You probably won’t be surprised to learn that my first visit to Texas involved an Aerosmith concert. It was several years back (2005) and just involved a quick visit to San Antonio, but I liked what I saw and made a mental note to get back there with Baby Bug. So fast forward to 2017, while trying to find something to do for the May long weekend, I found some super priced flights to Dallas. We were working with a small travel window but there’s nothing I love more than to start the planning and so it began…
My planning process may be a bit unique. I normally start with the flights, then I make and prioritize a list of the things that I want to see/do, and then I research the accommodations and car rental (if needed). If all goes well, next comes that magic moment when everything just sort of falls into place. And this is just what happened with our last minute trip to the “lone star state.”
Ideally, I would highly recommend at least a week in Texas – this state is HUGE (and has lots to do!), but with Baby Bug going into exam preps and a limited “cheap flight” schedule – we crammed in all that we could in just three short days (and managed to make it to everything on my list and still have some “down time.”)
After a good night’s sleep at the airport hotel, (we arrived in Dallas late the night before), and picking up the car at the car rental centre – we were off …
No visit to Texas would be complete without some authentic bbq. After doing quite a bit of research, the name Rudy’s kept coming up. It got great reviews and had several locations. So about 2 hours into the drive, we were so happy to see one right along the highway. And the reviews were right – from the moment we walked in the front door and were met with that mouthwatering bbq scent, the long (but quick moving) line of locals, and the funky, fun atmosphere – were we hooked!Wasn’t sure what to think about a chain restaurant/gas station with a drive thru – but we loved it!good prices, great food and long lines (that moved quickly)
we really wanted one of everything but settled on ribs, pulled pork, and yes those potatoes are bathed in butter, we also got a pecan pie and rice krispie square for later
Next stop – Austin
We had always heard what a great city Austin was so we felt like it was the perfect time to check it out for ourselves. Our GPS (Annie) brought us right into the heart of the city’s bustling live music scene – Sixth Street. We quickly realized why Austin is also known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” One shop, bar, restaurant, tattoo parlour after another and we could see what everyone was talking about. Reminded us a little of Nashville.
Austin also happens to be the state capital of Texas. It’s capital building is gorgeous and tours are offered daily.Historic and beautiful St.Mary’s Cathedral is right in the heart of the downtown, right around the corner from the state capital building.
This beautiful, historic hotel is called The Driskill Hotel and was built in 1886
Once we were finished exploring the downtown area, we moved on to the South Congress neighbourhood (also known as SoCo). What a vibe! This area is made up of very unique shops, restaurants and food trucks. It’s kind of artsy and hip and bustling with people. All the delicious smells, the sounds of live music and lots of twinkling lights – Not to be missed!Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds is a costume/accessory store that fits right in with the “SoCo vibe” and being big Beatles fans – how could you not love the name? Another one of Austin’s mottos is “Keep Austin Weird” which refers to the uniqueness and individuality of it’s businesses, rather than “chains” and “big box” stores and we wouldn’t have it any other way – The Lucky Bugs think that everyone should embrace their “weirdness!”
One thing we really did regret, was not trying a “voodoo doughnut” We ran out of time and this place had crazy, long lines (as you can see by the picture below) – but how cute are these little edible voodoo monsters being poked by a pretzel stick *This might not be a family friendly snack stop (some of the selections are geared for a “mature audience” lol 😉
Well, we jammed a lot into Day 1, but wait till you see what we fit into “Day 2“!!! Keep reading the next post to find out what we did in San Antonio, and how and why we almost ended up tossing our “travel companion” to the side of the road.