It had been several years since we’d been out to Horseshoe Bay Resort, and as soon as we turned in off the highway, we were both asking ourselves why it had taken us so long to come back. This golf and vacation destination, located about an hour west of Austin, has a somewhat tropical feel to it that at times feels a bit more like South Florida than Central Texas. Vacation vibes were immediately in full swing.
The landscaping definitely plays a huge part in the allure of this place. From the moment you enter the resort, it appears that every flower and every palm tree is part of a grand design. We were also fortunate enough to visit in late spring when everything was in full bloom.
For this trip, we decided to stay in one of the villas, rather than the main tower. We were still only a short walk to the front desk, restaurants, and other amenities, but with the luxury of having what felt like our own town home—complete with kitchen, family room, and a parking spot right by the front door. The villas are also pet-friendly, which was the main selling point for us because we wanted to bring the pup.
After settling in (and a trip to the bar), we headed straight for the real bermuda grass miniature golf course, which was one of our favorite memories from the previous trip. The 18-hole, par 72 course is complete with sand traps and other obstacles, and is surrounded by beautiful waterfalls, ponds, and rose gardens. We have a standing rule that the loser has to buy post-round drinks, which is a tradition that I highly recommend for anyone (over 21) that plays here.
To claim my free drink, we wandered into the Whitewater 360 Sports Club, which is conveniently located right next to the mini golf course. This place had been remodeled since the last time we were here, and now hosts a full bar with 360 degrees of flat-screen TVs. We decided to order a pizza and watch the NBA Western Conference Finals, which was a perfect way to end the evening.
In the morning we took the dog for a walk around the resort (have I mentioned the beautiful landscaping?) before heading over to the tower for breakfast at Lantana. They offer an extensive buffet that looked great, but we both opted for made-to-order options off the breakfast menu.
I asked for a cup of coffee for the road and we hopped on the resort shuttle for an early tee time at one of four golf courses at Horseshoe Bay. Today we were playing Slick Rock, possibly the median of the four courses from a difficulty perspective, depending on who you ask. It’s home to the “Million Dollar Hole,” which includes a waterfall feature that you drive your cart across.
And that was that. We were unfortunately only able to spend less than 24-hours at the resort this time around. Not nearly enough time to hit the pool, the impressive spa, the other two golf courses, or rent jet-skis on Lake LBJ like we did on our last trip! But, we hear they just opened a waterfront bar, which has our name all over it, and their Ram Rock course recently reopened after extensive remodels; as if we needed more reasons to visit again.
It’s already way too hot in Austin to do anything but eat ice cream. So now we have the only festival that matters—the 12th Annual Austin Ice Cream Festival!
Coming Saturday, June 23, 2018 to Fiesta Gardens, this super sweet event has two parts, and two very different flavors. Here’s the scoop …
Part one is all about daytime fun for the whole family with samples from over a dozen local, regional, and national brands to tickle your taste buds. They’ll also have crazy contests, yard games, live music, rock wall climbing, and a dunk tank.
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (ZIP ticket holders may enter early at 9 a.m.)
Children six and under receive free entry to the festival.
When it’s time for the kids to go home and eat a vegetable or two, the After Dark party will begin. Grown-up types can soak in summer under the stars with performances by Lee Fields & The Expressions, Tameca Jones, and DJ Mel—all while enjoying frozen treats, boozy frozen cocktails, savory eats from food trucks, and fun and games all night long!
6 – 10 p.m. for the general public (with ZIP guests entering early at 5:30 p.m.).
If you want that VIP treatment, purchase early. There is a limited number of ZIP passes!
Click here to learn more and get your tickets for either option. It’s an ice cream festival—what more could you possibly need to know?
Near the McKinney Roughs Nature Park and situated along the Colorado River, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines provides a wide variety of experiences to enjoy the Texas wilderness.
Throughout the summer months the resort will feature river activities including kayaking and rafting trips, as well as river float excursions and air boat rides that depart directly from the resort.
