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Austin, Travel

I Think We Created a New Fashion Trend: Formal Tubing Wear

New Braunfels river tubing

This weekend, we celebrated my boyfriend’s half birthday.

I had a written the story as to why we celebrated his birthday in May instead of on his actual birthday in November, but when I read this post to him, he said, “You don’t have to put EVERYTHING on the Internet.” And because I don’t want him to break up with me, I decided to not tell the story. I love you, Geoff. Please don’t break up with me.

Because we celebrated Geoff’s birthday in May, it enabled us to do one of his favorite activities in the world: tubing. However, his tubing birthday extravaganza had one stipulation: everyone must wear formal wear.

This is why I love my boyfriend. He’s weird as shit. I thought I was weird, but he takes the weirdo cake and devours it whole. You’re awesome, Geoff. Please don’t break up with me.

We rented a house in New Braunfels for the weekend that could fit 12 of us, and we ended up renting a mansion right on New Braunfel’s main drag (and within walking distance to the Comal River (more…)


Hipster City Travel: Buffalo, New York

Back in December, the Washington Post published a completely arbitrary list of what was in for 2014 and out for 2013. In addition to ridiculously passé things such as Russia and food stamps, Austin was also considered “out” for 2013. In its place? Buffalo, Mother-f’ing New York.

Oh, how I laughed!

How could Buffalo, New York, the city where a person’s umbilical cord freezes instantly upon exiting the womb, be the new “it” city?

Being from Upstate New York and having been to Buffalo several times as a child, I was confused by this tomfoolery. As far as I knew, Buffalo, much like where I grew up, was a sad city far past its prime. It was where dreams go to die in four feet of snow with a mask covering its frowning, pale face.

So, as punishment for erroneously poo-pooing Buffalo, the powers that be decided to strand me there over the holidays. I was traveling back to Austin by train, bus and car- ANYTHING TO AVOID THOSE FLYING DEATH TUBES!!!- and I found myself stuck for one night (more…)

Austin, Film, Pop Culture, Travel, Writing

The Ten Coolest Things That Happened in Austin in 2013

It’s that time of year again- time where everyone makes butt-loads of year-end lists. Considering I have the pop culture-viewing habits of a 68 year-old prisoner in a low-security prison, I’m completely unqualified to create a “best of” list in the fields of film, music or literature. If left to my own devices, my “Top Ten Films of 2013!!!” list would consist solely of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. I’m completely out of touch and I’m OK with that. I’M OK WITH THAT.
The one thing I know a little about is Austin. I write about this vibrant city often, and I try to stay on top of what’s going on. So that got me thinking: what if I created a list of the coolest things that happened in Austin in 2013? After that thought, I had a subsequent thought about brie cheese.
Here is my list of some of the most awesome, inspiring and breathtaking events that happened in our city. If I’ve forgotten anything, please let me know in the comments!
hb2 protesters
(photo cred: me)
1.) Austinites came together to fight (more…)
Austin, Hipstercrite Life, Travel

Thanksgiving 2013: The Time We Got Lost on Death Mountain a.k.a. Enchanted Rock

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving involved us getting lost in the woods, narrowly escaping an attack from a porcupine and my boyfriend turning 40 and then promptly falling down and breaking his rib. Because that’s what you do when you turn 40.

Geoff wanted to celebrate this rite of passage by climbing Enchanted Rock. For those of you who are not from Texas, Enchanted Rock is neither enchanted nor a rock. It’s a small, bald mountain in the middle of the countryside that boasts an impressive view of…the countryside. The word “enchanted” implies that there is magic on top of that rock, and though the area is deeply rooted in Native American lore, I did not see any goddamn magic performed on top of that small, bald mount. I would like to petition that Enchanted Rock be renamed, “Gigantic, foliage-impaired land mass”.

See here:

enchanted rock

This picture is a little misleading. This makes Enchanted Rock and the area around it look pleasant, but don’t be fooled. It’s (more…)

Austin, Travel

Foodie Tour of Austin Restaurants Featured on Reality TV

It should come as no surprise that Austin has been on a butt-load of reality TV shows. Why is it not a surprise? Because Austin is currently America’s shiny ball that they like to poke, play with and stare at.

Many of those aforementioned reality shows are food-based. The culinary scene in Austin has grown by leaps and bounds in the past several years. Having moved here from California (let the name-calling begin), I was initially disappointed in what I felt was a lackluster food scene in Austin. Fast-forward five years later and Austin is on the top of the list of American food destinations. Austin’s very own Paul Qui won Top Chef two years back and our beloved Franklin BBQ was named the best BBQ in America by Bon Appetit Magazine. Austin is full of incredible culinary talent and it’s a fantastic place to be a foodie in right now.

