Saturday, May 14, 2011


We decided to take a spur of the moment trip to Texas in late April.  We flew in to San Antonio, spent a day and night there, then headed to Austin for a few days.  We absolutely loved Texas.  We needed a little pick me up type trip and decided to check out one of the places that we've talked about possibly living.  I was born in Texas and haven't been back since. Eric had never been there.  Being the adventurous souls that we are, we were super excited to check things out.  

First we spent a day on the Riverwalk in San Antonio.  We had heard a lot of great things about this area and it lived up to the talk.  We had beautiful weather while Michigan had cold and rain.  It was a great break.  

Our first meal was at a restaurant called The Republic of Texas.  I had an excellent Mexican meal (shown below).  Eric had a burger.  It was relaxing to sit on the river and enjoy our meal in the sun. 

We also visited the Alamo.  I find it ironic that most pictures of the Alamo show it out in the middle of nowhere but it is actually right downtown.

In the late afternoon we swam outside at our hotel and enjoyed the beautiful sun.  Then we decided to check out a Brazilian steakhouse.  Eric had heard many great things about this type of restaurant.  We saw one while we were walking around downtown and decided to check it out.  It was called Texas de Brazil.  It was such a unique experience.  You pay a flat rate (that is a bit high).  First you visit what they call a salad bar, but is probably closer to a small buffet of side dishes.  Once you are finished, you wait for the meat to be showcased at your table.  There are many men that roam the dining area with various slabs of meat that they cut a piece off of if you choose it.  You have a "button" that you turn over as green when you are looking for "meal delivery" and red if you have had enough.  You can do this for as long as you want.  I didn't last very long.  Eric did.  He really enjoyed the restaurant.  They had women doing flying acrobat type tricks at one end of the restaurant and the atmosphere itself is a lot of fun.  It looks like they are opening one in Detroit in May for local folks.
We woke up the next morning and headed to Austin.  We ate at a college type bbq place that I found on my handy dandy Droid2 called Ruby's.  It was near the University of Texas.  They had outdoor seating and delicious, cheap food.  I had a yummy mac and cheese side with my bbq chicken.  Later that day, we checked out the live music scene on 6th Street in downtown Austin. 

 We ate at another yummy Mexican restaurant for dinner on our first nigh in the city - the Iron Cactus.

We played shuffle puck (which I had never played) at a place called Buffalo Billiards.  This place was super cool!  It had pool tables, foosball, skeeball, shuffle puck and a few other games (as well as a bar).  I wasn't too bad for it being my first time!  We came back to the area the next night to check out more bands.  First we ate at a very nice and well reviewed Mexican restaurant called Manuel's.  It was delicious - 2 thumbs up!  Afterwards we visited many bars including a blues bar, a country bar, and watched the UFC fight on the street outside a bar called Bikinis. This is not really a place I'd normally hang out but with the t.v.s. facing the street and the fight on, it was a popular place.  The bike police officers enjoyed the fight there as well.  They shut down about 3 blocks of 6th Street at night for the live music scene.  Austin calls itself the Live Music Capital and we could see why.  

We also checked out amazing outlets in San Marcos.  There were "Premium Outlets" right across the street from "Tanger Outlets". We did a lot of shopping.

I couldn't believe that they had a VS outlet as well as an Express outlet.  We both enjoyed ourselves!  We also ate at a Chick-fil-A which is something we both really like that doesn't exist in Michigan.
 As if we actually needed more reason to love Texas:
Much more reasonable gas prices and an amazing Mexican market that we visited back in San Antonio on the day we headed back to Michigan.

We both agreed that Texas is a beautiful place.

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