Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Let's do Austin

Since my husband and I spend the holidays apart, we decided to do a little impromptu trip when he got back so we could spend some time together before I went back to work and he started back at school. We had a pile of Southwest and SPG points, so we started to look at possible destinations.

We threw around a couple ideas: New Orleans, Nashville, Memphis, and Austin. We wanted to check out a new city, get some warmer weather, and just chill out and enjoy each other for a couple days. Every time we chatted on the phone, we discussed our options and danced around a decision, but in the end, I got a crazy rush of blood to my head to just decided on Austin and bought the tickets and booked the hotel within minutes. 

My husband and I both flew back to Chicago on the 28th, unpacked and re-packed, spend the evening in our apartment and headed out to the airport the following morning. I had just gotten my A-list status on Southwest on my flight out to Maine and I felt like a baller with my A boarding pass. As we were headed down the jet bridge, I heard a REALLY familiar voice. As I got on the plane, I realized that today was a day I had been waiting a long time for- my cousin was the flight attendant! 


Basically the best flight ever. We sat in the front row and chatted the whole time while enjoying bloody mary's. The time flew by and pretty soon we were touching down in the great state of Texas. We had gone back and forth about renting a car, but when we saw there was a handful of Zipcars within blocks of our hotel, we decided to just cab it to the hotel.


We arrived at W Austin and our room wasn't quite ready, so we walked over to Mulberry for some breakfast and beverages. See that mimosa? $3! Austin prices brunch beverages so low you feel stupid not to order one. I'm fairly confident the going rate for mimosas in Chicago is in the $10 range. You win, Texas.

The big guy did brioche with spinach, tomatoes, and an egg and I did salami with poached eggs. Simple, but cooked to perfection. 


We walked around a bit before getting a call our room was ready. We ended up getting a sweet upgrade to a beautiful room with a stunning view.

Since we started off with a late brunch, we ended up getting a later lunch. Barbecue was on the mind, so we did some scouting. Franklins was sold out (shocking), so we walked over to La Barbecue. There was a guy in line with a sign plastered on his back that said 'Sold Out', but after chatting with some people in line, they said it only means that food is not guaranteed. Since they had free beer and we were not starving, we decided to wait in line and see if we got any of the sought-after barbecue. My husband did some googling and a quick count of the line and determined that would get some food.


Luckily, he was right. The pulled pork, sausages, and ribs were sold out, but we got some smoked turkey and chopped brisket.


The hype is well-deserved. This barbecue was incredible. Offering free beer is also a genius idea. I'm not typically a beer fan, but I was all about it with the smoky brisket.

Since we were clearly well-fed, we headed over to Lamberts for happy hour with a friend from college instead of dinner. After a couple drinks, we ordered baked oysters and Frito pie. I thought Frito Pie would be like white trash nachos, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was exceptionally salty, but tasty after a couple drinks.



Apparently this is also a normal thing in Austin because I saw Frito pie on several menus. Who knew?

Day one conclusion? Austin is delicious. Eating and drinking was the clear theme of the vacation.

Who's been? 

Southwest fan? 

8 comments:

Alyssa said...

I've been dying to go to Austin–I hear the food is out of this world (plus, I'm a huge BBQ fan)!

My Life As a Plate *** said...

I have always wanted to travel to Austin, and it looks totally delicious.

dailye said...

What a great little trip! I've never been to Austin and an impromptu trip south sounds really really perfect right now!

Christina said...

Ohhh dying to go to Austin. It seems so right for me. LOVE Southwest. Too funny you're cousin was on board. THat's just perfect.

Kelly Janowski said...

I love Austin! So many good places to eat.

Renae Farr said...

I've lived in Austin my entire life. You have to check out the food trailers located on south first, south lamar and manchaca, or guadalupe. Really interesting food choices, and super yummy. You also need to experience downtown Austin. You will probably enjoy east 6th street or west 5th street!!

Katie @ Live Half Full said...

I've never been to Austin- it's on my list! That and New Orleans! (my husband's been, but I never have) I also want to go back to Savannah, Portland and Boston within the next few years!

Maggie said...

The only time I've been to Austin was when I visited my best friend (now sis-in-law) during my spring break when she was a student at Texas State in San Marcos. I flew into Austin, we spent the afternoon there site-seeing and had lunch, and then spent the rest of the week in San Marcos and seeing San Antonio, Laredo and Nuevo Lardeo (Mexico). So I feel like there is sooooooo much more to Austin that I have not appreciated.


Also I am a huge fan of flying Southwest.

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