An Austin Adventure: Downtown Scavenger Hunt

Adventure seems to be a reoccurring theme these past few weeks on the blog. From far away adventures in the mountains to quick getaways in Dallas, my summer really did have me doing amazing things in all different places. But, believe it or not, I did find time to stay home and have some local adventures in Austin this summer. At the beginning of the summer I wrote about some fun things you can do around Austin, so my friends and I spent the day downtown doing some of those things (yay, I get to cross that off my 101 in 1001 list!)… but with a twist. We made it a scavenger hunt!

My best friend Mackenzie is a saint and made the scavenger hunt list for us. Austin is a weird city, so we had some weird things. Take a selfie with a stranger, do a dance dare (Ellen anyone?), pose in front of a famous Austin mural, pole dance on a street sign… the list went on. Each picture was worth a certain amount of points. We set up an end time and chose a restaurant to meet and tally up the scores to see who won (and eat after a long day)!

So my friends and I got into teams of 5 and each had a driver. We spend the days leading up to the hunt talking trash and getting excited for the game. It was such a great (and cheap) way to have a ton of fun and do things in our city that we don’t normally do as locals. We also got some great pictures out of it to remember the fun day with. And yes, my team did win!

This is something anyone could throw together for any place! All you need is a group of friends, a camera, and a little creativity. So next time you’re sitting around the house with friends wondering what to do, or planning a birthday party, keep this in mind! And don’t let the lack of a “cool city” hold you back. For my 12th birthday my mom put together a scavenger hunt all around the local mall and we had a blast! Grab some friends and make an adventure for yourself.

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Picture in front of a famous Austin mural… 10 points

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Weekday Getaway

Summer has officially ended, and I am just as sad as the next girl. I’ll miss sleeping in, adventuring with my friends, and the lack of homework. But as I prepared for school to start up last week, the only thing on my mind was back to school shopping. I love that school gives you an excuse to update your wardrobe and treat yourself to a little something extra.

Every year my mom and I make a little trip out of back to school shopping. While Austin does have some great places to shop, a little change is always good. We traveled to Dallas to satisfy our retail needs! So we packed a bag and went on a quick 3 day weekday getaway before school started back up.

This mother daughter trip is one of my favorite parts of summer and always gives me something to look forward to. We spoiled ourselves and stayed in one of my favorite hotels, Le Meridien. It is so cute! The hotel is black and white themed, with pink as an accent color! All the rooms are decorated so adorably, with modern furniture, cute curtains and a patterned accent wall (I wish I would have taken a picture!). But most of our time was not spent in our room, it was spent at NorthPark Mall.

Now I am not a huge fan of indoor malls (don’t ask why, I don’t really know myself) but NorthPark Mall is my mom and I’s favorite place to shop. It is gigantic and has almost every store you can imagine. From Burberry to Anthropology to classic stores such as Nordstroms, it has it all. We spent all day shopping, my feet were killing me by the end of the day! My favorite finds were from Anthro (my favorite store), Gap (such as classic) and Urban Outfitters. (Speaking of my finds, would anyone be interested in a short haul post to share what I bought? Let me know!)

This trip was such a great mini getaway. If you are ever in need of a break but short on time, I would totally suggest a quick weekend getaway to a nearby city! Rent a hotel room with some friends (or your mom) and take a quick staycation close to home! Find fun places to eat, do some shopping, and bring supplies for a personal spa day. You don’t have to travel far to really get away from it all.

Panic! At The Disco

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There is nothing I love more than going to concerts. Thankfully I live in Austin (live music capitol of the world) and bands are constantly taking their tours to my city. Earlier this year I saw Bad Suns and The 1975 (!!!!!) and had one of the best nights of my life.

I love the entire concert experience. The excitement and anticipation leading up to the day, getting ready, waiting in line for hours so you get a great spot (okay that part isn’t the best, but going with friends can make it fun!), and of course getting to see amazing live music. The atmosphere at a show is my favorite, knowing that everyone is there for the same reason, to see the same people. It feels like everyone in the room is friends.

Last night, I went with two friends to see Panic! At The Disco and Walk The Moon. The concert was unbelievable and Brendon Urie was amazing as ever. He sings, plays the guitar and piano, and even does backflips! I can’t do a single one of those things! Needless to say, I had an amazing time and got to hear some of my favorite songs live. The best part of the concert was when Brendon surprised us all and sang a compete cover of Bohemian Rhapsody. I was blown away, they just put on such a great show.

Walk The Moon was great as well. I only knew a few of their songs, but I am definitely many more after seeing their show. They had a sort of tribal feel and had me dancing the entire time.

Life is good when you’re dancing to the music.

photo 1Brendon Urie mid backflip. AH.

Loving The Lord at Laity Lodge

Most of my favorite memories come from one place. I’ve never laughed, smiled, and loved more than I have at Laity Lodge Youth Camp. Located in the tiny town of Leakey, Texas, LLYC has an entire canyon to itself, and boy do they make the most of it.

This year, I had the privilege of working there for 5 weeks. I was on work crew, which meant I served and cleaned every meal served to the 200 counselors and campers that were at the younger camp every day. How much did I get paid? None. Yes, this was volunteer work. Most people think I’m crazy when I explain this (which I might be) but I got to serve little kids and more importantly serve The Lord all summer; that is payment enough.

The work was hard and the work was tiring. It got tough when you had to clean a really difficult meal (like tomato soup) and when you were finally finished you knew that you would be coming back in a few hours to clean dinner. It took discipline and patience, but most importantly it took joy. When to going got tough and tensions were high in the kitchen, or when you were just having a really bad day, it was so important to look to The Lord and let him show you joy through your work. That was something I had been working on for the past few months, but God really tested me in that kitchen. It was amazing how much more enjoyable things are when you look at it like that.

Don’t worry, camp was not all work and tears this year. Whenever we weren’t in the kitchen, the canyon was our playground. From swimming to zip lining to hiking and just bonding with my friend, we had the free time to do whatever we wanted. I could show you 500 pictures of all the fun things we did (check my instagram for that) but instead, I thought it would be easier to just make a video. So throughout the past 5 weeks I brought my GoPro with me on all the fun adventures we went on and filmed them all. I spent my first week home editing all the footage and I just finally finished! So if you were curious what I was up to this summer or want to see what Work Crew is all about, watch this really cool video I worked hard on!

Mountaintop Adventure

2014 has been my summer of adventure. I’ve done things I never thought I would have the chance to do, and had an amazing time in the process. I realized all it took to create a memorable summer was to step out of my comfort zone and dive in head first to all the opportunities presented to me.

I kicked off my summer going to Zion National Park in Utah for a week. I had never been on this kind of vacation before (I’m usually tanning at the beach or shopping in the city) and at first I was a little apprehensive about it. I am not a huge fan of change (to a fault) but I had the time of my life! Utah is absolutely gorgeous and there was so much to do! I went horseback riding (crossing that off my 101 in 1001 list!), repelling, hiking, and so much more. We even took a day trip to the Grand Canyon, and it was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been. Pictures just cannot capture the beauty and size of the place. I was in awe for a good 30 minutes.

10441917_10204094193976193_1001909268483920384_nMy mom and I in the Grand Canyon.

 

10527892_10204094189536082_6515488838967682772_nMy family at the bottom of a 100 foot cliff that we repelled down!

I took a GoPro and filmed most of the trip, and then edited it together to make a video of memories! So if you want to see the beauty of Utah and watch some of our adventures, you can check out this video I made! (The trip was for my Grandparents’ 40th wedding anniversary. How cute are they?)