First stop: San Antonio was a beautiful little town with a quaint little river walk that winds around the commercial area. Very beautifully done but definitely very commercialized. Get off the Walk for food because it's not worth it financially or otherwise. Check out Schilo's German deli and get the wienerschnitzel sandwich!
We managed to snag a decent B&B, The Noble Inns, that was on the River Walk just a five minute walk from the "center of town." It's really old so don't expect anything fancy (also call ahead if you actually want the hot tub to work: dissappointed face). Everything outside of the commercial zone is pretty dead. We did manage to make it to the San Antonio Museum of Art for the Aphrodite exhibit but can't vouch for the rest of the museum. I asked Ryan to take a new portrait photo of me (You know, for all those stupid profile pics you need these days for LinkedIn etc) and the security guard caught us and told us we couldn't take "these kinds of photos" there without the permission of the museum. Ryan felt proud that this man mistook him for a "real" photographer. We bashfully ran away giggling.
|[Glass ceiling at the SA Museum of Art]|
|[Trolleys in San Antonio!]|
For night life, we chose a quaint bar that featured live jazz music one evening. Carmens de la Calle makes a pretty decent sangria but the $5 cover was kind of lame. There were literally only about a dozen people in the bar total. Coming from New York, that annoyed me for some reason. #Imbeingcheap
Another great hit was the Hi-tones bar. It's a teensy bit divey but it had such a great vibe and even outdoor space where people were grilling and just hanging out. Very low key and exactly what we were looking for when we escaped New York.
The real shebang: Austin was a ton of fun. We did a lot biking around and 'partying hard' on 6th Street.
Honestly, most of my highlights have to do with food. I'm not ashamed.
|[Uchiko roll with their own dipping sauce and aioli!]|
Turf and Surf food truck was also amazing. They had a sign up about moving so I'm not sure what their deal is. I just know their Ahi Tuna Taco was the best fish taco I've ever had in my entire life. Hands down.
|[Salt Lick BBQ]|
As for activities:
We rented bikes from a company that featured a Groupon deal for two all-day bike rentals for $25 (Barton Springs Bike Rental). I would suggest another location and probably spending a little more money. We had some questionable bikes. Ryan's first bike actually LOST a pedal about 5-6 miles away and he had to precariously ride back to get a new bike! So scary.
|[Fountain at the University in Austin]|
After the scare though, the city was a beautiful bike city! Most of the major streets have a bike lane and Town Lake was a wonderful little bike/run area! We then did a quick trip up to the Capital and also the University!
|[A golden paddle boarding on Town Lake!]|
On our way back to the bike center we decided to take a canoe out for a quick paddle around Town Lake at the Texas Rowing Center. Very family friendly and serene. There were hundreds of turtles, birds, and even a golden retriever on a paddle board out on the water!
On another lazy day, we drove out to Hamilton Pool Reserve. It was a very easy 10-15 minute hike/walk that ended in this beautiful natural pool with this carved out overhang. I envision it's more fun in the late spring/summer when it's warmer and you can actually swim in its pristine waters.
|[Hamilton Pool Reserve]|
|[Indigenous species of Texas!]|
Another great stop was our trip to Hops and Grain Brewery. It's in a rather new complex with fun small businesses and offers free tastings on Saturday afternoon, complete with live music and a cool crowd!
While in Austin, we attended a Tattoo Festival. There were hundreds of tattoo artists and people getting inked! It was a lot of fun just to walk around and see what was happening, despite not having any tattoos of my own. Austin is home to many convention centers to there are always things happening. Check them out!
|[Austin's Star of Texas Art Revival show 2013]|
|[Corazon Mexican Restaurant]|
Buffalo Billiards was my favorite. It was filled with arcade games like shuffleboard, skeeball and air hockey and had a decent beer selection. Win.
Volstead Lounge was also a sweet little spot with more 'atmosphere'. It has a backyard patio where you can order Filipino food from the Be More Pacific food truck!
And lastly, Ryan and I had to get one Mexican restaurant in before we left. We decided on a highly rated (on Yelp) spot called Corazon at Castle Hill. The food was savory and fresh without being too oily as some Mexican food can be. It had a great tequila menu as well!
Overall, I had a blissful and relaxing trip down south and encountered little of the intense cultural collisions I experienced in southern Texas. I was thankful to have enjoyed such a pleasant experience in the Lonestar State.