This past weekend, I mega-bustled it to Austin, Texas for the Food & Wine Festival, which was cancelled in light of 'inclement' weather. (It should be noted Mother Nature granted us some serious clemency on Saturday, however, with non-stop sunshine and a pleasant breeze.) Although I was a bit down upon my arrival as I was really looking forward to the festival and stalking Andrew Zimmern, my spirits were significantly buoyed by my experiences at my host accommodations, The Westin Austin Downtown. Here are seven reasons why I felt lucky to be a guest:
7. Knowledge That Next Time I Can Bring a Canine Friend. The Westin Austin Downtown is dog-friendly and even honors their pet guests via a daily announcement on the lobby chalkboard.
6. Small Details That Expand Upon the Guitar Design Theme. Such as the clever "strings" lining the ceiling. Once you notice one manifestation of the theme, you're guaranteed to find a dozen more.
5. The Proximity (8 minutes' walk!) to Whole Foods Flagship Store. Where I devoured this amazing cupcake and pondered buying more healthful things.
4. The Fabulous-Yet-Not-Douchey Rooftop Pool Scene. Frequented by friendly guests (real quote: "here, have my chair--you look tired!") and Austin residents.
3. The Azul Bar At Said Rooftop Pool. Where unflappable bartenders (3 bachelor parties at once, yikes!) served me a terrific bubbly version of the traditional Bees Knees cocktail.
2. Brunch at Stella San Jac. More proof that hotel restaurants need not be mediocre as here I enjoyed a decadent salmon eggs benedict with oversized local eggs. Pro tip: Ask to sub in the flaky #16 biscuits for the English muffins.
1. A Most Heavenly Bed To Rest My Head. After long days of walking in search of the best food trucks in town. (More on that to come!). Seriously, these mattresses are stuff with angel feathers.