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  • Writer's pictureJon Watkins

Austin: Keep it Mild

Yes, Austin's slogan is "Keep Austin Weird". But not when Jenn's in town!

Austin is known for their live music. Did Jenn visit? No.

They have an amazing food truck location called The Picnic. Did she eat there? Nope.

But at least she saw the Congress Bridge Bats! In fact, she doesn't believe that the bats are even real.

Don't worry, even with Jenn's mild visit, we'll still tell you the great spots to visit while in Austin. Including a nude beach!

Transcript from our podcast:

Jon: That intro right there sent by a listener. How about that?

Jen: Really?

Jon: We get all these complaints about the songs.

Jen: Why do they hate us?

Jon: I don’t know. But yeah, listener “Cookie Good” on the drums there, so we have a brand new open. If you want to give us an open, we'll take it, happy to take it.

Jen: Send it in.

Jon: Welcome to, our savings starts tomorrow. I'll start with a trivia question today. Which city in Texas has the only nude beach that's allowed in that state?

Jen: Austin.

Jon: That is so correct. Oh my goodness! It says if we were going to talk about Austin today, and that's why it's called hippie hollow. It's a clothing optional beach.

Jen: Totally went there.

Jon: Teach you now. No. I don't ever see you ever know ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. The title of our podcast is ‘Austin, Keep It Mild’. Because Austin, their slogan is ‘Keep Austin weird’. And if you know anything about my wife, Jen, by the way, I'm Jon, we do a podcast together, it’s travel podcast, welcome to it. Jen is mild.

Jen: I'm sorry. I've gotten more wild.

Jon: Yes, you have.

Jen: We had dinner one night at 8pm.

Jon: PM?

Jen: Yes.

Jon: That's a we roll.

Jen: Because that's the only time we could get the reservation.

Jon: So for today's podcast, everything about Austin's can be on Jen's trip to there. Now Austin is known as the live music capital of the world. So Jen, did you see any live music?

Jen: I did not.

Jon: Austin, keep it mild. Before we get into it, though, let's thank our first sponsor of the day, Jack Russell parents, a podcast for dog lovers.

Jen: Oh, I like that.

Jon: Jen and I are huge dog lovers. We ourselves, we're all about the German shorthaired pointers. We have a pointer named Buddy. But this podcast for dog lovers is celebrating Jack Russell Terrier dogs and the joys of companionship with canines of every kind. So even if you don't have a Jack Russell, you'll still love this podcast. Each week, Becca and Gabe, they explore all the hilarious and humbling heartfelt and harrowing stories that only dog parents can truly relate to. In fact, I was listening to one where they were talking about the benefits of walking a dog. Which while I was listening to it, it just made me think man, I don't walk our dogs…

Jen: You’re right, [crosstalk 02:29] you're walking the dog.

Jon: I was walking alone thinking I should go back and walk our dog. They give you the latest dog news from around the world as well as puppy parenting advice from leading trainers and veterinarians, 20 minute episodes just like us. So go to or wherever you listen to podcasts. Alright, Jen.

Jen: Keeping Austin Weird.

Jon: Keep Austin Weird. The best time to visit Austin is between September to November or March to May. Did you go in that time?

Jen: No.

Jon: Keep it mild.

Jen: Yes, I wish I would have

Jon: Was it hot?

Jen: We went in August and it is super sticky. Texas is just a sticky state in the summertime…

Jon: It’s humid there, right?

Jen: It’s very humid.

Jon: In fact, temperatures hang out in the 90s with high humidity in the summertime.

Jen: Yeah, like 200% humidity.

Jon: So what did you do? If you're that sticky, did you just hang out by the pool the whole time?

Jen: I did hang out at the pole quite a bit.

Jon: Alright. Thank for listening to the podcast. New episode next week.

Jen: No, we stayed at a really cool hotel. We stayed at Hotel Van Zandt. It's a Kimpton Hotel. So it's like one of those like [inaudible 03:41] kind of hotels.

Jon: Kimpton are cool hotels. None of them look alike, so it's not like going to like a Marriott or a Hyatt. They're very kind of different. They kind of feel like whatever city you're staying in…

Jen: But it's not like Airbnb. It's still owned by a big company. Let's be clear.

Jon: No, but it gives you at least a cooler vibe sometimes if you’re not wanting such like a staunch corporate feel.

Jen: No, and the location was perfect, especially if you went out at night. I mean, I did not.

Jon: But for those who would.

