Saturday, June 22, 2013

Austin Adventure

What a Saturday! I don't think I have crammed this much activity into one day in a very long time. Amira and I are both exhausted, but we both agree that it has been a great day. Let's start from when she got into Austin last night. She knocked on the Clubhouse door around 8:00pm, and we sat around talking for a bit before heading over to Town Lake for a late evening walk. We were met with a beautiful view, as well as a very strange parade of some sort (keep Austin weird, right?), before coming back to my house and deciding where we would go for breakfast in the morning. We are both big-time breakfast lovers, so we knew it had to be somewhere good.

Kerbey Lane is an Austin original, and it is essential for out-of-towners to try at least once. Amira had never been before, so we knew that was where we had to go. We woke up around 7:15am this morning, got ready fairly quickly, and drove over to the original Kerbey Lane Cafe, located on Kerbey Lane. After much deliberation, I opted for the agave granola, and Amira went for the Denver Omelet, which included mushrooms, green bell peppers, green onion, ham, and cheese, with a side of fruit and whole wheat toast. Both of our meals were absolutely delicious, and both of our plates were wiped clean by the end of the meal.

After a quick stop back at the Clubhouse to pick up our rollerblades, we drove down south to the Veloway, a bike and rollerblade only trail. Amira is my fellow rollerblading friend, and we both believe that it is a severely underestimated workout. Anyway, the Veloway is a 3.1-mile loop, and we completed two of them. We agreed that it is the perfect blading trail, with only a few inclines that caused us a few very minor issues.

We were nice and sweaty by the end of our 6.2-mile blade, which meant we were more than ready for the next activity of the day: SUPing, or Stand Up Paddleboarding. We came at the absolute perfect time because we beat the mid-afternoon crowd, and we spent a beautiful morning on Lady Bird Lake. Unfortunately, I didn't take my phone or camera out with me (for obvious reasons), so there are no pictures of this part of our adventure.

We then headed back to my house to freshen up, and to decide where to go for lunch. I briefly mentioned Galaxy Cafe, and after looking at the menu, Amira was sold. Galaxy is one of my favorite Austin restaurants, probably because it reminds me so much of my Houston favorite - Hungry's. Everything at Galaxy Cafe is so fresh and delicious, that it's hard to find a bad item on the menu. I ordered a house salad with grilled chicken and a side of fruit, and Amira decided on the grilled chicken sandwich, which is another one of my absolute favorite items. Our meals left us very satisfied, and ready to tackle an afternoon of adventure.

Their table numbers are always the most creative 

Since we were so close, we first went to Castle Hill, a somewhat hidden spot in downtown Austin that is home to constantly changing graffiti art. We managed to find the secret gate to the top of the hill, and we were awarded with some spectacular views of Austin on a beautiful summer afternoon.

Amira is a big-time music lover, and unlike me, actually knows most of the bands that come to ACL each year. Though she has never been able to make it down for ACL, she wanted to see the park in which it takes place. We drove over to Zilker Park and were again awarded with a beautiful view of the Austin skyline, as well as a seeing many people hammocking, playing soccer, and even playing in a mini beach volleyball tournament.

Next up on our list was South Congress. Last time Amira came to Austin, I was really excited to take her into Big Top Candy Shop, this old-timey candy shop with lots of sweets to choose from. Unfortunately, the line was pretty long, but we had fun walking around the store, pointing out differences between old candy and current candy. We continued walking around South Congress, and we wandered into a store in which I found an antique typewriter that I seriously considered purchasing. I called my parents to see what their thoughts on that particular purchase was, and as usual, they managed to talk some sense into me, telling me that if I still want one in a few years, there are plenty of ways to go about finding one.

Remember to Smile :) 

It was about 3:00pm at this time, and we were more than ready for a refreshing afternoon snack. We are both frozen yogurt lovers, but last night Amira mentioned something about ice cream, and I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to visit Lick - a vegan-friendly ice cream shop. Now, I am no vegan, but my being lactose intolerant limits my ice cream intake. Lick was the perfect place to go, because it offers regular ice cream, as well as vegan flavors. I decided on a cup with one scoop of spicy coconut and peanut, and one scoop of coconut, peanut butter, and chocolate swirl. It was light and delicious, and I will most definitely be returning. Amira went for a flavor called Texas Au Lait, which she described as being coffee and caramel flavored, and that is right up her alley. We were both raving about our ice cream for far too long after we had finished it.

We then parked my car at SRD and spent some time walking up and down the Drag. We made a pit-stop in Tyler's, American Apparel, and I finally managed to snap this iconic picture.

Right now, we are relaxing (and cooling off) from our very long, but very fun, day, before we go to Whole Foods for dinner and watch the sunset at Pennybacker Bridge. I am so thankful for a day off of work, and a wonderful day spent with a wonderful friend in a wonderful city (that's a lot of wonderful, huh?). We still have a few things left to cross off of our list, and I will be sure to report on them tomorrow. Have a great rest of your Saturday - I know we will!

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