Monday, September 05, 2016

Pinoy in Texas - Back in Austin

Austin - Austin mural bwMy second time to travel to Austin for work. I only had Saturday as the only free day to see Austin so I took advantage of mornings and evening during the week.

I enjoyed Austin by exploring coffee shops near where our Austin office is at. I also took a Segway tour this time.

I flew into Austin on a Sunday afternoon. After picking up the car rental, I drove from the airport directly to the Austin mural on the corner of Annie and 1st Sts. I didn't have time to see this the first time I went to Austin so I made sure I was not going to miss seeing this again.

rAustin - Austin mural

Nearby the mural is a bakeshop called Sugar Mama's. I picked up a couple of cupcakes as my snacks for the next couple of evenings.
  Austin - Sugar Mama's cupcake box 
Austin - Sugar Mama's store Austin - Sugar Mama's inside store 

The first time I traveled to Austin for work three years ago, I drove from the hotel to the office every morning. This was the reason why I missed the opportunity to sample the coffee shops dotting the city. I wasn't going to miss it this time so I did my research and scheduled my coffee trips before I drove to the office. 

My first coffee shop was Summer Moon. At 7:30am, the place was busy with coffee lovers. I ordered a small Americano and it was good. The interior has this urban chic quality in it. I love the red brick wall and the well spaced high table and chairs. I lingered for about 5 minutes before I headed to the office.
  Austin - Summer Moon coffee table 
Austin - Summer Moon coffee queue Austin - Summer Moon coffee outside store_edited-1 Austin - Summer Moon coffee inside store Austin - Summer Moon coffee crowd

My next coffee shop was Apanas Coffee and Beer. It is located near the Domain mall. The first thing I think about when I drive to a coffe shop is parking. Back in SF where I live, I walk to coffee shops. Driving is a pain because parking spaces are hard to find. The good thing about the area where Apanas is at, parking is ample and it is covered parking.  I ordered a small Americano and it was very good. The crowd looks like they live at the condos nearby. Another beautifully designed interior. Conjucive to catching up with friends or for working remotely.
Austin - Apanas Coffee inside store 
Austin - Apanas Coffee outside Austin - Apanas Coffee crowd 

I went to Bee Cave Coffee on the third day. The location is right at the Domain mall so parking was easy and ample. I ordered a small Americano. There were only three of us drinking coffee at that time. I imagine this place gets going during mall hours.
  Austin - Bee Cave coffee coffee
Austin - Bee Cave coffee outside Austin - Bee Cave coffee inside  

On the fourth day, I had originally planned to go to Houndstooth but I had an early morning meeting so I didn't have the luxury of time. I had to change my plan. Luckily, I found this place at the Arboretum mall called Blue Baker which was great because they also sell bagels. I ordered a small Americano and a smoked salmon bagel. Perfect combination.
  Austin - Blue Baker bagel
Austin - Blue Baker outside store Austin - Blue Baker inside store 

On Friday, I had more time in the morning so I went to Houndstooth Coffee. It was a little packed that morning. I was thinking to myself, everyone thought of going there on Friday morning. I ordered  a small Americano and it was very good. The interior is what I consider no frills, functional and efficient design. Service was fast and friendly. The crowd not so friendly.
Austin - Houndstooth coffee 
Austin - Houndstooth coffee crowd Austin - Houndstooth coffee barrista

In terms of food, it wasn't my plan to eat through town because of time constraints. Our office is located far from the restaurants I wanted to go to so I had to forego the plans to check out Austin restaurants.

I went back to Chuy's for this fish taco. Delicious!
  Austin - Chuys tacos 

I also went back to The Steeping Room at the Domain since I enjoyed it the last time I was in Austin. I ordered this ginger tea and assorted cookie combination.
  Austin - The Steeping Room tea cookies 

Of course, I wasn't going to leave Austin without sampling an Amy's Ice Cream. Luckily, they have a location at the airport.
  Austin - Amy's at the airport 

I also went to Jo's and got the day's special which was a hickory barbeque hamburger and fries. It was very tasty!
  Austin - Jo's Coffee hickory bbq hamburger  

 I extended my stay one day thru Saturday so that I can do a few site seeing. The first time I was in Austin, I site see by driving around the city. I saw lots of places but it didn't let me feel the city vibe. I thought taking a Segway tour and doing some self walking tour afterward will let me appreciate Austin even more. And it did!
Austin - Self walking tour Capitol building 

It was my first time getting on a Segway. I survived it even though we were only given very little time to learn and then practice driving it - on city streets. Learning how to drive a segway is a separate blog in it's own.  It was hot that day so the Segway proved to be fast and at the same time I was not inside a car. It felt more real.
Austin - Segway tour bridge 

After the Segway tour, I decided to walk the length of North Congress Ave. down to the river. Walking around the city gave me more views of Austin. It actually felt like a big Mission district in San Francisco, like walking the length of Valencia St. and that is a good thing because it made me feel at home.
Austin - Self walking tour North Congress Ave 
Austin - Self walking tour skyscrapers Austin - Self walking tour Sixth string Austin - Self walking tour mural 
Austin - Self Walking tour Driskill Hotel front Austin - Self walking tour Austin City Limits Austin - Self walking tour Austin City Limits Willie Nelson statue 
Austin - Self walking tour Angeline Eberly Austin - Segway tour power plant Austin - Austin mural 2 

 A bonus experience was hitting golf balls for the first time at Top Golf.
Austin - Top Golf my score 
Austin - Top Golf munchies Austin - Top Golf green 
Austin - Top Golf crowd Austin - Top Golf balls

I don't know when I'll be ask to fly to Austin at work. Until the next time. See you later, Austin and stay cool.


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