When I first moved to Oklahoma one of the things I was looking forward to was traveling to new cities and states in the South and Midwest. In California I was always interested in going to Austin, TX and Nashville, TN but they always seemed a bit out of the way. Now that I am located right in the middle of the country it’s a little easier to get to those awesome cities that I otherwise probably would have never seen.
So a couple weeks ago Kellen and I took a vacation to Austin, Texas and it was…. Awesome! We hopped in the car right after I was offered a job (I will save that story for a later date) and started our 6 hour journey from OKC to Austin. As you can imagine the drive was beautiful, full of lush green trees and rolling hills to drool over as we trekked across the state – PSYCH! It’s Oklahoma people, come on, you should know better. In actuality the drive was very reminiscent of the one I used to make from Sacramento to Los Angeles – a long, straight road with nothing to see but cows and land for miles.
In the end it was all worth it because that long, straight road led us to one of the coolest cities I’ve been to – good ol’ Austin. We pulled into our hotel on a Wednesday night with 4 days ahead of us to experience the city, and a wonderful 4 days it was. Austin is full of young people, many there for work, some there to play and of course most there to work and play. The streets were filled with an array of individuals – from hipsters and hippies to country folk and fashionable trendsetters. From what I learned, Austin is the most liberal city in Texas – allowing people from all backgrounds to come together and “keep Austin weird” (a motto stamped around the city). Kellen described it perfectly when he said Austin is “the San Francisco of the South”. It definitely gives off the same San Francisco vibe through the people, bars and restaurants - oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the food trucks!
Coming from LA, and then San Francisco, I have developed a love for food trucks. Who knew that some of the best food is made in trucks?! Austin kept my love of food trucks alive with some fabulous fish and carnitas tacos. Kellen also hit up a bratwurst food truck that looked amazing but unfortunately I couldn’t fit tacos AND a bratwurst in my stomach like he could. The food trucks we went to had their own parking lot with a variety of different trucks, but you could also find them sprinkled throughout the city on random street corners or even in front of restaurants! I would go back to Austin just for the food trucks – I definitely miss them here in OK.
One of our favorite things to do in Austin was simply walk the streets of the city. On the first night there we were trying to find a place to eat dinner and on our walk passed by the University of Texas longhorn mascot Bevo– just chillen on a street corner in all his glory. It was the largest bull I have ever seen. I understand this is probably normal for people in Texas to come across a bull sitting on the sidewalk, but for me it was definitely a sight to see.
After the bull we found a delicious Italian restaurant and on our walk back came across two guys playing music outside the restaurant next door. They were amazing. One was playing a violin and the other a Spanish guitar. Together they made beautiful music. Kellen and I stopped and listened for a while completely enamored by their talent. It put us in a total trance, transfixed on each note. It’s experiences like that that make me love a city even more. So much to see, take in, and appreciate by simply walking down the streets.
Man oh man I feel like I could go on about this city forever! Did I mention S. Congress Avenue yet? Well let me tell you about it … S. Congress Ave is a street in Austin that has a bunch of cool stores and cafes to check out. One of my favorite stores was Uncommon Objects. It is an antique store full of gadgets and gizmos a plenty and whozits & whatzits galore (name that tune). Seriously though, it has antique chairs, lamps, trays, glasses, teapots, signs, chandeliers, mirrors, cake stands, etc. etc. etc. The list could go on forever. It is a super unique store with stuff to look at in every nook and cranny – a store I will definitely return to. Along with Uncommon Objects there were many other unique clothing boutiques and art stores along with an awesome hotel and a place to adopt a puppy (I almost bought one I swear). S. Congress Avenue has tons of character and culture oozing from the eclectic retailers and restaurants all lined up in a row.
I MUST mention the Whole Foods. Oh my gosh… it’s amazing. I mean I know most everyone has been to a Whole Foods, but if you haven’t been to Austin’s Whole Foods you are missing out! I could spend an entire afternoon in this Whole Foods alone. First off, it’s huge. It has everything you could ever want and more – from a juice bar to wine tasting, gelato, charcuterie station, walk in beer cooler, cheese galore, chocolate fountain and dessert bar, etc. Kellen and I spent quite a bit of time in there walking around in awe. It really made every other Whole Foods look like crap.
Lastly, the night life. On Friday night me, Kellen, and a couple of Kellen’s college friends went out on West 6th Street – a street full of bars and fun. One place we went to was The Dogwood. It was an awesome outdoor lounge equipped with brick & wood counters and steel barstools, giving off a very cool vibe. Everything was out in the open allowing room to sit or stand and space to chat with old friends and new without feeling squished. All in all it had a great atmosphere conducive to fabulous conversation with friends.
Well now that I have practically written a novel on Austin I will provide a few pictures so you can see what I’m talking about for yourself! Austin is a fabulous city and I definitely recommend everyone to put it on his/her list of places to see!
Until next time..
|Bevo the Bull|
|Bratwurst Food Truck|
|Cupcake Food Truck - Yes please!|
|I just want to squeeze him!|
|The cutest little puppy I ever did see!|
|Art on the walls|