitely teared up seeing all they had poured into making this special and all the thought that went into it <3 I still cannot believe it!!! Even now writing about this weekend as a whole is making me emotional! 

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Next, we headed down to South Congress Bridge to watch the famous 1.5 million bats fly out at sunset. Yup, you read that right! The first time I saw this daily bat exodus happen, I could hardly believe my eyes. There were so many bats flying out that in the distance they almost looked like a cloud or a massive swarm of mosquitoes. It. is. wild. According to the Bats in Austin website, “People are simply batty for Austin’s world-renowned Mexico free-tailed bats and their night flight of 60-plus miles per hour and 2-mile high flight patterns, and feeding frenzy of Austin insects”.

We grabbed a spot on the bridge that wasn’t crowded and hunkered down to watch the flight. You don’t know exactly when it will occur, so you want to be there a bit earlier than sunset to make sure you don’t miss it. Be prepared to wait 30 mins-an hour. It seems like a long wait, but it is worth it to see once! It’s funny because when we first moved here we had no idea about it and asked someone randomly while walking over the bridge “what is everyone waiting for?” LOL. Then we waited forever to see them, and now it seems when we are casually out on a walk or run we see it happen pretty often! One time we were actually under the bridge when they took off, and that was an adventure in itself, haha. 

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I love this video because you can hear my mom’s natural reaction to the bats which mirrors just about anyone’s who sees this for the first time! 

It’s hard to capture the magnitude of the flight on video or in picture, especially because it’s hard to time up when they will make their first big exit from under the bridge. If you want an idea of the full experience follow this link and watch the video! 

After alll that swimming and bat watching, we were ready for some grub!! We headed to Geraldine’s to get our food on.  This is one of the most wonderful hidden gems in Austin in my opinion.

We entered to live music playing up on the stage of the spacious, industrial and beautiful venue.

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The dining experience was one of the most memorable we have ever had in Austin. Every single menu item was extremely unique and delicious with a beautiful presentation! They are served tapas style, so we tried a little bit of every magnificent dish! Every bite was… WOW. 

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I am soo stinkin’ grateful to my family for making this weekend so special. What was originally so devastating for me with Boston going virtual ended up being the most unforgettable, special memory. I joked with them that after all this, I better actually do well in the virtual Boston race! Pressure was on! Of course, I will recap the actual race next 🙂

I’d love to know:

  • What are you looking forward to in the New Year?

31 thoughts on “Baustin Celebration!

    1. They are just the best!! I am so thankful for them 🥰 aw glad you appreciated the dad joke lol!! Thanks for stopping in, Allie!

  1. Love this post! I really want to come to “Baustin” (in the springtime? Ha) The food! And I wish I would have done something to celebrate you!! Your post is fabulous and you are amazing!

    1. Aw thanks for sharing in the fun by reading this! Thanks so much for your sweet words about the post ☺️ And yes spring is perfect to visit Baustin! Can you believe it is snowing right now though?!?

  2. Oh wow, Mackenzie! That’s so awesome that they created such a special and memorable experience for you. I have not hear about the bat flight. Pretty spectacular!! Happy New Year!! I’m looking forward to planning a time to see my family. xx

    1. Hi Amy! Thanks for sharing in the fun by reading 🙂 And I hope you already have some great family time scheduled in! It is a priority for us too- especially to see the family we haven’t seen in a long time!

  3. How thoughtful, not to mention clever, to create this “Baustin” experience for you, right down to the Boston Clam Chowder. How fun is that. Also, wow to the bats event. I watched the video at the link you provided. How do they know only to go to the bridge and fly under in March and April – pretty awesome how they filled the night sky. I was surprised all the people standing there waiting to take photos. I’m hoping for a little more normalcy in the new year. Not sure we’ll get it until the third quarter, so I’ll temper my expectations and be pleasantly surprised that way. Happy New Year Mackenzie!

    1. Hi Linda!! I was just amazed at their creativity- the whole things took me by surprise! I thought you would appreciate that fun little nature fact 🙂 I was shocked at how many people congregated on that side of the bridge- it’s the “better” side to watch them, but we just stayed on the opposite that wasn’t as crowded and still got to see the whole ordeal. I do hope we are all pleasantly surprised this year too. Happy belated New Year to you!

      1. Yes, it was so clever Mackenzie. I am glad to see you are getting a little break in to hop onto your blog – guessing you have either President’s Day long weekend off from school or maybe a Winter break week hopefully. I’m surprised they congregated together too … next year you can go to the other side if things are back to normal. Hope everything is going well with your studies.

      2. My clinical schedule was a little shifted around this week with president’s day, but then I had two days of clinical cancelled so far due to this crazy weather! I am grateful to have a little time to catch up on assignments and pop into the blog 🙂 Also I caught up on sleep this morning- and it was glorious!! Everything is going well with school, overall, it’s a great semester. Last semester was so intense, that this feels like a nice breather with just focusing on clinicals and one course. As soon as I wrap up clinicals I am going to continue studying for boards and hopefully can take them as soon as I graduate! How are you doing?