Jen: Yes. And I went with a girlfriend and she also pretty mild so it was like a perfect girls weekend. But if you had girls or guys that were wanting to be a little bit rowdy, it's walking distance to a ton of like we actually did walk quite a bit.

Jon: Does Austin have like a Beale Street which like Memphis has?

Jen: Yes. So actually it's right off of Rainey Street which is like the main drag. It kind of reminds me a lot of Nashville, actually because it's like all these like tiny little bungalows basically that they've converted into like different bars and restaurants. Yeah. And there's even one that's like a shipping container that they turned into like a nightclub that was fun to watch from my hotel. But like there's tons of music. Like as you're walking down the street, there's like tons of music and it's that looks very fun.

Jon: So if you want to keep it wild or keep it weird, you can. Or if you just want to watch people from your room and be upset that they're still outside partying at 10pm.

Jen: It was loud too, even from the hotel. But you know what? There's air conditioning in the hotel room, so I wasn't sweating when I was in there.

Jon: Did you do anything then outside of sit in a hotel room and hang out by the pool?

Jen: Okay. So at the hotel, it has like a sweet pool. Yeah. It's like up at the top, like the top deck, and there's like a bar and there's like music and it's just like really fun. And then you can kind of like, it overlooks the Ladybird Lake.

Jon: Oh, okay, cool. That’s actually one of the things that I wanted to talk about was Ladybird Lake because it's one of the spots if you visit Austin, you need to go to.

Jen: Yeah, it's like this random huge lake.

Jon: You're free to rent a canoe or kayak or paddle board and they don't allow motorized boats on it. Even though I guess it would, that’s what I was reading. Did you feel like you saw motorized boats where people waterskiing?

Jen: No, people weren't waterskiing, but I feel there was big like ferry type boats and stuff. I don't know.

Jon: You can hike or bike on one of the trails. You can walk a pave. Did you walk the paved?

Jen: No. No.

Jon: No. No. Okay. Keep it mild.

Jen: No, but it's really… like I also only spent a very short amount of time there. But it was very walkable. And it was very pretty. And it has this like big bridge that goes over it. And they say, I think Austin's lying. I think they do this to like catch us. But they say that it like Twilight bats come under the bridge.

Jon: Is that the Congress Bridge?

Jen: Yes.

Jon: That is the number one free thing to do in Austin is go view the Congress Bridge bats.

Jen: Yes. So my friend and I, she has family that lives in Austin. She has done this many times, and she's like, I've never seen him. She's like I don't know if they exist. And I'm like, really? But we get to the bridge and we're standing there and it's packed, like people are down below. People are in the water, like, literally on paddle boards or boats, like it's packed all the way around the bridge. And then twilight comes and then it goes and everyone is still just standing there watching waiting for this like, oh, like all these bats…

Jon: Do they sound like a guy with a broom inside the cave or underneath the bridge, like smack things around and?

Jen: Never saw them. Never saw them. And can I just tell you? I have a couple clients in my day job, they at work in Austin and I've actually asked them about this. And they also have never seen them. But yet there's like thousands and thousands of idiots like me that are just like... It must be like a time for the locals to be like, oh, it's bat time. So this is your time to like get into restaurants or like get into a bar, whatever because the tourists are sitting there waiting. So if you've seen the bats and you have a picture something, please. But also I'm thinking, do we really want, like bats are disgusting…

Jon: Now what would you do if bats flew out toward you? Like why were you even there? That's not something…

Jen: I'm also like so where do they go at night? So they just like they leave under that nice bridge…

Jon: So she's done small children?

Jen: Well, there's a big park, so I guess they go in like…

Jon: Yeah, that's what they do. They go and they pick them up and they bring them back to their bat caves…

Jen: Not children. But you know…

Jon: No, you heard it here first on this podcast.

Jen: Anyways, lies.

Jon: It's like my idea for a zoo where you just have a remote control tails behind like shrubs and you just say it's hot out so the animals don't want to come out. It's the same with the bats. Because it’s just business ideas for anyone who wants to take them if they listen to our podcast? Alright, so you went and saw zero bats?

Jen: Yes. But if you keep walking the other way, I don't know if it's north or south. Well, if you walk one way, you'll hit the capital, which is so pretty. I mean, every capital is pretty. But it's very pretty. If you walk the other way, tons of more restaurants, like Austin, they love their restaurants and bars and all that good stuff. So if you walk the other way, tons of restaurants and bars, and Amy's Ice Cream it's off Sixth Street.

