My Big Fat Hotwire XL Trip – Austin

I have never been to Austin. Or Texas. This is definitely a place I want to return to.

I did it. I waited in line in 97-degree weather for three hours EXACTLY to try Franklin’s BBQ. Because did you really go to Austin if you didn’t get BBQ? Best brisket of my life. Second-best pulled pork (my number one is Notorious P.I.G. in Missoula, MT). At a certain point it gets subjective, right? I think it’s telling when locals are in line for that long, and I would definitely do it again.

It was a Sunday so I had the day off which was great for exploring, but I really hope to check out and work from the HomeAway office there in the future. I went swimming as the locals do in Barton Springs to cool off (we definitely hit over 100 degrees).

I took a recommendation from one of the locals I met in line at Franklin Barbeque to try Summer Moon wood-fired coffee and had the best coffee drink of my entire trip. They make a secret 7-ingredient creamy “Moon Milk” for lattes that has such a distinctly sweet but hearty taste. A must when you’re there, and they have multiple locations.

Got a picture with the “i love you so much.” wall next to Jo’s Coffee, and walked further down SoCO (South Congress) to YETI’s Flagship store and BARRR. If you visit, don’t forget to take a selfie with the 750-lb brown bear. This was conveniently across the street from the perfect viewing point for the 1+ million bats emerging from the underside of Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge nightly from March to October. ProTip: Get there early, it’s crowded!

I had to check out Austin’s Sixth Street, and found a place a bit different from the rest. Midnight Cowboy is a Speakeasy lounge with very limited seating. You have to make a reservation ahead of time and hit the correct button on the exterior (making it appear to be an old run-down building with tenants). Some of the cocktails were crafted tableside. I had the “Small Talk” and “Last Word” drinks (let the wordplay ensue). If you’re looking for a quieter bar with good cocktails, this is it.

If like me you crave tacos (always), there’s the TacoWey food truck. How can you resist the play on Austin’s iconic sign “i love tacos so much”?