Two weeks ago I had to travel to Austin for work. I had never been to the Live Music Capital of the World and decided to tag on a few extra days to explore! Again, to hold myself accountable I decided to document my trip for you and show that healthy travel is possible!
Just as a disclaimer: I was not 100% on Ideal Protein protocol phase 1 during this trip. I tried the best I could considering I couldn’t cook my own food while in a hotel. The point of this post is to prove that you can make the healthiest choices for yourself (whether on protocol or not) and choosing not to completely fall off the wagon while doing so. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of bad food choices! Just make the best choice you can at the time and hop right back on whatever food plan you have.
Ok, now that the disclaimer is out of the way…let’s get to the good stuff!
I arrived in Austin at about 1:00pm. I got to the airport, got my bags, requested an Uber and went to my hotel. While I was in Austin I stayed at The Guild, 6th St and Corazon. I was attracted to this property because it’s a small chain of boutique hotels but it acts as an Airbnb. They have from small studio apartments up to 1-2 bedrooms depending on the location you choose. Also, the price is right! Compared to the major chain hotels The Guild was much more affordable.
The rooms are well appointed and had cute little touches…it was an Instagram dream! I loved them! Also, the staff, which you can easily reach by text, are super nice…shout out to Kenny and Max! The Guild currently has locations in Austin and Dallas – Boston, Nashville, and Miami are coming soon!
That evening, once I got settled into my hotel and hung out by the pool I went out for dinner. And when you’re in Texas there is only one thing to eat – BBQ!
I visited the well known Stubb’s BBQ. I tried their Spicy Pollitos. These were grilled chicken bites that were wrapped with jalapeno and bacon. Then, I had some brisket, coleslaw, and spinach….and a to-go box! It was all really good and I made the compromise to not drown everything in BBQ sauce! And honestly, the brisket was so good it didn’t even need it.
On my first full day in Austin, I decided to take a tour. Yes, I decided to be a full-on tourist! I wanted to get an overview of the city with people who knew where they were going and it was 100% worth it!
I decided on a tour with Austin Detours, a local tour company. The small tours (one tour van can fit around 15 people) meet at the visitor center downtown. You start the tour and you automatically feel like family. Because the tours are smaller you get to meet everyone you are there with and you have plenty of time to ask questions.
Also, you don’t just sit in the van the whole time you actually get out and experience things! We got to go into the Texas Capitol building, we visited a food truck park (see that cupcake…it was a great choice! It was from Hey, Cupcake), and we got to explore the Hope Outdoor Gallery of graffiti.
The Texas Capitol building is pretty impressive. They don’t lie when they say everything is bigger in Texas 🙂
This cupcake was one of my splurges while on my trip. You got the cupcake as part of the tour, so I just went for it. When am I going to be able to have a Hey, Cupcake again? So I decided to try the Strawberry Sunshine – a strawberry cupcake with lemon icing.
And the Hope Outdoor Gallery. This was a pretty unique and beautiful place. I could have spent hours just looking at the works of art. A lot of what I saw was leftover from SXSW and was pretty impressive.
To be honest, this was one of the best city tours I have taken. I have done my fair share of the “hop-on-hop-off” type tours, but this was sooooo much better. If I am ever in Austin again I will 100% try another Austin Detour. Also, shout out to the best tour guide, Justin!! Your openness, humor, and knowledge made this tour great!
After my tour, I headed over to the Flagship Store for Whole Foods. Whole Foods was started in Austin 38 years ago! I love, love, love Whole Foods and their salad bar. It’s a great option if you want a healthy choice.
This trip was no exception. I got a salad and some tofu bites and an extra large La Croix…I didn’t even know those existed!
After lunch, I did a little shopping at BookPeople and just took a walk around. There is so much to see in Austin…and hear! No matter where you’re at there is always live music coming out of a nearby bar or restaurant.
I did walk by the Driskill Hotel. The place is beautiful! I had learned a little bit about it on my Austin Detour. The hotel was built in 1886 and its where Lyndon B. Johnson had his first date with his wife! Also, it’s supposedly haunted…but I don’t know about all of that 🙂
For dinner, I was looking for some protein and came to a place called Happy Chicks. Their specialty is made to order chicken tenders with homemade dipping sauces. This was WAY up my alley. One of my guilty pleasures is chicken tenders (like any 10-year-old…I mean 31-year-old! haha!)…and these may be the best I have ever had!
The next day there was a big thunderstorm that came through Austin and I was pretty much stuck inside. The only thing I had to do was move hotels. My company had booked me separate accommodations for my work part of the trip. So, once I got to the new hotel I just hung out a little bit.
I did go to the hotel gym (and of course the sun came out…see the picture!) My intention was to go walk on the treadmill and I ended up running. I know…everyone asks – how do you just end up running? But seriously it just kind of happened. I was walking with good music going and I just picked up my feet. I kind of felt like Forrest Gump! Now, I have a new workout regime going on from this experience and I am working on the Couch to 5K program! (More to come on that in another blog post!)
While we are on the topic of working out while traveling. I also found a SoulCycle that was nearby my new hotel. I cycle frequently, but I have never tried a SoulCycle. It was a great time and I really enjoyed it! There is no way you can walk out of a SoulCycle and not feel better than when you went in. It was such a positive and welcoming atmosphere. Another shout out to Isaiah who was a great instructor!
Other than that, the rest of my time in Austin was spent doing my real job! I wish traveling around for fun was my real job…how can I make that happen? lol!
Here are few other meals that I had while in Austin. The first is a lettuce wrapped burger…I think I may be the master at finding burgers wrapped in lettuce. While this one from P. Terry’s was pretty good it didn’t have anything on my true love…In-N-Out! Sorry P. Terry’s 🙂
And the last one was a salad that I had from MAX’s Wine Dive. My coworkers and I all went out to dinner together and I was able to make a pretty healthy decision with this chicken salad.
So that is it! My whirlwind trip to Austin. I would definitely go back. It is a great city with a really laid back, creative vibe. The people are nice, the food is good, and there is plenty more to see and do. Thank you Austin and thank you to all those that I gave shout-outs to for making this a great trip!