How-To: Spend a Weekend in Austin

April is almost over! Can you believe that?  I know I still keep thinking it’s only April 6th or something similar.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited that the semester is almost over (only 2-1/2 more weeks! Ah!) but this month has absolutely flown by!  Fortunately, with the term coming to a close, both Zach and I have a bit more free time to go on mini vacations.  So this past Saturday and Sunday had us in Austin and man, oh  man, did we have a great time.

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First things first when you get to Austin: breakfast tacos!  Our first stop was The Vegan Nom.  Their breakfast tacos are some of my favorite.  This time around I had some tacos and Zach had some chips and “queso.”

After we enjoyed our satisfying lunch, we went to go do some activities.  Our next stop was  Austin Books and Comics.

Now this place has everything: piles upon piles of comics and graphic novels, a giant Hulk statue, and toys.  Be prepared to spend a decent portion of time in here, if you decide to come.  I’m 99% sure that this shop has a black hole inside of it that makes it incredibly hard to get out.  I know both Zach and I want just about everything in here!  After looking at comics and him-hawing about whether or not we should “buy these issues or just get the volume” and only barely coming to an answer, it was time to make our purchases and move on.

Enter: Sweet Ritual!  This little ice cream parlor is completely vegan and it’s completely wonderful.  When we went, they had about 12-16 different flavors in the case and also had a separate freezer that had pre-made ice cream sandwiches.  During the summer/warmer months, I try to go here every time I come to Austin.  This time around I got a sugar cone with chocolate ice cream and rainbow sprinkles and Zach got a scoop of chocolate chai in a cup.

Hell yeah, it was delicious!  I had quite the sugar-rush once we left and I was happy about that.

After getting ice cream, we went to go check in to our hotel and rest for just a few minutes before getting back out again.  Once we felt a bit re-energized, we left to go do some shopping.

On our little shopping excursion, we went to Waterloo Records, Lush, and Whole Earth Provision Co.  Each stop was filled with things and I wanted all of them!  Unfortunately, my wallet was telling me “no,” so we only got a few things: Mother’s Day gifts, The Mountain Goats new album, and a face mask from Lush.

Following our shopping trip, we decided it was time to get ready for the main reason we had driven to Austin: John Mulaney at the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this festival, it is a comedy festival held every year in Austin, Texas.  This year included comedians such as Patton Oswald, Wanda Sykes, and Judah Freidlander.  If you’d like to read an article about John Mulaney’s performance this weekend, the Austin Chronicle has a nice and short little bit here.  Once the show was over, we were exhausted (the show didn’t start until 9:30).  We drove straight back to the hotel and got some shut-eye.

Early the next morning, we arose to the expectation of going out to get a damn fine cup of coffee.  (Twin Peaks, anyone?)  After yelping and google-reviewing our way through several places, we decided to go to The BuzzMill (which happens to be oven 24/7).  I got a fantastic soy latte and some doughnuts from Red Rabbit Bakery, while Zach got a cup of black coffee.

After we finished off our coffee, we were headed for Graffiti Park, alternatively known as Hope Outdoor Gallery.

We had a lot of fun looking at all of the different work and taking lots of pictures.  If you do want to go, I would suggest going early in the morning on a weekend or during the day in the work week.  It can get pretty darn crowded and therefore, difficult to find a parking spot.

Once we got done there we headed over to the Zilker Botanical Garden.  Neither of us had been there before, so it was something new for both of us!  While we were there it seemed as if it was going to start raining, but it only ended up sprinkling for a short amount of time with some thunder rumbling in the distance.  It was such a beautiful space and it’s something you can do for cheap, too!

Once we finished there, we got some lunch at Wheatsville (their popcorn tofu po’ boy is AH-MAZE-ING) and made a quick stop at Rabbit Food Grocery, which is an all-vegan grocery store.  They just recently opened up their store-front (they used to be a pop-up shop) and they have all sorts of vegan-friendly products.  From “coffee monster” socks to pancake mix, they have you covered!

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After picking up a few things, it was time for us to head back to College Station, but we left knowing we had one of the best weekends!  If you go hang out it Austin anytime soon, you’ll definitely have to hit up some of the places I’ve mentioned above.  They’re fantastic, I tell ya!  Also, if you want to see more pictures from this past weekend, you can check them out on my Flickr.

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