Austin, TX!

Happy Thursday! And welcome to a travel post! This is a short & sweet one, as we were in Austin for only about 24 hours. BUT we did our best to make the most of it 🙂

So, as many of you know, DJ is checking out different schools/campuses for grad school (MBA). We decided to give UT Austin an in-person visit since he’d never been, but it’s one of the schools he is considering. On Saturday November 3rd I spent the day packing, tying up loose ends around the house, trying to get as much school work done as possible, cleaning, etc.

Around 4:45 am on November 4th I woke up to run, then around 6:30 am we grabbed an Uber to the airport!

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The only thing that made standing through security and the long lines bearable was the promise of Peet’s at the end. *Big deep sigh of bliss* Nothing like Peet’s and reading about reformed Medicare at 7:30 am.

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I studied majority of the plane trip, so I hardly even remember it. I do know the turbulence was awful, and I don’t do well at all with that. But we still arrived, safe and sound 🙂 The Uber driver was very informative and we learned a ton about Austin on our way just to the hotel. Gosh, everyone is soo dern friendly in TX!

We stayed at The Hampton Inn that was closest to right off campus. It was super convenient, cheap, and easily the nicest Hampton Inn we have ever stayed.

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Highly recommend if you are ever in Austin. Those hotels downtown can be pricy- this one was a real bang for the buck!

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And in light of keeping Austin weird they had an intentionally spray painted wall & a photo booth, lol.

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This was on the inside of the elevator… Austin and I will get along just fine!

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We were greeted by a cute little Armadillo & a coffee maker first step into the room, so we were happy as a couple clams! <3

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After dropping our stuff off at the hotel, we walked across the street to UT Austin to check out the grounds!

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It is a stunning campus!

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After walking around for a while, we realized we were quite hungry (‘magine that!). We went back to the hotel, grabbed some water at their cute little water stand in the lobby, and then changed out of our frumpy travel clothes.

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If you know me, you know before big trips I can spend an absurd amount of time researching restaurants. I came to the conclusion that The Salty Sow was a must!

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It was such a warm little space!

img_1523Luckily we came in time for the tail end of Happy Hour, so we tried a few apps at only $5. *In voice of Dorothy: We aren’t in California anymore*.

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First, we had to try the “duck fat” fries. Not even sure what that means, but goodness gracious, they were crispy, delicious perfection. And how fun that they were served with a fry-d egg!

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Next, we had to try the Brussel Sprouts. These were hands down, the BEST Brussel sprouts we have ever had. DJ isn’t even a huge fan of brussels usually, but he kept saying over and over he couldn’t believe how tasty they were.

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For main entrees, DJ ordered the slow cooked beef shoulder with yukon gold mashed potatoes, glazed root vegetables, and a fried egg. It was served in a literal pan.

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DJ loved it.

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For my main, I had the chef’s veggie antipasto platter. It didn’t give a large description of everything that would be on it, but I’ve never met a veggie I haven’t  liked. The platter was massive! I thought “there is no way I can finish all that!”.. but whaddya know, everything was so delicious I couldn’t leave a scrap.

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We were pretty tired and somewhat disoriented from traveling/time change/daylight savings, so we just went back to the hotel to get a nice night slumber & watch Haunting of Hill House. In the morning of November 5th, DJ met with a student from the school of business while I cranked out a six-miler on the treadmill while reading for school. After…. brekky time! At home I usually have breakfast before working out, but when traveling I usually like to work out first thing and work up a massive appetite before chowing down. It makes all the food taste sooo guuuuud.

Look how pretty this buffet area is!!! I just love a good hotel breakfasts.

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The coffee was soo yummy too.

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I grabbed a chocolate scone, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, a hard boiled egg, and studied for my research course while fueling up for the day.

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While waiting for DJ to return, I watched some lectures in the hotel room and then somehow dozed back to sleep.

When he came back it was around 11:30/12 and we still had some time before our flight. We decided spur of the moment to squeeze in a few more eats before heading back. First stop: Tumble 22! I actually had a Austin food blogger (AustinEater) reach out with the suggestion.

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They claimed it was the best chicken sandwich ever, and DJ confirmed.

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Right next door was a fun little spot called Ranch 616 that had pescatarian- friendly eats for ya girl, so we decided to swing in.

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The atmosphere was wonderful- nice &  relaxing, buzzing with character!

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First, we had to try their Southern Kitchen Living award winning “best oysters in the South” oysters! I am not a big fan of fried food because often I feel like all you taste is the “fried” flavor and nothing else (plus sometimes thereafter tummy troubles)… but these were jam packed with spectacular flavor. And the aioli they served with it was just the best, creamiest compliment. DJ swore he wasn’t hungry after having that massive sandwich, but after having one bite of these he had his share 😉

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I also tried their shrimp tacos which were Mmmmmm mmmmm mmmmm! My mouth also waters just thinking about the jalapeño onion rings. I may never be able to enjoy standard onion rings the same way again.

