Austin Immersion: Food, Entertainment, Outdoor Fun!

With these past few weekends we’ve started to get our local swagger going; we’ve become more familiar with our surroundings, allowing us to dive into what I like to call knowledgeable exploration.

As we learned in CO, you can feel like a deer in headlights while trying to navigate through life in a completely foreign surrounding.  Now it seems the “what do we do first anxiety” is fading and we’ve settled in to a nice exploratory routine.

Needing a fix of outdoor activity we ventured back to Austin’s amazing 350 acre Zilker Park where we hiked along the Barton Creek Greenbelt.

Zilker Hike 1

This trail is 8 miles long with really beautiful scenery on the immediate outskirts of the Austin metro area – so nice!

Zilker Hike 3

We rested up for a little bit after the hike and got ready for what turned out to be an awesome night.

First we hit up Salty Sow.  This place is UNBELIEVABLY good.  By far the best food to date in Austin and we’ve had a lot of really good food!

Salt Sow

From there we were feeling Jazz music and heard the Brass House was a good place to go; definitely an official jazz spot.  The place has the ambiance you would want for this genre of music and the cocktails were solid.

Brass House

We decided to keep it moving as the early band wrapped up and remembered that there is a weekly comedy show at the Velveeta Room that starts at 9.  We hit that place up for a laugh to end the night.


If you’re thinking “wait, end the night when the show starts at 9?” Yes, you’re right, early night.  We were home by midnight with bellies full of good food and booze and we’re not sorry about it 🙂

As the next weekend rolled in we got lucky.  The forecast was incorrect and instead of a rainy Saturday we got a beautiful day of warmth and sun.  Weather in Austin at the end of November definitely doesn’t suck.

We decided to take advantage of our good fortunes and hit up Bull Creek Green Belt.  To fuel up for our hike, we found yet another amazing hole in the wall breakfast shop, S-H Donuts.  This place had awesome reviews for its Kolaches which we fell in love with after our visit to the Czech Stop on our Dallas excursion a couple weeks back.


This place is legit!

With full bellies, and motivation to undo all the good badness we just ate, we headed to Bull Creek District Park to get on the trail.

Bull Creek 4

Pretty sweet houses over looking Bull Creek.  Gotta love the Hill Country!

Once we got past civilization this place was super nice; exactly what we needed after our workweek.

Bull Creek 1

Bull Creek 6

With all the rain Austin has been getting the water was unusually high disrupting what would normally be an easy crossing.

Bull Creek 2

A little bit of water aint stopping our day out.

Bull Creek 5

That evening we decided to follow the winning formula from last week: dinner and some sort of show.  Second Bar & Kitchen had awesome reviews and were deserving of them.  Yum!


After dinner we took a walk to Cheer Up Charlies, a super cool little venue, unfortunately the bands we stayed for sucked.  Oh well, still a great night out in Austin.

Grateful for the past couple of weeks going into Thanksgiving.  Tacoma, WA coming up for our trip for the holiday.

Austin – Dory & Jesse Visit – Eagles v Cowboys!

Jesse and Dory have arrived in Austin!  Queue a long weekend of site seeing, gluttony, and oh yeh, Eagles Football in Dallas!

For some icing on that cake, the crew arrived just in time to celebrate Chica’s second birthday and we had a party.


We all worked up an appetite after raging at Bartholomew Park and hit up the Chi’lantro food truck parked on the  University of TX campus before heading to the Spider House Café to watch Turkuaz jam out.


We had no idea who this band was, but they were incredible!  We will absolutely see them again when they come around next time.

Our plan for a Friday tour in Austin was to hit Barton Springs which is a three acre natural hot spring within Austin’s incredible Zilker Park.


Unfortunately, because of the flooding the previous weeks, the Springs were closed and we super bummed.

Not to worry though, we drowned our sorrows in food for the remainder of the day hitting up Bangers and Torchy’s Taco’s for lunch and dinner respectably.  We were so into the food we forgot to take pics!

After our dinner we rolled out to 6th street for a night on the town traversing between dives and the swanky landmark Driskill Hotel where fancy beverages – including the age old Shirley Temple – were imbibed.


Most of the time drinking too much can be a bad thing, but with this crew’s love of good food, it only served as a soaking agent for all the food we would consume.

Dory, being the connoisseur he is, came to Austin with multiple solid food requests including Juan in a Million.


This is a hole in the wall with absolutely BOMB breakfast tacos; I have a feeling we’ll be back for another taste before our time in Austin is up.

