I'm back from my friends epic destination wedding in Oaxaca, Mexico and ready to dish. You know when you need a vacation from your vacation? This was one of those trips in the very best of ways. My friends, Emily and Nick, had a group of 60 of the coolest, most talented, funny, and clever friends and family present for their nuptials. It was also one of those experiences where you bond quickly with your fellow travel mates because you're together day in and day out for a week.
To make a sweeping statement about the region, Oaxaca is know for their mole, mezcal, embroidery and black pottery. But honestly that is just the tip of the iceberg. The cultural is so rich and vibrant. I'm already plotting my next trip back.
The highlights of the trip, beyond the wedding, were the sights and experiences we had inside the city proper and in the outlaying villages. Which I'll delve into soon.
Oh and there was also a celeb spotting in Oaxaca. Not by me unfortunately, because that was the one time I decided to call it an early night. But the rest of the group bumped into Adrian Grenier at a dive bar. Apparently he was in town tasting mezcal.
So this was just a taste of Oaxaca, I'll circle back around and talk specifically about the food and detailed adventures next time. Also, make sure you follow me on Instagram, @HissAndTell, for more pics from Oaxaca.
In a weeks time I'll be on a flight heading south to Oaxaca, Mexico. The highlight of the trip being a dear friends wedding. Beyond the wedding festivities, there are so many amazing sights and experiences to take in while in Oaxaca. Let's start with their food. Oaxaca is known for their multitude of mole sauces and abundance of incredible street food. Then there's the mezcal and grasshoppers, oh, my! My obsession with cactus has me excited beyond belief to experience Oaxaca's botanical gardens. The city is also known for its black pottery and textiles, which will likely be where some of my pesos end up. Many articles I've read about Oaxaca tout Hierve El Agua, a petrified stone waterfall, as one of the most stunning sights in the area. Along with the waterfall there's a naturally formed infinity pool nearby. Eeek!
Can you tell I'm excited about my impending trip? If there's anything I must not miss while in Oaxaca, please do let me know!
In 2.5 weeks I'll be boarding a plane headed due south to Oaxaca, Mexico. One of the essentials going into my carry on is The Sprinkle carry on cocktail kit by Gray Malin.
Is this tiny cocktail kit not the most adorable concept ever? All you need to do is add the booze and you're set for some mid flight fun. Because of course when you're going on vacation you can start drinking the moment the wheels are up. These kits sell out quickly, so don't delay getting your hands on one.
The end of 2015 gave me the perfect excuse to take a look back via @flipagram. To be honest I thought last year a bit of a bust. Reminiscing I felt as though nothing significant was accomplished and no monumental changes made.
But viewing my highlight reel made me realize that I did at least managed to have a bit of fun. After all there were the trips to Salt Lake City, Savannah, and Austin. Not mention a reunion with a dear friend that I hadn't laid eyes upon on in at least 15 years. There were loads of delicious cocktails and sweets consumed. My craft game was really on point. I managed to go to FIVE shows in 2015: Meghan Trainor, Kathleen Hanna, Jenny Lewis, The Sweeplings, and Lucius. This was a rather monumental feat as typically I go to a single show every few years. I moved house: two bedroom with a view and a beach, if you please. My nails art was taken to a new level. I attended The Gilmore Girls Reunion, which hopefully was the tipping point for the shows revival. I managed to do something naughty that was on my bucket list (lips sealed on that one). I hosted a rather successful, if I do say so myself, Christmas slumber party. And most importantly I renewed my passport. Oaxaca, Mexico here I come!
The takeaway being, don't be too hard on yourself. Some years are meant for a bit of fun rather than drastic changes and life improvement.
Aside from the atrocious heat and the cluster you know what of the TV festival, the time we spent actually exploring a bit of Austin was pretty sublime. We ended up getting up close an personal with the South Congress neighborhood. My friend booked our hotel just off of South Congress, which was the ideal neighborhood, aside from the fact that our first few days in Austin were spent trekking across the river for all of the TV festival hoopla.
THE HIGHLIGHT REEL
GourdoughsOur second night in Austin happened to coincide with national donut day, so we strolled over to Gordough's for literally THE best donut I have ever had in my life. Picture this: a maple glazed donut toped with bacon. Yes, bacon. They have multiple locations, but we hit up their airstream off South Congress. Apparently at their downtown location they serve fried chicken and creamed corn atop your donut along with variety of other INSANE (in the very best of ways) flavor combinations.
Casey's SnowballsThe sweltering Austin heat necessitated a snow cone break while strolling on South Congress. I obviously had to go with the Cotton Candy flavored snow cone. But I kept intending to venture back to try something more novel from their vast array of options.
Jo's CoffeeTheir iced turbo coffee is TDF. Plus they have an Instagram worthy mural and live music on the regular. Oh and you can smoke there. They actually sell cigarettes there. Does anyone else not find that odd? I forgot to mention that Austin is apparently a smokers paradise. Jo's Coffee, I love you so much!
The Driskill Hotel Multiple sources said this was the place to hit up for a nightcap. Do not listen to these sources as the hotel bar was no where I'd want to be for a drink anytime of day or night. But the café was quite charming for brunch, what with it's old school southern décor and ambience. Plus their omelet was quite palatable.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar Along with my donut from Gordough's, my burger from Hopdoddy's was one of my culinary highlights while in Austin. I really dug this place.
South Congress Café Multiple sources assured me this was the place to brunch on South Congress. I was just not impressed. Perhaps I ordered wrong. I went the omelet route, as I tend to do. Their carrot cake French toast was probably beyond amazing.
Guero's Taco Bar Y'all, I was really disappointed in this place. I wanted authentic "Tex Mex" while in Austin. So I asked around and many sources seemed to concur that this was available everywhere. Guero's was conveniently located on South Congress, was packed every time we walked by, so it seemed like an obvious choice. To be honest I think we might have fared better at a food truck. The tacos (their specialty) were lackluster and the margaritas were ho-hum at best. I mentioned this to a friend who had also visited Austin for the first time earlier in the year and apparently she had a similar experience. I'm just so perplexed as to what Tex Mex actually entails. Because the straight up Mexican food we have here in Washington is superb, and we're about as far away from the Mexican border as possible.
Aside from not having write home worthy Tex Mex, I was also rather disappointed to leave Austin without having their BBQ. Franklin's was the place apparently. But it requires a lengthy wait and a car. As we didn't have our own ride or an abundance of time, Franklin's not to be had. Oh and then there was the fact that my friend is a vegetarian, so obviously BBQ was of zero importance to her. Upon my return to Washington, lo and behold I found out there was a Franklin's outpost at the airport. I suppose all this means I still have reasons to venture back to Austin. Hopefully this return trip will occur sooner rather than later.