Awesome Austin: Part 3 – Things To Do

Last Austin post…so sad!  So while in Austin, while we weren’t eating, we made our way around town and made the most of my short trip!  With all the things I did and saw I feel like I was in Austin for much longer than 3 days, which is awesome, but it also makes me wish I was able to stay for much longer because everything was so amazing!  Here’s all the cool stuff we were able to cram in!

Central Park:  Right when I got to Austin, Carrie took me on a nice walk through Central Park which is about a block from where they live.  The park had a very nice walking/running trail, which Carrie runs on frequently, and also a playscape and empty grass areas where trainers run outdoor boot camps!  Awesome!  I love bootcamp classes and thinking of doing one out in a park like they do in Bridesmaids sounds awesome!!  We passed by this HUGE oak, which apparently was Austin’s Tree of the Year, 2008!  While in Central Park, we grabbed lunch at Central Market, and it was delicious!

Austin Tree of the Year 2008

Austin Tree of the Year 2008

Tree Plaque and Lupe at Central Park!

Tree Plaque and Lupe at Central Park!

The one thing that is very odd, yet kind of spectacular, about Central Park is the bird…there are these black birds (HEB Birds) that reside there that look like miniature crows, but also have “spider-like” qualities.  Apparently at night, there is one that sits in the middle of the pond on a rock and all the others swarm around it and eventually land in the nearby trees…creepy!  I wasn’t there at dusk to see it, however, I think Carrie’s description is enough for me! Below is a quick video that I found on YouTube…Carrie is right!  Their sound does kind of make you feel like you’re in a bad horror flick!

Hops and Grain:  Also on my first day, Doug and Carrie brought me to Hops and Grain where we met up with Carrie’s brother, Dan, and their friend, Austin!  Hops and Grain is a World Beer Cup Gold Medal winning craft brewery and they do brewery tours and tastings!  You go in and you get get either an oversized shot glass for $5, or a “beer-can-shaped” glass for $10, and you can keep the glass.  With the glass, you actually also get more beer in each sample…so if you like beer, and I do, the glass is the way to go!  They had a lot of interesting brews!  I tried one called the “Funky” something…I can’t remember the actual name, and I can’t find it online, but it tasted like a sour apple and beer mixed together.  It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but then again it was beer, not tea, so I drank it anyways!  Don’t get me wrong, though, there was a ton of other beers that were amazing!  The brewery itself had a great feel.  The tasting room was pretty small…maybe 13×15, but then there was a large concrete corridor where people, and their dogs, were able to hang out and stand/sit and chat!  It was a great way to spend the afternoon!

Hops and Grain!

Hops and Grain!

West Austin Park:  We headed down to to West Austin Park mainly because they had a fenced in dog park and we wanted to bring Lupe to get some exercise and socialization time with “his kind”.  Let me tell you.  He was a STUD.  There wasn’t a dog in the park that wasn’t intrigued by his sweet alligator elegance!  Being a new experience for him, the 2 times we brought him there he faded after about 15 – 20 minutes, but he seemed to really enjoy himself!  I guess it’s easy to have a great time when you’re the most popular guy around!!

West Austin Park - Dog Park!

West Austin Park – Dog Park! As you can see, Lupe is no where to be seen because he’s way to busy being popular!

Barton Springs:  Barton Springs Pool is a spring-fed swimming hole in Zilker Park which was voted the “Best Swimming Hole in Texas”.  I could easily see why.  There was two different parts to the springs:  the “free part”, which is cool because you can bring your dog and have them swim with you, and the “pay part”, which is pet free, and apparently pretty difficult to get into.  No surprise there!  Seeing how Austin thermometers frequently top the charts over 100 degrees, people without pools would certainly be looking for clean cool-off spot!  It wasn’t exactly warm enough for me to jump in, unfortunately, but if it was, I would have been in the water in a heartbeat!

Barton Springs

Barton Springs.  In the top pic, the majority of the picture is the “free part” the “pay part” is on the right.  You can see a little bit of it in this picture.

Shopping:  Carrie and I were able to sneak away for a little while and do our “Girl Thanngg” for a while getting down and dirty with the shops around her apartment!  We started out with the Buffalo Exchange, which I was SUPER EXCITED for!  One of my blogger friends, Erika Tapia Schrieber of The Fab and Frugal, blogged about the Buffalo Exchange months ago, and ever since I have been dying to check it out!   The Buffalo Exchange has all vintage and used clothing, and essentially is a well maintained, upscale thrift store!  Honestly, I could have spent about 6 hours in there, but really, who has the time for that?!  So I picked out a cute on-trend aztec patterned sweater for $14 and called it a day!  She also showed me to this cute boutique, Strut, where I was able to get an awesome statement necklace for half off!

On our second day of shopping we went to an Austin staple, Tyler’s, where you can find all the awesome and loud Austin gear you can handle!  This is where I learned the importance of “Keep Austin Weird!”  We also hit up Urban Outfitters, where we surprisingly found some awesome deals, and finally Francesca’s!  We have a Francesca’s here in CT, however, since I’ve never been there before it was a first time for me!  Amahhhzing!  I will definitely become a regular at out Francesca’s asap!

Just out and about shopping our pants off!

Just out and about shopping our pants off!

The past three posts are only the tip of the iceburg as far as Austin goes!  There is SO much more to see and to do, however in the short 3 days I was there, that was all I was able to fit in!  I’m happy with it, though!  It was a healthy mix of spending money, trying new things, and sight seeing!

I hope you enjoyed my TX posts as much as I enjoyed being there! xo


About erinHasThoughts

I just started eHT in January of 2011, and I'm shocked and humbled that people read it! For some reason it seems like I am always in the most ridiculous situations and witness things only seen in movies, so I like to share my experiences with all of you. Thanks for reading! xo

Posted on January 19, 2013, in Austin, TX, Bucket List and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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