05.10.2013 by Andrea
I love girls trips! The anticipation and trepidation of what’s to come along with the aftermath all compile to make a wonderful experience. It’s wedding season again and so I am gearing up for some fun pre-parties, read destination bachelorettes, this year. My gang of gals and I who like to vacation together annually paired together our ladies trip with a bachelorette for the future Mrs. L. Lady K hails from middle America, and I’ll be honest I lobbied I hard to go to Austin rather than Las Wages, I mean Vegas. Vegas is always fun, but you can only go for 3 days, Austin on the other hand, three days is just a dabble in the pond of fun. It certainly made sense to make a large scale trip out of it and and so we did!
Giddyup! Hello Austin, see ya later beautiful weather in Seattle! The Washingtonian gals were in complete cahoots with one another, had a group pinterest board going, and barely slept a wink before we took off. The agenda was deep, and we never stopped moving. If you can imagine a pack of 10 clucking hens traveling together then you have a pretty good idea of what this gabfest looked like. The weather was surprisingly overcast and we experienced a small flash flood, or major rainstorm if you are a local but that didn’t derail this fun train.
From takeoff to touchdown our goal was to experience all that Austin has to offer. We immediately settled into our hotel, and then whisked the bride to be away to an outdoor Band of Horses concert. The venue, Stubbs BBQ, couldn’t have been a more winning frontrunner as a first night in A-town. Brisket sandwiches, jalapeno pulled pork sandwiches, local Texas beer. C’mon, can it get any better than that? It only made sense then post concert to sashay our way from Stubbs to Dirty 6th. Every town has THAT street that all tourists must descend upon to check off on their must-see list. As per normal, 6th didn’t disappoint. We played a giant game of Jenga, you’ll never guess who still has a mangled toe from the epic felling of the Jenga pieces, [I won’t show you pictures], and then much like our trip to Walla Walla last year we found the diviest bar in all of 6th and proceeded to make it our go-to spot to shut the night down for the next 4 nights.
Dirty, I mean Dizzy Rooster, you are all that and a bag o’ chips.
From late night room service to an aggressive aggregation of estrogen, we all rolled out of bed and managed to get in a detoxifying workout Thursday morning, yeah us! Of course it was because of the tantalizing eating that we knew was to come for the next 4 days. If there was is one thing that was an anthem in my mind for the week it was how thankful I am that I am to be friends with women who like to eat. This isn’t an iceberg lettuce with a side of water kind of group, and it’s pretty apparent when half of the trip planning involves what restaurants we need to lockdown that we don’t mess around when it’s time to grub. Top o’ the morning, nothing sounds better than a 50 piece bloody mary bar, right? Sadly for us the lavish spread at Freddie’s Place only occurs on days that begin with S, so we were out of luck in that regard, but it didn’t stop us from indulging in red beers, and mimosa’s. Freddies, is generous with their portions, and we all walked out in a bit of a food coma. Perfect for a stroll. We walked to South Congress, SoCo as the locals refer to it, and mentally added a few more places that were worth checking out for eating, popped into a few boutiques, got all excited for the food trucks, and made an appearance at Jo’s Coffee and the love wall.
No stroll is complete without a beverage break, and indulge we did. This is the part of the trip where my belly starts to ache as I realize how much more eating we crammed in. After our leisurely afternoon came to an end we switched things up, headed to Mulberry for pre-dinnner appertifs and then to Swifts Attic for the main event. Delicious. Swifts was highly recommended by nearly everyone that we talked to, and the artful presentation mingling with innovative entrees made it a fantastic lady date night dish spot. I share more juicy details over at 24 Dollar Burger. Not that we don’t love sorority row aka 6th street, but it made more sense to be chill and find some other mellow places to decompress so we headed over to Rainey Street post dinner. If you have ever gotten to spend some time on NW 23rd in Portland, you will find parts of Rainey Street very much reminiscent of that vibe. Houses that have been converted into bars line the street, and it was perfect weather to people watch, and relax outside.
The fun didn’t stop with night two. In fact like a freight train we only picked up more momentum. Up and at ’em for day three and let me tell you it was a painful workout that morning. No amount of water could stop the impeding feeling of needing to run to the porcelain king. Lesson learned. We all hydrated to stay alive, and then converged upon the food trucks. If ever there was a need for something a bit greasy, and worthy of coating my stomach this was the morning. There are several pockets of food trucks along SoCo, and we chose one that seemed to serve up enough variety for the gluten free diner amongst us and the carb-mongers. Why stop at 1 truck when you can sample from 3? First course for me was gumbo, and man it was good. Prepped me for round 2, which ended up being the first of two fried pickle encounters that day. Finally some nibbling on the taco’s from the resident taco truck. Let’s be honest, in this day and age to be a taco truck you have to be really good. I mean like Contigo good, this little truck did a great job on their fish tacos and managed to get an eats and tweets taco truck stamp of approval.
