Sunday, January 27, 2013


Hello all!   A couple of weeks ago some friends and I were able to run off to Austin for a long weekend. I've never been and haven't been to Texas for a while so this was very exciting!  We all know Texas is like its own country : ) I have to enter the disclaimer here that we were there for a bachelorette party (yay +Julie Maa )! so of course, like in Vegas, what happens at a bachelorette stays at a bachelorette.  However, we ate some great food, saw some interesting bars, and I did have time before and after the bachelorette so we can always discuss a little of that!

First, we start with my flight from Cali to Austin.  Because my plans change very quickly, I'm apparently not capable of planning properly and booked a ticket from SAN (San Diego) to AUS as I thought I was going o be in SD that week.  Of COURSE, I was not, and then had to pay a $150 change fee and a fare change to fly out of LA.  Tip of the day: if you have a variable travel plan and have at least gold status with an airline, you are able to change the TIME of your trip within the 24 hour check in period with no change fee, especially with United.  This trick did not work this time as I had to change the time AND the location and changing locations throws off every airlines load analysis.

The other point is that I was arriving very late Thursday night (as in 11:45 pm) while we had booked the vacation home for Friday and Monday... so I had the choices of either booking a hotel for Thursday to sleep in for like, 5 hours... OR.... I could try to sneak into the house a bit early.  I know that is probably wrong. But if no one was using it...So I rented a car and decided that if I couldn't get into the house, I would sleep in the car for the night! Yes, I am a bum and a nomad.  I won't get into the details but I got into the house no problem and was able to spend the rest of the night finishing a work charter and project plan which took me until 8 am the following morning.

The next morning I am doing some conference calls and things from the house, and Pam is the first one in around 2:30ish.  I picked her up, we did some grocery shopping for the group (where I found a THREE LITER bottle of Diet Coke! They really do make them bigger in Texas!) and then went to this really lovely sushi restaurant called Uchiko and had great sushi  flown in from that famous fish market in Japan, which I have now forgotten the name.  We got there at 5:30 and it was already a 1 1/2 hour wait! So we went to sit at the bar (which still took us nearly an hour anyway) and ordered our wine and food there. Unfortunately, my phone pooped out on me while we were there so I have no pictures of the food or the restaurant.  We had some lovely grilled shishito peppers, nigiri made out of ox tongue (really good!) and this really interesting corn polenta ice cream that Pam loves, but I'm only so-so on corn things. Still lots of fun though!

By the time we got back more ladies had arrived and we went out for second dinner! ;) and then some dancing. Jocelyn and I lost the rest of them, were walking around, and while I was texting and walking, I managed to TOTALLY wipe out on the middle of Dirty 6th and skinned my knee, ruining my lovely new snakeskin tights in the process.  This is the before picture of my awesome tights, and someone took a picture of my bloody knee later, but I won't gross you out.

Austin is really easy to get around. In the bar area there are pedi cabs that will bike you around. I personally think these are bullshit because we were on one and then the bike chain fell off like three times, and then we had to get off and walk up a hill. Then we were tipping them like $5-10! What is the point!?! I've been in tuk tuks in Southeast Asia that work better than this. The only advantage to them is that they can get around traffic. NOT impressed. Though I guess I'm the one who wiped out and hurt my knee, so I should shut up.

 We had rented a house near the downtown area... really cute house, and had lots of fun games and cupcakes and things : )

The bbq is very good here. I had the opportunity to try several types of bbq, and also ate an enormous chicken fried steak.  There is also a really lively food truck scene happening, I saw food trucks everywhere and lots of types of food! So yes we ate a lot and I don't regret any of it! Ha!

  We had a great time and it was really fun catching up with everyone.  Most people left Monday morning, but my flight back to LA didn't leave till 7:30 at night.  Also, due to getting up late and misunderstanding the check out time, we basically left the house with a hastily packed suitcase, and unwashed hair and unbrushed teeth. Not fun. I was pretty cranky.  So after dropping everyone off at the airport around 1 pm, I had a good 6 hours to kill and needed to figure out what to do.

First - I looked at spas. A tip for the traveling nomad - if you are stuck for a while and need to shower 1) if you have a gym membership like 24 Hour Fitness that is good at any location - this is a lifesaver.  If you have a gym with towel service, even better.  Unfortunately I did not have my membership at the time (I canceled my 24 Hour before I left for Spain) I resorted to calling around spas in the Austin area until I found out that the Four Seasons has a spa day pass for $30.

This is another travel tip but I was having trouble with my credit card.  I've been all over the world with my trusty Capital One card, all I do is go online and tell them I'll be in whatever country and no problems at all. And I travel quite a bit domestically.  Then I get to Texas and Capital One shuts off my card THREE TIMES. SO PISSED OFF.  It's like, oh, it's totally acceptable Christina would be in freaking Honduras, but OMG she's in Texas! Freeze the card!! Ugh.  So yes, if you are going to travel somewhere out of the ordinary, just to be sure, call your credit card company and let them know so they don't freak out.

Back to the spa.  I wanted to shower, and brush my teeth. And sit in a nice steam room and nurse my injured knee.   But... I was really hungry and there is a famous bbq place about 45 minutes out of the city......
So off I went to the Salt Lick, where I had this enormous amount of food by myself (this is why I regret having to try EVERYTHING when I see things), and I met a really hot waiter named Matt with an adorable accent, who sat down and chatted with me while I was eating and gave me some free dessert.  Apparently I don't look as much of a bum even with no makeup, uncombed hair and sitting by myself.   Win! 

Matt showed me around a bit and particularly how they do all this bbq smoking stuff, which is still a mystery to me but the food was really good!  I told him I had a few hours to kill before my flight and he said that while I wasn't going to find much to in Austin at that time, he recommended I drive over 10 minutes to Driftwood and go wine tasting.  Yes people! Wine in Texas! This dude was like reading my mind!  So off I went to try some wine, where I chatted with some really nice locals, bought a bottle of wine and took a picture of the BIGGEST cat I have ever seen:

I had a great time in Austin and would love to go there for a weekend again.  Very laid back city, friendly people, and the food is good.  Go visit! : D


  1. Love all the hats! Looking good ladies :)
    Christina... someone is eventually going to make a movie out of your blog! really enjoying reading your adventures!

  2. You sleep in a rental car if you couldn’t get into the house? Your idea was funny but clever at the same time. Well, if you’re in different places, you should just learn how to adapt, right? :) If I had no choice, I think I would go for that idea as well. It's cool to find myself sleeping in a car for a night. And it would definitely stir things up for me at least. Hehe!