~~*i wAs fIsTeD*~~

Inside joke.  Sorry.

*I feel like I should preface this:  no ponies were met on this trip because we were there for like 36-48 hours over three days.  Blitz trip!

After Houston, we booked it in the stinky rental to Austin.  I couldn't go to Houston without seeing two of the most popular equestrian bloggers, right?  I mean, Amanda is my internet wife and Lauren is just awesome.

We got to Austin kinda late and headed to Amanda's house, promptly greeting her three dogs and completely ignoring her and her BF.  Amanda's dogs are epic.  After introductions, we headed out to get pizza so Amanda could carb load.  Can I mention how much I love plants?  Because I interrogated them on their plants before we did much else.  (I love plants.)  (And I'm awkward AF.)

The next morning, D and I met Lauren at an awesome restaurant called Bangers.  They have this magical drink that involves like the thought of orange juice and a bottle of champagne.  They stamp your hand so you can't over-indulge.  I bypassed that because I drank from Lauren's, too.  #signsyoureanalcoholic  In my over-imbibed state, I contemplated getting the restaurant's logo as a free tattoo.  After sobering up, I decided against it - which I honestly regret now.
it was all so. good.

Hubs left the brunch a little smitten with Lauren (sorry - should I have told you this first?) because of her intelligence and approachability.

We took Lauren's suggestions to heart and headed to SoCo (this is what locals call it, yeah?) and did some shopping.  Succulents, because I'm a secret hoarder, and art because that's tradition.

he joked the entire time about getting one of these damn things.

After returning from brunch and shopping, we had to get tattoos.  Because tattoos.

I've got a set procedure for how I approach my out-of-town tattoos, which, I don't fucking know, might help someone one day:
  • Yelp.  Yelp the fuck out of them.  Figure out where you're staying and look in close proximity because traveling across town can sometimes be a bitch.
  • Read the actual reviews.  Did the shop get poor reviews because some wimp walked in and requested some piece of shit tattoo and didn't expect to get charged at least the shop minimum? Because there is a shop minimum and there is an hourly rate.  Ask questions. Be logical. 
  • After finding a reasonable shop, go to their website and review the portfolios.  Pick an artist.  Consider that what they have as their portfolio is what they consider to be their best work.  Does the style match what you're looking to get?  Are they consistently good?  Look closely.
  • Reach out to them.  Schedule.  Pay the deposit, because if the shop is worth anything, there will be a deposit.  They should ask you questions - what are you getting and where?
I used this procedure for the shop we went to - Shaman Modification.  Our artist was named Rick and he was thorough to the point of being almost slow.  (Okay, slow.)  I'd given him a mock up of what I wanted that I created on my iPhone and he turned it into a masterpiece.

If you follow my IG, you may have noticed that the tattoo isn't nearly as pretty now.  I'll write more about that in another post, but essentially:  never wrap extensive ink, even if the dude tells you to.

We went to get Mexican after the ink session and I convinced the server to give me free stuff so I wouldn't have to buy yet another shirt.  I bought a lot of shirts on this trip.  

Have I mentioned how awesome Amanda's dogs are?  Quinn slept with us both nights we were in Austin and he was a charming pup the entire time.  
I tried to take a selfie with your dog, Amanda.

We got up the last morning in Texas and had some random and perfect Mexican breakfast.  I had a Quesadilla with veggie chorizo.  Yum.  We wandered Target and Homegoods, looking for Texas art before I found a "Don't Mess with Texas" sign to bring home.  Because I had a shirt growing up that said that.  

And then we flew home and I tried not to barf.

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  1. That fucking traitor dog, he is the actual worst. He slept with Hillary the whole time she was here, too! So much for loyalty. At this rate we're going to have a million pictures of different bloggers with Quinn.

  2. It was so great meeting y'all! I'm smitten with you both. Move to Texas and be my friends. Plzkthx ;)

  3. You look like you have really fun trips!
    Reading blogs has made me want to visit Texas...

  4. So fun! Cool tattoo, I hope it's all ok in the end! I did barf on a plane a week ago...not recommended at all, LOL! Turbulence + kicking baby...ugh. Grounded until he or she arrives for shiz.

  5. Now I'm super curious about what happened to the tattoo??

  6. Look at all that mexican food! You guys are so good at traveling. I love reading about your trips