Every once in a while you discover the unexpected and learn you can love things you didn’t think you could. That is how I felt being in Austin.

The year had all but drained me and I was desperately looking for a way out of the city for the weekend. So on a whim, I decided to visit Austin.This city has everything you could possibly want in a getaway. Hotel San Jose is the cutest place in town . If you are looking for a boutique hotel with an outdoor pool and bar thrown in for good measure (against the constant 100+ degree heat) then you’ll love it here. The rows of movie posters paying homage to SXSW only add to the experience. And as soon as I walked out of the hotel, I was greeted with the best coffee at Jo’s. It carries a simple note on its wall – “I love you so much”.

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There is something raw and honest about this city that I can’t quite articulate but fell hard for. Maybe it was a reminder to enjoy the simple things I take for granted all the time. Who knew sitting outside a taco truck drinking chilled cider that was brown bagged could feel this great?

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The place I was most excited to discover was the Graffiti Park. It is a breathing organism that changes constantly. Artists come here everyday and paint over existing work – so no visit is quite the same. (Just as a side note, please don’t wear the shoes I was stupid enough to.)

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In a city that loves food, narrowing the list down for the weekend proved to be the biggest challenge. I had drinks at La Condesa, dinner at Jeffrey’s where they even bought a martini cart to the table and finally a classic brunch at Threadgill’s with lots of country music and whistling patrons. No getaway is complete without retail therapy and even there I felt spoilt for choice. Moss Consignment is a pristinely curated store with amazing deals. I was able to find an Alexander Wang top that has become a wardrobe staple (SCORE!).

Spartan is the go-to home store for minimal, one of a kind pieces and gifts to bring back home.

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By George has every hard to find Celine and an assortment that made me want to forget that I had to pay rent for the upcoming month. For the music lover, Waterloo records is a must-see (even though it is slightly expensive).

Austin is caught between times – and it is that disconnect that allows you to appreciate it in all its dualities. Needless to say, I cannot wait to go back.

Dress: Yigal Azrouel, Shoes: Christian Dior[/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]