Everyone said Austin is amazing; said I would love it; said Andrew would love it; said we should consider moving there. Guess what? They were 100% correct. It was love at first sight.
After a few underwhelming days in San Antonio, I could not wait to experience Austin. Just a short drive from San Antonio, we arrived in hot, sunny Austin, where the first stop was on South Congress. We walked around some of the cute shops, including the famous Allens Boots, and relaxed with colds drinks & wifi at Jo’s Coffee while waiting to check-in to our nearby rental apartment. Before our road trip began, while hubs & I were researching things to do and places to stay in Austin, we noticed hotels were on the pricey side. We switched gears and started searching through Airbnb to see what their site would offer for our dates. We found a studio apartment that was owned/managed by Zilker Vacations who have several Austin rentals for incredibly reasonable prices. We emailed them a few questions, and with their speedy and favorable replies, we quickly booked “The Studio” for four nights, located right near Zilker Park and just a short drive from downtown as well as the South Congress area.
Pulling up to the apartment right at our appropriate check-in time of 4pm, I was so thrilled to see what would be considered ‘home’ for the next several days. It was SO CUTE! The front patio area, free wifi, large walk-in closet, full-sized shampoo/conditioner/body wash in the shower, and access to washer/dryer WITH detergents and everything right there was incredibly convenient. The owners thought of every single detail. There is a binder on the coffee table welcoming you to the apartment, and it was filled with suggestions on where to eat, things to do, magazine articles about places around Austin. Andrew and I moved right in without hesitation, and it honestly felt like our own apartment. I would stay there again and again.
While at Jo’s Coffee, I opened my Twitter feed to see a tweet by Zedd ((an electronic music producer and DJ from Germany)) mentioning that he was playing a show in Austin that night, with tickets still available. Raving to Zedd the first night in Austin? YES, PLEASE. Tickets were purchased and emailed to me about 20 minutes later. BOOM. That’s how we roll in retirement status. So after unpacking and freshening up, we headed to collect our tickets from Will Call and grab dinner at Hut’s Hamburgers ((delish, and 2 for 1 burgers Wed evenings if you order both as the same item which can be served up with either veggie or beef patty)). Drinks were then consumed at Key Bar on 6th Street, which had a great outdoor area ((we would notice most places in Austin would have outdoor/patio/rooftop areas…LOVE)). After a couple of drinks, we walked a few short blocks to the venue where we danced and raved to opening acts Alex Metric & Oliver, and then Zedd, who played non-stop for two and a half hours. The opening DJ acts were amazing even before Zedd came on and played a ridiculous set, with the obvious ‘Clarity’ being the most popular song of the night. I went to sleep around 3:45 am that morning, happy as a clam.
Almost immediately after arriving in Austin, I felt like I was finding my groove again. Much like when I first visited Seattle so many years ago, I felt like I belonged in Austin. The prevalence of local establishments and lack of big chain stores and restaurants makes Austin unique and extremely appealing. As was the graffiti that we loved photographing. The weather is pretty great for much of the year, minus the humidity. Plus how could I not love the home & HQ of Whole Foods?
It is easy to forget Austin is the capitol of Texas ((let alone a city within the state of Texas)) until you spot the giant state capitol building. I am not sure what it is about bright green, well-manicured lawns of state capitol buildings, but all I want to do is lay on that cool, soft grass. So I did. And then things got silly ((see photos below)).
Much of my time in Austin was spent in a food coma from all the delicious meals and snacks consumed. From food trucks, to cafes, to a gluttonous meal at Salt Lick, and ice cream at Amy’s – it was all pretty ridiculous in the best way possible. And let’s face it, this road trip is also a food crawl across America for me. I find it hilarious that Andrew & I both thought we would lose some weight during the course of the trip. Guess I forgot the minor detail that much of the cities where we would visit would have amazing food, paired with our lack of desire to properly exercise. Ooopsy. Below are some teaser photos for part two of Austin, where I will tell you all about food adventures in Austin…
With all there is to love about Austin, making this a two-part post only made sense. Stay tuned for details about the rest of the time in Austin, including food as I mention above, as well as the part where I ride a mechanical bull. Yep.