travel

{please bring hopdoddy burger bar to nyc}

Ready, set, food coma. This mini-trip to Austin was definitely the fattest trip that I've taken to date. I should have included "food coma" into my itinerary because I didn't account for amount of times we had to stop, relax, and let the itis take over. Just some highlights from our trip below. I may or may not expand on some of the eats in later posts.

Hope Outdoor Gallery was one of our first stops. I wanted to make sure we stopped here on our first day in ATX because the forecast indicated it would be raining the remainder of the days we were there. I was hoping for some more larger scale art among all the little ones, which were mostly spraypainted penises pointed at mouths, but the artist that stood out the most was @ERthink (pictures also below). I also made the mistake of wearing out my brand new WHITE Air Max Theas, but fortunately left the gallery with no scuffs.

Let me tell you right now, I'm not a fan of doughnuts. As a matter of fact, I don't like pastries or bread-y treats as a whole, so I was a little apprehensive about our stop at Gourdough's doughnut trailer on 1st Street. With that being said, this  more specifically, the Flying Pig, which was loaded with four strips of crispy bacon and a sugary sweet maple syrup icing  was the first doughnut that I've ever finished in its entirety. Kevin got the Blue Balls (ha, ha), which were doughballs with blueberry filling and blueberry icing. This is a must-go if you're ever in ATX and are craving something sweet.

Texas means BBQ, so naturally, we had to load up on our brisket and ribs. With the recommendations from two friends, we feasted at Salt Lick BBQ and Franklin BBQ (on two separate days). We enjoyed the ribs at Salt Lick significantly more than we did at Franklin, but the brisket was hands-down better at Franklin. Both spots had their strengths and weaknesses, but we both agreed that the coleslaw at both restaurants were delicious. I don't know if I would wait two hours to eat Franklin BBQ again, although the "snack" they provided on line was a really warm touch.

Texas also means shooting ranges, and I can confidently say this was the highlight of our trip. After doing some research, Lone Star Gun Range became our gun range of choice. The 30 minute drive out was worth it for us to shoot five guns (we shared the tommy gun) each at a relatively cheap price. I lowkey wanted to shoot the tommy gun because of this song by Brand New, but to nobody's surprise, I was too weak to even hold it up long enough to shoot one bullet. We opted out of shooting the tommy gun and moved on to rifles.

Hopdoddy. Oh, Hopdoddy. Was the wait worth it? Most definitely, and I'd do it all over again for those amazing burgers and truffle fries. Ever have a meal that's so good you don't even know what to say about it? This is it. So when's the NYC location opening?

See below for the rest of my pictures in the slideshow. 

{czech this out pt. 2}

Click for {Day 1}.

{Day 2} Warning: This post is a slightly longer.

Half of our group left bright and early for a walking tour of the city, but the rest of us opted out in order to get more sleep. Kevin and I got up little while earlier, so we journeyed for breakfast and walking around before really getting ready to head out. We wandered into Old Town Square again to see if there were any quick bites. We grabbed some freshly squeezed orange juice, but ended up throwing it out before we headed back because we discovered a dead bug in the cup. Nope. I also grabbed a small cup of hot wine just to taste, but I was not a fan. It was a beautiful, brisk morning for a walk around our neighborhood, and I fell in love with all the alleys, streets, and their aesthetically pleasing architecture all around.

Our relatively small but lively group of Kevin, Jess, Andy, Bo, and myself made the second day of exploring tons more fun. There's nothing like a beautiful cityscape, so we began our trek to the top of the city for #DatView. Being the genius that I am, I wore a pair of heeled booties for an entire day of walking. Talk about smart decisions. I wasn't expecting to go on a hike, which is what we essentially embarked on. It also didn't help that almost all of Prague's roads are cobblestone; my feet took a serious beating, but I took it like a champ. Sort of. We eventually made it to Petřín Lookout Tower, where we were able to go to the top (via stairs for Andy, via elevator for the rest of us lazies) for a lovely bird's eye view of the city. The view was absolutely phenomenal with red rooftops sprinkled throughout and a miniature Charles Bridge with ant people scurrying about. The shaking of the tower floor made us uncomfortable, so we headed down the tower to visit the monastery. From there, we found Bellavista, a restaurant with a gorgeous view of the city. I had the beef goulash with bacon dumplings, which was a bit too heavy for my liking, especially after our "hike." The food was simply okay at best, but the spectacular view deemed the restaurant worthy of a visit.

