Skip to main content


Our latest weekend jaunt was to Austin, TX. And welp, we think everyone should visit this city. With a City slogan of "Keep Austin Weird," it must be rather radical. Our friend Missy just moved there a couple months ago and was dying for friends to come on down.... flights were cheap, so we booked.

Brooke arrived around lunch time on Friday. She and Missy headed to the W spa for mani/ pedi/ mimosas. After being primped, they spent several hours by the awesome rooftop pool. I was set to arrive around 6, but due to delays in Dallas, I arrive around 7pm. I knew Austin was going to be an easy city to fall in love with with I saw the baggage claim area. The luggage belts are lined with oversizes colorful pieces of art... Guitars of course. I always knew Austin was known for live music, however I was unaware it was the "Live Music Capital of the World"!

As I stood curbside outside Austin - Bergstrom trying to forget about my hangover and get excited about what the weekend holds, I waited for Brooke and Missy to come scoop me. Minutes after I walked out into the smoldering heat they arrived: thundering through the pickup lane with Adele's "Rolling in Deep" blasting (rather perfect song choice, in fact it became the theme song for the weekend) !!! The hangover melted away and joy instantly fills my body.

The weekend included the following:

Malverde: Great little spot. Very dim lighting (amazing square lights hanging from the ceiling that were actually flower pots). 

Dirty Bill: The dive bar of dive bars. One of our favorite bars we went in for a drink.

KungFu Bar: Where we HAD to have a pickle juice vodka shot, as Missy told us it was an Austin Staple... we later found out it has nothing to do with Austin and it came from NY. 

Taverna: We popped in here for lunch on Saturday, to our surprise with any entrée you got $1.00 Mimosas!! Great brunch selections and amazing pizza. /

Barton Springs: After a full belly and slight buzz from Taverna we cruise on over to Barton Springs. Mister Cheek a well traveled dear friend to us both, suggested to beat the heat, we should check out the cool (literally and figuratively) Natural Springs. We also try to include at least one educational activity with each trip. Missy had not yet been either, so all of us were a little unsure on what to expect. Apparently everyone in Austin had the same idea. After parking and walking to the entrance we found about 100 other people waiting to get in to cool off as well! With an admission price of only $3.00 for as long as you would like to stay, no wonder there was a line. We spent several hours here basking in the sun, swimming in chilly water, jumping off the diving board (ok, only Missy did that part) and of course people watching. We were watching a set group of people in particular, that we just happened to run into later that night... and we had mutual friends. Small world. Run ins like this only confirm for us that traveling is the best way to make new friends.

Barton Springs
Second:  What a little gem of Austin. This place was so wonderful. We had a cocktail then several different glasses of vino. Our waiter was on point and very knowledgeable. He even introduced us to our now new obsession, keg wine (way to go green!)

enjoying some wine on tap at Second
Our amazing host, Missy, picked up some tickets for Matt & Kim for Saturday night. After all  we couldn't come to the live music capital of the world and not see an awesome live show! We had a blast at this great outdoor venue right in the heart of downtown Austin. We had big plans to attend the gospel brunch at Stubbs on Sunday morning, but ended up checking out Gueros for some amazing Mexican, instead.


Lovin' Stubbs and Matt & Kim

Both nights of bar hopping in Austin brought us to Missy's favorite part of town, Rainey Street. This area only recently became a hub for awesome bars and restaurants, and is a few blocks away from the hustle and bustle of 6th Street. All of these bars have amazing outdoor spaces and a laid back vibe that is a nice contrast to some of the more busy/ touristy parts of downtown.
enjoying one of the awesome bars on Rainey Street

Lastly, a few tips for other Austin-goers. Take advantage of the many rickshaws you see around town. It's a fast way to get from bar to bar and during the summers in Austin, it's nice to feel that rickshaw breeze in your face as you check out the different parts of town.
Tip for tourists: take advantage of the rickshaws around town. Note: they are all tips only!

Turf and Surf: best late night burger EVER. Really.
Finally, if you're out til the bars close, you may need a late night bite. Food trucks provide lots of options, but our favorite was Turf and Surf. We were craving their burger all weekend after sampling the fare on Friday night...

 We can't wait to get back to Austin and explore more of this great city!

-Emily Ballard


Popular posts from this blog

Wild Wild West

Last September I had the pleasure, a rare pleasure, to stay at Bar TT Ranch outside Dillon, Montana. Before arriving at the ranch, we made stops in Jackson and Yellowstone! Ten of us stayed on the ranch, women from all walks of life in Raleigh. However, since it was my birthday, 4 of us flew out a few days early to explore Jackson and Yellowstone! I could not have asked for a better way to turn 35. Sally , Alice and Sharon are all living & working in Raleigh to create, build and give back to our community. All three of them have inspired me to not only be better but to do better! We flew into Jackson with the Grand Tetons greeting us with their jagged points. We popped in Liberty Burger for beers and burgers before walking the town to shop. I purchased an ornament and the best sunscreen, Trilipiderm . It's fresh smelling, not sticking and very light! To get a better view of the range, we went to Teton Village for a gondola ride. Gondola rides to the top were official


We might as well tell you some cool stuff about where we live (well, I live here, and its basically Brooke's second home). Little background of Raleigh, NC: 1771- Wake Co was created 1788- Raleigh was named the State Capital .... previously it was New Bern, NC (my home town). The Capitol was moved to Raleigh to centralize it. 1792- Raleigh was officially "established" The City's location ( g'ment stuff) was chosen because of a local tavern called Issac Hunters. Members of the commission were fond of a little pub called Isaac Hunter’s Tavern (located in the vicinity of where Old Wake Forest Road is today), and tasked with resolving this controversial issue, the commissioners gathered at Isaac Hunter's in March of 1792 to work. Ten days later after enjoying the hospitality of the tavern and the nearby home of State Senator Joel Lane, they reported back to the legislature their decision that the new capital should definitely be with


Richmond hasn't ever really been on my mind as a place to visit, but this past weekend I met two of my best girls there and we had the best time!  We stayed at the Quirk hotel and it was colorful, spunky, chill vibes and good customer service. We loved the high ceilings throughout, all the artwork in the rooms and murals in the elevator. There was grand lobby, with the most adorable courtyard with string lights and vines of jasmine with lots of potted flowers... it smelled devine!  Quick also has an onsite art gallery + pretty snazzy gift shop. There faux floral designs throughout the lobby were like works of art!  Brie's cousin and his husband live in RVA, so we have our own private tour guides! Friday afternoon we wandered around VA Museum of Fine Art and saw work from Beauford Delaney, Julie Mehretu, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Sari, Dienes, Dorothy Gillespie, Roy Lichtenstein, Henrique Oliveira, Dale Chihuly and so many others!  Much to our delight,