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Time to head back to the hotel. Luckily, where we stayed we were able to walk to everything except the airport while we were there. This saved on getting a rental car and also allowed us to see more of the city on foot.

I loved this mural we spotted on the way back!

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The rest of the day was a full travel day with a layover in Denver. It all went pretty smoothly. I just studied the entire time and actually knocked out a decent amount of school work for the week!

Questions for you:

  • Have you been to Austin? If so, do you have any favorite restaurants/ things to do?
  • If you could visit a city for 24 hours where would it be?

xo <3

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90 thoughts on “Austin, TX!

  1. I’ve never been to Austin but it’s definitely a city I’d love to visit! It sounds like a nice and quick weekend getaway. I hope DJ’s grad school process is going well

    1. It’s amazing!!! Do you have any favorite spots to visit there? The campus was gorgeous (and massive!) Thanks for stopping in, Kalpana! 🤗

      1. There is is a little drag we discovered near campus with awesome hotodogs and beer and coffee and ice-cream parlor. OMG we even discovered the best Mexican restaurant called Licha’s Cantina. Here is a blog that I did on our trip to Austin this past Spring it has a list of restaurants and food trucks and coffee joints that the locals recommend – Hitesh has an office in Austin so they were thrilled to give him their list of cool Austin eats. https://surreyfarms.net/2018/04/16/april-in-austin/

  2. You guys did great getting a lot of food into a short amount of time! If I could only visit for 24 hours, it would be Portland as 24 hours in Powell’s Bookstore would make me a happy camper and plus they’re good about allergies there:)

    1. We definitely tried! Hahah.

      Oh girl, Portland is the perfect place to go for 24 hours! I totally agree with ya! Powell’s is amazing! Thanks for stopping by, AJ 🙂

      1. There is is a little drag we discovered near campus with awesome hotodogs and beer and coffee and ice-cream parlor. OMG we even discovered the best Mexican restaurant called Licha’s Cantina. Here is a blog that I did on our trop to Austin this past Spring it has a list of restaurants and food trucks and coffee joints that the locals recommend – Hitesh has an office in Austin so they were thrilled to give him their list of cool Austin eats. https://surreyfarms.net/2018/04/16/april-in-austin/

      2. Ahhh yay! oh my gosh, thank you for sharing your recommendations and this post! I’m so excited to check it out!

  3. I love your reference to Dorothy because The Wizard of Oz is by far one of my absolute favorite movies!

    Wow y’all found such a splendid hotel and so cool you were able to walk to everywhere you needed to be!

    Alllll of the food looks spectacular. Mmm mmm mm

    Hmm a city for 24 hours…well I am geographically challenged (bahahaha) so I can’t think of a lot of cities of the top of my head but going somewhere north would be fun since I’ve never been. I imagine NYC would be tough to fit into 24 hours though!

    1. Ah yay I’m glad you picked up on that 🙂

      Ohhh we were actually in NYC for 48 hours (Ish) and squeezed a ton in- I’d say it’s definitely doable because there is so much to do and eat every square foot of that city 😀 love it! Hope you can visit there soon 🙂 Have a great weekend, Kaci, and thanks for stopping by!

  4. I drove through Austin this past June, when they had the intense heat wave going on. I wanted to stop for a few hours but the humidity was so crazy, that I just kept driving towards Houston, since that was where I booked my hotel for the night. I do want to go back at some point.. but when the temperature is cooler. So I guess Austin would be the city I’d visit for 24 hours. 🙂

    1. I have a similar story with driving from San Antonio to Fort Worth (but we couldn’t stop for time not the heat)! I hope you get to visit back soon 🙂 it’s such a fun place! Thanks for stopping by, Jen!

  5. Nice post! I used to live in Austin. A lot of new restaurants have opened up since I have been there last. Road trip for me! 🙂 Isn’t South Congress cool?

    1. It is so fun!! I love the variety of unique things to do/see, and we barely scratched the surface!! Just loved it. I cannot wait to go back! What was your favorite spot in Austin when you lived there?! I’d love any recommendations you have! Thanks for stopping in, Carly!

      1. Yes, so many spots in Austin. Roaring Fork downtown is amazing. A little pricey but delicious. For coffee I love Epoch. Check out those spots when you get a chance, MacKenzie. 🙂

    1. Yeah, it really gave us a great sense of the university for sure 🙂 And he was able to get a lot of questions answered by speaking with a another student! We’ll probably make a decision on what we’ll be doing in January or so 🙂

  6. Oh how fun and I hope he ends up there as a great place to visit! What was in the Brussel sprouts that made it so special as I would love a good recipe. Everything is just so Texas!!! We shall see what happens, but this food looks amazing! Love you, your Ohio Mom

    1. They had pecorino and golden raisins!!! They were sooo crisp. Practically like potato chips! Mmmm mmm! The salty/sweet combo was spot on! Love you & can’t wait to chat more about everything when we see you!!!

