Well done, Austin. Well done. I agreed to visit my fiancé in Austin during his two-month work trip, but I wasn’t at all very excited. Well, I was excited to see him of course, but not very excited about the trip. I kept wishing his work sent him somewhere cool and romantic like Paris, or somewhere much warmer like Miami. I mean, if I had to travel, I wouldn’t pick Austin of all places to visit. Right? I heard from other people that it was a cool city, but what do they know? The “New Yorker” in me was too stubborn and unwilling to accept that a city in Texas could be cool. I know, I was stupid. Next time, I will reserve my thoughts about places I’ve never visited.
It turns out, I was not only thoroughly impressed by the city (in construction), but I felt ashamed to have thought so little of it. Let’s start of by saying I have not had a bad meal there. And I was there for ten days. And I ate out a lot. Every food shack, restaurant, dive bar with food truck, Gas Station barbecue joint I went to was absolutely fantastic. The shopping? I fell in love. You all know how much I admire thrift and vintage shopping, and that city has that and more.
- Strolling South Austin with the fiancé. It’s just the cutest part of town. There’s so much to look at: street performers, people, cool shops, colorful food trucks, and let’s not forget the cute signs. Free hugs? Why not?
- Dinner at La Condesa. That restaurant was just too cool. The best Mexican restaurant I’ve ever been to. I’m not sure how many of the dishes are even Mexican, but everything I tasted was delightful. From salsa and guacamole, to the appetizers and entrees, I couldn’t stop making “satisfied woman on a massage bed” noises. The food was both amazing and interesting, and the service was superb.
- Thriftstore shopping. These thrift and vintage stores were serious. I just couldn’t believe how much cheaper and amazing the clothes were. I visited about 6 stores, and I wanted to go with half of the stuff. Bohemia almost made me cry with their selection of goodies. I’m still dreaming about a trench Aztec-print coat I left hanging there. I scored this fantastic sequined blazer at a Goodwill, a western midi denim dress at a local thrift, a vintage 90’s mini at a nearby vintage. I just went wild! I ignored the fact that my luggage didn’t have enough space, and kept on going, which explains why I wore about seven layers of clothing on the plane.
- Listening and dancing to The Nightowls live at Icenhauer’s. That band was phenomenal. I would describe them as the perfect wedding band. The lead singers are extremely talented, and they had us jumping to the best hits all afternoon.
- Midnight hottub adventures. It was my idea. We had to take advantage of the hot tub although the sign told us not to go in after 10pm. We’re rule breakers.
- Long walk/hike at Greenbelt park. One of the coolest parks I’ve been to. At one point, it reminded me of ravines in Haiti, but there are little caves you can climb to. Bodies of water the local dogs just love to play in. And you can’t beat walking by a topless texan sitting on a giant rock, stringing to a guitar and howling some country music.
- Boating on Lake Austin. The day I was supposed to return, I was tempted to stay for a boat ride with my fiancé and his co-workers. They had all sorts of water toys to test, which I refused to try. I don’t go in water colder than 65 degrees (and that’s pushing it.) I had more fun looking at lake-side mansions, and taking in as much sun as I could.
- Rainey Street bars. I thoroughly enjoyed some cocktails at The Blackheart (it’s the fiancé’s favorite because it’s Pirate themed.), and craft beers at Craft Pride. The beer is tasty. The decor is cool, and the men with the beards are fun to look at too.
- Barbecue! I’ve had the best barbecue in my life at Salt Lick. Rudy’s is also pretty amazing.
- Beer tasting at Jester King. Need I say more? Beer… tasting. Seriously one of the coolest places I’ve been to. In my head, it’s the perfect wedding venue.
–Doesn’t he have the kindest eyes you’ve ever seen? The man behind Link and Pixie’s Enchanted Crafts
–Lobster roll at Perla’s
–Amazing tacos at La Condesa
–Fun leather bracelets by Second Wind Creations
–Amazing sandwiches by Hey!…You Gonna Eat Or What?
—One of the many pretty chandeliers decorated by an employee at St. Vincent Thrift stores from items they couldn’t sell.