Austin Amusement – Amy’s Birthday Weekend!

With the ACL music festival happening our first two weekends, we avoided the madness of Zilker Park.  Now that it was over we were free to venture out to that beautiful part of the city and fortunately, we had a tour guide!

Wally, who stayed with us in Palisade along with his Doberman, Lilac knows every inch of Austin and its beautiful outdoors activities; the man actually cleared his own trails in the area for more peaceful hiking.  Who better to go with…our first hike in Austin was fantastic!

1- Walley Hike

2 - Walley Hike

On the way out to meet Wally we noticed that we passed Chuy’s – legendary Tex-Mex.  So on the way home it was a foregone conclusion that we’d have to stop there to replenish some calories after the hike.

3 - Chuy's

4 - Chuy's

5 - Chuy's

Place is classic.

The hike was a nice warm up for the busy and active weekend we had teed up for Amy’s birthday.

On Saturday we rented a canoe from Rowing Dock and enjoyed a nice few hours on the Colorado River or what locals call Lady Bird or Town Lake.

6 - Lake

It was awesome to be outdoors and seeing so many other people enjoying such a beautiful day.

7 - Lake

There were some pretty official houses on the edge of the cliff overlooking the river; what do these people do to afford that??

8 - Lake

After about three hours on the canoe we both worked up quite an appetite and headed to Chi’lantro to get their famed Kimchi fries along with some pretty awesome tasting tacos and wings.

9 - Chi'Lantro

Chi’lantro we will be back!

On the eve of Amy’s birthday we were home playing backgammon and gearing up to get to bed early so we would feel good for our planned hike the next day.  Waking up the next morning and getting ready for this hike felt great.  We both thanked our past selves for making the right call and not getting banged up the night before Amy’s big day.  Hello 32…

While there are not nearly as many options as Colorado for some solid hiking, Austin has an impressive amount of choices for a big city.  We chose a relatively challenging hike – RiverPlace Nature Trail – which was about 6 miles of constant incline and decline.

10 - Hike

11 - Hike

We were both grateful to have gotten back out into the nature.

After a few hours resting up we got ready for our dinner reservations at Uchiko.

12 - Bday

Girl is looking good at 32!

We heard great things about Uchiko; it is a spinoff of Uchi where we ate a few years ago so we knew it would be good.  The restaurant being completely packed on a Sunday night confirmed our optimism before we had a single bite.

13 - Bday

Be ready to drop some doe if you hit this place up.  That said, you get what you pay for; the food was delicious!

We had one more obligation to fulfill in this jam packed few days and that was Monday Night Football – Eagles v Giants baby.  Since we don’t have cable at our rental, there was no option except heading back to Mr. Tramps.

If you didn’t read the last post, this place is an awesome Philadelphia Eagles bar.  So awesome in fact, it gives you an option to order a cheesesteak in two different ways: Geno’s or Pat’s.  Only problem is they don’t know how to spell Geno’s!

14 - Mr Tramps

Amazing week, incredible town and killer eats.  Oh yeh, the Eagles won!

Austin – We have arrived!

Well  we’ve arrived in Austin and just like that we’ve started the next chapter of our amazing adventure.  Fittingly, it started with a bang!

Jordan was arriving to Austin late Thursday evening  (day after we arrived) so while waiting to pick him up we headed to the Flamingo Cantina to watch our old buddy Micah play some music.

1-Micah Playing

The next day Sean (who was randomly in Austin for a conference) arrived and when Sean’s in town it’s ALWAYS interesting.

We all had a hankerin’ for some legit Austin BBQ and Lamberts came highly recommended.  Needless to say we munched out hard!




After leaving Lamberts with very full bellies we strolled to 6th Street (Dirty 6 as the locals call it) to find some live music and ended up enjoying some Texas Country (I think I just made up that genre) at the Dizzy Rooster.



Sean wasn’t the only random to be in Austin on our first weekend. Frank and Joe happened to be in town so we left Dirty 6 and hit Rainey Street to meet those two hooligans at Bangers.  This place is a huge German style pub with an awesome outdoor section and fantastic beer.  At some point we NEED to hit it up for brunch too -the food looked awesome!


We rolled around to a few bars on Rainey and then headed back to Dirty 6 to meet Jeska and Jordan.  The night gets hazy from here and pictures are scarce, but I know we had a great time.

The next morning we nursed ourselves back to health with some of the best Cuban food I’ve ever eaten from the Cuban Sandwich Café – and yes, I’ve eaten Cuban in Miami!  This place is a hole in the wall that leads to heaven.

Jordan and Jeska, before heading to ACL, took us to “Jack’s Tower”, basically this guy’s house that has a sick view of Austin.



We hung out there and then got dropped off at South Congress where we enjoyed live music and bomb ass taco’s from Guero’s Taco Bar.


That night we hit tons of places, met up with Jordan, Jeska, Frank, Joe and ended the night at 5am.

Few! That was a wild weekend.

With some alone time, Amy and I decided to explore the Mueller District where we’d be posted up for the next 4 months.  What better place to start than Torchey’s Taco’s which is a good place to grab a drink and grub within walking distance of our house.