  7. Sounds like a great trip and food hunting just in 24hrs! And you even workout haha howww?! I set my mind last night for a run this morning but nooo bed was so comfy 😂😂.
    The tacos looks yum and jalapeno onion rings? Wow that’s sounds interesting!
    Glad you both had a great time! 😊

    1. Hi, Mitch!! Ah, it was such a great time 🙂 hahha I will say that running was a bit tougher than normal this trip- but the motivation of wanting to work an appetite for ALL the things did the trick to get me moving. lol!!! Have a great weekend, chica. Thanks for stoppin in!!

      xoxo

  8. They make everything bigger in Texas and that big chicken sandwich is the poster child for Texas. For my takeaway from this post I’d like that cute armadillo and that chicken sandwich. I am easy to please! I think spending a day in Boston would suit me fine. I’d say Cape Cod but I think it is several cities together. It sounds like a quick and fun getaway and you sure managed to get a lot of studying done

    1. So trueeee!! hahah love that.

      Ohhh yes- Boston is a fantastic place to spend 24 hours!! I just love walking around, so much history!

  9. This was a great read! Austin is closely one of my favorite spots. The music festival, Austin City Limits (ACL), is the best and talk about amazing food. I live in Louisiana so it’s hard to compare food anywhere else. Neat fact, Word Engine’s main office is in Austin and the city is live with bloggers. I have full intentions of attending a seminar there soon. Your photos add so much experience to your posts. ❤

    1. Aw thank you for stopping by 🙂

      Okay I was wondering what the ACL references were when I was there! That makes SO much sense! I hope we can attend sometime.

      Oohh I understand- I went to NOLA for the first time in March, and man oh man was that food spectacular!

      That’s so exciting about World Engine!! If we end up moving there I will have to keep that in mind!! Thanks for sharing and your sweet words 🙂

  10. Guurrrl, these noms sound fab-u-lous!! The hotel does look and sound fantastic. I just love all of their personal touches.

    Matt and I had one of the best hotel breakfasts last April, and this one sounds just as good! My mouth is watering for that chocolate scone.

    Like Kaci, I love the Dorothy reference and your “fry-d egg” pun!

    We’ve been to Austin before, but it’s been 11 years ago I think, so I absolutely want to go back now that I know so much more about this unique city.

    If I had to pick a city, I think I’d choose Portland, Oregon. Alexis of Hummusapien shared her visit a few months ago, and it sounded incredible!

    1. I feel like all we did was literally eat for 24 hours straight haha, *When in Austin*!!!!

      Ahhh I still think about that scone- it was so perfect with the coffee– mmm mmm!!!

      You would LOVE it! There are sooo many amazing foodie options.

      YES!!! Portland is definitely an easy city to do in 24 hours! It’s easy to get around and soo many fun things to do – we got through our “bucket list” in about a day with just a few little leftovers for the next day to hit.

      1. That’s how I felt about our honeymoon! I uploaded our photos and looked at Matt and said, “gosh, I think we just ate our way through Asheville”. Bahahaha

        Scones are one of my favorite baked goods! They can be sweet or savory, moist but still *just* dry enough to dunk into coffee. Know what I mean?

        Oh man, I truly want to make a Portland visit a reality one day!

      2. hahha- I saw yesterday someone posted “vacation for me is eating in a different city”. I mean is that not the truest thing ever said? Lol!

        Yesssss– I know exactly what you mean with the scones. They are the best with coffee & still hold up for the dunking!

        You will love Portland whenever you make it there!!!

    1. They do! Have you been?! Any suggestions?! And heck yeah! I don’t know that I knew you lived in Texas- where-abouts if you don’t mind me asking?

  11. Ahh, Austin sounds so amazing! $5 apps?! Yes! Friendly people? Yes! Amazing hotel breakfasts? Oh ya! Love it!

    Also, you’re amazing for getting through the turbulence on the plane! I would have been freaking out, haha!

    Every time I see Peet’s coffee I think of you 🙂

    1. Heck ya! It was suchh a fun 24 hours, haha.

      Oh girl- I WAS freaking out- but watchya gonna do? I just say a whole bunch of prayers and then let out the biggest breath of relief when we land!!

      Ahhh that is the biggest compliment! My and Peety do go hand in hand 😉 Have a great weekend, Allie!

  12. as many times as I have been to Austin I never went where you were. It looks amazing!!! This mama would be thrilled If God Planted you in Austin only 3 hours away.. Giddy just thinking of it. Going to have to try all those great restaurants.

