So, it's been a little while since we posted about our adventures. Our apologies. We've been extremely busy in Austin making some money for the road as well as exploring and getting into some of the local fun. First things first, Austin rules. It really is an amazing city. EXACTLY up our alley. By that I mean, there's an extensive art scene, kitchy non-corporate stores and shops, and super friendly people. It's so nice to drive down a street and see food vendors in Airstreams, coffee vendors in little side trucks, and pop-up places that haven't been touched by corporate hands. Now, I'm not saying I'm completely against corporations -- heck, we sleep in Walmart parking lots more than RV parks and we always feel safe and welcomed. But there's something to be said about Austin, and how it makes the entrepreneur in me feel like I can open a store and it can thrive just by passion alone. Take a look at some of the coolest things in Austin, Texas we've come across so far, in hopes to inspire you to plan a trip to this fantastic city.
Hope Outdoor Gallery
As we mentioned, the art scene in Austin, Texas is insane. Beautiful murals can pop up on any corner and become staples for the city. However, in order to curb just anyone tagging up the place, they opened the HOPE Outdoor Gallery where talented graffiti artists and amateurs alike can get their hands dirty and tag without abandon. This educational art project was developed to provide muralists, graffiti artists and community groups a kickass opportunity to display large scale art pieces driven by inspirational, positive and educational messaging. Now, it's become an Austin attraction. Drive by, or stop and peruse. The colors and content are worth a gander.
Bouldin Creek Cafe
Vegetarians unite! Bouldin Creek Cafe was our choice to explore our vegetarian and vegan palates and boy, are we happy we did. The ambiance alone is filled with creativity and individuality. The servers are from all different walks of life, which made us comfortable from the moment we walked in. Bouldin Creek Cafe is seemingly a staple to the community, as the main wall is filled with flyers and posters and notes from upcoming events. It's a great way to stay in the know. As far as the chow down was concerned -- we were more than impressed. Marisa ordered the Potato Leek Omelette which she says was hands down, one of the top three best omelettes ever. It was drizzled in a sour cream chive sauce that was to die for. I ordered a Thai coffee (my fave) which gave quite the kick in the pants. I also ordered a veggie Benedict that was overflowing with greens and a delicious hollandaise. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for unique food and a more artistic ambiance in Austin.
Barton Springs Pool
Hidden across from one of the biggest parks in Austin, there is a natural spring that is a hidden gem of a watering hole. Barton Springs Pool measures 3 acres in size (in other words - HUGE) and is fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 68-70 degrees. Granted, despite the temperature outside, a boiling 80+ degrees, the water was still very chilly for our liking. We're used to Miami weather, or even a bit warmer, so this was a tad bit cold for us. However, that didn't stop us from jumping in. The water is clear and refreshing and seems to pull so many different kinds of people to swim and sun.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
After a whirlwind of working Austin City Limits (post soon to come), Marisa and I decided that we needed a night out together. We wanted to relax and get away from the Austin scene, so we decided to check out Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on South Lamar. Let me preface by saying this is the COOLEST movie theater I've ever been to. First, there's a bar in the lobby. Second, all the walls are filled with awesome cult movie posters. Third, they serve food and drinks seat-side. Not just nachos and popcorn. Although we did get delicious popcorn served in a huge metal bowl. They have some creative contemporary bites, as well. Fourth, they have a no talking, texting, or being rude policy. If you are caught, you'll get a warning. Second time -- you're thrown out. So if someone ruins your movie experience, you immediately get a refund. It's places like these that truly care about the movies, NOT about just making money.
Oh and fifth, they show both new arrivals and classics alike. Like Goodfellas being shown this month with a four-course Italian dinner. HOW COOL.
Barton creek greenbelt
We had to go hiking. We needed to sweat and be outdoors and enjoy some downtime with nature. So, we found a hiking trail in Austin. Barton Creek Greenbelt is a hidden gem that we heard about via word-of-drunk-mouth from a girl at the bar. We decided to check it out and damnit, we're glad we did. What used to be a running creek and ton of waterfalls is now dried up and barren. Except for a few spots we found along the way. Apparently it's a seasonal drought and will fill back up when springtime hits. But we did manage to find one little creek that we sat next to and did a guided meditation. It was beautiful.
The one drawback to the trail is that there are snakes. For those of you who know Marisa -- she's afraid of them. When asked why, she simply responded, "I don't know what it is, besides the fact some can kill me, and their bodies just shouldn't move like that."
But me, I'm not afraid. So when I carefully approached what we later found out to be one of the most poisonous snakes out there (a Coral snake), I didn't seem to mind. Do it for the blog, I guess.***
***Just kidding, that's stupid. Coral snakes are dangerous and Marisa has since asked me to wear closed toed shoes on hikes and leave snakes alone.
Amy's Ice Creams
Since seeing the stand at ACL Fest, we knew that we had to try Amy's Ice Creams. It was a bit hard to find on Lamar, but worth the many times we turned around, because the ice cream is so unique in flavor and toppings. Just check out the photo and see for yourself. Liam, shown above, scooped us out some flavors to try and did not let us down in explanation. The Texas Dirtcake for example is heaven in a cup with chocolate cookie cheesecake ice cream. It actually sold out while we were there. Or the Cop Stop which is coffee ice cream with chunks of cake donuts. GO TO AMY'S. You won't be let down.
We're having a blast in Austin -- as you can tell. So much so that we decided to stay a few more weeks. We felt that we haven't truly experienced enough in the time here, and want to keep going. Marisa and I both said that when we love a place, we'll stay for as long as we need to, just like when one of us hates a place -- we'll go.
Stay tuned for more Austin adventures, like last night's Maze Room escape challenge we did with some friends. Oh, and of course we need to tell you about Austin City Limits Music Festival. Duh.
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Marisa & Vanessa have a whole "About Us" blurb that they are dying for you to check out.