Road Trip: Austin, Texas

image by treasurethouhast, embellished by indigo 26
We  took a road trip last weekend to get away.  Austin is a standout in this Lone Star State.  It is a city full of artists and entrepreneurs and we knew we wanted to experience that scene.  With a motto of Keep Austin Weird, you are bound to find interesting people, places, and things.  We stayed at a unique hotel called the Inn at Pearl Street just down the road from the University of Texas.  It was quaint and felt a like staying at Aunt Gertrude's house.  I don't have an aunt Gertrude, but if I did her house would look like this.
Inn at Pearl Street website
Our weekend started off with a great hike at the Barton Creek Greenbelt.  One thing I love about Austin is the amount of greenspace.  The Barton Creek trail system is a city treasure.  Once you get on the trail the city around you disappears and all that's left are gigantic live oak trees, wild salvia in bloom, natural springs, miniature waterfalls and someone's zen rocks at a resting place.  It's magical.
Another Austin favorite is the SoCo area, or South Congress Avenue.  Packed with local eateries, street vendors and one of a kind stores it is the best place to see all of Austin's culture at once.  We did not stay at the San Jose this time because it was booked but I snapped a few shots as we walked by.

They have parking lots all over the city designated for mobile food vendors. 
We purchased some awesome repurposed jewelry from Gretchen.  She was set up on the street and I couldn't help but stop.  I am so excited about her work but I'm saving it for another post.  I bought something similar to the necklace below. 

Gretchen Kaylor Grimm at Black and Bluebird Studios
We moseyed into Allen's boots: A must see if you are a fist time visitor to Texas.  The store is lined with shelves full of cowboy boots.  There are so many pairs it's hard to choose, but you can't leave without one.  If you stop in, ask for Clayton.  He is the nicest, cutest (sorry ladies, he is married) salesperson, and is full of knowledge.  He helped me try on several pairs and I walked out the proud new owner of a pair of Old Gringo's. 
Allens Boots website
Next we headed over to Uncommon Objects.  The sign says antiques but don't let it fool you.  These are not your grandmother's antiques.  They have the quirkiest stuff and I did find one of two McCoy jardiniere's here for a steal. 
If you need a latte break, Jo's is the place to stop.  This local coffee house has a great outdoor seating spot perfect for people watching.
We finished off the day with dinner at Sandra Bullock's restaurant Bess Bistro.  No, we are not related, but how fun would that be!  After sampling one of the many cocktail options we sat down to a nice dinner. 

image by Ed U.
Road trips define a sense of adventure for me.  Getting out to see parts of the country and experiencing new things is what makes my life so enjoyable.  There is always something new that I learn and I come home fresh and inspired.  They don't even have to be elaborate trips.  Although Austin is "in my backyard" there is still so much to see and it was great getting away for a bit.  When is your next road trip planned?

images by indigo 26 unless otherwise noted
photo tape from Pugley Pixel