Monday, August 10, 2009

Keeping Austin Wierd

I’m a little bit in love with Austin.

No offense, San Anton.

It was a rough week for me so The Husband and I decided to get away for the weekend. Thanks to Marriott rewards, we stayed at a fabu hotel a block away from Austin’s famous Sixth Street. The area is completely dead during the day, save a few panhandlers who try to trick you into believing they’re not ACTUALLY panhandlers, but people providing you with vital information. One tried to explain to The Husband about debit card vs. credit card fees. Except he was way wrong and way drunk.

Oddly, we’ve been in Texas for almost two months and have YET to go to a barbeque place. Probably out of fear I will become morbidly obese after one bite of brisket. That’s one thing I noticed…everyone has their favorite barbeque place here. And they all claim to be “true barbeque – very rustic.” What does this mean, exactly? I like frills like actual tables and napkins and sanitary cooking conditions…

So, we ventured to “world famous” (because every BBQ joint is, you know) Stubb’s. I have to say … it is on my top list of favorite BBQ joints … but probably because I’ve only been to a handful in my life, and one of them is Famous Dave’s.

We walked around the UT campus because I thought I would get to be a Longhorn this fall since I am taking classes at University of Texas at San Antonio. But I was wrong…apparently UTSA is NOT an extension of UT at Austin. The school even has its own athletic department. So, this fall I will be a UTSA … wait for it … Roadrunner. (mee meep)
Oh well…I bought a UT t-shirt anyway…even if it IS going against Buckeye law

My favorite neighborhood in Austin has to be SoCo where the best candy store resides: Big Top. You can buy scorpion and grub suckers and every candy you can think of from every country. I opted for gummy worms because I am all about the chewy gooey.

And, while I am getting used to Texas heat, after four hours outside on a 103 degree day, I was showing signs of heat exhaustion (read: I was complaining) so we went back to the hotel to glam it up for our night on Sixth Street.

Note: Nothing happens on Sixth Street until after 8 p.m.

We realized this at 6 p.m. while sitting in an empty Thirsty Nickel listening to a band ... set up.


So we searched for a place to eat a semi-healthy meal. I know, right? But I had already exceeded my caloric intake for the day at Stubb’s so we ended up at Parkside – which stuck out like a sore thumb among the Tex Mex joints on this road. The outside advertised the best hamburgers in Texas but was actually more of an oyster and raw bar. Huh? I had an awesome fig and steak salad and wondered if you are actually supposed to eat the entire fig or just the inside – anyone?

After dinner we mosey-ed (heh) to Maggie Mae's for blues on the patio and then hit the roof top bar. It was so fun. I remember when Cleveland had this kind of entertainment (the Basement – I miss you).

Also, a note: You know you’ve acclimated to Texas when you’re wearing jeans and it’s 97 degrees out. Because…you have to wear your jeans and boots on Sixth Street. Except for me, espadrilles were substituted for boots. Sorry, I am just not there yet.

Sunday we headed to Lake Austin, which I thought would be awesome for relaxing in the sun. Um, no. I’m sure it’s a nice area, just not what I had in mind for a relaxing day on the beach. So we headed to the Hula Hut for lunch and mai tais (yes, we drink a lot on the weekends…) It was right on the water and you sort of forget you’re in Texas for awhile (until someone comes in wearing a cowboy hat). It really did remind us of Waikiki – kitsch and all. Hawaii I miss you!

All in all…a great weekend, but I wish it would have been a tad cooler. Maybe in November…

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