I use to work at a local restaurant that was featured on a popular Travel Channel show and based off the influx of traffic the restaurant received, you (more…)

Austin, Travel

Tubing in East Austin: Where Small Children Find Stabbing Knives


I live with a toober, a person obsessed with tubing in Texas. Every chance Geoff gets to go tubing, he will take it. Even drifting into a snake ball hasn’t stopped him from floating. He has tubing regalia:  an adorably gay mesh tee, cherished cut-off denim shorts, water shoes, and koozie with a neck string. His affection for tubing exceeds that of many of us and like a small, adventuresome child, Geoff often finds himself excitedly planning tubing trips without the support of others. Until recently, the most worthwhile tubing was at least 30 miles away from Austin and required a lot of pre-planning and flaking out on friend’s parts.

That is why we were extrememly excited to discover that tubing in East Austin was suddenly a thing. I guess it had always been a thing, but with the opening of East Austin Tubes, at least we know it’s legal. I think? We had been patrons of the Extremely Public Beach (previously known as the Secret Beach) and always wondered what tubing through the area (more…)

Pop Culture, Travel

Hipster City Travel: Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas

At various points in my five years in Austin, I’ve heard several Texans poo-poo Dallas.

“Dallas has no character nor soul, but great food!” they say. Or, “Don’t Dallasify my Austin!” they shout as more and more condos sprout up around the ATX.

Needless to say, the picture painted to me of Dallas was not a pretty one. So, imagine my surprise when my first trip to Dallas was near perfect. YES, PERFECT I SAY!

Now, my experiences and this guide are going to describe one fraction of Dallas, a growing area located in the southwest corner of downtown known as Oak Cliff, so I know that there is plenty left to The Big D that I have not seen.

Dating someone from Dallas and having several friends from there as well, I know that many areas of the city leave a lot to be desired. Dallas may not be as liberal and down-to-Earth as Austin, but I don’t think that is any reason for Austinites to bemoan the area. It appears to have its charming and characterless areas just like any other city… (more…)


Warning: Spotting a Sea Turtle Can Cause Panic Attacks

We took a last minute trip to the Redneck Riviera this weekend.

I didn’t know the Texas Gulf was called this until a social media friend pointed it out… and after I saw all the monster trucks driving down the beach with drunken and toothless young men yelling “Hey, Girl!” out their window.

Say what you will about the Texas Gulf, but the water is so warm you can’t tell when you’re actually peeing on yourself AND they have sea turtles.

We pulled up to Padre Island National  Park to learn that sea turtles are common in the area and that biweekly the park releases babies back out into the wild. In fact, there is a 24-hour Hatchling Hotline you can call to see when they’re releasing the cute little babes to their demise future. Just don’t get drunk and call the hotline expecting to interact with a human who actually cares about your love for baby sea turtles- it’s all automated.

After discovering that sea turtles are common in the area, we got (more…)

Hipstercrite Life, Travel

Why the Mother-F’ing Train is the Best Form of Travel

picture from the train

train selfie

Last week was not a stellar week in the commercial aviation world.

I’m sure you read about the Asiana plane crash in San Francisco where two people died and scores of others injured. It’s a miracle that more people didn’t die, but this scenario and highly grotesque others are what I think about every time I get on a god damn plane.

The last time I flew, I pulled several muscles in my lower back due to anxiety. I talked the ear off of a nice, young Jewish man (we’re friends on Facebook now). I also drank $30 worth of booze, which sounds like a lot, but airport booze is the equivalent of spiking a child’s juice box.

Lately, even thinking about getting on a plane sends me into a Rainman-esque dance of slapping my forehead while rocking in a ball on the bed, so that is why, when Geoff asked me to travel to Tucson with him recently, I said yes, but only if I could take the mother-f’ing train.

So, that’s what I did. I took the absolute slowest form of travel you can (more…)


Hipster City Travel: Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Hotel Congress

Hipsters and Arizona.

Two words you commonly don’t see in the same sentence.

For those of you who have been, Tucson, located roughly two hours southeast of Phoenix, has been a vibrant college town for decades. The city has the feel of Austin 40 years ago, but that vibe is slowly changing. The word is out, and Tucson is becoming a popular place to live and visit.

Before we embarked on our road trip to Tucson, Geoff, who has several musician friends in Tucson, told me that though cool, this southwest town with over 500,000 citizens is kind of sleepy. Imagine our surprise when we pulled up to the our hotel, the iconic Hotel Congress, and could barely make our way to the front desk. Hotel Congress, an old-timey lodge, popular music venue for local and touring acts and home to a gourmet diner (Cup Cafe), 20s themed hair salon (The Hive) and event hall (Copper Hall), has always been the epicenter of activity, but its popularity is only growing. The front patio, lobby, bar and stage (more…)