Guests can also enjoy the resort’s onsite Crooked River Water Park. The water park features everything from an active pool with a volleyball net and sandy beach for building sand castles to a lazy river, a two-story water slide, and a splash pad for children. It also includes an adults-only section with a relaxing pool and whirlpool. Throughout the summer, the Crooked River Water Park will feature family pool parties with a live DJ, pool games, and activities.
Guests also get the opportunity to meet and interact with its live-in mascots, including two Texas longhorns, miniature horses, and alpacas. There are also regular falconry shows by Sky Kings, an organization that is dedicated to the education and preservation of wildlife. The demonstrations feature free-flying birds such as hawks, owls, and falcons and wildlife expert discussing each bird’s traits and natural abilities.
Guests can also explore the Loblolly Pine region with guided horseback rides, explore more than 18-miles of hike and bike trails, or soar over the McKinney Roughs Nature Park with excursions to the Zip Lost Pines ziplining adventure.
Additionally, local residents can now enjoy “Daycation” opportunities to Hyatt Regency Lost Pines. The resort recently partnered with ResortPass.com to provide general, spa, and golf day pass options. The general day pass includes access to the resort’s water park, access to poolside food and drink service during the summer months, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Rates for the general day pass begin at $35 for adults and $18 for children.
Spa Django, named after the famed gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, is also offering a spa day pass for locals. The passes get you full access to the spa’s facilities and amenities, including the spa’s outdoor pool and patio, which overlooks the resort’s pond and provides scenic views of the Wolfdancer Golf Course. You can also spend time in the spa’s eucalyptus steam rooms, dry saunas, hot tubs, relaxation lounges, and state-of-the-art fitness center. The spa passes are $40 per person.
The day passes to the resort’s Wolfdancer Golf Club are $75 and include a round of 18 holes as well as unlimited access to the full-scale practice facilities, which include a 13-acre driving range with target greens, a short game area, two chipping greens and bunkers, a practice putting green, a golf cart rental, and warm-up range balls.
Additionally, local residents have access to membership programs at Spa Django and Wolfdancer Golf Club. The golf club provides individual, family, and corporate membership opportunities in which locals can received special guest rates for tee times, complimentary guest passes, special rates on private golf instruction, as well as discounts at the resort’s food and beverage outlets and services and products at Spa Django. Memberships at Spa Django include unlimited access to the spa’s facilities during business hours, 24-hour access to the spa’s fitness center, monthly specials and promotions, discounts at the resort’s food and beverage outlets, and more.
June in Austin is when everything starts to heat up for real: the weather, the weirdness, and the lineup of fun things to do. In between dips at Deep Eddy, escape the heat at indoor venues, or revel in the sun at these awesome events this month.
6/3 to 6/30 Round Rock Express Home Games
If you’re looking for something that’s both family-friendly and fun, head out to Round Rock this Sunday and watch our Minor League baseball team head off against their arch enemies, the Nashville Sounds. It’s H-E-B Kids Day, featuring a postgame run the bases for kids 12 and under. Game starts at 1:00PM, but get there early so the kids can enjoy events outside the stadium.
Tickets: $10 – $20
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6/3: George Strait at The Frank Erwin Center
The Frank Erwin Center is celebrating its 40 year anniversary with an exclusive “STRAIT TEXAS” show by George Strait, who has performed at the venue more than any other artist.
Austin-based Grammy winners Asleep at the Wheel are opening for the country legend. Doors open at 7:00 PM.
Tickets still available: $208 – $989
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6/4: Paul Simon at The Frank Erwin Center
Whether or not you believe Paul Simon when he says this is his farewell, his Homeward Bound tour (a nod to the 1966 Simon & Garfunkel single) is the culmination of a storied career and guaranteed to be fantastic. Watch one the greatest living American songwriters perform the songs that struck a chord with us and became classics. Tickets: $56 – $536
6/10: Bill Clinton at Bass Concert Hall
Spend a Sunday wrapped up in a suspenseful tale of spies, cyberterror and betrayal with former President Bill Clinton at Bass Concert Hall. Texas Performing Arts is hosting the conversation, where Clinton will discuss “The President is Missing,” the novel he co-authored with the world’s bestselling writer, James Patterson. The event starts at 7:30 PM.
