Travel Diary: Austin Day Trip Edition

For those of you who don't know, I am originally from San Antonio, TX. Born and raised in what some dub "little Mexico." I've been in the Dallas area for 10 (TEN, omg) years this year, and while I used to frequent I-35 back in my college days, I don't get down there as often as I would like these days. 

I decided to take a trip back home for a weekend and invited my best friend Choni, also a San Antonio native, to join me. Weekend trips are always so short since you spend nearly 10 hours on the road both directions, but seeing my parents and a few old friends makes it worth it every time. 

For this particular trip, I got a few friends on board to spend a day in Austin. So we made the 50 minute drive up on Saturday with plans to spend the whole day eating and exploring what has become quite the destination these days. Austin has always been cool (I spent many weekends there growing up), but now the cool level has far exceeded the original Austin cool. 

We planned to spend the day "food touring" and exploring, so we opted to split meals and snacks in an attempt to not get too full. Once we arrived, everyone was starving, so the first priority was... well, food. We stopped on South Congress and grabbed two slices of the infamous Home Slice. My only regret: splitting a slice. 

There are so many cute shops, murals and restaurants all up and down South Congress. It's probably one of my favorite neighborhoods. We stumbled across this really cool interactive mural and each decided to leave our mark. The idea was to complete the sentence "Before I die I want to..." and some of the responses were pretty great. I mean, "meet my dad"? *tears*

After pizza, we moseyed on over to Jo's Coffee, home of the infamous "I love you so much" wall. We grabbed a large iced Turbo, their specialty, and I again immediately regretting agreeing to share. It was so damn good. Choni got a pulled pork taco, which I had a bite of, and was also hesitant to give back. And we couldn't leave without waiting in the short line for our picture. 

We walked up and down S. Congress and into a few of the gift shops. I loved almost all of them. We hung out in the area for a couple of hours before moving on to the next spot. 

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I had a couple of boutiques on my list of must-do's, but we only made it to Beehive. I've been dying to get in there ever since I saw they opened a location in Fort Worth. It's such a cute store and I had to force myself out before I purchased the entire everything. I didn't make it to Modcloth, but that is definitely on my list next time. 

Our next stop was to the magical Gelateria Gemelli. I'm pretty sure there is one on every corner in Heaven. It's the cutest little gelato shop that also serves up coffee and cocktails. I mean... talk about up my alley. 

I got an affogato with the salted caramel gelato. They basically give you a scoop and poor over a shot of espresso in a cute little coffee mug on a saucer and accompanied by the cutest little gold teaspoon. They had me at the gold teaspoon, but the affogato was literally one of the best things I've put in my mouth. 

While wandering around East 6th, we stumbled upon a bar with a sign outside telling us to come in, so we did. Ah Sing Den was the cutest little spot. We had a couple of their brunch punches which was some gin + lime concoction, and a few light bites. 

Best part? Some patrons outside brought their pet chicken. Can I tell you how much it made my life when the chicken decided to cross the road? Like, it literally walked across the street and made her owners chase her down. Stopped traffic. It was the best. 

Our last stop before the sun went down was to Hope Outdoor Gallery (the Graffiti Park). As we walked up, a friendly man gave us a can of spray paint, and we all channeled our inner graffiti artist and went to work. And by work I mean sprayed our names and other basic shit. Because who are we kidding? 

We didn't climb to the top, but it was still such a neat experience. 

Also, how pretty are my friends? Don't answer, I already know! :) 

Next time I'm in Austin, it's definitely going to be a weekend trip. There is so much to do and see and one day just wasn't enough. What are some of your favorite spots in the city? Let me know!