After a long morning running around Austin to get a taste of its artsy side – peeking at the most famous murals & street art galleries – we were hungry little Texans (and baby Dax was so over being in his car seat).
We headed to the brick-and-mortar location of East Side King – a single food truck that grew to five different spots around the city. They serve “Asian-fusion small plates & creative tacos,” and we wolfed down our lunches in their outdoor tables out back. This place was SO Austin – think swinging hammock chairs, people who were too cool for school doing work on their Macbooks with dogs snoozing at the feet underneath the picnic table, guys in chucks and denim jackets smoking cigarettes, and strands of big lightbulbs hung haphazardly – obviously.
After we were sufficiently stuffed, we made our way to our final destination of the day: the Texas State Capitol. This prominent building is the first thing I visualize when I think of Austin, and I was excited to see it in person. I was happy to just wonder around the grounds – the weather was so nice! 80 degrees! In NOVEMBER! – but my aunt insisted we tour the inside, too, so in we went with Serenity, while Kelly let baby Dax take a little snooze outside.
I am SO happy we decided to go inside, because the details of the building were so beautiful and intricate and overwhelming (did you know it’s the largest state capital building in the country? …everything’s bigger in Texas…), and we got a real taste of Texas politics – something that felt worlds away from the artsy streets just blocks away.
Later in the week, we spent an afternoon at Radio City Coffee, where there are food trucks parked out back, a fire pit to sit around (when it gets cooler), and outdoor picnic tables for diners to dine and workers to work. We had tacos and guac and chips (oh my! lol) from Veracruz All Natural, and I have to say they were some of the best tacos I’ve ever ever ever had – if not the very best! The tortillas were made from corn and everything was super fresh and full of flavor. Austin taco food truck deliciousness stereotype – confirmed as true.
Afterward, my cousin Ray toured Kelly, Dax and I around downtown Austin again, and pointed out some other fun spots that we’d missed our first time around. We drove down the infamous 6th Street, where all the live music and fun bars reside – and I’m sure on our next trip down to Austin we’ll get the chance to check them out. Ray took us around his alma mater, St. Edward’s University, and pointed out a great view of the city from a high point on campus. Oooooh beautiful Austin.
Our primary reason for visiting Austin was to celebrate Thanksgiving and to spend some quality family time, and we definitely did LOTS of that. This trip was the perfect length of time, I think – enough time to not feel rushed, enough time to see (and taste!) the major attractions, enough time to be ready to go home by the very last day. I’m sure I’ll be back to Austin – maybe in a few months or maybe further down the road – but it was the kind of place I already felt at home in upon arrival.
What cities or places did you feel an instant connection with?