Monday, January 14, 2013


Thursday, 10 January 2013 – A sleep in for me – 12 hours sleep actually – while Justyn went wandering the streets for good cup of tea. Austin is a bit of hipster-ville so we expected to be able to get decent tea! While at the Hideout Theatre Café, Justyn saw a guy who he thought looked like Beck (we saw Beck in concert at the State Theatre in Sydney only a couple of months ago) so he went up to him and said just that! So while they waited for their drinks, they briefly chatted together and Justyn was so excited he forgot what they spoke about – “nonsensical” I think he described it as! A slow start to the day, we finally ventured out to see the sights of Austin. Keep Austin Weird” seems to be the catch-phrase around town, so we were on the lookout for any ‘weirdness’! It was a stunning day with gorgeous blues skies, perfect for ambling! Our wanderings were based on locations of telephone shops so we could grab a US data SIM to use on the go so we headed off towards the first shopping centre. We passed the Willie Nelson statue as he is a local, but were unable to get a photo of it today as there was a television crew filming it and they made it difficult to get near – we’ll try again tomorrow!
Stevie Ray Vaughan statue
This was also the first of the shopping districts recommended by the hotel concierge and a few blockies did not reveal a mobile phone outlet so we headed across the lake to see the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue which overlooks the Lady Bird Lake which was on Justyn’s ‘must-do’ list – he is a famous guitarist – before heading to SoCo (South Congress Street district). Top of my ‘must-do’ list was the purchase of my first pair of cowboy boots. Friends had recommended Allens Boots in Austin and a check on the internet also showed that this was the place to get the coveted boots. And Allens just happened to be in SoCo! And it was another shopping area for us to find a data SIM card! Meandering from the park towards SoCo, we passed the Performing Arts Centre the infamous bat bridge where between April and October thousands of bats nest during the day and then fly out en masse at sunset – it is supposed to be spectacular and a major tourist draw card but unfortunately we are not visiting at the right time of the year! Another feature of Austin is the food trucks. Just about any food type is represented by a food truck and our favourite is Ms P’s Electric Cock Fried Chicken! Many eateries line each side of South Congress and it made our lunch decision very difficult. So in our true style, we (I) put that decision off as Allens Boots loomed large on the hill top. I drew a deep breath, opened the door and the world of cowboy boots materialised right in front of my eyes. Where to start???? The first aisle seemed like a good choice so I headed up the first row feeling a little overwhelmed by the variety and realised that each row represented a size – keep in mind that each aisle was approximately 40 metres long and they had girls boots and boy boots – huge! I found my aisle and started looking again but realised that this was a momentous purchase for me and that some assistance would be required. Rebecca came to the rescue and after a few try-ons, we managed to workout style of boots and fit; all I needed to do was pick a design. Still having trouble and aimlessly wandering my size aisle, Rebecca came back, grabbed a pair of the shelf and handed them to me – these were the ones. And when I tried them on, they were the pair that fit the best too. I let out squeal of glee (which unfortunately Rebecca heard and commented on) and took the purchase plunge.
My boot purchase from Allens Boots, Austin TX
I am now officially a rootin’ tootin’ cowgirl! Our tummies were telling us that lunch was now urgently required so we headed back to a taco eatery called Güero’s Taco Bar. Drink and food – check. Since this second shopping borough did not yield a mobile store either, out next stop for our weary feets was the hotel to drop our purchases off before heading off for the third attempt at a phone card. All our meanderings through Austin didn’t reveal any ‘weirdness’ but it did highlight the social vibe of the city with bars and restaurants for blocks upon blocks catering for all tastes. A lot of outdoor venues and almost all with music, both live and recorded, and rooftops galore which showcased the awesome weather that Austin has – 22oC in the middle of winter! Our third shopping area did throw up an AT&T store where we attempted to get a US sim (somewhat successfully), and it also had a Whole Foods Market which those of you who watch Top Chef will instantly know. It was supermarket nirvana!
Pretty Potatoes at Whole Foods, Austin TX

The freshest food, with baristas, bartenders, pre-made food stalls dotted throughout the store – just an amazing amazing place! The mosey to this area did give us our second celebrity sighting of the trip (pretty good considering the people who live in Austin including Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Lance Armstrong, Robert Plant – just to name a few…) Paul Giamatti was walking straight towards us! He had a hat on, his head down and at the last minute gave us eye contact! I detected a slight smile and head incline but Justyn said I was clutching at straws... Dinner tonight was Justyn’s choice and we went to Second Bar and Restaurant on Congress for the burger which was voted one of the twelve best in the state. It was a great venue and the pomme frittes with truffle aioli was out of this world. Justyn had the Congress Burger and I went with the short rib with grits. Dessert was pretty spectacular, pumpkin cheesecake in a jar with roasted pineapple and graham crackers – sublime!!! And as for the Austin ‘weirdness’; if encountering men with beards and pony-tails is weird, then Justyn fits right in!

No comments:

Post a Comment