Family Travel: #Austin, #Texas

Embassy Suites provided my family with two nights of accommodations in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions and experiences are mine.

Texas-sign Have I ever mentioned that I married a cowboy?  You might think I’m mistaken because, after all, it does say right over there in my bio that I bagged myself a rocket scientist hottie husband.  That much is true.  What my bio neglects to specify is that my rocket scientist husband hails from the great state of Texas.   And we all know that everybody from Texas is a cowboy.  Or cowgirl, as the case may be.

Here’s another surprising tidbit for you.  In spite of the fact that we are approaching our ten year wedding anniversary, my cowboy husband had not once taken me home to visit his family.  Until recently, that is.  The day after Christmas we flew to Texas for a quick weekend visit with Jeff’s cousins and their families.  Although Jeff grew up outside of Dallas, much of his extended family resides in Austin.  That is where we focused our attention for this visit.  I’m so glad we did.  Austin was–is–a fabulous city that overflows with Texas culture.   Truly.  Where else would you see an honest to goodness cowboy riding horseback down the streets of the city.  Yes, I’m serious.  No, I wasn’t quick enough with the camera. Drat!

Although the main reason for our trip was to hang out with family, we wanted to make a point not to burden anybody with holiday house guests.  We chose to stay at the Embassy Suites Downtown/Town Lake location.  Both the accommodations and location were a perfect fit for our purposes and I can tell you with certainty that we will always opt for hotel accommodations when visiting family in the future.  Doing so makes for a happier, hassle-free experience for all involved parties.

Just look how gorgeous this hotel is.

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Photo courtesy: (c) 2014 Embassy Suites

Our stay there was perfect for many reasons.  For one thing, the hotel offered a social hour each night with complimentary beer and wine.  You have to know that the wine sipper in me appreciated that little perk.  Also?  Complimentary breakfast was served in the lobby atrium each morning, and I’m not talking about just cold cereal and stale bagels.  I’m talking breakfast.  Cooked to order and not stingy with the bacon.  See for yourself.

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Our suite was awesome, too.  Traveling with children is always so much more enjoyable when they can sleep soundly in one room while the adults watch TV or unwind with a book in bed in another room, don’t you agree?  Seriously, Embassy Suites has spoiled me for all future family travel.

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The hotel has a gorgeous indoor pool, though we were so busy visiting with family that we didn’t have time to use it.  Next time, for sure.

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Photo courtesy: (c) 2014 Embassy Suites

We used the location as a base for visiting several nearby attractions.  We toured the capital building.  (And posed for a group selfie outside).

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One night, Jayce had a sleepover with his cousins (2nd cousins?  Cousins once removed?  We couldn’t quite determine the official title so we went with cousins) while Jeff and I went out for a date night–Austin style.  It was so much fun.  The hotel was located super close to Austin’s famous 6th street.  After small bites and drinks at Roaring Fork we headed over to 6th for Texas bar hopping at its finest.  They really aren’t exaggerating when they call Austin the live music capital of the world.  We had a great time that night.  I suspect Jayce did, too.  Not that he and his cousins were ever the least bit silly.

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To wear out some of that silliness, we made sure to spend some time at Austin’s awesome Children’s museum, The Thinkery.  Unlike the other attractions we visited, it wasn’t close to the hotel, but it was very much worth the short drive.  They had a great water play area upstairs, a Texas-sized play structure outside, tons of hands-on exhibits within the museum and a full park just across the way.  If you’ll be in Austin with kiddos anytime soon, do make time to visit The Thinkery.

Jayce makes pigs fly at Austin's children's musuem, The Thinkery

Jayce makes pigs fly at Austin’s children’s musuem, The Thinkery

If you’ve yet to travel to Austin, I can wholeheartedly recommend it as a very family-friendly Texas city that offers something for everyone.  My takeaway top picks are:

Best centrally-located, family-friendly hotel: The Embassy Suites Downtown/Town Lake

Best way to tire out energized kiddos: The Thinkery (Austin’s Children’s Museum)

Best Burger in town: Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Best date night restaurant: Roaring Fork

Best spot for some comfort grub: Theadgills

8 thoughts on “Family Travel: #Austin, #Texas”

  1. Sounds awesome. We were just sorta kinda in your neck of the woods…in Phoenix from the 28th -1st. So lovely (and way better than the gazilionty below zero temps we have had the past week in MN) My hottie rockstar husband travels to Austin once or twice a year for his job…I have yet to get to tag along…but just maybe will make a point to go next time!

    FYI….You and your cousins’ children = 1st cousins-once removed. Your children and your cousin’s children = second cousins. hope that helps. ;-)

  2. Looks like you got over your intense dislike of bacon or anything not politically correct for the well nourished yuppy. Now if you can learn to like a regular turkey you’ll be getting better.
    There’s hope for you yet!
    As you know I would have loved that breakfast in your picture. What-No cheese?

  3. I LOVE Austin! One of my favorite U.S. cities! Do you think you would consider moving there?

    Our family is also a fan of Embassy Suites. Great amenities for families – especially the complimentary hot breakfast and suite-style rooms!

    1. Our first and foremost reason for visiting Austin was to spend time with Jeff’s family, Steph. I don’t mind telling you, though, that we also were scoping it out for relocation potential. I can happily report that it indeed passed the test and if Jeff’s career leads us there in the future, I would be okay with it. Truth be told, though, I think we’re leaning towards Phoenix for its weather, career advancement opportunities and proximity to our Arizona Cardinals ;)

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