Houston, TX – Day 5
I’m not saying much about Houston because I didn’t enjoy it, AT ALL. Though it’s hard to tell if it’s actually because of the city or because of the horrible streak of bad luck I had while staying there.
Austin, TX – Day 6-8
After Houston, we headed to the much more enjoyable city of Manchaca (right outside of Austin) where we stayed for three nights. This was also the first place I’ve ever encountered scorpions… shiver. On our first night, we went to Moontower Saloon, a cute little bar with a big outside area filled with string lights and picnic tables. This seems to be a common theme in Texas, as we saw many places in Houston and Austin with really nice outside areas. We watched the Miami Heat game on TV and socialized as we enjoyed the cool, dry Texas air. We even received some free shots and drinks for taking a photo with the Jim Beam girl (see pic above).
Our second day in Austin was spent thrifting (I got the most awesome poncho that is perfect for SF) and visiting some local eateries. We had dinner at Home Slice Pizza. We did take-out because we were too hungry to wait half an hour at the restaurant, and it was just as nice! The take-out area is a separate little store (Home Slice More) that has its own seating. It was packed, but we managed to gather three stools. I got a slice of the white pie (olive oil, garlic, mozzarella, spinach, mushrooms, and giant globs of ricotta cheese) and it was honestly one of the best slices of pizza I’ve ever had. The crust was thin and flavorful, and the ricotta cheese just hit the spot. I wish I had ordered more than one slice! I definitely would recommend it – charming, fun, and yummy! We spent the rest of our night at the coffee shop Flipnotics sipping coffee and playing rummy until the wee hours of the night. I really love that game…
Our last day was meant to be spent kayaking, but due to bad thunderstorms all day we ended up watching Law & Order: SVU on Netflix for about 5 hours. We eventually made our way to a little BBQ restaurant, bought postcards at a cute little gift shop, and picked up ice cream at Amy’s. Overall a very nice, relaxing stay and made a few new friends! I’ll come back here one day to do some more touristy, Austin sightseeing.
El Paso, TX – Day 9
Next stop: El Paso! This was really just a stop to break up the drive, but traveling in West Texas was where the landscape really began to change. Florida is flat and there isn’t much to see on the long drives, so I’m really fascinated by all the new environments we’ve been traveling through. The mountains had perfect highway-sized slices cut out of them, and we would drive right between the big walls of rocks. I have wayyyy too many pictures of desert and mountains, but at the time I was so excited by them (by now I am very sick of the desert). The lights of the city at night are beautiful, and you can see them all from the WalMart on Gateway Blvd.