Monday, May 21, 2012

Keeping it Weird in Austin - Part 1

Hubby and I have been in Austin for a couple of days now. We had a rough start, or more so a rough finish as our plane had mechanical issues in Chicago. After sitting on the plane for a couple of hours, they finally moved us to another plane. The upside – as many adult refreshments as we wanted. Thank you, Southwest!

Once we arrived in Austin; we took the Super Shuttle to our hotel, The Lost Pines. Yep, we are out here in the middle of nowhere. It’s almost three, twisty miles just from the road to the hotel. Although the hotel is a nice resort with all the amenities you could want, it really feels like an expensive trip to Disney World. It’s even costing me to write my blog as Wi-Fi is not free at this luxury hotel. The rooms are beautiful and spacious and the grounds go on for miles and overlook the Colorado River. They have tons of activities for families (tonight was movie night on the lawn with marshmallow roasting) and a lovely lazy river pool in which hubby and I floated down practically all day today with drinks in hand. The weather is perfect and we are already fried (I’m a native Floridian but it’s been four years since I’ve lived in this kind of wonderful heat). There’s no humidity, tons of trails, bugs, outdoor dining, and general weirdness.

Enter Sixth Street in downtown Austin. First off, you’re gonna be floored when I tell you the cab price to get us from this compound to downtown weirdness - $120 round trip!!! What the what? Reminds me of the $100 one-way trip to Negril from the airport in Jamaica on our honeymoon!

A nice, but very opinionated woman picked us up at our hotel and dropped us off at Sixth Street, near the historic Driskill hotel in downtown Austin. Now I grew up in the Tampa/Clearwater area. So I was used to going to Ybor City most of my teenage/early adult life. Ybor is like a mini Bourbon Street in New Orleans, filled with clubs and restaurants along one main drag. I’ve seen a lot of clubs come and go in Ybor and the atmosphere completely change based on the changing times. As a side note, I saw Nine Inch Nails when I was 19 at one of the alternative clubs (now hip-hop) back in 1991.

Austin’s Sixth Street is about three times the size of Ybor. Frankly I was expecting something different and not located in downtown. Outside of Austin, on the way to the hotel, there is nothing but wide open spaces, a pecan stand with a giant squirrel, a tattoo place, and a couple of side fruit stands. When we got to downtown Austin, it was around 9pm. There were live bands in practically every bar. It’s really quite a unique experience that I’m glad to we got to partake in. We were also craving some BBQ (not big in CT) and headed to Stubb’s (yes, the one that makes the BBQ sauce sold in grocery stores nationwide). We decided on a platter of brisket, pulled pork, and ribs with a side of jalapeno cornbread (best ever!!), mac-n-cheese, and potato salad. Oh my. I love my southern food! I miss southern food. And I really need to move back home.

Once we left Stubb’s the atmosphere of the clubs had completely changed. Gone were the bands and in their place, techno and hip-hop. The streets were barricaded and packed. We drifted off the main drag in search of a jazz bar and ended up at a wine bar where we drank a wine flight of not-so-great reds. It was a cute place and just what we needed, however.

We then called our cab lady to come pick us up (it was 1am after all) and asked her to stop at a convenience store so we could pick up some sandwich fixings to avoid paying $40 for yet another hotel hamburger and grilled cheese. She took us to a 24-hour Super Walmart (we only have 2 of them in CT and they close at 10pm), teased us with a closed Chick-Fil-A (my favorite fast food place and subsequently not found in CT), and dropped us off at 2am at our hotel. We slept in Sunday morning and headed toward the pool for rest of the afternoon. Stay tuned tomorrow and I’ll share some pics of the hotel with you. It’s not going to be a fashion blog this week as this is my vacation and I like to chill in tees and shorts on vacations.
{My dear hubby}
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  1. These pics are great! I am DYING at the sign for the Dirty Dog Bar.

    As it is unlikely that I we ever get to Austin in the foreseeable future, thank you for sharing the pics. Hope you're having a wonderful time!

    1. You are very welcome, Kathy. I know when some fashion bloggers went to Austin for SXSW in March they really didn't capture the essence of downtown. So that't what I was trying to do.