I have said it before and I will say it again, travel can be a great way to cope with mental health problems. A change of scenery really does wonders for me.
It must be addressed though, that travel can be difficult when you have a physical illness, like fibromyalgia. Taking both into account when planning a trip and while traveling is vital. For more tips on how I do that, check out this post.
This past weekend my husband and I took an impromptu road trip to Austin, TX, one of our favorite cities to visit. I don’t always like doing things on the fly, I’m a planner, but we both needed some down time so I was all for it!
We didn’t have much of an agenda, but that was just fine with us. He knew he wanted to hit a few record stores and I knew I wanted to eat some delicious vegan food. Thankfully we both came away perfectly satisfied.
Our adventure began before we even got to Austin when we came across a coffee shop in Navasota, TX, the Classic Rock Coffee Co. If you are ever in Navasota you absolutely must stop in! You will find a funky rock n roll vibe, delicious drinks, vinyl for sale, and the nicest people you could meet.
I asked about their selection of tea and Mandy, the general manager, promptly pulled out all the bins of loose leaf tea and let me smell them while she told me what they were and how she liked to drink them. She made the lavender latte sound irresistible so I decided to try it. I was pleased to find they offer both soy and almond milk as an alternative to cow milk. And when I asked if I could get in my own mug she didn’t even bat an eye.
She then handed over a warm, cozy concoction of dried lavender in a fabric bag, with steamed almond milk, and a splash of vanilla. Then while we chatted about our mutual love of coffee, her time working for Starbucks international, and her decision to open something a little different once she returned to the states, she fixed me a up with a sample of her favorite coffee grounds to try once I got home.
We got to Austin and stopped at our hotel, The Highlander. This former apartment complex has a simple, eclectic aesthetic prominently featuring brightly colored sheep statues. In other words, the perfect place for the hubs and I. And if you have a down allergy like me their pillows and bedding are safe!
From there I used the Vegetarious app to find vegan food near us. One spot I had already heard about came up so we headed that way. Arlo’s is a 100% plant based food truck, with three locations around Austin.
They offer a selection of veggie burgers, sandwiches, tacos, and sides. I got the Bac’n Cheeze Burger and it was mind blowingly good! Jorge got the Chipotle Chick’n Sandwich and he loved it so much he said he almost went vegan. This was my favorite meal of the weekend! It is a spot I definitely want to go to again.
The location we went to is on the same lot as a bar and requires an ID to get to it, I later sent them a message to ask if any of their locations are family friendly. They responded that their location at Spider House Cafe is and that the one at Cheer Up Charlies is open to the public during the day hours, not requiring ID until 9 p.m.
The next morning we headed to the Texas Farmers Market at Lakeline. There are so many great vendors offering a big selection of products and some gorgeous produce.
Our first stop was at Pour & Press for coffee in my own mug, then to Buddha's Brew where their kombucha is on tap, Afia Foods for falafel, and Bountiful Pantry for vegan cranberry coffee cake. Everything I had was yummy and nothing can beat the inviting atmosphere of a big farmer's market.
I was impressed to see they have a tasting booth where you can sample a variety of products from the market and they have a compost drop off!
After a stop at a couple of stores in the Lakeline Mall, Jorge was ready to go to Waterloo Records and I was ready for a rest.
Thankfully the Whole Foods flagship store is right across the street and is a great place to get a bite and hang out. They have plenty of seating inside, on the patio, and on the roof. I went through and got myself something to eat, including a veggie spring roll and some super tasty popcorn tofu, then went to find a spot to rest, eat, and do some Bible study.
From there we stopped at Thundercloud Subs for Jorge to get a sandwich and I got their Zen smoothie, a tasty blend of banana, apple juice, strawberry, pineapple, blueberry, and mango.
Then we went to browse at Goodwill and Half Price Books. At that point I was ready for more rest, so back to our hotel we went.
Later we were ready to eat some more so we went back out and drove around to see what was open. We stopped at Mellizoz Tacos, I got a B.Y.O.B taco with potatoes, beans, and spinach on corn tortilla. It was so yummy and flavorful!
Next we headed to Sweet Ritual, a 100% plant based ice cream shop. Yes you read that right, 100% plant based ice cream. And y’all better believe me when I say this was among the best ice cream I have ever had! It was incredibly creamy, sweet, and delicious. I will most definitely being going back there everytime I get to Austin!
Oh and did I mention this is a women owned business that offers gluten free cones and uses 100% compostable products, as in their bowls, spoons, cups, everything. Sweet Ritual has a special place in my heart right now.
The next day we got a bite from the complimentary hotel breakfast, which admittedly left a lot to be desired, especially in the way of vegan options. But we weren’t to upset because we were headed to get doughnuts!
I have heard of Voodoo Doughnuts before but have never gotten there to try them, I am so glad we went this time. They have a large selection of vegan doughnuts, all of which looked amazing. I picked the Oreo Doughnut to eat there, let’s just say I chose well. I also got a chocolate with sprinkles and a cinnamon maple which I shared with my boys later.
On the way out of Austin, Jorge realized he hadn’t gotten any P. Terry’s yet so we stopped for him to get a burger. I had gotten their veggie burger in the past before going full fledged vegan and I wanted to be sure it didn’t have egg in it. Turns out it contains two types of cheese. The lady did assure us it was just a little bit of cheese though. So if you’re a vegan that is okay with “just a little bit of cheese” this is the burger for you. Otherwise I would skip it.
While driving through Giddings, TX we decided to stop at the Whistle Stop Antiques. There we roamed through their large store full of beautiful treasures from the past.
After that we enjoyed the peaceful scenery of Texas countryside, until we were back in our town and picking up our boys.
It such a fun, laid back trip full of yummy food, awesome secondhand shopping, and hanging with my favorite person. In other words it couldn’t have gotten much better than that.