One item we needed to cover was to get the boys onto Lady Bird Lake (CO River) to check out the natural beauty along with the borderline ridiculous houses in the area.  A little walking was definitely in order after the Juan in a Million experience.


After taking it in, we headed back to the house to digest a little more before our dinner reservations.

Back to Lamberts!


This place is so good and to top it off there was live music happening right in the upstairs dining room.  Austin we love you for that!

With all of us experiencing a severe food coma after thoroughly stuffing our faces with BBQ, and a long day coming up for the Eagles game, we decided to take it easy and hit up a comedy show.

We basically rolled our way from the restaurant to The Velveeta Room to watch what turned out to be a great bit performed by Jeremy Essig.

Game Day!

Ahhh Sunday has arrived and we are ready for some football!

The drive from Austin to Dallas is about three hours with a magical spot about half way through called the Czech Stop that serves incredible Kolaches.


If you don’t know what Kolaches are, it’s basically your choice of meat with incredibly fluffy doe wrapped around and it is heaven.  We would stop back there on the way back down to Austin.

When we arrived in Arlington and parked up, my camping gear was repurposed for tailgating; needless to say, we were prepared.


The only thing better than the great weather and bangin’ bison burgers were the hoards of Eagles fans roaming the parking lots of AT&T stadium.  The fear of getting stabbed – while still ever present – was greatly diminished.


Sooo, we decided to show our hosts some authentic Philly love.

After the Eagles came up with a BIG overtime win we proceeded to shame our host stadium even more.

IMG_4776 IMG_4775 IMG_4774

At this point with a rough loss at home, you would think an honorable guest would humbly depart, but Philly fans are not honorable.  We are rabid fans, uncompromising fans and when we win, we like to celebrate!

Celebrate the Eagles fans did.

You’d think this was the Linc!

Arriving back in Austin Monday evening, the trip was winding down and we were still ecstatic that the Eagles put on such a show!  We kept it easy that evening with some BBQ at Café Mueller which didn’t disappoint.

The morning Dory and Jesse were departing, the last thing that needed to be done – of course – was eat!  We hit up Torchy’s on the way to the airport and indulged!


Great weekend, amazing friends!  Thanks for coming guys!

Austin Amusement – Halloween!

Well we are a month into Austin – that was fast!

We kept the fun rolling from the first few weeks, albeit at a slower pace, and decided to get our music in with some My Morning Jacket at the Austin Music Hall.

1-MMM Concert

The venue had a good vibe and when the band played “Wordless Chorus” the audience came alive – it was memorable for sure and we’d see them again just to relive that moment.

2-MMM Concert

The rest of the weekend was shaping up to be kind of a bust with Hurricane Patricia dumping buckets of rain on Texas.  But yeh, no, rain aint ruining our party!  It didn’t in the mountains of Colorado and it sure as shit won’t in Texas.

We hit up the Violet Crown Cinema – which was official – to watch “The Martian”.  The theater has huge comfortable seats and, even better, a stocked beer and wine bar where you can buy food and drinks to chill on while watching your flick.

3-Violet Crown

Life is good

And of course what would an Austin blog post be without a cameo from Wally.  It’s actually kind of funny how this guy finagled his way into three blog posts so far.  He’s the man though; he’s like 80 and is in better shape than most 30 year olds we know.


Wally also knows every inch of the Austin outdoors and took us to Zilker Dog Park with the pups and then Red Bud Isle Off Leash Area; a little peninsula jutting out into Lady Bird Lake (the CO River) where we randomly ended up at while canoeing two weeks prior.


The cherry on the cake: since Chica and Lilac love each other; Wally is our permanent dog sitter when needed.


Surprises, we love surprises! Alex sent Amy some Philly memorabilia.  Thanks Alex!  We miss all you people back home like crazy!

7-Philly Gear

Halloween in Austin. 

Only one word needed to describe it accurately: INSANE!


We started the night watching Philly’s own TU Owls fight the good fight against Notre Dame at Lavaca Street Bar – in full costume.


Some might argue I didn’t even dress up considering my role as Amy’s slave was cemented when we said our vows.


Since we had a hunch it would be wild on Dirty 6 we bought tickets for a show featuring DJ Thibault.  As you can see from the first Halloween picture above, we were absolutely right.  Place was a madhouse… damn,  we must be getting old.

The music at the DJ show was awesome, but not enough people and energy showed up, hence the foray out to 6th Street.  Funny thing is that once we saw the madness we scurried back to our mellow (relative) show – yup, we’re old.


After the fun we headed home and Chica seemed a bit confused.


Winding down the weekend we got some nice weather and decided to explore Austin.

13-Austin Tour

The State Capitol