Sunday, January 26, 2014

Austin Roadtrip

School starts tomorrow, but while I have some free time I can finally blog about my trip to Austin a couple weeks ago!

As much as I love having over a month off from school for winter break, it's not so fun when most of your friends head back to school two weeks earlier. However, I was still able to see some of my friends when I decided to roadtrip down to Austin! The drive from Dallas to Austin is only about four hours, and thankfully my grandparents live just outside of Austin, giving us a place to stay!

I headed down with two of my best friends from high school, Allie and Jessi. They were still home, as Allie goes to San Diego and was still on break, while Jessi is a missionary in Peru (isn't that so cool?!).

Me, Jessi, and Allie on the way down!

A lot of our friends from high school go to UT Austin (we just call it UT), so it was great to be able to see them and the city at the same time! For this post, I wanted to put together a list of cool places in Austin; where to shop, eat, etc!

Love that I'm still friends with these girls!
The Food

Austin is known for its food. You can literally get anything you want and more, whether its a quick stop at a food truck or a fancier restaurant downtown. On our first day we had lunch at Hopdoddy, a burger place that reminded me of Shake Shack but with bigger burgers and more gourmet style fries. 

We then stopped for a quick afternoon coffee at Jo's down the street, where we happened to see a completely naked man, save for a tiny jockstrap, walking barefoot with his bike down the street! Even for someone who lives in New York, it was strange. We actually ended up seeing him twice!

For dinner, we hit up a must-visit spot in Austin, popular with UT students- Torchy's tacos. I cannot explain how much I love tacos, and Torchy's hit the spot. It's fairly inexpensive and has every kind of taco imaginable. A little tip from all my Austin friends- order The Democrat, regardless of political affiliation.

Another popular spot for UT kids is Kerbey Lane, a breakfast-type restaurant famous for its pancakes. I was lucky the pumpkin pancakes were still in season, and they did not disappoint. 

For dinner we met up with three other friends, two of whom were in our big high school group of friends, as well as my friend Max who I have known since before I could talk! We went to Trudy's, a Tex Mex place that I would definitely recommend. But then again, I'll always recommend Mexican food.

For our last lunch in Austin, we headed to Home Slice. I love the name, and I love the food even more. It's New York style pizza, and as someone who has experienced real NY pizza, I can say that Home Slice definitely holds its own.

There are so many restaurants in Austin that I couldn't try them all in a year, let alone three days, but these definitely go on my list of places to go!

Things to See and Do

I love Austin. I would live there in a heartbeat, even though I love New York. The weather is perfect (it's January and we were wearing t-shirts!), and the city has a cool, small town vibe while also being a huge city, as well as our state capital. 

Even if you're not into history or politics, or you're from out of state, a trip to the capital is a must when you're in Austin. I went the summer after my junior year for Girls State, a week long summer camp where 500 girls gather to create their own government and run it for a week, ending in a trip to the capital. I know, it sounds dorky, but I loved it!

Me in the Senate chamber, where I had a session as a Senator at Girl's State!

Creepin' at the capital (and all over Austin) in honor of one of our favorite SNL skits.

After visiting the capital, head over to South Congress, a fun little street lined with restaurants, vintage stores, quirky shops and cool little hotels. When I visit Austin with my family I make sure to always hit up Congress. We walked up and down, perusing fun antique shops full of weird finds, and had a little too much fun

I wanted to buy this hat!

If you're into a more serious shopping experience, head 45 minutes outside of Austin to San Marcos, where there is a GIANT outlet mall with every store you could possibly imagine.

Probably my favorite part of Austin was Castle Hill, an abandoned construction site that is legally designated as a graffiti site in the city. You can hike up to the top of the hill and see the entire Austin skyline. I loved seeing all of the street art and getting a ton of great pictures.

Shoutout to Allie for driving us down to Austin and all over the city!

I'll try to post more often now that I'll be back at school, so keep reading and make sure to hit the Follow button! 

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