Austin, TX. BAM! I was originally very skeptical of traveling just about anywhere in Texas, I hadn’t heard good things and after one or two stops where cultural diversity was on the down I wasn’t looking forward to more of the same. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Austin, TX is an oasis in a desert of fast food chains, truck stops and mega highways. The city is full of culture, delicious food, quirky bars and good night life. Admittedly, we did have some weird experiences. In particular a man who approached us high on something, with eyeballs popping, at about 3 in the morning asking if we wanted ‘a shoe shine’. We declined.
We pre-booked our accommodation for Austin ahead of time via AirBnb, Tamzin exchanged a few messages with the apartment owner who suggested we take the booking off AirBnb to save money on booking fees. We agreed and arrived to find an apartment almost devoid of furniture, nothing like the apartment the owner had described on-line without WiFi access, cooking utensils, gas or hot water. We slept on mattresses on the floor, cooked food and boiled water on a camping stove in the kitchen and drank wine out of beer bottles and disposable water bottles that had been cut to resemble cups. It was a low moment in terms of accommodation but also one of the highlights of our trip. The owner would drop by with short notice and tell us zany stories about a guy who had previously stayed and ripped her off (because of all of the above), do tarot card readings and try to offload her puppy for the day (I was super keen for this, but in hindsight it would have been hella inconvenient). The owner was a bit younger than us and while she seemed very experienced in some respects was obviously quite young and naive when it came to Airbnb and hospitality.
If we did anything in Austin, TX it was eat and drink. We spent countless hours slurping on alcoholic drinks, slurping coffee, eating good (bad) food and drinking tea. We tried a number of places including Lucy’s Fried Chicken, a good coffee place and Magnolia Cafe, which is open 24 hours a day and plays host to a number of strange individuals, including the wait staff. We swore black and blue our server was actually a vampire and became a bunch of weirdo’s as we watched and analysed his every move.
On our last night in Austin we headed to Rainey St where a large number of houses have been converted to bars. It was a decent walk from the main part of Austin but well worth the adventure. Rainey Street is a 20-somethings dream. Each bar is quirky and unique, live music is easy to find and late night snacks were within walking distance. One bar we went to was almost too hip, I had to exchange my I.D for my drink because the bar staff were afraid punters would steal their quirky cups. It is a place I could spend a lot of time and I wish we could’ve visited a few more bars while there.
After a few days in Austin we hit the road again for Taos and yet another scenery change.
To be continued….