I’ve always been the kind of person who likes to make lemonade out of lemons— when dealt with a sucky situation, I like the challenge of trying to make the best of it. So when my husband Tim broke his leg and tore his meniscus a few days before we were supposed to fly to Austin, Texas for (ironically, a jiu jitsu competition , which is how he injured his leg to begin with!) vacation, we (really, I) decided we were going to make it work and still go. We’d never been to Austin before, so we packed our bags and off we went!
Flying with a broken leg: (basically what I googled into the wee hours of the night two days before we got on the plane)
1. We called Delta and informed them that my husband would be flying in a cast (removable, not hard cast; check w your doctor/ airline before flying with a hard cast!) and crutches and that we would need a wheelchair curbside to the gate, both on the NYC end and in Austin. They also upgraded us to extra legroom seats free of charge— honestly, they could not have been more accommodating! The wheelchair met us at the curb, we got through security in a matter of minutes (didn’t even have to wait in line!) and they even checked our bags for us at the curb. In fact the process was so much faster than we expected- we even had time to grab breakfast and eat at the gate! We also called our hotel and had them change our room to a walk in shower so Tim could get in without his leg bending.
Flying with Nolan:
This was actually Nolan’s 5th time flying, so we knew what to expect and how to prep. Most airlines let kids under 2 fly for free- so even though Nolan turned 2 in May, we actually fudged his age with the airline and said he would turn 2 in August!!! (Don’t judge lol- this saved us a couple hundred dollars!) No one even asked for ID or anything for him so it was really fine. The staff was so nice, they even let him sit up in the cockpit! The plan was to hold him on our laps, but a nice guy let us switch some seats around so that Nolan ended up having his own seat bc there were a few empties on the flight to Austin. As always, we brought plenty of snacks, and we picked out a few new toys/books/stickers the day before so he was well entertained in the flight (about 3.5 hours). Every hour or so we took a walk up and down the aisle and hung out with the flight attendants in the back of the plane (really because that’s where they kept Nolan’s fave Delta cookies!)
Where we stayed:
So instead of a traditional hotel, we decided to try out Locale in Austin. We stayed at Locale on Rainey street, which is basically the main street for bars, food trucks, restaurants etc (shout out to the 8362638 bachelorette and bachelor parties we saw in the area!) Locale is a combo between an Airbnb and a hotel- it appeared on Expedia (where I booked) but was really an apartment (2 bedrooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, master bathroom bigger than my first apt) inside an actual luxury rental building. So we had access to the gorgeous rooftop pool, fitness center etc on the building property, but since it wasn’t a hotel, there was no front desk, room service, or housekeeping. At first I was definitely apprehensive about the lack of hotel amenities, bc after all, we go on vacation to NOT have to do chores right?! But I actually turned out to be great- we could put Nolan to bed/ nap and still be able to stay up and hang out in the living room… I threw in all our dirty laundry before we left and we were able to return home with all clean clothes… and the extra space was great with a toddler and Tim on crutches!
What we ate (most importantly!)
Brunch at Forthright
The Best BBQ at Terry Black’s
Grilled cheese and soup at Fareground
As you guys probably know, there is no shortage of amazing food experiences in Austin- it’s def a foodie city and every meal we had was better than the last! Here’s where we ate and what we loved:
Banger’s Beer Garden : casual beer garden / picnic table food (sausage specialty) but the real draw is how they have toys for kids to play with while parents eat and drink!!
Torchy’s Tacos: kitschy but incredible- get one of each!
Forthright: delicious and pretty brunch spot; amazing waffles!
Josephine House: Tim called this place “fancy brunch” lol … think marble tables, very instagram friendly- food was incredible as well!
Fareground: Indoor food hall with gourmet vendors – had the best grilled cheese and tomato soup of my life here
Jo’s Hot Coffee Good Food : breakfast tacos!!!
Counter Cafe: traditional diner food, but better
Terry Black’s BBQ: worth the 40 minute wait in 105 degrees… with a toddler and broken leg… that’s how good this food was.
Moral(s) of the story?
Austin was awesome; will def go back- probably the best dining experience in a city we’ve had so far (and we live in NY!!)
Don’t be afraid to travel with a broken bone or a two year old- you’d encounter the same exact challenges at home, and somehow when you’re in a change of scenery, the adventure overrides the minor difficulties!
Hope this helps!