We meandered down the street to Doc’s and then started the journey to Barton Springs. Google Maps can be awfully deceiving in how close something looks on a map, and the reality of true distance when you’re halfway there can be different than perception. I love walking in NYC, but this turned out to be a bit of a trek. The smart thing to do? Obviously take a pit stop, and eat some BBQ, more fried pickles and imbibe again. You might wonder how we liked Barton Springs since that was our projected stop. Wellllll, in all honesty, whether it was our listening, how we lacked an aptitude to find said pool, or the fine directions that Ollie our waiter gave us, after 45 minutes of wandering and the onset of a thunderstorm passing through we never did find this landmark. We believe it to be in Austin, and truth be told it might have been closer than we realized, but did get to walk through a lovely park, chat with others who were also on the hunt, and do a u-turn back to a cold refreshing beverage.
A quick cab ride back to the hotel, and the rest of the gals who had flown in, landed and were ready to get the party started. We noshed at Moonshine that evening a close walk to our hotel, and then parlayed back to Rainey St., and then from there … you got it, Dizzy Rooster. Something about the pulsating beats, and incredible people watching that kept beckoning us for one more round. Oh DR, you had a hold on us. Called it a night at a fairly decent hour, because on Saturday we were floating the river.
Even with the weather apps warning us that it wasn’t going to be the sunniest day in all of April, we were bound and determined to get a little field trip in.
So, after a tasty breakfast at Magnolia Cafe, we loaded into a 15 passenger van, and our driver whisked us off to the grocery store so we could load up on goodies to float. What we hadn’t expected when we got to the river was that it was going to be a fratty frat event. Oh to be 20 again getting ready to rage on the rapids. We had a blast once we commandeered past the floating platoons of young bodies, and nobody managed to get swept under while we rode the rapids. K, the bride, loves Chardonnay, so we did a quick wine tasting at a local vineyard post float. The last supper was looming so after we pampered the bride with a special in-room delivery, and honeymoon treats we then stepped outside to a mini-moonsoon. Local television reported 6 inches of rain fell in 30 minutes, it was gnarly. We covered out hair, ran out of the cab and into a safe dry haven, also known as La Condesa. Incredibly so, my stomach was hitting the full meter, and so I didn’t eat a ton that night. But everything I saw delivered in entree portions was appealing. My crab tostado was perfect bites, and I surely want to replicate the crabby guacamole for a family dinner sometime soon. The only way to offset a day of eating was to dance it off, and that we did. We got serenaded by a doo-wop group, ran into other bachelorette trains and then called it a night in the wee hours of the morning.
Hotels with their heavy curtains certainly make it easy to sleep for hours on end, and whether it was serendipitous or a godsend we will never know, but we left the curtains open that night and finally after 4 days saw the sun shining when we woke up. Nothing hurries a cowpoke up faster than the idea of a brunch and then sun time. Couldn’t have asked for a better duo. Brunch was delicious, at Second Bar and Kitchen and then since our hotel pool was shut down we scored lounge chairs at the W!
Talk about the perfect ending to a fantastic weekend. I was ready to soak up that sun for two more days with m’ladies! Back to reality didn’t really strike until we were all on the plane and at different phases of flight conked out, mouths open, maybe even snoring or drooling a bit. It’s always a good sign of a successful weekend when everyone is too tired to recap how much fun they had on the travel home. One more reason it’s great to not have to drive back, and kudos to all the gentlemen, aka husbands, fiancees, and boyfriends who gamely came down to the airport to collect this gaggle of tired chicks.
It’s frequently mentioned amongst us that if this is a taster of what the next few decades are going to be like, we can’t wait for the adventures, and stories that are waiting to be written. The countdown is on for the K & K to swap vows in picturesque Lake Chelan, let’s just hope the fellas can keep up with all of us ladies when we kickoff that wedding weekend.
Lot’s more goodies to share in the coming posts, my lil’ bro just celebrated his nuptials and BB and I did another food truck rodeo! And of course, there are always more New York nuggets to be shared.
Happy Friday, enjoy the weekend. Until the next bite, cheers.