Good times in Austin

This summer has been full of fun adventures. We've gone camping at Tyler State Park and now we are having fun in the sun in Austin, TX. The following is a highlight of a few good as well as not so good things we did or ate at this weekend. We've taken weekend trips to Austin for the past few years now and for the most part they have been enjoyable experiences. Austin has great food and lots of entertainment options that will appeal to every size. Whether you are on a romantic getaway, with family or a party goer you are bound to find something you will enjoy in Austin. Next time you find yourself in Austin check out a few of the following and let me know what you think. 

Tubing in the Guadalupe River:

Gotta try it! It's been a very dry year here in Texas but that hasn't stopped us from getting into the local rivers. We rented a few tubes at Rockin R's in New Braunfels, TX and took a swim in the pleasant waters of the Guadalupe River. Each tube rental is $16 and I recommend paying the extra $2 for a bottom due to current drought conditions and the very low water levels. It's well worth the investment. Trust me, your tush will thank you when you are crossing the rapids. Other than that take a cooler and have a good time. You can fill it up with water (or beer or whatever is your preference) and whatever snacks or sandwiches you'd like to take for the ride. You will have to pay for another tube if you want to take a cooler or a dog along with you. Don't forget to stay hydrated and drinks lots of water!

Barton Springs: 

This local spring fed pool is a nice treat on a hot Texas afternoon. The entrance fee is $4 for non locals and food and pets (among other things) are not allowed. You can find more info here. This place was lots of fun but I do have to warn you that the water is frigid! If I could guess I'd say the water is somewhere in the 60's. Once you get moving though it's not too bad. The pool is located at Zilker park and there are lots of places to eat in the area. Definitely a fun, local place to swim in the heat of Austin. 



The Elephant Room:

This is a cozy, underground jazz bar. The Friday night we attended was a different kind of jazz than what I am use to. Honestly I prefer a Loius Armstrong, New Orleans kind of jazz, but to each their own. Still worth checking out. Cover charge is $5 and the drinks are a bit strong. Great place for date night or just hanging out with friends.

Home Slice Pizza:

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! Need I say more? No lie when I say that this was the most delicious pizza I've had in a very long time. Home Slice Pizza is not your run of the mill pizza place. It's a local pizza joint that serves classy but traditional New York style pies. Not only does the food hit the spot but they also have an excellent and courteous wait staff. Our waitress gave us a few suggestions and we just went with it. My memorable meal consisted of a Pear Gargonzola salad topped off with a slices of Pepperoni and Margherita pizza. It was so delicious! Cheesy and crispy in all the right places. The large pizza pie serves at least 4 people and will run you about $15-$20, depending on how many toppings you get. What I really liked about our experience was sitting at the bar and watching all the behind the scenes of the making of the pizzas. They sure looked like they knew what they were doing back there.





Jack Allen Kitchens:

We had an excellent Sunday brunch on the way out of town at Jack Allen Kitchens. It's actually in Round Rock, TX so a good 15 minutes north of Austin but well worth the drive. Brunch was excellent and consisted of a buffet of fresh tasting and home style foods including sheppards pie, migas with farm fresh eggs, chicken tenders, sausage, silver dollar pancakes and lots and lots more. They also had fresh fruit and local Round Rock donuts. My favorite dessert was the Apple Streusel pastry. They also mimosas and sangria at brunch for an additional price. Don't let the word buffet fool you. I thought the same thing when I heard “brunch buffet” but let me tell you it’s completely worth it. They serve quality food and you can taste the freshness in every bite.

Amy's Ice Cream:

2 words...sugar and overload but very delicious. I ordered a brownie with Mexican vanilla ice cream and pecan pralines. You can find the full menu here. I have to say that it was a bit too sweet but then sweet is my middle name. As much I tried to finish my bowl I could not do so, even with the help of my friends. In the end it was a nice treat that accompanied me on my walk down Congress Avenue.

Bat watching: 

We attempted to see the bats over Congress bridge but that was not very successful. We got there at dusk and waited for about an hour but the bats did not feel like coming out. Needless to say we were largely disappointed in this. Maybe it was too warm or there were too many people. Perhaps we will give it another go on our next trip. 

Texas State Capital building:

What kind of trip would it be without a visit to the Texas State Capital building? If I could describe the building 'd say the building is regal, old and with lots of wooden detail. It was fun being able to walk around and pretending like we were in a "House of Cards" episode. If you aren't really into old things then at least you can use the restroom and get out of the heat for an hour. This is me enjoying the beautiful green lawn...





Well that’s my very short list of things we enjoyed during our trip. Hope you are able to share at least one of them on your next trip to the good ol’ city of Austin. What are your favorite things to do in Austin?

Until next time,


Jennifer

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