April adventures continued in Austin, which is always a good time. Having lived there for almost three years, visiting is like returning home. I’m always amazed by how much I love the spirit of the city, the barbecue and the MUSIC! No visit to ATX is complete without at least a couple of shows, and during this trip, I had the pleasure of seeing two of my ultimate favorites – Amos Lee (amoslee.com) at the Old Settler’s Music Festival and Seth Walker (sethwalker.com) at his new album release party at Threadgill’s. (Note: if you happen to be Amos Lee’s manager or publicist, I want to interview him. Any time, any place, I’ll be there.) For part of the time I stayed at one of my favorite places – the Hotel San Jose (sanjosehotel.com) – which has by far the best happy hour in Austin and a retro, funky vibe that only Austin can do so well.
While I had to make a pilgrimage to some old standards (Salt Lick barbecue, anyone?) and got to visit with dear friends, I also experienced some new places that can be added to my ever-growing list of must-do’s in Austin, such as La Condesa (lacondesaaustin.com). Home to the orgasmic El Cubico margarita (whole leaf tobacco-infused cazadores reposado, navan vanilla liqueur, lemon, grilled pineapple juice, mezcal essence, and volcanic-saffron-infused salt rim), my mouth waters just thinking about the incredible ceviches and huaraches consumed there. Coincidentally, the restaurant’s elegantly casual decor was designed by Joel Mozersky (www.joelmozersky.com), whose brother Jason is a friend of mine (we used to be neighbors) and happens to be Ben Harper’s guitar player. Joel also did the design of my favorite sushi spot in Austin, Uchi.
Earlier that day, it was all about tequila at various bars near Sixth Street, including one where I tasted ghost pepper tequila. My mouth was on FIRE for hours. One of the highlights of the weekend was a morning adventure at Town Lake, where I not only went paddleboarding for the first time, but did paddleboard YOGA for the first time. If only every morning started out with a workout so sublime… I also took a visit out to hill country and stayed at the gorgeous Travaasa resort (travaasa.com/austin), where I experienced a relaxing spa treatment and an exhilarating ropes course excursion. It’s romantic, set among oak trees with gorgeous views of the Balcones Canyonlands, and quiet. There’s a theme here — quiet + nature = happy me.
However, this particular trip was all about the green! From a behind-the-scenes tour of Whole Foods’ flagship and a visit to the eco-friendly Viva Day Spa, I was impressed but not surprised at all the tremendous steps the city and its residents are taking to make it more sustainable.
Stay tuned for my stories to be published soon…(will add links here when they run.)