All About Austin

I’m so glad I finally got a chance to type up all my thoughts on last week’s super fun trip to Austin, Texas. Instead of giving you a boring-ish daily breakdown, I’m just sticking with the highlights of where I went, what I ate and what I bought…

All about Austin

I landed in Austin right around noon on Sunday and my classes didn’t start until the next morning, so I did most of my exploring that afternoon. In the middle of my Monday session, I realized that I had the afternoon free so I threw together some more exploring plans and hit the streets as soon as I got out of class.

Hmm… maybe ‘hit the streets’ is a little too streetwalker-ish? I dressed like a non-prostitute and ran around some more. When I initially looked at the map, I thought I’d have to take cabs everywhere… but Austin was a lot more walkable than I realized.

Here’s where I went:

South Congress Avenue
When I was doing my research before I left home, I kept finding information about South Congress. It was described as really cool area with an eclectic mix of the funky and unusual – lots of vintage shops, restaurants, bars, and craft tents. Well, that sounds like exactly what I love about traveling, so it was the highest priority on my list. It also was just 1.4 miles away from the Austin Hilton, so I decided to enjoy the beautiful 80 degree day and walk there.

On my pre-planned list of shops to visit I had: Toms, Tesoros Trading Co, Uncommon Objects, Allens Boots, New Bohemia, Off the Wall, Prototype and Feathers. I was really hoping that I’d find a great pair of vintage boots to take home with me. I was also starving because I hadn’t had a chance to eat lunch, so I was crossing my fingers for some awesome food.

What I ate: There was tons of food to choose from, but I ended up wandering around in a craft tent/trailer food area when I found this crepes place. I ordered a strawberry and banana crepe that was topped with chocolate and whipped cream. Hubba-hubba!


What I bought: Well, I did find some amazing boots at Allens boots and literally did an embarrassing gasp/moan when I saw over a dozen Frye’s in my size. The picture below is just a teensy-tiny part of the store… there must have been thousands and thousands of boots there. I was totally drooling. I tried on a bunch of pairs and pretty much swooned the entire time. Until I looked at the price tag for a pair that I loved… $428. Um, NOPE. Goodbye my lovelies…


Not everything in South Congress was out of my price range though and I fell in love with pretty much everything at Leighelana (1714 S Congress Ave). I bought an amazing t-bar buckle bracelet that I’ve worn every single day since. I was super tempted to get one of her jigsaw bracelets as well, but didn’t want to spend all my money at my first shop!

Leighelana bracelet - Pocketful of Joules

I also loved The Gypsy Wagon (1204 S. Congress Avenue) with their mix of really cool clothing and jewelry. I bought my husband a Texas t-shirt to add to his ‘my wife went away and all I got was a t-shirt’ collection. I also bought myself an amazingly simple, yet gorgeous gold bar necklace.

The Gypsy Wagon necklace - Pocketful of Joules

2nd Street District
When I realized on Monday that I only had classes in the morning with my afternoon free, I decided to check out the nearby 2nd Street District (only 0.7 miles away from the Austin Hilton). The area is described as “when Texas warmth meets Austin cool” and I probably would have liked it a lot more had I not just been to South Congress, which was MUCH better.

On my list to visit was: Eliza Page, Luxe Apothetique, Austin Rocks, Langford Market, and anything else that caught my eye. I also needed lunch and figured I’d find something while I was there.

What I ate: Oh my goodness, I was craving something hearty like a burger and Jo’s (1300 South Congress Ave) totally delivered! I got their daily special, which was a French Onion melt – a burger smothered in French onion dip, swiss cheese and fried onion rings. You wouldn’t want to eat it on a date because it was super heavy and filling, but for a girl shopping her heart out alone it was perfect!

What I bought: I was kind of underwhelmed by many of the stores in the 2nd Street District because they were either exactly what I could find at home or way too expensive. I did find one that I loved though, Luxe Apothetique (201 W 2nd Street). I probably could have spent hours going through all the cool stuff in this one store, but I ended up buying one thing… this incredible statement necklace:

Luxe Apothetique necklace - Pocketful of Joules

6th Street
Apparently 6th Street is where it’s AT in Austin. And by “AT” I mean, where all the partying happens. During the day, the area looks a tad bit sketchy since it’s pretty much ALL bars… but at night the street comes alive. On my first visit, some friends and I started out at a fun little Irish pub with live music called B.D. Rileys. They had cider on draft, so I was a happy girl. At the end of the night, we ended up at The Trophy Club, which is where I decided to try my hand at mechanical bull riding (you can see it here). Don’t be too impressed though, I totally begged the bull remote dude to be nice to me and NOT throw me off because I’m old and I might break something.

The following night we also hit up Coyote Ugly, because… why not?! It was pretty empty though, so I didn’t end up dancing on the bar. I have danced on a bar at some point in my life though, so I’m not sobbing over it or anything.

What I ate: I can easily say that the BEST meal I had the entire time I was in Austin was at a really cool restaurant called Searsucker (415 Colorado Street). My new friends from Waybetter Marketing were sweet enough to let me tag along with their crew and OH MY GOD was the food fantastic! {Thanks so much Richard, Joe, Kristi, Kate and Autumne}

While everything I tasted was amazing, some of my favorites were the mushrooms + warm mozzarella + toast smalls, shrimp + cheddar bacon grits, pork butt with peaches + schnapps + prosciutto, and (of course) the s-mores bar. HOLY YUM! If you’re ever in Austin GO GO GO there and you won’t be sorry.

In addition to all the eating and all the shopping, I also learned a lot from my conference sessions. It was actually one of the best marketing conferences I’ve been to in a long time, so I’m super happy I was able to go. I was ALSO super happy to have an entire king-sized bed to myself for four whole nights.

I missed my boys though and was incredibly touched to have this waiting for me when I got home.

It’s nice to feel appreciated! And apparently this is a work in progress for the artist. #toddler

A photo posted by pocketfulofjoules (@pocketfulofjoules) on


Have you been to Austin? Are you also kind of obsessed with shopping for items MADE in the city you are visiting? Which do you think was my best buy – the wrap bracelet, gold bar necklace or statement necklace?

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