Texas is renowned for the sheer size of just about everything it encompasseses; cars, food portions, buildings, road width and people!
Even their boxes of wine are bigger than in the UK…yep we are trampy enough to still buy wine by the box! Why? Because we obviously get through multiple bottles per night so an economical decision for us crazy cats…..jokkkking it is actually because we never get through a whole bottle and boxes don’t need corking up!
Anyhow, talking about BIG stuff, one night at our Air bnb accomodation in Austin I offered our host (BIG Ryan, no conservatism there) to help himself to our classy box of wine…without realising he had already drunk a good quarter of it (over 1 bottle worth) and by the end of th night he had polished off the 4 litre box! A work night for him, sat alone by his computer, what a lad!!!
We were not proven wrong in the majority of places we visited in Texas, where every meal we ordered was shareable, we felt sad seeing crazily obese children who could barely run a few meters without being out of breath let alone play a game of football and the size of cars 20 year old girls were driving seemed absurd and impossible to park!
However, Austin (state capital) did not fit the Texas brand name, instead it was fresh, innovative, open-minded and what I would deem as a ‘*yopro’ city. A breath of fresh air after seeing much of Texas’ ‘other side’.
Austin is famous for the annual SXSW festival, it’s amazing tech scene and has a great uni with hotty guaduates including Matthew McConohey. Along with this we were drawn to Austin after hearing it holds Americas highest urban bat population and has no topless law which made us put Austin top of our ‘places to visit’ check list (jooooking)!
What really made it so special and different from the rest of Texas for us?
A vast fresh water pool, that somewhat tops london’s Hampstead Heath as it doesn’t chill your bones to take a dip and the water is very clean. It is set amongst the beautiful Zilker park and attracts predominantly a young crowd. One of our favourite US picnic spots!
Before arriving I had high expectations of what we had been told was the ‘trendy place to hang out’ in Austin. It absolutely lived up to expectations and more!
Basically it is a road of bungalows which have been turned into bars & cocktail lounges with huge back yards; each one is unique and offering a slightly different theme. Plenty of live music, good looking people (e.g. below) and fun going on here!
One night we were listening to some live music at ‘Bungalow’ in Rainey street and sat observing the difference in behaviours of 2 very drunk groups of lads; one English and the other Mexican….a patriotic moment where the English guys were jumping on each other, spilling drinks and being crude whist the Mexicans classily swigged tequila and sat chatting and smiling in a circle. Proud to be English?!
Whole Foods Flagship store
I read about visiting this in a guide book but it didn’t really explain the reason why. Therefore we planned to stop by to pick up some meat for the nights BBQ.
The store is massive and as soon as you walk in you are greeted with tester number one. As you walk round there is tester after tester to try, they aren’t stingey on portions and even thank you for trying.!
After half an hour we left the store empty handed yet stuffed of nice food!
South Congress (So-Co)
A very much hipster area full of cool shops, bars, art galleries and food trucks. Somewhere you could wander round for hours and keep seeing more and more interesting things.
We found a shop called ‘Uncommon Objects’ which was fascinating and full of the most random second hand objects which you can buy, organised by colour e.g. ared teapot could be placed next to a red rocking horse and red tie!
Also in So-co there is amazing graffiti:
If I was to choose anywhere in the US to move to, hands down it would be Austin! #austinite (I didn’t just make that up, apparently it is what the locals call themselves!)