(also, Tiago's company is doing business with a company in Austin, so we thought is was a great time for a "business trip")
Austin is actually a great city with a beautiful downtown spreading out from the Colorado River that runs through town. I don't find it weird at all though. I think the only people who think Austin is weird are other Texans, lol. For me, it almost makes the "I'd live there" list. If only it had better public transportation and, well, wasn't in Texas... ;)
After the 4 hour drive from Tyler, Texas we did a quick driving tour through the downtown area. We circled the Capital building (Austin is the capital of Texas, by the way, not Dallas or Houston, but you may have already known this) which is gorgeous, and then headed directly to the neighborhood of SoCo (South Congress... because it's runs down South Congress Avenue and is south of the Capital) which is the quirky, offbeat part of town and therefore the most interesting. ;)
We got there early enough that parking wasn't an issue, in fact we didn't even think about it being an issue until later that afternoon when there were hundreds of people cruising the sidewalks, shops, and cafes... and not an open parking space in site! It's a popular area. Full of crazy shops, stuffed to the gills with antiques, knick knacks, alternative clothing and accessories, and souvenirs. Quirky cafes and funky food trucks also fill the street.
*I keep using the word quirky, because it just perfectly describes the area. It's not so much odd-ball or weird or unusual as just... not totally normal in a cool way. :)
Anyway, we had a blast, ate some really good food on a cafe patio next to a firepit (it was quite chilly) and managed to escape without purchasing that crazy chandelier made of deer antlers. Here are a few photos of the day.
|Inside just one of the many crazy shops in SOCO.|
|The cafe where we ate lunch. Love the 50s vibe. Actually a lot of the area had a vintage feel.|
|Rows of cafes and restaurants of all sorts.|
We ate at the Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen our second day. Yummy noodle bowls & sushi!
|Jo's... not sure, lol, but quite popular.|
|Food trucks... lots and lots of crazy food trucks serving everything from thai crepes to bratwurst.|
|Downtown skyline from SOCO.|