  13. I am such a huge fan of graffiti. I love that wall in the hotel! Duck fat fries mean they were fried in duck fat instead of grease or oil or whatever! YUM!!! Boyfriend and I used to be scared of brussels too until he made them the right way for us once, now we’ll have ’em anytime! 🙂 I love the pan that DJ’s entree was served in lol how fun! & that veggie platter looks packed with deliciousness, too! Wow!

    Okay now onto the next round of food LOL! The chicken sandwich is making my mouth seriously water right now. It looks so dang juicy & you got such good shots of it! & now I am dying thinking about Jalapeno onion rings… whaaat? I need those in my life NOW. 😭

    I’m so glad you made it there and back safely, babe!! ♡ I’ve never been to Austin but if I could choose one city to be in for ONLY 24 hrs, I’d choose San Francisco, for sure! 😊

    1. Ohh that makes so much sense! I figured it was something like that- how unusual- but darn good! Ahh yes with brussels they can be SO good or so bad. Definitely have to be made right!!

      DJ said it was the best chicken sandwich he has ever had! If you are in Austin ever you MUST try.

      Awwwwww I loveeee that you said SF <3 We'll take ya anytime ;)

  14. Hi Mack! Austin is always fun! I wouldn’t mind living there but it’s kind of pricy. I was planning on going to UT Austin for college! They have the best BBQ in Texas. Downtown Austin is always fun too. We stayed at the Double Tree downtown some months back.

    1. Hi, Lisa!! How are you?! That’s so good to know they have good BBQ- that will be a big draw for DJ, lol! I will keep ya posted on what we end up doing- is El Paso far? I could google map it, but way more fun to ask haha. Have a great thanksgiving 🙂

      1. Everything is always bigger in Texas. Lol. So they say… Thanksgiving was good. It was my mom’s birthday and I spent time with them. Hope yours was good too!

      2. Hahah totally!!! It rings true every time I visit!

        Aw that sounds so lovely!! Enjoy the rest of the weekend too <3 Happy birthday to your mom!!

    1. Thanks so much, Brittney!!!! Highly recommend it for a visit- such a fun place with great energy!! Have a wonderful thanksgiving, love!

  15. How exciting to be checking out new schools Mackenzie! I give you props for going on an early morning run at 4.45! That Peets looks so good , I see why it would motivate you to get through security! I like your hotel room and the armadillo! The university grounds are beautiful. The food at the salty sow is making me hungry! The fries look so tasty! The rest of the trip was a lot of food I see with some unique restaurants. I do like the hotel buffet area. I have heard good things about Austin . I would love to try Cupertino CA , hehe! If not there then Nashville. Have a nice thanksgiving, Terri xo.

    1. Hi, Terri!! Isn’t the armadillo a fun touch?! Ahhh I love that you said good ole’ Cupertino! We would gladly have ya anytime!!! 🙂 I think I am with you for Nashville! I have never been and it’s probably top city in the US on my bucket list 🙂 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!

      1. You are welcome Mackenzie! It was a great time with family. I am excited to read your new post after i catch up on the rest of yours, take care Terri xo.

  16. Ahhh a travel post! An you were in Texas! Can I say I feel so much closer to you since I was there a month ago? Lol.
    Girl I hear you! I always book he early morning flights and it is made bearable by the coffee (which the Starbucks line is always ridiculously and entertainingly long lol)
    Huge hugs. I can completely relate. I am a great flier until the turbulence starts.
    That is the most interesting Holiday Inn I have ever seen! Definitely very texan!
    What a cute campus!
    Haha girl you are a woman after my own heart! It is all about that food!
    I think I already love this restaurant if they serve their fries with egg!
    Somehow I ALWAYS travel during the time changes and it is a killer!
    That sandwich looks so yummy!
    616 looks like my type of restaurant! Oh my lord shrimp Taos?!?! Jalepeno onion rings? Gimme!!!
    I LOVE when you can walk everywhere! Charleston is like that and so was DC which it wasn’t;t 24 hours but it was 36 :p Lol. I am glad you had fun beauty and got to feed that ravel bug just a bit! <3

    1. I know!! I felt the same way when I saw you were in Fort Worth since those were my literal stomping grounds for a summer;)

      I knew you were gonna love that egg in the fries.. a fry’d egg if ya will 😉 Okay I’m done with the puns (for now). hahah.

      Thanks, Kate!!! I hope you are having the BEST weekend! xoxo

  17. I haven’t been to Austin, but I hear nothing but wonderful things about it. That campus looks gorgeous! Jalepeno onion rings sound divine. And shrimp tacos. I agree. Mmmm. Also, just by looking at that chicken sandwich, I can believe that it was super tasty. I love a walkable city. Glad you all had a safe and fun trip. 🙂

    1. Hi, Amy! Austin was wonderful! I’d say it even surpassed my expectations for the short time we were there! DJ said it was the best chicken sandwich he has ever had- and he doesn’t say stuff like that lightly!

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