Tickets: $22 – $586
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6/13: Maps and Atlases at Scoot Inn
Hit up Historic Scoot Inn for a night of post-rock with Chicago band Maps & Atlases and openers Prism Tats and Slomo Drags. They will be performing Lightlessness Is Nothing New, their first album since 2012, which was released June 1st. Rock out while enjoying rosé on tap and the Taco Flats food truck in the backyard. Doors open at 6:00 PM.
Tickets: $75 – $99.
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6/16 – 6/17: Greater Austin Comic-Con
Get your geek on the weekend of June 16th-17th at the Greater Austin Comic-Con. Held at the HEB Center in Cedar Park, this event is a family-friendly celebration of all things pop culture. From 10 AM to 5 PM both Saturday and Sunday, enjoy a day filled with games, cosplay contests, vendors, entertainment for kids, celebrity guest panels, and more. Parking will be $5 and is cash only. Dress to impress!
Tickets: From $48
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6/16: Shakey Graves at Stubb’s
Catch Austin native Shakey Grav (aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia) at Stubb’s outdoor stage for the second stop on the tour for his latest album, Can’t Wake Up, released May 4. This album marks a departure from his folksy roots in lieu of a poppier, hazier and headier sound. Fans who missed him at GSD&M in May jumped at the chance to see him at Stubbs, so be sure to snag tickets for the sold out gig ASAP. Jonathan Terrell opens.
Tickets: $33 – $91
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6/16: Post Malone with 21 Savage at Austin 360
If hip hop is more your scene, visit Austin’s biggest venue and bounce to Beerbongs & Bentleys –#1 on the Billboard 200 chart – with Post Malone on June 16th. Starting at 8 PM, the multi-platinum rapper 21 Savage kicks off the night with special guest SOB X RBE at Austin360 Amphitheater at the Circuit of the Americas.
Tickets: $115 – $403
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6/23: Ultimate 80’s Dance Party at 3TEN Austin City Limits
Get your Ren McCormack on and dance the night away with Austin-based DJ Mel on Saturday June 23rd. 3TEN Austin City Limits is the sister venue to ACL Live at Moody Theater; there’s lots of space to dance and an outdoor patio. DJ Mel (aka Obama’s DJ) is the Official DJ for UT’s Football and Men’s Basketball Teams. A member of the Austin Music Hall of Fame, he’s sure to play beats you’ll want to dance all night to.
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6/25: JoJo at Antone’s
Whether you’re pumped that JoJo’s back, or you’re a diehard who knows she never left, you won’t want to miss her Leaks, Covers & Mixtapes tour. Before she heads to the studio to record new music as part of her recent deal with Interscope Records (through her own imprint called Clover Music), she wants to treat fans to old favorites and leaks from her upcoming projects. Doors open at 7:00 PM.
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6/27: Brit Floyd – Pink Floyd Tribute at The Moody Theater
Did you always dream of seeing Pink Floyd play live? Here’s your chance to get as close as possible. Friday June 27th, the world’s greatest Pink Floyd tribute band is playing an Austin City Limits Live show at The Moody Theater. The show is a ’45th Anniversary’ retrospective of Pink Floyd’s iconic 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon. Come out and listen to arguably the greatest rock album of all time. Show starts at 8:00 PM.
Tickets: From $94
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6/28: Mo Amer at Paramount Theatre Austin
Austin’s comedy scene is booming, which means we’re getting some of the brightest up and coming stand-up stars. On Thursday the 28th, catch Mo Amer performing at Paramount Theatre at 7:30 and 9:45 PM. Mo Amer hails from Houston and has quite the performance pedigree; he’s done hundreds of shows with Dave Chappelle, been on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and is a paid regular at the Comedy Cellar in New York City. He has a one-hour Netflix special coming out this year.
