Thursday, July 7, 2016

Trip to Texas - Part 2

When I last left you, we had gone up to Austin. We had a beer, we got some BBQ (and it was damn delicious) and then we headed off to our hotel.

We had gotten a hotel through Priceline, naming our own price, and ended up at Hotel Van Zandt, which is part of the Kimpton Hotel group, and was kind of boutique-y. I have never stayed in a hotel like that, and it was clear from the photos online that it was trying to be true to the live music scene that is so prominent in Austin.
Source
Seriously, look at that chandelier. It is made of brass instruments. It was so neat.

After dealing with some parking incidents (they do not have self park there, at least not easily obtainable, which was super annoying, we got into the hotel and checked in. They let us know about the daily coffee bar in the morning and cocktail hour in the evening, both of which we made mental notes to attend. It was already absurdly hot outside, so we decided to dress in our swimsuits and head up to the 4th floor deck pool.

I spent most of my time in the pool. Sitting in the sun was just way too hot for me. It was not like being in Mexico where you would occasionally get a nice breeze or something,  it was just OPPRESSIVELY hot. J was in and out of the water, and did a little bit of reading/watching golf while we were out there. There was the outdoor portion of the on-site restaurant, Geraldine's, as well. It was not quite a swim up bar, but pretty close. After we were sunned out, we headed back into our room to get ready for some food.

After J watched golf for a little while and I browsed Yelp for dinner options, we found a place that was walking distance from the hotel that seemed to fit our style of food. An upscale bar (gastropub style) with a pretty good beer selection is the kind of food/restaurant that we like to look for wherever we go. We ended up at Revival Public House, where I ended up eating some delicious chicken with a pilsner, and J had some enchiladas with his beer. We both selected beers local to Texas.

After dinner, we decided to walk a few blocks over to the Congress Ave bridge, where we heard about the bats (see this page for some details on what I am talking about). When we got there, we went down a set of stairs to the bike path, to walk down a little ways to a dock to watch from there.)

Unfortunately, we realized we must have been there during the time when the bats are giving birth and therefore they either do not come out, or they come out much later, so we only saw ONE BAT the whole night. It was a bit of a bummer, but that is ok. We walked back to our hotel in the dark and enjoyed a Mule at Geraldine's before turning in for the night.

The next morning, J got golf tuned up on his ipad and I headed down to the gym to run my easy run. I ran 7 miles at right around a 9 min/mile pace. After that, we showered and got ready for the day. We decided we were going to walk down 6th street to see what the deal was there, have lunch. And then we were going to walk up to the University of Texas (the very far end of downtown) to see if there was anything cool over there since they have an iconic football stadium, etc.

We walked down 6th street, stopped at Austin Ale House for a beer and some lunch, then headed up Congress Avenue toward the statehouse. When we got up there and were looking at it, you could see the top of the stadium, so we decided to keep walking over toward it. We walked in the hot sun up to the university and checked out the bookstore, and then I had to use the restroom. We were on the other side of the stadium and there was a little building that was open. I went in to ask about the bathroom and then told J to come inside too! It was the Longhorns football Hall of Fame. It had all of their championship trophies, player trophies, etc. It was pretty cool!

We walked back toward our hotel, checking out a bar that J wanted to see (which did not open until 4), and stopping for a beverage. When we got back to the hotel, we were both pretty beat from walking around in the super hot sun, so J turned on golf and we both fell asleep for a while. Upon waking up, we got dressed again and went downstairs for cocktail hour. We each had a margarita (we generally drank more cocktails and less beer on this trip. It was just so hot!) and then we headed out for dinner. We decided to go back to Moonshine, which is the same place we had stopped for a drink earlier that afternoon. Here are a few pics from dinner.


Those little corn dog looking things are actually shrimp! So I couldn't eat them, but J LOVED them. We split that peanut butter pie for dessert. It was DELICIOUS.

After dinner, we went back to the bar we had peeked into earlier. They were open now, and J was scouting for potential locations for meetings that he has in Austin in September. It was a 1920s themed bar called Gatsby's. J loved it. After Gatsby's we went to a bar very close to the hotel called Container. It was made of shipping containers! It was very cool.

After that drink, we headed to bed, and the next day boarded a plane to head back to Ohio. It was a great trip, but I was looking forward to being home to Addie.

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