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More Austin Adventures

Posted on April 21, 2019 by under Travel.    

Just a few pics that we took while we were in Austin…

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Cool guitar decor in the middle of the hotel lobby.

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We found some more while strolling around town. I guess guitars are kind of their thing there. It is the live music capital of the world after all.

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After lunch at Easy Tiger, we checked out the Yeti store by our hotel.

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Then we went to tour the State Capitol.

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There are lots more photos on Flickr. Clicking on one of the above photos will take you to the album where you can scroll through the rest of them.

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This is a nice green space downtown that we always walked by to and from our hotel. It was a beautiful day and lots of people were hanging out on the lawn.

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The adjacent building has a nice foodcourt with lots of food options and also good happy hour specials.

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Foodcourt pics follow…

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It wasn’t so busy when we first arrived but, within the next thirty minutes to an hour, it started to get crazy.

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Here’s what we had.

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The next morning, I talked Brian into going to the Hotel Van Zandt near the Rainey District. My original thought was that we would have brunch at Geraldine’s, it a cute restaurant inside the hotel.

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One of the best things about Geraldine’s is they have live music even at brunch.

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We didn’t end up eating at Geraldine’s because, after looking at the menu, Brian decided that the food was too frou-frou and he wasn’t in the mood for it.

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We opted for the more casual Cafe 605 instead.

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After breakfast, we did some exploring downtown. Here’s a picture of us in front of the Driskill hotel downtown.

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This historic boutique hotel is so authentic, it even smelled old!

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This is a picture of a really cool church building that we passed on our way to the Blanton Museum of Art.

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We went to check out the Words Matter exhibit.

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They had a typewriter that you could play with.

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I thought using a typewriter would be like riding a bike so I decided to demonstrate it on video. I used to use a typewriter as a child so I figured I knew how to use it. Well, it turned out to be the most hilarious video ever because I couldn’t figure out how to make a new line. Watch below.

Now I remember why it’s a called a “Return” key — because of the carriage return. I looked for that stinkin’ key forever. LOL.

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In case you are wondering how we got around, we used these electric scooters for rent which were everywhere.

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The Jump ones are only 15 cents a minute on your Uber app.

Here’s video of Brian explaining how they work.

The electric scooters were scary to me at first because you just feel really vulnerable while on one. Plus, it’s so confusing because we saw people use them on the sidewalks and on the streets. There seemed to be no rules at all.

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Anyway, after Brian convinced me to try them and, upon realizing that the scooters are so much faster than walking, the scooters turned out to be our preferred mode of transportation in Austin and we may or may not have gotten carried away (as you can tell from all the scooter chargers on our credit card).

You can hear more about our Austin scooters experience in the above Facebook live video that we shot while we were at Cafe 605 inside the Hotel Van Zandt in Austin.

That’s all for now. GNG!

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Easy Tiger

Posted on April 17, 2019 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

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Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden is one of the places that came highly recommended when we were in Austin and therefore we had to check it out.

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We originally planned to eat brunch there but the restaurant didn’t open until 11 o’clock. Brian and I decided to just have coffee and a chocolate croissant while we waited another 30 minutes to eat lunch.

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I took some pics of the upstairs bake shop while Brian enjoyed his coffee.

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Obligatory selfie while we were waiting… LOL.

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I took some pics outside too.

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I guess Austin is a popular destination for bachelor weekend for those looking for something different than the whole Las Vegas getaway because we ran into another group of guys on a bachelor trip. We made friends with two of them.

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I challenged one of the guys (dude in white shirt) to a ping pong game because the ping pong table was just begging to be played with and we were all killing time until the restaurant opened. This next pic isn’t that great because you can’t see my opponent. Leave it to Brian to take an awful pic. LOL.

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Brian was looking unhappy at first. I think he was cranky because he expected to be able to eat brunch and we had to wait when we got there.

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He was much happier after he got his beer.

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Some pics of our food.

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So, Brian and I really liked Easy Tiger. We liked it so much we both got souvenir shirts. We definitely recommend you go find this place on Sixth Street next time you’re in the Austin area. GNG.

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Beardbrand and Bats

Posted on April 15, 2019 by under Things to Do, Travel.    

After Moonshine Grill, we walked over to Maggie Mae’s which calls itself the most iconic bar on Sixth Street. We were there with the OUUG conference group just the previous night but Brian had never been and I wanted him to be able to experience it. Plus, I found out about the Beardbrand customer appreciation party so I thought it would be a good way to get free drinks. I couldn’t believe I managed to talk four others into crashing the party with me. As always, Brian (who is a bit of a stick in the mud) was a very reluctant participant.

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Lois and Michelle at the Beardbrand party at Maggie Mae’s.

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They had these little mustache combs in a bowl for everyone to take so I took a few for my bearded friends in Wichita.

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We could have stayed and drank for free all night but we had to be at the bridge by sunset to watch the bats, which Brian had never seen before, so we only had time for a drink. As we were leaving, they were rounding everyone up for a group photo. I really wanted to be in it but party pooper Brian wouldn’t let me. I guess he was still feeling really awkward about crashing the party. LOL.