Tickets: From $18
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6/29: Chris Brown at Austin360 Amphitheater
Head to Del Valle one last time in June to watch Chris Brown’s miraculous dance moves in person. The tour, Heart Break on a Full Moon, is named after Brown’s eighth studio album, a 45 track monster that managed to debut in the top 5 of the Billboard 200 albums chart. H.E.R., 6LACK, and Rich the Kid are opening, starting at 7:00 PM.
Tickets: $29 to $218
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6/30: Weezer and Pixies at Austin 360
Send off June the right way with a monumental show at Circuit of the Americas. In their first full tour together, powerhouse Weezer and the legendary Pixies are co-headlining for seven weeks across North America. The Pixies will play a mix of beloved classics that have influenced countless musicians and new music, while Weezer will perform off their eleventh studio album, Pacific Daydream – a perfect summer album. Doors open at 6:30 PM, show starts at 7:30 PM.
A Texas summer just isn’t complete without floating the river. And if you’re going to embark on this age-old journey of aquatic debauchery, you might as well do it right! This year, we’ve partnered with Austin Tour Company to offer public floats with added features that make it a floating party unlike any other.
We’re offering the ultimate floating experience—we provide transportation along with your tube, ice chests, ice, and more! You can meet new friends and live it up on the river without worrying about getting home safe.
Duration: 5 hours (roughly)
Here’s what you can expect:
The best season of the year is here and that’s FLOATING SEASON! Public Floats will always run Friday, Saturday & Sunday. We will be offering Public Floats seven days a week May 4th – September based on availability. For last minute Monday – Thursday floats please call 512-282-8687 to confirm whether or not a Public Float will be running.
*For day-of ticket purchases, please call 512-ATC-TOUR for availability*
The best season of the year is here and that’s FLOATING SEASON!
**For last-minute float requests for groups of 10 or more, please firstname.lastname@example.org if the date is note available on this page** Allfloats are subject to availability.
Your ticket includes:
– Round trip transportation from downtown Austin to and from the San Marcos River to float with our partners at Texas State Tubes.
– One tube for you and one for your group to put your cooler in.
– We provide the coolers complimentary for your convenience on the bus. An ATC guide will help ice down the coolers and assign them to groups.
– After leaving downtown Austin, we will stop on the way to the river for you to pick up alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, snacks and ice for you to take on the river. In order to protect the San Marcos River, styrofoam and glass are not allowed.
-Floats normally last 3-3.5 hours, depending on the speed of the river which is altered by the amount of rain we have in the area annually.
– Will will return to downtown Austin at approximately 5PM – 5:30PM
– The bus and float are BYOB.
Need to know:
– New regulations are being enforced by the city of San Marcos on the river – stopping for long periods of time not will be allowed on the float during prime season dates, July-August.
– Please grab a reusable trash bag from Texas State tubes before hopping on the river to collect your trash for the duration of the float. If you do not grab a trash bag, put empty cans back in your cooler. Please do not throw your trash in the river.
– The bus will leave from Texas State Tubes no later than 4:45PM. You are responsible for arriving by this time in order get a ride with ATC back to Austin. The bus cannot wait longer than this time. If you are later than this time, your valuables will be left on site and you will be responsible for getting your ride back to Austin. There is plenty of time to float and arrive back before this time – just be mindful!
– Full trip details and information will be sent out VIA EMAIL the week of your float. Please check your email for those trip details as they are subject to change.
*Weekday tickets are subject to availability (excluding Friday). Please email email@example.com for more information*
When the founders of Sunroom Rentals set out to reinvent the house hunt, they had a simple goal in mind: Make finding a long-term rental as easy as booking an Airbnb.
Searching for a new place through an apartment locator or other real estate sites can be depressing, tedious, and the services always end right when you really need more help—when you are trying to submit an application and actually land the property before someone else does.
The people behind Sunroom Rentals realized that we were being left in the lurch, so they designed a totally free, soup-to-nuts service with the renter in mind. Search the best homes and apartments, schedule showings any time you want, submit an application quickly, and even get money off rent whenever possible—all from a sleek website that makes the process fun.