Jon: What is the deal with Amy's Ice Cream? They make like Mexican vanilla ice cream?

Jen: It's so good. And it's like this tiny little, it almost looks like, what am I thinking, not a…

Jon: We've gotten to ice cream shops like the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop in New York. Does it look like that?

Jen: No, like a food truck almost. But it's not. It's like a permanent building but it almost looks like a food truck. And there's all this like memorabilia stuff everywhere. I will say Austin is full of art.

Jon: Austin to me sounds like a big old TGI Fridays with a lot of…

Jen: There's a lot of flair happening…

Jon: A lot of flair constantly. Yeah.

Jen: Murals everywhere, tons of murals.

Jon: Oh, I was going to ask. Did you go and take a photo next to the famous like from Austin mural, it's like a postcard?

Jen: No.

Jon: Keeping Austin mild.

Jen: I did take pictures next to other murals like the “I love you” one, that's a famous one. I saw the Willie Nelson one. I mean, they're literally everywhere.

Jon: Just there's a mural that's…

Jen: Yes. Also down there is Abba which we ate out one night.

Jon: We’ll tell you all about Abba, after we tell you about Heart Soul Heat, Heart Soul Heat, another sponsor with Our Saving Starts Tomorrow, small batch craft spice hot honeys. Jen was just talking about ice cream, in fact, Heart Soul Heat on ice cream is fantastic.

Jen: Oh, on that Mexican vanilla, that would be so good.

Jon: You could put on fried chicken, pizza, ribs. Again, we always talk about the cheese boards, put on some goat cheese. It's fantastic. I always like to look at the recipes. They had a baked ghost honey pumpkin. Now the photo looks to me, they're saying it's pumpkin. I'm pretty sure it was slices of yam or like a sweet potato. That's what it looked like.

Jen: Well, I would prefer that I feel like…

Jon: Yeah, like a piece of pumpkin, but it was great with this honey glaze on top. I believe it would be so good. And then I saw that they were teasing a ghost honey barbecue sauce recipe.

Jen: Ooh, that would be way good.

Jon: I want to try as soon as they release it. So go check out Heart Soul Heat at, also on Instagram. Alright, you went to see Abba?

Jen: No, it's a restaurant. Yes. It's like a very hip restaurant.

Jon: What is an hip, it’s Austin? Yes.

Jen: Yes. It was so pretty. It has this like beautiful outdoor. The decor inside is like so nice. It almost seems like very LA cool. And it has this like really cool patio, very cool vibe. It's Mediterranean. Has like a billion different kinds of homelesses like random flavors, and they are so good. I would definitely recommend trying…

Jon: Random flavors like a blueberry hummus, like, are we talking things like that chocolate hummus?

Jen: I feel like she had like a blue cheese hummus, I feel like we had. And there was also one that had lime in it. Yeah, just really totally different.

Jon: Did you see Matthew McConaughey while you were there?

Jen: No.

Jon: Okay. Well…

Jen: He probably comes out later.

Jon: You would have been asleep. You have been yelling at the people for going out of that time.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: I hear he actually hangs out with the bats mainly.

Jen: Lies.

Jon: Did you go to the Museum of the Weird?

Jen: No.

Jon: Keep it mild.

Jen: I did have a lot of ranch water though.

Jon: Oh, yeah. That was first in Texas before everywhere else.

Jen: Yes. It's like a thing now. But it was like it started in Texas. It's a Texas thing.

Jon: So when you had ranch water there for the first time?

Jen: Actually, I had never had it before. I had it there, and then all of a sudden…

Jon: Everyone's drinking.

Jen: Everyone's drinking it.

Jon: And you’re like you know where I had this? In Bartolona, the [crosstalk 13:18] reminds me of the sandwich which I had in Bartolona [crosstalk 13:24] water. It's just…

Jen: No. But it's better because it's I had it in place of origin.

Jon: Yes. The Museum of the Weird, just you know, is the only place in the city where you can find shrunken heads next to melted wax figures next to a giant movie monster. So it's kind of like a Ripley's, believe it or not.

Jen: Yeah. Alright.

Jon: Okay. You're not into that. Fine.

Jen: I mean, for girls trip, maybe who brought the kids or something.

Jon: What else did you do then?

Jen: I ate a lot. I ate so much. Texas is like so serious about its food, I feel like…

Jon: Well, in Austin, that's what's known for live music, cool drinks and cool places to eat.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: So did you go to the food truck place? It's called like the picnic. It's where all the food truck places go.

Jen: I saw it.

