Day 5 | Austin Road Trip
Austin Road Trip Shenanigans
Some people start out the new year by meal prepping and hitting the gym, others start by reading a new book, or drinking less. I started mine by jumping in the car for a 2000+ mile road trip from Spokane, WA to Austin, TX. The reason for my road trip was to help my best friend and travel mate, Chris, move to Austin for grad school, but I am also not one to turn down an essentially free trip (thank you Alaska air miles).
Hungover and under prepared, I assumed my position in the passenger seat and took over my co-pilot duties of navigation and DJ-ing. 31 hours of drive time, 4 snow covered mountain passes, and too much fast food later, we arrived at his new home.
I don’t know if you have ever driven through Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Northern Texas, but I now understand the concept of flyover states. Montana, now that was some beautiful terrain, but the rest of the states were filled with a whole lot of nothing. About 5 hours into the drive, Chris exclaimed “I am so excited to take pictures on this trip!” And that was when I realized that I had left my camera at home…dun dun dun. #TravelBloggerFail.
Little did I know, there would be absolutely nothing worth photographing after we passed Bozeman, MT. At least until we got to Austin. This is my second time visiting the capitol of Texas, and now that my bestie lives here, it definitely won’t be my last. However, me and Austin already have some grievances that we need to hash out.
First, shopping here is awful. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be shopping with my trip to Australia fast approaching, but your girl didn’t pack well and I realized when I got here that I have nothing to wear out to the bars this weekend. Thus, I spent the entire day today trying to find a cute outfit to wear out. 4 hours of shopping later, I came back with nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Let me tell you, I LOVE to shop. Window shopping isn’t even a phrase in my repertoire. Every time I go shopping, I come home with something, whether I needed it or not. After canvassing two hip neighborhoods for boutiques, I realized that Austin and Portland may be similar in a lot of ways, but cutesy stores are not one of them.
Next, what is going on with this weather? I know it is winter and all, but I came to Texas expecting sunny and 75, or at least partially cloudy and 63. Instead, every day since we arrived it has been overcast, windy and hovering around 50. I probably shouldn’t be complaining since it is like 10 degrees at home, but I am still a bit disappointed that I won’t be able to do any patio people watching while I am here.
Other than those two (minor) inconveniences though, Austin has a lot going for it. It is Mexican food heaven. I had some of the best al pastor enchiladas of my life yesterday at Curra’s Grill, though the ceviche was less than impressive. The whole city is filled with food trucks. Torchy’s Tacos has some of the best breakfast tacos…no let’s be honest, the best breakfast tacos, I have ever had but the options are endless. This weekend we are going to hit up the hipster hideout, Rainey Street, because I need to find more of my people, and I also hope to make it to the Container Bar which is a bar built entirely out of old shipping containers. How hip is that?
After this visit, I can officially say that Austin is still on my list of cities that I would potentially like to live in at some point. Too bad all the other candidates on that list have slowly been weeded out. I am looking at you Boston (snow), Chicago (snow), and San Francisco (death by rent payments). I guess I am just going to have to find some replacement cities to add to my list. Any suggestions?