My sister booked tickets to Texas soon after she found out that The Hubby was deploying because she knew that I would need some company. Although I would love to visit home every month, it is financially impossible so having family come to me instead is really wonderful. 

I decorated our guest bedroom with my sister in mind. We have very similar tastes--as in I borrow her clothes all the time and if we're shopping we unknowingly pick up the same items--so I basically took this opportunity to put together a room that I would love to have myself. I have eyed the table lamp and rug for years before I even had a home of my own!

The room can definitely use some art on its walls, but for the one weekend we had to put it together, I think we did a good job. 

Debbie arrived on a Friday evening, and as the good hostess that I am, I took her to get McDonald's for dinner and we rented a movie from Redbox. That night was when my diet came to a screeching halt. I had the munchies the entire night, and she brought along some Welch's Fruit n' Yogurt Snacks that were amazing, and cannot be found anywhere in this area. 

On Saturday, I made some chocolate chip waffles to prepare us for the day ahead. We went to Ikea to purchase all of the furniture I needed. It was great to have a second opinion on everything and she definitely calmed me down when our original shipping plan fell through. 

Right next to Ikea is the Round Rock Outlet and although I didn't purchase anything for myself, I lived vicariously through her when she purchased a coat, a dress and a skirt. By the time we were done, we had worked up quite the appetite and ordered some delicious meat from Rudy's. I was gnawing on those baby back ribs as if I hadn't been fed for weeks. Worth every pound I gained back. 

Sunday was dedicated to a full day in Austin, but not before we ate some Freebirds, another one of my favorites. She confirmed that Freebirds is better than Chipotle, like I had mentioned before. We did some more shopping at The Domain where she purchased more things and I was envious, and then we walked around the beautiful State Capitol. (Click picture to enlarge)

But our absolute favorite part of the trip was canoeing in our own boat at Zilker Park. It took me an hour to drive less than a mile because of horrible traffic and when we finally parked the car and got to where we needed to be, I muttered, "We better enjoy this." And oh how we enjoyed it!

You can rent a canoe for only $10 an hour. They don't give you an instructions and they don't have any rules. "You're in boat 462. Paddles are there. Grab life vests. Have fun." We were terrified that we would be stranded in the middle of the lake or flip over. Although we ran into a few branches on the sides, we eventually became pros and couldn't believe our success.

The conditions were absolutely perfect for canoeing. No humidity, very little wind, not too warm, not too cold. Just perfect. We wanted to make it into the Downtown area, but we didn't have the time because we were too busy taking pictures instead of paddling. 

I can't wait to do it again, and it's something all visitors to the Austin area needs to do. Our little aquatic adventure left me in such a good mood that I didn't even mind the fact that I stepped in some dog doo on the way back to the car.

Debbie came prepared with certificates so we were able to eat a fabulous meal at Ranch 616 for dirt cheap. I ordered JalapeƱo Maize Chicken and she had the Tilapia and Tiger Shrimp, both incredibly delicious and the portions were very generous. Including tip, all we paid was a little over $13 plus the $2 she paid for the certificate. 

We ran out of time to make a Gourdough run, but we'll save it for the next time she visits.