01 November 2008

Austin City Limits

The last Saturday in October we rolled into Austin after several hours on the road. We walked down to the hotel bar for a drink and got some dirty looks and subpar service. Probably because I was in my OU t-shirt. Oklahoma and Texas are BIG rivals! Texas had just played Oklahoma State earlier in the evening so we didn't stick around the hotel bar for long. We walked around 6th Street and saw way too much orange for our tastes...burnt orange and obnoxious orange.


Sunday I attended my conference workshop until mid-afternoon. After class we headed up to the 8th floor to hang out by the pool. Reminded me of our Phoenix trip. The weather was beautiful and it was hard to believe it was October! Ended up staying in that evening after the Welcome Reception...ordered some room service and was seriously disappointed with the meatloaf.

Monday I spent most of the day at conference sessions, but managed to get out to Halcyon Coffee Bar/Lounge for a Mocha Latte and some great warm brie served with homemade apple raisin chutney and topped with walnuts.

At sunset we went to Congress Avenue bridge to see the world's largest urban bat colony. It was a little anti-climactic as the Mexican free-tailed bats emerged from under the bridge. They were almost silent as they flew into the sky over the Colorado river....I guess I was expecting screaming from the spectators as the bats screeched and covered them with guano, but they just flew quietly out in the night to feast on insects.

After that we went to the Tree House Italian Grill for dinner.

We had checked it out online as a potential romantic dinner spot and we were not disappointed! The Live Oak tree in the outside seating area is rumored to be over 700 years old. We ate inside because it was a chilly evening and we can report that the Cannelloni and Veal were great! But, sadly, the kalamari was not... we stuffed ourselves silly on bread and olive oil and salad so when our entrees arrived, we had to stuff that in and were miserable waddling around later on...but so worth it to feast on such good Italian cuisine!

Tuesday evening we were smarter about dinner and decided to go light with some wonderful pork pate, escargots and warm goat cheese on crusty French bread (of course!) at Chez Nous. Then we wandered around 6th street for a while and stopped by Speakeasy in the Warehouse District for a Coconut Mojito. The "popular Rooftop Terrace is known for the totally-worth-it climb up 59 stairs to the best view downtown Austin has to offer." We can vouch for that!

From there we decided to check out Halcyon again to see what it had to offer in the evenings. We had some Strongbow and decided it tasted better in FL. Most of the patrons were alone with their laptops lounging or popping in for an after dinner cappucino. We decided to see what else Austin had to offer and wandered a couple doors down to the Cedar Street Courtyard.

We were hoping to catch some live music and got to hear Reagan Administration play in the indoor/outdoor martini nightclub. They played some Zeppelin, Styx and Journey among others and we totally enjoyed listening to them in the courtyard. From there we decided to grab some food to take back to the hotel and stopped in at Maria, Maria (a Carlos Santana concept restaurant) for some grilled chicken quesadillas. Yum!

More later...for now, here are a few pics...

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