My brief yet intense love affair with Austin.
Austin, Texas. The capital of the state where everything is larger. Go big, or go home (if your home is not in Texas).
Austin is not like the rest of Texas. Yes, it is flat and still has its share of hicks. But the weather is gorgeous. Stuff is cheap. They have American Apparel AND Urban Outfitters AND Buffalo Exchange. It is veggie-friendly, gay-friendly, and WARM! Apparently they are also still experiencing job growth - growth in general. The city is clean, friendly, and rather well-organized. There is no rail system, which is unfortunate.
If something happened where I could not stay in the Bay Area, I would move here. For sure.
We drove around to see the city. We went to an insane toy store:
and Buffalo Exchange, which I have decided I LOVE.We tried to go to an Italian place, but it was not what we expected. It had a long line. Instead we went to a "French" place, which was basically a standard cafe. I had salad.
We went to my first gay bar with AC and her friends. RuPaul was there at the opening:
It was crazy. The bathroom especially was weird.
We went to other bars, too:
We went to eat at Veggie Heaven. It was an Asian food place where everything was vegetarian. It was really, really good, but it was not what we were expecting. We thought it would be more like a cafe where you could get salad. But it was still so delicious; I had some kind of yam concoction with a coconut boba tea.
We went to Town Lake and canoed:
We weren't exactly dressed for it, so we were terrified that the canoe would tip whenever the wind blew. But it didn't, so I could still import these pictures. It was a great arm workout.
We had sangria margaritas and Mexican food at Trudy's for dinner. We had to wait a long time; it was crowded and fratty. I had a yummy vegetable plate.
Then we went to a bar/cafe with AC and her roomate H's friends to see another friend of theirs who was DJing. I requested "Flash Light" by Parliament, and he played it! Then we went to another bar, where some guys bought us a bunch of shots (I had not budgeted for this).
We walked to Central Market for food. I had an enormous salad with a ton of fruit - strawberries, pineapples - and mango kombucha.
AC had to work, so AW's sister-in-law, MTW, came to entertain me. She was awesome. We went to Daily Juice, the only raw food cafe in Austin, where she had enchiladas and I had a barbecued coconut sandwich and watermelon juice. We got some orange cream cheesecake made with durian (?!) and some pecan-butter cups for dessert. Turns out that H is really good friends with MTW, so small world, eh?
We spent the night in watching Role Models. Funny even the second time.
We biked to Daily Juice for breakfast/lunch. It was once again yummy. I had a crepe and blueberry lemonade. AC had an "egg salad" sandwich and a horchata. I need to find these recipes. Their bread is really amazing.
Biking is waaaaay easier here. It's so flat. I love it! We biked around town and went to Urban Outfitters and American Apparel. This place is dangerous for me.
I understand Austin is, like, the live music capital of the nation. Unfortunately, it seems everyone was all showed out after South by Southwest, so there weren't any shows while I was there. Maybe next time.
The flight back was bumpy. Then I had to go to M's birthday party. It was karaoke, so naturally I lost track of time and stayed up too late. So tonight will be a night of unpacking and decompression.