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 Amercano 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 working.
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 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. 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, 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.

~rl



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