Adventures in Austin

I promised I’d be back with the details from the remainder of my vacation I took a couple of weeks ago so here it is! Two of my best friends from college live down in Austin, Texas and I have had it on my radar to visit them. The right time finally presented itself and I hopped on a plane from the St. Louis airport and continued on down south to Austin 🙂

I spent 3 days exploring with my friends and had a fabulous time. Austin really is the fun city that we’ve all heard it to be: filled with unique people, great food, music, and of course some of their famous “weirdness” (keep Austin weird, right!?) Those of you who have followed me for awhile know that when I travel it’s all about the FOOD….so many of my pictures reflect what I ate so I hope that’s ok with all of you!

Our first venture on my first full day was a trip to Oasis Texas Brewing Company, a local brewery that overlooks the manmade Lake Travis. The view was spectacular and only made better by how delicious the beer and food were. It was Cinco de Mayo (woop woop!) so I enjoyed a refreshing and appropriate margarita-inspired beer. The glass was “dressed” with a lime, and cayenne pepper and salt around the rim. We sat at a table closest to the lake and took in the view of the sailboats and yachts.

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We were there during the lunch hour so we shared a couple different appetizers that were to die for. First we tried out the fried green beans with the chipotle mayo dip. Perfectly crispy and the dip had just the right amount of heat. Then we went for round two and ordered the housemade chorizo queso. I can’t even find the right words to describe how delicious it was. I am a big queso fan and THAT was queso done right.

The brewery grounds themselves were a sight to see. You were greeted by a unique water tower with the Oasis name and the inside of the courtyard was old-world feeling with mystical patio lights and Spanish-style buildings.

Saturday night we made a venture downtown and I got to check out the Austin night life. We spent time in two different “districts” – the first is called Rainey Street – and was the most unique string of bars I’ve ever been to. A developer bought single family homes lining the street on both sides and turned all of them in to bars so from the outside it looks like a giant string of house parties. Each of the homes serves drinks/beers inside and then in the backyard of each home is a food truck. Completely GENUIS.

I apologize that I don’t have any good pictures from the place we chose on Rainey Street, but we spent our time at Craft Pride. They serve only beer brewed locally in the Lone Star State (52 – yes, fifty two – different Texas beers on tap) and their backyard food truck serves Detroit style pizza that was two thumbs up.

After Rainey, we headed to the infamous 6th Street. It was PACKED especially with the college crowd so we spent some time people watching and enjoyed another cocktail on a rooftop patio high above all of the craziness. Before heading back to their house we made a pit stop at Voodoo Doughnuts and I’m so glad we did. We each picked two doughnuts – one for a nighttime snack and one for breakfast!! I went with a captain crunch doughnut and a butterfinger doughnut. Both were as incredible as they sound and I’m glad I got to experience a place I’ve seen and heard a lot about from those who have visited the locations in Portland and Denver!

On Sunday we got to experience both of my favorite parts of the trip: wine tasting at a local winery’s tasting room AND spending time at the dog park – and not just a regular old Lincoln park dog park….

Grape Creek winery is a winery that my friends are members of so they took me to a small town near Austin that has a tasting room (versus driving the hour and a half to the actual winery). We were able to choose 6 wines from their selection and taste. It was my first experience with a formal wine tasting and it was really interesting to compare and contrast the offerings. After our tasting we ordered a bottle for the three of us to share and took it out to the beautiful covered patio attached to the tasting room. It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon and enjoy being outside.

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That afternoon we rounded up their sweet pup, Pike, the one year old red lab and took him to their favorite local dog park. As I mentioned above this was no normal dog park….it’s called Dog House Drinkery. The dog park not only serves beer but also employs people who monitor the dogs’ interactions within the park that is comfortable filled with seating options such as lawn chairs, picnic tables, and big shade umbrellas. You can pull up a chair and spend the whole afternoon watching your dog play and enjoying a few cold beers. Truly heaven if I’ve ever experienced it. The cherry on top was the fact that there was a local artist playing guitar and singing just outside the dog park gate so it added even more to the ambience. I now am in the process of thinking how I can bring something similar to Grand Forks because WHY NOT!?

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I was elated to be able to keep the can koozie as a memento of that magical afternoon and will always think of it fondly when I’m enjoying a beer at home on my own patio this summer.

The rest of my time with my dear friends was filled with trivia, pool time, lounging in the backyard, telling stories, reminiscing on our college days at NDSU, and much more. I also took another little side trip – – well more like BIG side trip – – which if you follow me on Instagram (@sugarspiceandstylethatsnice) you already know a little bit about. In the interest of time and because there is so much content from that short side trip I am going to save that for it’s own post that I’ll share this weekend so keep your eyes peeled 🙂

As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read. I love sharing my travels with all of you and I hope if you are planning any time in Austin yourself sometime soon that these recommendations will be helpful to you! I’ll see you this weekend with more Texas adventure details in another post.

#sugarspiceandstylethatsnice

xoxo Jen

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