Top 7 Reasons Why I Love Austin / by Nicole Paulus

I will be the first to admit---I was bad. Not only did I skip last Friday's blog post, but then I went ahead and skipped Monday's too. I had a good reason though, I swear! 

Last Thursday I flew to Austin, TX to hang out with one of my best friends in the whole wide world. I'd been to Austin once before but I fell back in love with this amazing city after only being there for a few short days. 

Top Seven Reasons Why I Love Austin

1. Their Kombucha game is on point 

Not only do they have a bazillion brands and flavors at the Whole Foods headquarters but they also have it on tap at some of the local bars. 

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2. This portrait of Dubya on display at the capitol.

Everyone knows the capital of Texas is Austin, but did you know that you can walk around the capitol building for FREE? I'm cheap and I love free so this was a no brainer for me. Once your done admiring Dubya's chin, you can explore the rest of the beautiful building.

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3. Austinites pretending that slimy Barton Springs isn't gross.

I was amazed at how many people were just lounging around the natural (albeit slimy) springs like it was NBD. Once my foot touched the mossy, jagged rock, I immediately wanted to barf a thousand times over. I decided to hang out on this ledge instead. Hint, if you walk to the non-fenced side of the springs, you don't have to pay to get in. 

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4. The fact that all the tourist websites tell you to visit Umlauf Garden but don't tell you how incredibly boring and small the garden actually is. 

I get it, Austin takes pride in being "weird" but the Umlauf Garden was just "eh" on the weird scale. Luckily the day we went, the $5 admission was waived because of some grant they had just received. Otherwise, I would have probably taken my disappointment all the way to Yelp. Basically it's a bunch of like 50 statues scattered about in a xeriscape garden. Skip this attraction at all costs (even if the cost is nothing.)

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5. Everyone was so nice--even while driving!

Perhaps it was because I was driving a boxy banana-mobile with Soul, but everyone seemed to have had their polite hat on this past weekend. In Austin, if you want to get over to the next lane, all you have to do is put on your tinker and that person will immediately let you over. If you look lost in the giant Whole Foods they will "wow" your sandwich (give it to you for free.) If you are sitting, standing or just breathing, a kind stranger will come over and start a conversation. I've lived in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Tucson and Phoenix and I have never experienced such consistent kindness as I did in Austin. 

kia soul

6. I love the nightlife, I like to boogie!

There is no a shortage of bars/nightclubs/restaurants in Austin. We danced at Barbarella for soul night, took shots of infused vodka at Russian House, ate Thai food from a food truck, played giant Jenga and got on an adult sized see-saw at Handlebar, drank craft beers at Yellow Jacket Social Club, and hobnobbed with the Austin elite at Nest Modern's 10 year anniversary party. We didn't do all of this in one night, although if you wanted to--you could--Austin is extremely walkable!

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And last but not least--

7. This hand carved sign in a bar bathroom stall. 

No explanation needed.

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