Tag Archives: Permanent Workation

A Few Things To Do Austin Texas

Austin from South Congress
View into Downtown Austin from South Congress

The other day, my cousin messaged me and asked if I knew of anything to do in Austin… Of course, I have some great recommendations for thinks to do in Austin. I love it there. It’s been our second home for over ten years.

 

Austin Capitol at Night
Austin Capitol at Night

Visual treasure
For sights, I really enjoy the architeure of the Texas State Capitol Building on Congress. Also, the bridge on Congress Avenue over Lady Bird Lake at dusk with the bats flying out from their roost.

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Plus there are miles of fantastic walking, running and biking trails all along the river in downtown Austin. Loads of places to wander and get in touch with nature.

Melissa's Kung Fu Grip
Melissa’s Kung Fu Grip

 

Shop til you drop!
South Congress Avenue and 6th Street West of Lamar are great neighborhoods for browsing and window shopping. There are a several uniquely Austin businesses around there where I have found some funky finds. From homegoods to clothing, the shop owners are proud of being Texans and they support their local artists and designers.

Curiosities and randomness in Austin Texas
Curiosities and Randomness

Food & Tunes
On the South Congress side of town, The Continental Bar and Guero’s Taco bar are great places to socialize and also happen to have good live music. Just check what time the band starts online… It’s almost always a good representation of local Texas music.

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On Sunday’s the brunch time band at Joe’s Coffee is also awesome. I’ve been to Austin in January when it is freezing rain and there’s nothing happening outside. Rarely though does the cold keep Texans inside when they could be out playing music.

Here’s a little video that is 15 seconds of exactly “What I love about Austin”

Another place that’s got a great band most Saturday nights is called the White Horse & it’s east of I-35 a couple blocks and near 6th Street. Look it up, my friend Dave Insley has a band called the Careless Smokers that usually plays honky tonk swing in there. They also offer dance lessons on Saturday nights. Super good times, not fancy, but as a bonus they have a pool table.

Dave Insley at White Horse Austin
Dave Insley at White Horse Austin

Another great iconic Austin place is the Driskoll Hotel on the famous 6th Street. Even if you’re not staying there, it’s beautiful to have a drink inside in the bar. I’d recommend 6th Street, but only if your college age or into a crazy shot-shot-shot-shot scene. For me, “Dirty 6th” is not really my cup of tea. Generally, I prefer the places that are off the beaten path a bit. Even Antone’s, the icon for live blues music has moved to the East side of I-35. What’s the city coming to?

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Great trendy Vietnamese food at a place called Elisabeth Street on First Street (also on the South side)… and as always the Torchy’s Taco Truck would never steer you wrong. Those guys can make tacos out of the most amazing ingrediants. The guys at Torchy’s recently opened a retro dine in taco dive that has a huge bar area and outdoor seating to boot. For those of you familiar with the bygone Austin landmark, Fran’s, you’ll note that Torcy’s Taco is on that same plot of land.

Torchy's Taco
Torchy’s Taco

Another idea is the Whole Foods headquarters store. It’s downtown Austin on the corner of 6th and Lamar. It has an ice rink on the roof. Also enough prepared food to pick up anything your tastebuds fancy for a great lunch on their patio. While you’re there, across the street is one of the only record stores left in the world called Waterloo Records and they have our 7 Million Jigawatts cd on their shelf somewhere. 🙂

Check out Cedar Street in the Warehouse district at night when my pal, Rob Wagner and his band Suede or the Jukebox Junkies are playing.  The place is “inside-outside” and has a totally fab Austin vibe.

A great outdoor concert venue to see major label artists is Stubb’s BBQ.

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I would not recommend their bbq, but I do love their sauce. The outdoor stage with the wild west style lean-to beer and bbq stands surrounding the main hill. The stage sits on the edge of some valley would have been stream if the weather ever rained in Texas.

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That’s not all!
There’s Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, swimming in Barton Springs, tubing the Colorado River, drive through the Hill Country, take in a pickers circle in Lukenbach, shop till you drop at the San Marcos Outlet Mall… There’s so much to do in Austin. All you really have to do is put your feet on the ground and bring your appetite.

View from the Lamar Walking Bridge
View from the Lamar Walking Bridge
Gorillas in Austin
Gorillas in Austin

Dining New Orleans Style

When we arrived in the French Quarter, I could smell the gumbo and the red beans and rice. My stomach started to growl and hunger pains took over all common sense. We quickly unloaded the car and set off on foot to find a bite to eat. When I’m hungry, I tend to be a bit finiky and prefer to choose a restaurant based on three things.

1. The aroma as I stand in front of the restaurant.
2. What items are covered on the menu card shown in the streetside display case.
3. If I can see inside, does it look like an apetizing environment to spend a few hours eating.

(Yes, I said a few hours… Ever since I went to Paris, I treat eating a meal alot more like an experience as the French do and alot less like the American style McDonald’s faster food is better.)

The first night because we were really in a hurry to get some chow in our bellies we walked a couple blocks around the quarter and my nose landed us in a relatively empty dining room. The folks at the Napoleon House were very friendly. They gave us a great list of live music venues and must see tips. Our drinks were stiff and the sampler of the most famous tastes of NOLA was the perfect way to get us started. We had a bit of red beans and rice, gumbo and jambalaya. All great Creole tastes that stick on your palate and your memory for days to come.

Napoleon House New Orleans
Napoleon House, French Quarter, New Orleans

Napoleon House
500 Chartres Street
French Quarter
New Orleans, LA

The second day, after nursing a hang over with a hot cafe late and order of bengnets from Cafe Du Monde, we decided to wander around the French Quarter and take in the sights. We had a great dinner recommendation from the owners of the world famous Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar. So around 5:10 we poped over to the corner of St. Philip and Chartres. There in a small inconspicuous dining room, we consumed some of the best Italian cuisine in NOLA. They have an excellent wine selection both by the glass and bottle. Our server recommended an excellend cabernet to accompany my steak… which was prepared perfectly.

Irene's Cuisine New Orleans French Quarter

Irene’s Cuisine
539 Saint Philip Street
French Quarter
New Orleans, LA

Here’s another great place to find out more about New Orleans Tourism.

A Warm Friendly Place

Last weekend, I spoke at the Beyond Social 101 Blogging Bootcamp. During the presentation, I walked a wide variety of people with varied skills through how to launch your very first blog on WordPress. As a part of the conference, they also hired Jake Tobias & I to provide the entertainment for the kick off tweet up. We really had a great time sharing our music with all the attendees.

In between the performance and the presentation, we needed a place to rest our head. Our hostess, Miss Tiffany Odutoye hooked us up with some of the other presenters at an amazing Bed and Breakfast in Granville, Ohio. Just about 30 minutes outside of Columbus, the Porch House is a lovely turn of the century home decorated in the period.

The Porch House
The Porch House

They have a lovely front porch just made for sitting and sipping when the weather allows. Our bed was warm and comfy full of soft sheets and a fluffy comfortor. Our host Bruce was amazing. I woke up to the most amazing smells coming from his kitchen. We sat down at the dining room table and grazed our way through a lovely fruit cup, quiche and roasted potatoes.

The Porch House Dining Room
The Dining Room in the Porch House

I sure wish we would have had more time there.

You can contact the Porch House at (740) 587-1995 or e-mail porchhouse@porchhouse.com.

The Porch House Bed and Breakfast
241 E. Maple St.
Granville, OH 43023 (Click for Map and Directions)
(740) 587-1995