On our second weekend we hung out with Micah and his girl Jessa back at the Flamingo Cantina and watched Micah jam out with another Reggae band.


And while there were so many fun memories packed into the first two weekends a shining highlight was Mister Tramps.  Amy decided to catch up on some sleep and I rolled out to this self proclaimed Eagles bar in Austin and it did not disappoint.

There was an entire back room with three huge projector screens that was filled with wild Philadelphia fans and we watched the Eagles destroy the Saints.  This was great for everyone except for the lone (and brave) Saints fan that watched the game with us.  He was appropriately shamed.

14-Mr Tramps

Austin – YOU ARE COOL!

Santa Fe, NM

Packing up our gear on Sunday morning and saying goodbye to the amazing people we met on the Western Slope was really sad.  It started to kick in that this was “it”.  “It” not being the last time in Palisade and definitely not the end of the friendships we made, but “it” being the end of one of the most incredible, amazing, fantastic (you get the point) chapters in our lives.

BUT on to the next one!

To break up the ride to Austin we decided to stop half way through, and oh look, Santa Fe happens to be right about half way.  Driving from UT to NM was especially awesome with the Lunar Eclipse unfolding in the mountains north of Santa Fe.


No we’re not staying at Motel 6!  We booked a sweet little Casita a few miles outside of Santa Fe, NM.


This place was awesome and Chica was able to expand her horizons.


As for Santa Fe, we are so glad we made the stop.  Great food, beautiful town and culture with the abundance of art.

The first night we took a quick walk around the Plaza area and saw some beautiful, old (1600’s) buildings while waiting for our 8:30 reservations at Cafe Pasquals, but never actually got there!


(Cathedral Basilica of St Francis)

We should have known that starting on cocktails at the Secreto Lounge (worth it!) hours before our reservation  would likely alter our dinner plans – and this isn’t hindsight being 20/20, just common sense.


Still thinking we were going to make it to Pasqual’s we stopped at the Coyote Cafe Rooftop Cantina for a drink and some chips & salsa to hold us over – and then came a waiter, Justin.  This guy was born for sales and quite frankly we were hungry.  He ensured we were served well, and out of nowhere appeared lightly fried cheese and bacon stuffed  Jalapeno shooters.  Umm, not hungry anymore!


On our second day the cell service was not great at the Casita, so we cut out of work early to explore Santa Fe.  What the hell, right?  We only live once.

We started our excursion by grabbing lunch at The Shed and we knew it would be a good day.  If it’s not obvious, this place is MONEY!

With full bellies we took a walk to Canyon Road to explore the art galleries Santa Fe has to offer.



We learned that Alexei Butirskiy is the freaking man and that we need to make WAY more money to afford ill art.

The combination of the early wake up call from the roosters and the heavy Spanish food made us sleepy and we rolled into Cafe Greco for some coffee, and to our delight, live music.


We still had time to kill and appetites to gain before our dinner reservation at 7 – we were not missing this one! – so why not stop for a beer at the Draft Station overlooking the Plaza?



Beers were excellent.

And for the finale – tapas at El Meson.


Go there!

Thanks for a great time Santa Fe!

Lake Powell, Utah

Packing up to leave Palisade just didn’t feel right and would have been super depressing if it wasn’t for our awesome friends inviting us to Lake Powell for our last weekend out west.  Knowing we were heading for a kickass time softened the blow – at least temporarily.

Leaving - Vehicle

Even the moon came up to bid us farewell.

Leaving - Mountain

Ok, this was like a kick in the nuts.

Leaving CO

The drive from Palisade to Powell was about 4 hours and every second was spectacular – Utah, you are beautiful!

Bullfrog Marina is where we posted up.



This trip actually worked out well since it shortened the drive to Santa Fe, where we would be staying to break up the ride to Austin, by a few hours.  Even if it didn’t though we would have went.  It was our good friend Ashley’s birthday and an impromptu goodbye party for us and another friend of theirs that was moving as well.  Not that this crew needed a reason to party.



Yes, the hula-hoops were put to use after a few drinks by the fire at night.


Normally we would have left Chica at the dogvacay spot, but had to bring her along since we were driving right from UT to NM.  Bringing her on the boat was a no go, so  Chica and I took a driving excursion along Burr Trail that brought us all the way through Capitol Reef National Park out to Escalante National Reserve



In hindsight I bit off more than I could chew having driven over 120 miles round trip with 40 being some pretty hard core 4 wheeling.  And yes, I got lost and had a freak-out moment.  But I’m alive, got to see some real dope scenery and definitely have improved my off-road driving skills.



As you can see, the views made getting lost in the desert a little more bearable.

While I was out tearing up the desert, Amy was touring and surfing Lake Powell.





Fortunately, Amber and Jeremy wanted another round of surfing before sunset and I got to head out on the water with them later in the day.  Many many thanks to you guys!

Now I know the Palisade/Junction crew aren’t all the biggest social media fans, but if y’all ever come across this, know that we will FOREVER appreciate the wide-open-arms welcome we received from you and all the good times.