Jon: Oh, so you actually know what I'm talking about?

Jen: Yes, I did see it.

Jon: So you saw it? It’s where this big place that everyone goes to all the food trucks. It's even called the picnic and you said?

Jen: I have a reservation. But…

Jon: I'm going to keep it mild.

Jen: I'm sorry. I'm really like failing this episode, I feel like.

Jon: No. No. No. I will tell you like they have the mighty cone there which is like crunchy chicken tenders. They have a coat and tie food truck that's really popular. So you saw it and you waved at it and you kept going?

Jen: I saw it. Yes.

Jon: Where else did you eat at?

Jen: Well, I ate it [inaudible 14:36], which is another like very hip place. And it's on Rainey Street down the way. And it's like hipster Central, but way good.

Jon: Was it like a farm to table, that's what it sounds like?

Jen: Yeah. And we did the pairing. So, we did like the wine pairing and like the Chef's Choice, and it was really, really fun. Yeah, that's the one that we ate at 8pm. Honestly, I didn't think I was going to make it.

Jon: I do want you to know that Jen called me and was like, I need to find a Red Bull and chug it. I have dinner at 8pm as if that was an 11pm reservation. And you were stressed that you weren't going to make it to dessert.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: Did you make it to dessert?

Jen: Yes. And then we walked by the food trucks.

Jon: Oh, that's when you walked by the food trucks?

Jen: And then we walked by the food trucks. We were so full from our pairing and everything, we didn't have that. But also I also had some amazing Tex-Mex. Now if you grew up in Southern California, I feel like it's hard to get into the Tex-Mex thing.

Jon: So we grew up in Long Beach, California and we grew up with like an [inaudible 15:46] of Mexico kind of feel with our Mexican food and Tex-Mex is very different. The type of cheese they use is different. They use queso in Tex-Max.

Jen: Yeah, it's like Velveeta.

Jon: And so the first time we had Tex-Mex, we were like, oh, my, this is terrible!

Jen: Yes, I know.

Jon: Yeah. So have you started to like it?

Jen: I did. It was good. Yeah. I mean, we went to Matt's famous El Rancho, which is like, I mean, I guess they're very serious about this. I don't want to claim that it's the best. But I hear that it's one of the best Tex-Mex places. It's really big. And they have amazing queso. I got like a combo plate.

Jon: Not the meat in the queso with a little bit of [crosstalk 16:27] thing?

Jen: Yeah. It was really good.

Jon: Does every place claimed to be the best or like the coolest or the…?

Jen: Probably. Yeah.

Jon: Yeah, that's fine. You told me about breakfast burritos… Where was that? What did you…?

Jen: Again, this is like a Texas thing. I don't know why it's not more places because it's brilliant. They literally take a flour tortilla, put some scrambled eggs, a little bit of refried beans and some cheese, like fold it and they're like breakfast taco.

Jon: Looks great.

Jen: It's so good. They sold it at the coffee shop. I've had it in Texas many times. It's like a thing. And basically, you could just get like bean ones which is basically just like bean…

Jon: You’ve just described a bean and cheese burritos?

Jen: Yes. But they're like in a “taco”, so it's like a smaller tortilla.

Jon: Is it a soft…

Jen: But they don't fold it like a burrito. They fold it like a taco. So it's not like folded in like a burrito. It's just like…

Jon: So it's just a burrito that's been rebranded?

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: Alright. Austin…

Jen: Austin, keeping it Weird!

Jon: Keeping It Weird.

Jen: Yeah. And the one thing I didn't do, I hate to say it, I didn't have any barbecue when I was there.

Jon: Texas is literally known for barbecue.

Jen: I know. And especially Austin, they have like a specific kind of barbecue.

Jon: There's like the barbecue district.

Jen: I know.

Jon: You didn't do it?

Jen: It's so hot. I don't want to have barbecue.

Jon: Alright, she kept it mild. But she gets to keep you this much she knew from Austin.

Jen: t's way fun. I would totally go again.

Jon: Thank you so much for listening to our podcast. If you're not following us on Instagram, please do so it's our “Savings Starts Tomorrow”. If you want to review us please five stars, four stars, wherever the…

Jen: No, five.

Jon: Five or nothing.

Jen: Five or nothing.

Jon: Maybe a couple kind words like how much you love us.

Jen: Yeah, that would be nice.

Jon: And then if you have another theme song that you would like to be featured, by all means, we'll play it as well. But we'll like Cookie Good plays us out. Thanks for listening.

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