Austin: Birthday, Blues, and BBQs

It does not take much to convince me to jump on a plane or hit the road in search of adventure. So when my sister Janice suggested we go somewhere to celebrate my 40th birthday, I probably said yes before she even finished the question.

While brainstorming ideas on where to go or what to do, my only suggestion was to go somewhere neither of us had been. And ideally for it to include the outdoors and live music.

Enter Austin.

I was a little concerned about travelling all that way for only two full days of sight-seeing, however I did not take into account how easy Janice is to travel with. Like-minded go-getter for the win!

We took off early the morning of my birthday and she happened to let the special occasion slip to our hilarious flight attendant duo. We were then rewarded with some b-day bubbles, courtesy of Westjet.

 
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Known as the live music capital of the world, Austin is home to several hundred live music venues. Walking down Rainey Street, “Dirty 6th”, and the Red River Cultural District was a feast for the ears as you had your pick of any kind of music you craved. We caught full sets from Jo James, Boss Street Brass Band, and Trent Turner and the Moontowers, as well as sound bites from a dozen other local acts.

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The only activity we had planned in advance was our sunset paddle boarding & bat excursion with Frontera Tours. When asked what I wanted for my 40th, I excitedly announced, “to be shit on by a million bats” (apparently I fit in well with the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan). Every night between March and October, 1.5 million bats fly out from underneath Congress Bridge at dusk for their feeding frenzy (bugs, not the tourists). It was quite an unbelievable sight to behold, especially from our unique vantage point.

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Austin is incredibly instagrammable, with fabulous street art everywhere you turn. So we decided to map out our own walking tour to try to hit all of the best murals and practice our best influencer poses (while we had a heck of a fun time, I apparently need quite a bit of work on both my posing and my skills as a potential instagram husband).

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On the exploratory thread, we stumbled upon Tipster, free/pay-what-you-can walking tours. We joined our enthusiastic guide, Laura, on three different tours during our stay. The amount of history, education, city highlights, and insider tips that we gained were fantastic. In fact, we found if you asked anyone in Austin for their recommendations, they were happy to share what they loved most about their city.

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And oh my goodness the food! Known for their Tex-Mex cuisine, this taco-lovin’ gal was in pure heaven. An exciting find was also Prohibition Creamery, home of the boozy ice cream. Lastly, a trip to Texas wouldn’t be complete without sampling some southern BBQ. I’m still salivating at the thought of our mouth-watering feast we enjoyed at Stubbs’ Bar-B-Q. I wanted to take in their legendary Gospel Brunch, but sadly with it falling on Easter Sunday, we were too late to get tickets.

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I have hundreds of more photos, but I suppose this just means I have social media content for months and months (seriously. I have a problem #sorrynotsorry). I want to take a moment to recognize my amazing seester who inspired this adventure. Janice, you are one of my most favourite people on the entire planet. I am so grateful to have you as a sister and as one of my very bestest friends. Not only do you inspire me to live my best life, but you put up with my nonsense (or better yet, you encourage more of it). Thank you for always loving me for me. Now…. let’s start planning your 40th!! You throw the dart, and I’ll bring the costumes xo

Thanks for reading, y’all! And happy Easter

 
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