When you create an account and customize your preferences, a tour guide will respond within minutes to your requests. They meet you at each property, show you around, and walk you through the details. Even if you see a place you like on another site, just send them the link and they’ll help you. There’s a simple way to apply online, right from the Sunroom site.
Sunroom has just launched in Austin and is exclusively ours for the moment. But plans for expansion are already in the works. Where you live matters. Don’t leave it up to Craigslist or a soulless listing service. Tour the best places and offload the grunt work to experts who know what they’re doing. When you’re kicking up your feet and drinking a cold one in your beautiful new nest, you’ll be so glad you did.
Want to peak dreamy rentals? Follow them on social media. Check out our instagram for a chance for a chance to win a gift card to West Elm.
We love it when businesses get together to make Austin an even happier place. Now when you stay at the Hyatt Regency Austin, which is downtown on Lady Bird Lake and right next to views of the famous bats, you will get a very Austin-y bonus: the VIP treatment at YETI’s flagship store. Guests at the hotel can visit the brand’s retail store (right next door) and get a bunch of amazing loot. If you’re a fan of serious insulation, cold beers, and hot coffee—this is the thing for you.
Book “The Ultimate YETI Experience” package and you’ll take home a 20oz YETI Rambler stainless steel tumbler, a YETI Colster insulator for canned beverages, as well as a YETI hat, decal, and keychain bottle opener. You’ll also get two drink vouchers for the store’s BARRR, which is located just steps away from the hotel. This sweet deal will be available throughout 2018—just make sure you book the package at least 48 hours in advance of your stay and use the promotion code YETIPK.
We know what you’re thinking: Why is this Austin blog posting about things to do in San Antonio?! Before you get all “don’t move here” on us, take a moment to read a bit about the origins of this series, and what you can expect in the coming months as we (very) occasionally post about things to do outside the city limits.
Depending on what part of Austin you live in (and traffic on 35), San Antonio is likely not much more than an hour and 15-minute drive South.
This resort will make you feel like you’re worlds away from Austin—both with its natural surroundings, and comforting amenities.
And a massive waterpark complete with waterslides and a lazy river.
How to Make the Most of Your Trip
We only spent 48 hours at the JW Marriott San Antonio, but managed to squeeze quite a bit into our stay. We arrived at the resort early for a morning tee time on their Canyons Course, the easier of the two courses on the property, and honestly, a more enjoyable experience for high-handicap golfers like ourselves. The course is well-maintained and offers beautiful views of the Texas Hill Country from elevated tee boxes and greens. The carts also have GPS, which makes the first time on a new course a lot more manageable!
After finishing our round, we grabbed a quick lunch (and cocktails) in Cibolo Moon, one of several restaurants on the property. The restaurant has a great outdoor patio that was perfect on a breezy spring day, and the food and drinks were equally enjoyable. We snacked on several shared appetizers, but the barbecue burnt ends were the highlight of the experience.I also highly recommend any of the margaritas on the menu (opt for the chili salted rim).
From there, we checked into our room, which had a balcony with a beautiful view of the golf course and was also an easy elevator ride down to the pool. Pro-tip: Assuming the hotel isn’t fully booked, you may have the option to stay on the “conference side” or the “pool/golf course side” of the hotel busy weekends, the conference side stays a bit quieter (less families with kids) and is a good option for couples looking to enjoy a relaxing weekend. However, we had no issues with noise on the “fun side” of the hotel, and the room was spacious, and included several amenities like robes, a mini fridge, and a HUGE television that had complimentary Netflix and Hulu in addition to standard cable options.
Finally, we made it down to the water park which is definitely the most impressive area of the resort. It includes a ton of seating areas adjacent to several large pools, including one with a sandy beach area, and another that is exclusively for adults. There is also a massive hot tub, an impressive bar that offers several frozen drink machines, and an expansive cocktail and food menu. The 1,200-foot-long lazy river is way too easy to fall asleep in (don’t forget sunscreen!). But perhaps the most impressive part of the park, assuming you’re still embracing your inner child, are the waterslides. These aren’t your typical resort waterslides, they’re high-thrill slides that you’ll want to race down over and over again.
