What I discovered is a neat town that has lots of history, loves good music and loves to eat and drink. A bonus trip was a visit to pretty San Antonio.
I only saw a few tourist sites in the city during the week. Those that require visiting hours were already closed by the time I leave the office in the evening. I had to stay over the weekend so I can see two or three sites.
This is a bird's eye view of Austin. From the airplane, the landscape is flat lands as far as the eye can see. It may look flat from above but there are areas dotted with hills especially the ones near the lakes.
This view is from South Congress Ave. The Colorado River cuts through Austin and divides the city in half. North Congress Ave is north of the river. South of the river is South Congress Ave. Notice how the Texas Capitol Building is center of the skyline.
This view is from North Congress Avenue looking south toward the river. I've been told that Austin is experiencing an economic boom which then resulted to a building boom. I saw lots of modern looking condos in the city.
This is the Texas Capitol Building. It is a huge and majestic looking building that is the focal point of Austin, the capital of Texas. It is reddish in color and you can see the Capitol building from almost anywhere in the city. It was about to rain when I took this photo. Unfortunately, I didn't make it on time for the last free guided tour of the day the first time I went there so I had to come back another day.
Mijo arrived in Austin on a Thursday night so he can also see Austin. We both joined the free guided tour of the Texas Capitol Building during the weekend site seeing. The dome of the Texas Capitol building is huge. In fact, that's my first impression of Texas. Huge. This picture was taken from the Rotunda.
Two late 19th century paintings hang on the walls of the Texas Capitol Building's South Foyer. One of them is The Surrender of Santa Anna by William Henry Huddle (1847-1892). I didn't know the significance of this painting in Texas history until I read and saw references to this painting again later that week during my trip to historic The Alamo in San Antonio.
This elegant hotel is a gem in Austin. It is called the Driskill Hotel. It was originally built in 1886 and still continues to be a landmark on 6th Street in the heart of Austin.
This is Driskill's Hotel's columned lobby, shiny marble floors and elegant stained glass dome.
Inside the hotel is The Driskill bar. I've read about this bar in travel guide books. The bar is as oppulent and elegant as the hotel. Even though I was wearing shorts, I did not hesitate to go in. I had to try the Batini, I thought to myself.
Here's the Batini. It is supposedly the official cocktail of Austin and it was originally concocted at The Driskill. It is made of Tito's Handmade vodka, hibiscus and ginger simple syrup, and agave sweet and sour.
We also visited the LBJ Library and Museum near the University of Texas.
Here's a dinner I had at the Steeping Room at The Domain. The Domain, 15 minutes from downtown Austin, is a posh mall which is near the hotel I stayed at during my official business days. I had to move to a so-so hotel in downtown when my official company trip was considered over. :)
One of the highlights of my trip to Austin was a visit to Paul Qui's restaurant called Qui. I felt completely at home. Plus Chef Qui came by and said hi. What a nice guy!
Mijo and I were told that the wait was going to be an hour. We sat by the bar and ordered these very tasty mojito.
Twenty minutes later, we got a table. This was a freebie.
For appetizer, we ordered sardines. Of course, they were tasty and had crunch skin.
Next, we ordered this modern Kinilaw, which is a Filipino ceviche.
Next to our list was this Duck Tapa which is the duck version of the Filipino beef tapa.
We ordered this Bulalo which is a reduced version of the Filipino bulalo. It was the tasties food I've ever eaten. The sauce is just bursting with flavors!
For dessert, we decided to get this cheese ice cream sandwich which reminded me of cheese ice creams in Manila. This one was topped with shreded cheddar cheese.
And of course, halo halo. It was delicious and modern looking. Can I call it designer halo-halo?
On Monday, my team mates took me to Chuy's for a taste of the real Texas.
I was walking around South Congress when I took a photo of this boot store. Might as well.
Before Mijo joined me in Austin for the weekend, I was eating alone after work. I went to Jasper's also at The Domain. They truly know how to cook a delicious medium steak in Texas. I only ate half of this serving.
This is one of the spicy margarita's I've had while in town. I was under the impression that spicy margarita is all the rage now in Austin. This one is by Gloria's Latin Cuisine which is also at The Domain.
This coffee and blended coffee were taken at Halcyon coffee bar lounge.
We sampled this delicious Mac n Cheese at 1886 Cafe and Bakery.
I even tried breakfast at Magnolia Cafe for a good Texan style breakfast. The portions are huge but good.
This is Amy's Raisin Crunch ice cream.
A bonus in this trip is a visit to the historic The Alamo in San Antonio. San Antonio is about an hour and a half drive from Austin.
This is where I learned that Texas was its own country before it joined the Union.
My visit to The Alamo gave me an understanding why Texas is the way it is.
I also learned that the Texans actually lost the war at The Alamo. However, they won at the battle of Santa Anna.
We also visited the picturesque San Antonio River Walk. I had heard before about how pretty it is but I think it is even prettier in person.
This is the amphitheatre near The Villita.
Here is another view of San Antonio River Walk.
We stopped for lunch at Cafe Ole in San Antonio before heading back to Austin. Here's another one of Texas' spicy margarita.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised on how I liked and enjoyed Austin and San Antonio. I am glad I went to see the city during my business trip.