Saturday, March 31, 2012

3 Perfect Days in Austin- a little bit Texas and a little bit Tuscany

Texas Bluebonnets
The Driskill Hotel - Texas or Tuscany?
Texas Damask
Tuscany in Texas!
Texas- menu at the Mighty Cone food truck
Very Austin!
Tuscany or Texas?
Texas Map of the US-pretty funny and true according to true Texans!
Austin Graffitti wall
Tuscany or Texas?
Tuscany or Texas?
Tuscany or Texas?
Tuscany or Texas?
Tuscany or Texas?
Tuscany or Texas?
Barbecue Pit at the Salt Lick -Definitely Texas
Austin Cuisine
Dinner at Olivia's- seared scallops with sweet potato, pea and pear risotto!

My daughter and I just spent 3 days in Austin. My friend Mariterese had told me that there were moments that you felt like you were in Tuscany, and while her husband chuckled, I just might have to agree with her. Austin is its own place- a little bit country, a little bit Texas, and a little bit of romantic countryside! We started the trip by checking into the Driskill Hotel, a historical landmark. It's elegant Texas hospitality in a glorious setting with European architecture and big Texas style. Loved the damask wallpaper in the baths with the cowboy and oil rig-kind of looks like a Texas version of the Eiffel tower! Next we spent the afternoon in the South Congress shopping district and had a blast in the independently owned shops! From vintage clothing to fancy boots and antiques, it was a delightful experience. Lunch at a food truck, the Mighty Cone was great. Then we were off to Neimans Last Call and found a store packed full of designer clothing from the Neiman Marcus stores- absolutely a must stop if you are in Austin. Next stop, The Oasis, about 20 minutes away. Enjoying a margarita and chips, we gazed upon views of Lake Travis and the rolling countryside. Back to the Driskill to freshen up, then the valet recommended the Parkside restaurant for dinner. Strolling down 6th Street, we listened to the music in the bars and arrived at the Parkside for a delightful dinner. The decor is very bistro inspired and the place was lively. The next day we met Mariterese for breakfast and then explored the historic Bremond district of historic homes built in the 1800's. Next we headed to Wimberly, a quaint little town about 25 minutes away, for shopping. A cute little town, we antiqued and shopping in unique shops, and then headed back to Driftwood for lunch at the Salt lick, a world famous barbecue place. While the inside was definitely Texas, the outside fences covered in roses and the distant vineyards reminded us of Tuscany. After lunch, we toured the Lady Bird Wildflower gardens in Austin. Texas limestone walls added the structure to the gardens. The Bluebonnets were in season and a rainy warm season had created beautiful gardens. Then it was back to the Driskill, to meet Eric, a friend of Maritereses, who had lots of insight into the Austin scene and neighborhoods. Dinner at the Roaring Fork, across the street from the Driskill, was delicious. Then it was off to a bar to celebrate Lady GaGas 26th birthday. As we walked to the bar, the air was filled with all types of music coming from restaurants and bars. Austin is a music town! The next day, we drove to the Domain, a newer shopping district in North Austin. After checking out Neiman Marcus, we explored the center and found a fabulous shop, Atelier 1105- another European touch in Austin's culture. Lunch at a fabulous Italian bistro, and then we went to meet Eric and get a tour of the Austin neighborhoods. We ended the day with dinner at Olivia's- absolutely recommend it if you are a foodie. Their presentation was extraordinary. Back to the Driskill to get a good nights sleep to catch our early flight. Laying on our beds was a beautiful yellow rose of Texas. Yes, there is a little bit of Tuscany mixed with a lot of big Texas cowboy in Austin- a fun place to be!


Katha said...

Beautiful pictures! Sounds like you had an awesome time. Loved the map.

Splenderosa said...

As a Texan I think you did a wonderful job with this post. Love the comparison with Tuscany. My 2nd love (maybe 1st) is Austin is really amazing, but so is all the rest of Texas. I recently did a post on Houston, about a month ago. We are a very diversified state. And, I love the map too.

Mariterese said...

Susan! You captured the city
Pictures are so beautiful!
So loved having you and Julie here in Austin

Jennifer Morris said...

I want to go!!! Loved meeting you at the launch party last night!

frenchbourne said...

Sounds like a wonderful packed weekend. I could see how "someone" would love to live there. Beautiful!!!