Austin, TX | Boots, Walkin’, & More

If you read my first post about Austin, Texas {Something to Taco-bout}, you might think that the only thing my cousins, sister, and I did there was eat. We certainly ate A LOT for one weekend, but we did so much more than simply stuff our faces.



On our first night in Austin, we were in the presence of Texas greatness with the live music of Dale Watson at The White Horse. We hadn’t heard of the old man, but from the crowd’s enthusiasm, he seemed like Austin’s Bruce Springsteen to us Jersey girls (+ 1 Pennsylvanian). Dale switched between playing country music and plugging Lone Star beer as if he was on the Home Shopping Network. Locals (almost) politely pushed everyone else off the dancefloor and busted a move. If we hadn’t arrived in to Austin so late that night, I might have tried my hand at some dancing, but I was way too sleepy and needed to get to the bunkbeds in our Airbnb stat.


On Saturday, we sat at a picnic table outside in the sunshine at Guero’s Taco Bar and listened to tunes from Jim Stringer. The next day, we ended up at The AGBG with another live band while we played 20 questions about people we knew but also with Dale Watson.


In addition to treating ourselves to some booze at the above places and wine at Olamaie, before we went to dinner Saturday night, we went to Dive Bar & Lounge, which is not actually a dive bar, but a cocktail bar. We accidentally walked into a private corporate event because someone held the door open for us and we didn’t see the sign, but we only stayed for one so we weren’t interrupting too much. I ordered a Honey Badger {vodka, honey, fresh lemon juice, Maine root ginger beer} and four other drinks and the bill was – get this – $32. FIVE AWESOME COCKTAIL DRINKS. For the price of 2 in New York City. Sometimes I think I am in the wrong city.


Basically every wall in Austin has a mural on it so we found our fair share. We also found our fair share of locals being rude to us for taking pictures of and in front them, which I have more to say about in a future post. Why couldn’t they just follow the advice of this mural?


Luckily, Austin didn’t hate us as much as some of its residents. In fact, we even felt loved at some times.


OMG Shoes.

I actually don’t love shopping when I’m traveling (or ever), but we would have been monsters to come all the way to Austin without trying on cowboy boots and hats. We spent some time in Allen’s Boots on South Congress trying on boots, hats, and accents. I liked the boots way more than I thought I would, but at $300-$700 a pair, a photoshoot was enough.


We stopped in many of the other stores on South Congress, but had the most fun in Allen’s and in Uncommon Objects, a well-curated antique store, creepily decorated in some corners (think old baby dolls with their eyes missing all sitting together).


The Texas State Capitol is the definition of “everything’s bigger in Texas” – built in 1888, it’s actually taller than the U.S. Capitol. It’s also the definition of “everything’s more beautiful in Texas.” The dome is impressive, both inside and out. There are lone stars in every spot they could fit them – benches, doorknobs, hinges galore. We people-watched for a while from the upper levels just because the building was fun to look at from all angles. We also played a quick game of “if you had to date someone in this photo” with many of the photos from the 1800s of congressmen and senators. Another reason I felt like maybe I was living in the wrong city (and in the wrong century).


On Sunday morning, while the other girls went for a run (I can never keep up and then I feel bad about myself), I walked along the waterfront in the sunshine for a while. I have had a lot to think about lately and I do need alone time, even when traveling with people I love so much (you saw the mural photo above). It was great to explore, stalk dogs who were jumping into the Mississippi River after tennis balls, and ask locals how the heck I could get to the botanical gardens (I couldn’t, they were closed). As I was standing on a bridge staring into the distance, I noticed “Erin” and “Never Give Up” written on the bridge across the river. Yes, they were separate pieces of graffiti and, yes, there was a string of large Pac-Men between them, but I took it as a sign.


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