Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Austin Stories

I just returned from my annual business trip to Austin, Texas. If I am counting right, this is my seventh time visiting and the city gets better and better every year. One of my colleagues who was on the trip w/me had lived there for a few years, and she had a car, so she played tour guide one evening which was fun. We visited the Whole Foods mother ship, and she pointed out the original store which is now a store called Cheapo. How ironic.

BBQ and Mexican were also on the itinerary. Ironworks and Gueros and fit that bill very nicely. I also got to visit my fave Middle Eastern restaurant, Marakesh, and get my fill of their wonderful hummous.

And to top off all of the great food, weather, and fun we had, my wish for a button-bag came true.

Three years ago I was coveting these handbags made out of buttons, found at Tesoros, a funky store that sells crafts from developing countries. But the $58 price tag scared me off. Last year, I visited again, hoping they might be marked down for some crazy reason. Nope, not a chance.

Monday afternoon I made the annual pilgrimage, because I always find cool stuff, and admired the bags, wondering “How hard could it be to make one?” Then I wandered to the back room warehouse sale. Lo and behold, button bags, marked down! They all were damaged in some way, but still totally useable. So here she is! Not the color scheme I would have chosen, but for $19, I will take it. I am so happy.

See, patience pays off.

There are great restaurants in Austin, and thankfully not many chains. Cute shops too. Does anyone remember the show “Austin Stories” on MTV?

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