“Keep Austin Weird” I love this slogan! First off: I love anything weird. Second, I LOVE AUSTIN! This weekend was extremely fun! I got to see my friends and meet new ones. I’m so glad that Joe and I agreed to go to Austin when we made plans of visiting Texas. I’ve always wanted to go just to see what the fuss was all about, and I did not get disappointed! To be honest the flight from Houston almost convinced me to be a window person, instead of an aisle person. I’m not making any promises, we can check back on that a hundred more trips later. Austin looked very interesting from the top. I was so mesmerized by the lakes and the greenery surrounding the cityscape. It’s a perfect balance.

It was extremely hot when we went, but it’s the kind of weather that I welcomed because it’s already starting to cool down in Aspen and I’m honestly not ready for winter yet. I’m trying my best to extend my summer for as long as I could. That’s why flying into a city in 90-degree weather was very satisfying. I did complain a bunch about it, but that’s normal haha!

We went walking around absorbing the city and getting entertained by a lot of random things going on. I loved the place we went to for lunch called “Chi’ Lantro” I thought that was very exciting and new because I’ve never exactly been to a Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant before. The place was nice and cute; very modern and minimalistic, and the food was amazing!

The rest of the afternoon was spent just walking around and sight-seeing before we finally went to check-in our hotel. We went to the Austin Taco Project for dinner and that was also a great choice. I think we’ve gotten very lucky with every random choice we’ve made for places to eat.

Later that night, we decided to walk around Rainey Street to check out the party scene. I’m gonna be honest; I don’t think I’ll be able to name a single bar we went to. (We went into a couple.) I’ve got a dodgy memory, and I wasn’t exactly paying attention. I remember one of the places we ended up staying a for a while had hula hoops and an extremely comfortable swinging chair that I didn’t want to get up from.

We ended the evening in a food-truck park that had a bunch of great options varying from crepes to Indian momos. It was an amazing way to end a great night!

The next day was another adventure altogether. We drove by the lakeside trying to find this place called the Oasis but we ended up being on the other end of Lake Travis. It was a nice, serene drive. The view was so peaceful and we were driving (probably trespassing) through large estates, discovering a bunch of really huge Texas houses that it was fun to picture being an oil millionaire for a little bit until we realized that we were driving through private property and finally had to map our way out.

I didn’t know what to expect when we got to The Oasis. It almost seemed like a little town of its own. It was so cute! Every corner you turned to, there was something kind of magical! When we finally got inside, you had an amazing patio view of the lake. The place was huge! We didn’t plan on eating because we just had a heavy Korean BBQ lunch,  but a couple mojitos, good service and a fun bit of people watching made it perfect.

My favorite part about this weekend trip was going to the (kind-of-but-not-really) secret spot called the Hippie Hollow. It was my very first time on a nude beach, and it was a very fun and interesting experience. I am not in a level of comfort that allows me to take every single piece of clothing I have in my body in a public space yet, but to everyone on that beach who was able to, rock on! You guys are way too cool for my reticent self, haha!

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That night, we met up with one of my good friends Claire, from when I lived in Cebu. It was great to catch-up (with an amazing view of the city of Austin) after not seeing each other for four years! Thanks for a great view and bar, Azul!

We somehow ended up at the hula hoop place again, and probably couldn’t get enough of the crepes from the night before that we came back to the same exact spot. I can’t tell you where exactly this area is, but I think the business might’ve been called “Crepe” (ironic, I know!) and their signature, best-selling one was called “The Devastator.” HAHA! There have been so many inside jokes that came out of this meal.

The next day was our flying-out day. At this point, you’ve probably guessed what happened next. Yes, based on my luck with all my travels, of course, something ridiculous would happen to me! I got stuck in Austin for a couple hours and missed my connection home. I had to stay a night in Denver, but I got free food and a free hotel out of it! Cursed or blessed? Who knows! But, I love traveling and all the experiences that come with it, I’m excited about my next mishap!

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#findgizel in her very first time on a nude beach, a very interesting experience indeed! Thank you, Austin!

xx Gizel

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