That evening, we ventured into town to meet friends. If you’re like us and don’t make it down to San Antonio very often, it is a nice change of pace from Austin, and the city’s culinary scene has come a long way in the last five years—but more on that in a future post. For your trip, think about spending a night out on the Riverwalk or the Pearl District.
The resort also hosts an impressive sports bar called High Velocity that features several massive projectors and countless flat screen TVs. The place was buzzing the first night of our stay with a pending playoff elimination game on the line for the hometown San Antonio Spurs.
For breakfast, the buffet at Cibolo Moon is quite impressive. It includes Texas-based favorites like homemade biscuits and gravy, as well as more standard offerings like bacon and scrambled eggs, a build-your-own omelet station, and fresh baked breads with jelly offerings made from fruit grown in the hotel’s garden.
On day two of our stay, we played The Oaks golf course, which was host to the PGA Tour Event, The Valero Texas Open, the weekend before. The course was in excellent shape from the tournament, with fairways beautifully crosscut and greens that were perfectly manicured. However, this course has a reputation for being one of the most difficult on the Tour and is not for the faint of heart! Professional golfer Kevin Na famously scored a 16 on the 9th hole of this course in 2011.
We capped off our trip with dinner at 18 Oaks, a traditional steakhouse adjacent to the golf course. Our final meal did not disappoint, from the sprawling wine list to the knowledgeable service staff, every part of the experience was perfect. We especially enjoyed the “choose your own steak knife” tray that was presented before our main course arrived. Texas y’all.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip, and would recommend a getaway to the JW Hill Country for couples, families, avid golfers, conference goers, or even as a wedding destination. We’ll definitely be back!
The housing market in Austin is nuts. We love this city with all our heart, but so does everyone else in the world and that means buying your own little piece of it is getting really hard. As home prices are going up, so are the closing costs and commissions that are baked into every transaction.
But no more! Finally someone has taken a hard look at this process and dreamed up a better way. On April 4th, Open Listings, a company that disrupts the ancient and tedious process of finding a home, making an offer, and closing on a sale, launched its services in Austin.
This company, which started in Los Angeles, lets you buy a house entirely online (seriously!) and then gives you a 50 percent refund on the commision they get from the sale. The average buyer who shops with them in California, Washington, and Texas gets more than $8,500 back in their pocket. Yes, they really give you money back. Not a credit, or a bunch of bitcoins or something—real American dollars.
The service, which is now available as an app for IPhone and iPad is designed to give you in edge in this crazy market. You can house hunt 24/7, book tours on demand, and easily create offers online.
You are probably asking yourself: How could this be real? Well it just is. The platform makes the process more efficient for buyers and agents so both sides of the deal are working smarter. OL has an expansive network of showing agents, partner agents, and local loan officers standing by—but buyers don’t engage with them until they’ve found they are ready to make an offer. This is only possible because the site has all the information you could ever need, like in-depth property reports, private agent-only info, and custom neighborhood data on-demand.
With all that at your fingertips, you become master of the real estate universe. Go see open houses and schedule private showings like a boss and make this all-important, life-changing purchase so much more enjoyable. Why would you pay 50 percent more in commision when you don’t have to? The game has finally changed.
To learn more about how Open Listings works, click here. And come hear more at this panel featuring Open Listings and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, on Saturday, May 12th.
Our absolute favorite local band gone big has a new album coming out and we can’t be more excited for them. They are celebrating this Friday at The Continental Club, a better venue for this occasion could not exist.
If you don’t know about The Nightowls, they do Motown jams that will have you dancing ALL night long.
We Are The Nightowls was written and recorded over the course of one year, following extensive touring in support of 2016’s Royal Sessions, which was labeled an “energetic blend of classic soul and modern pop” by Paste Magazine. “Our previous albums were concept albums paying homage to the historic recording studios in which they were recorded,” frontman Ryan Harkrider describes. “This new album is more about capturing the band’s sound…it’s a more cohesive statement about who we are.” For that reason, the band made this 2018 release their “self-titled” album.
When: Friday, April 20th
1315 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704