      3. That sounds like an ambitious schedule coming up, so good thing you have a bit of a breather for this semester Mackenzie. Does your school help to place you after graduation as I guess it is too soon to apply yet til you take your boards, etc.? I have been well and was walking quite a bit until our weather got so ugly with the first storm on February 4th. It’s been all downhill since that storm, but at least so far we’ve not lost power during this Polar Vortex and I am grateful for that. I hope you keep your power on throughout this ordeal in Texas. I heard a story about a mattress store opening up their doors for people to sleep there – that was nice to use the store as a warming center.

      4. I actually do need to sit down and figure out everything for boards- the school hasn’t mentioned anything yet, but I think I’m able to apply! And we have been so lucky to keep our power. It’s been so sad what this storm has done, but also amazing the way the community has all came together. I hope the weather turns up soon for you!!!

      5. I’m surprised they don’t give you a head’s up on what to expect for planning purposes. Maybe you are just way ahead of the game Mackenzie … that’s a good thing. You were blessed to remain unscathed by the massive power outage. Your mom and Pete were okay too? We are hearing and seeing horror stories on social media of burst pipes and ice dripping down everywhere, not to mention outrageous energy bills. It is good the community has all come together … that will make all the difference in the world. We had -6 degrees last Wednesday, and just one week later we had 48 degrees and a big-time thaw. Ice and snow melt and lots of potholes from the sudden and dramatic temperature change. I hope this balmy weather sticks around a while.

      6. We are soo blessed that we fared well through that whole thing. My mom and Pete had one rough night without power or heat, but then it was all okay after that. Hopefully the weather has stayed nice for you since this comment!!

      7. You were lucky indeed and glad your mom and Pete only had to suffer for one night – whew, hopefully this never happens again. We have had a roller coaster rid of weather Mackenzie. It’s been nice and warm, then cold again. Today cold, 70 tomorrow and chance of snow flurries for the Detroit Tigers home opener this Thursday! I hope you did not get rid of your Winter clothes before your move back to the Midwest.

      8. I hope the rollercoaster stops soon and only leaves sunshine and warm temps! It’s almost April and talks of snow flurries?! My goodness! I think I have a good chunk of long sleeves and pants- but may need to invest in some new boots!

      9. Definitely! Good point! And we get to enjoy a beautiful autumn to ease us into it too

    1. Yess, it really was so special. I will never forget it!! Hope you are having a great start to this year, Ralph!

  4. I love that sooooooo much!!!! I hate that you weren’t able to do the actual Boston marathon (because I love Boston, AND it’s so close to me). I think reading a blog post of yours in a city that I personally visit would kind of be the coolest thing ever. But legit, this is all the next best thing. The treat bag, the support, the excitement that you were surrounded with during the virtual race… That’s absolutely beautiful!! And honestly, it pretty much exemplifies what it is to be Boston Strong. You keep going, you find the positive, and you get the job done. So that’s as close to doing the actual Boston Marathon as you can get, even if the actual event was canceled! 🙂 So awesome!!!

    1. Awww!!! Thank you soo much, friend! I don’t think I have ever been so sad about something getting cancelled- and gosh, you don’t know how much that means that you’d like to see that post! I am hoping one day I will be able to write it <3 But yes, I could not believe all they did- I still get emotional whenever I think about it! It was an experience I will not forget. thank you thank you for your kind words and sharing in this experience with me :) !!

  5. Hi Mackenzie! Seems like DJ was being a little sneaky planning the Baustin weekend but what an amazing surprise for you when you walked into the restaurant! I love that itinerary that your Mom gave you! When I make it to Texas( or even Austin!) I am so going to summer Moon! The food at Oasis does look pretty good! How nice to do a boat rental. It seems like it will be a favorite memory of swimming with your family . That is a very special Marathon /Boston expo kit. It was made with love for you , I can see why you would tear up. I love the hebrews verse, so encouraging! Great pic of you with your whole kit! Also the one with your sweet Mom! Those Muffins are look sooo tasty, Good job Kevin! Wow that is exciting and scary all in one the thought of seeing a ton of bats flying at sunset! It must have been am adventure to be under the bridge! I love that dress on you, great pic of you and DJ on the bridge. Geraldines looks like a fun spot with live music. I am glad the food was so yummy. What a lovely time to spend with family for you, and a lovely surprise! I am looking for a bit of normalcy to return and we can kick this virus to the curb! Have a lovely Day Mackenzie, Terri xo.

    1. Hi, Terri!! He was SO sneaky, and I am so shocked I didn’t catch on- he did a great job!!

      We just had to get some Summer Moon again this past weekend- so delicious! Taking advantage before we move again.

      I am so grateful to my family- they planned the BEST celebration and really went over and above.

      I am with you on the normalcy!! Hopefully it’s right around the corner!! Have a great week- thanks you tons for reading 🙂 I always love your comments!!!

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