Well hey ya’ll! Francesca Dominique Photography is reporting back from a week spent in Austin, Texas with my love and we had a BLAST!
Frank has never been west of Ohio and I had never been to Texas so this was such a treat to experience it together! We were absolutely blown away by the people, the views, and the sense of peace we both felt down South. Growing up in New York with all the hustle and bustle of the big city brings about an entirely different pace of life. We felt as if our lives pressed pause for a few days. We felt as though we had the luxury of time.
Days could be enjoyed slowly like a cold beer on a summer’s day. One sip at a time.
We found ourselves driving around outside of Austin. Aimlessly. For hours. It was beautiful.
Now, usually I’m a huge planner when it comes to trips and vacations. Truth be told, I love planning trips almost as much as I love going to them. It creates a sense of excitement and I love looking forward to all of the little things that we’re going to do!
But this time. We didn’t plan a thing.
Okay, well maybe one thing. We bought tickets to see the Austin Rodeo Playoffs and it was sooooooo worth it.
But other than that, we simply stumbled upon some amazing activities and people and just let Texas control our schedule for a few days.
Here’s what we ended up doing!
Day 1: Travel
We got to Austin around noon, checked into our adorable little Airbnb on the East Side of the city and just explored. We devoured tacos from Gabriela’s Downtown and walked along West 6th to see what the buzz was all about. From there, we treated ourselves to some rooftop margaritas to kick off our vacay! Coming from the 40º weather here in New York, this was luxurious in every way. We ended the night with dinner + drinks at a local spot on the East Side, Launderette. This was perfectly recommended by our Airbnb hosts and was a cozy, yet chic spot to end the first night.
Day 2: Lake Travis
Frank and I had heard about the beauty of Lake Travis but could never have imagined the sweeping views and simple serenity we found there. Neither Frank nor I have a boating license so we ended up kayaking at Lakeway Marina. But we definitely have plans to go back and rent a boat!! Chatting with the locals at Lakeway was so much fun and they were such sweethearts! The women we met recommended a bunch of local restaurants like Sundancer Grill and Lucy’s Fried Chicken. We ended up eating at both of these throughout the week and they did not disappoint! I literally drooled over the blackened fish tacos from Sundancer Grill along with their Lime in the Coconut cocktail. So. So. Amazing.
Watching the sunset from The Oasis was the perfect way to end our second day in Austin. It was a bit touristy but the views were beautiful and well worth it for our first time there! The Oasis is now known as the “Sunset-Capital” of Austin and in recent years, has become a small community of local restaurants and shops. The community itself reminded me of Bay Village in Long Beach Island!
We headed downtown after sunset and I did karaoke for the first time ever at The Blind Pig! Such a fun way to end our second night!
Day 3: Hiking the Greenbelt
Thanks to all of you, Frank and I learned about the Barton Creek Greenbelt after I posted on my Instagram about some recommendations for Austin. I loveeee to hike during the summertime and always end up dragging Frank along with me – ya know, just in case there are bears. He swears I’m trying to kill him but I love getting out in the fresh air. One of my favorite hikes back home in NY is the Lemon Squeeze on Mohonk Mountain!
We hiked for about 6 miles and hung out by Twin Falls in Austin. It was absolutely gorgeous. The water was so clear and we loved laying out in the sun. Even though Frank did get some sunburn (yikes!)
After our hike we were absolutely starving and headed to Lucy’s on the Lake for some fried chicken! Definitely counteracted all of the calories we just burnt off, but hey, it’s vacation!
Day 4: The RODEO!
This was by far one of my favorite days in Austin. My jaw was dropping the entire time. It’s not every day this New Yorker sees cowboys riding horses bareback! I had gone to a rodeo years ago in Wyoming but it was so fun to do it again!
At the fairgrounds where the rodeo was being held, they had tons of activities for us! We went to the petting zoo and all of the animals LOVED Frank. We played carnival games, listened to live music and Frank even tried fried alligator!
When the rodeo started, we were in awe of the tradition, the crowds, the talented cowboys and girls, and the excitement of it all! At the end of the rodeo, they also hosted a country concert! I am a HUGE country music fan. I was jumping out of my seat when Dustin Lynch performed!! It was absolutely perfect.
After the rodeo we headed to another popular district in Austin on Rainey Street! There are a bunch of fun bars down there and we ended up at The Container Bar, which is made out of a bunch of shipping containers! SO cool!
Day 5: (Sadly) Travel to New York
The last day we had breakfast in the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt at Geraldine’s restaurant. The food was BOMB. I had the best French toast ever with candied pecans and fresh fruit. YUM! After that we tried motorized scooters for the first time before we headed back to pack up our Airbnb! These little scooters are known as JUMP scooters and are powered by Uber. They only cost $.15 per minute! It was the coolest thing! We scootered back to the Airbnb, packed up, and headed home.
It was such an amazing week full of tons of food, a lot of margaritas, and so much fun. We can’t wait to head back to Austin and Lake Travis soon!