Yesterday, just for the hell of it, because we could, the four of us (mom, dad, Jena, and I) took a day trip to Austin, TX. It was amazing just to get out of the house and out of the city for a few hours, and enjoy spending time with each other as a family. Time like that together is so limited and so precious, and it was exactly what we all needed.
I don't know if you've ever been to Texas, but Austin is definitely its coolest city. Everything about it invites you in, from the loving neighborliness of its citizens, to the lush, green texture of the land, to the sparkling sunlight reflecting off of the rippling waves of Lake Travis, and perhaps most appealing, the serpentine scents of delicious foods charming your appetite at all times of day in every part of the city. Austin is without a doubt a food lovers town. Every time I come here, I always stop on South Congress and enjoy the world's most perfect cupcake at Hey Cupcake (the cutest little airstream trailer out of the hundreds of food trucks in the area), get a buttermilk pie at Cutie Pies (which no longer has the adorable pink food truck location, so now I have to make it my mission to go to their store location), and walk around checking out the vintage shops on the strip. I cannot believe it has taken me THIS LONG to find this place, but when my nose caught wind of the intoxicating smell of spun sugar, I knew I needed to go in. As I opened the door, without even checking out where I was or even WHAT it was, my eyes widened and I gasped in utter delight as I discovered the world's cutest candy store, Big Top Candy Shop.
The first thing you notice right away are the golden urns overflowing with brightly colored and absurdly fragrant salt water taffy in dozens of flavors. Did you know taffy had a smell? I didn't!
Though I was lured in by the gorgeous pastels and the desire to shovel fists full of taffy pieces into my shopping bag, when I looked over to my left, I noticed something so archaic that I didn't think it could be real, something so special that it made my vintage-loving heart swoon. Real life soda jerks making HAND CRAFTED fountain drinks in almost any flavor you could want. REAL SODA!! CUSTOM HAND MADE!! WITH SUGAR!!!
The candy is in bins sold by weight, and retro candy is sold in its original-style wrapping. It was so cute. Pop rocks, candy dots, rock candy, artisanal chocolate truffles, chocolate covered bacon (!), GIGANTIC lollies... all nestled sweetly among vintage circus finds. Little treasures and scenes in every nook and cranny.
A candy cigarette machine! $.50/pack. Haha.
Candy is sold by weight, and there are several of these sweet little scales to help you guesstimate how crazy you've gone.
I was literally a kid in a candy store, and it was such a fantastic place to be. If you're ever in the area, go check it out, because I promise you, it does not disappoint. :)