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We arrived at the bridge just as people were gathering both on land and in the water. They were in paddle boards, kayaks, paddle boats, and tour boats of all shapes and sizes — pretty much anything that floats.

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I suppose the water is the perfect vantage point for viewing the bats as they emerge from their roost under the Congress Avenue bridge.

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Our group decided to stay and watch from the bridge. It worked for me because Jackie and I watched them from the grassy area under the bridge the night before. She wanted to see the bats so I went with her and we both left the OUUG party at Maggie Mae’s early.

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This is the spot where Jackie and I watched the bats.

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It’s a very popular bat observation spot. However, as you can see, people watch the bats from the bridge and also from the river.

Here’s a short video the bats emerging from their roost. They are very small and difficult to see. I was actually quite surprised. I thought they’d be much larger.

Here’s a video of us viewing the bats from the bridge, which I think is actually much better because it’s easier to see the bats. However, I think watching them from a boat on the water would probably be best because you’d be even closer.

The bats start flying out of the bridge at sunset. The whole event takes several minutes and continues until dark. When Jackie and I left that first night, there were still many bats emerging but it had gotten quite dark and we could barely see them at that point and so we decided it was time to leave and head back to our hotel.

It’s really interesting to watch the bats. I can see why it’s a tourist attraction. The main thing to remember is not to touch the bats if you see them on the ground as the sign below says. I didn’t encounter any grounded bats on either night. That’s a good thing. I would have felt very bad for them.

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Anyway, Brian and I decided to call it a night after the bats. He didn’t get in until almost three o’clock that morning due to flight delays. He was supposed to arrive shortly after ten and at the hotel by eleven o’clock. Luck was not on his side that night. He had a rough trip. We both turned in early to allow Brian to catch up on much-needed sleep. That’s all for now. GNG.

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Early Supper at Moonshine

Posted on April 14, 2019 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

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Brian and I had dinner at Moonshine Grill in Austin. We went for an early supper and to take advantage of some happy hour deals. This place came highly recommended and did not disappoint.

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Here are some pictures of the cute restaurant interior.

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Lois (left) and Michelle (right) and Michelle’s husband Brad (not pictured) joined us for dinner. Cheers!

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I can’t remember what they had but I’m pretty sure I took a picture of this section of the menu so I would remember. It didn’t work.

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Moonshine has the best flavored popcorn to go with drinks.

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Here’s a pic of the menu. Pics of food follow.

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Brian and I got full from the apps we ordered so we decided to just split a sandwich which they were nice enough to cut in half for us.

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Everything was so good and the prices were great during happy hour. I highly recommend Moonshine Grill if you’re ever in downtown Austin.

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Wine Tasting at Texas Reds and Whites

Posted on April 14, 2019 by under Things to Do, Travel.    

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I thought I would be able to catch the blog up over vacay but the wifi at the resort was super sketchy. They also limited our connection to two devices so, after connecting Brian’s phone and my phone, we couldn’t connect anymore devices. Sorry, grandma!

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While toodling around in downtown Austin, Brian and I happened upon Texas Reds and Whites Tasting Room by the convention center.

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Here are some pictures we took of the tasting room.

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It was pretty quiet in there all afternoon. We met these two guys who were on a bachelor weekend with their friends. They were killing time before everyone was to meet up for their room escape activity. Before they left, the Asian guy on the left performed a cool card trick for us.

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It’s funny how we are always making friends no matter where we are.

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They had an extensive selection of wines you could drink by the glass. They had $10, $12, $15, and $18 a glass options.

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These are all wines made by local Texas wineries.

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There was a good but considerably smaller selection of wines available for the tasting. The cost is $20 and you could try three wines or five wines. Both options allow you to choose from the same list of wines. The key difference is that you get more wine in each glass if you only pick three of them to try.

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We tried the following wines:

    Reds listed dry to sweet

  • Lost Draw Tempranillo
  • Messina Hof Malbec
  • Thirsty Mule Sweet Red Merlot
  • Whites listed dry to sweet

  • Lost Draw Picpoul Blanc
  • Los Pinos Blanc du Bois

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We hung out for a bit and even took a selfie with the lady who was helping us.

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Oh, I also saw this sign they had which I thought was sound advice I had also had a glass of sangria (see pic of my sangria below). LOL.

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Anyway, we were killing some time while waiting for the brewery next door to open so Brian could sample some beers as well. I would normally create a separate post but the brewery was neither serving food nor their own beer. They weren’t quite officially open yet. They’re targeting a May opening. So, in the meantime, they were only serving beer from other breweries which was kind of disappointing.

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They also had some wine, cider, cold brew coffee, and a selection of other beverages. Nothing really appealed to me so I didn’t have any.

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Since were already there, Brian enjoyed some beer.

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I forget what he had but he seemed to like it.

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Here’s a picture I took of the inside of the brewery. Eventually they will be fully open and serving food in addition to their own craft brews.

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