Prague Castle was up next, where we were able to meet up with the rest of our group for a quick little reunion. We continued on with our own version of a walking tour around the castle and the St. Vitus Cathedral. The cathedral was enormous with incredibly detailed and beautiful stained glass windows. The architecture throughout our mini walking tour was astounding; it was definitely a change of pace from the skyscrapers and industrialized city buildings we're so used to seeing in NYC. The Lennon Wall was another point of interest on my list. The first thing we saw was a "We Support You" message for Hong Kong, which was heartwarming, especially surrounding recent events. I also loved seeing "I'm fucking crazy, but I'm free..." spraypainted on the wall.

On our trek back to the flat, we ran into a bulldog meet, featuring about 3 or 4 English Bulldogs and 2 French Bulldogs. While we were enjoying bulldogs running around, the bulldog's slobber got all over our hands and clothes, so we all decided it was time to leave. Of course, in all of Europe, if you want to use a public restroom, you need to pay, so I had to scrounge up 10 koruna to utilize the services. On the plus side, the public restrooms are relatively clean, so it was a nice change from the disgusting public restrooms we have in the US.

Fortunately, I was able to change into more comfortable shoes before meeting up with one of my people, Lumi, who's studying abroad in Prague this semester. It was a sweet mini-reunion filled with delicious red sangria and el pastor tacos from Las Abelitas. We had a bit of a wait before we were seated, but in the end, it was worth it. We ended up at Propaganda Pub after dinner for some drinks while we waited for Kevin to pick me up. It was a gamble asking him to come to the bar because we had no way of getting into contact with him {keep in mind we have no cell data}, but it surprisingly worked out. Pat on the back for Kevin for finding us. After Lumi and I parted ways, Kevin and I ventured into New Town in an attempt to find some bars for  night out together.

We ended up meeting one of Kevin's friends and his girlfriend at Icon Hotel. After seeing their cozy room, we decided to splurge to a grab a hotel room for the remainder of our stay in Prague. I have to say it was one of our better decisions on the trip; while it would have been nice to have been with the rest of our group, having our own bathroom and shower felt like a little piece of heaven. We ended our night at KFC to satisfy my late night french fry cravings and headed back to our hotel for some rest before our last full day in the beautiful city.

{Beautiful streets of Prague.}

{Beautiful streets of Prague.}

{Tater twists!}

{Tater twists!}

{They reminded me of the little Washington Square Park ducklings! So cute.}

{They reminded me of the little Washington Square Park ducklings! So cute.}

{Beautiful buildings.}

{Beautiful buildings.}

{Cutie pie walking around.}

{Cutie pie walking around.}

{Old Town Square.}

{Old Town Square.}

{Hot wine. Definitely not my thing.}

{Hot wine. Definitely not my thing.}

{Still can't get over these little streets.}

{Still can't get over these little streets.}

{Show me whatcha workin' with, girl.}

{Show me whatcha workin' with, girl.}

{A super meaty breakfast for Andy & Jess. Pork on pork.}

{A super meaty breakfast for Andy & Jess. Pork on pork.}

{Some more Old Town Square.}

{Some more Old Town Square.}

{With my tour guide.}

{With my tour guide.}

{Some tram action. Reminded me a little bit of San Fran.}

{Some tram action. Reminded me a little bit of San Fran.}

{Transmission!}

{Transmission!}

{Some street art action. Siiiiimbaaaaaa.}

{Some street art action. Siiiiimbaaaaaa.}

{Bo & Andy!}

{Bo & Andy!}

{Jess & Me!}

{Jess & Me!}

{Breathtaking view from     Petřín Lookout Tower.}

{Breathtaking view from Petřín Lookout Tower.}

{Breathtaking view from     Petřín Lookout Tower.}

{Breathtaking view from Petřín Lookout Tower.}

{I spy the Charles Bridge! From     Petřín Lookout Tower.}

{I spy the Charles Bridge! From Petřín Lookout Tower.}

{All sweaty and smiles after our struggle-bus of a hike up to the tower.}

{All sweaty and smiles after our struggle-bus of a hike up to the tower.}

{Just one of the many   segway tours we saw throughout our stay.}

{Just one of the many segway tours we saw throughout our stay.}

{Goulash with bacon dumplings.}

{Goulash with bacon dumplings.}

{Potato soup in a bread bowl.}

{Potato soup in a bread bowl.}

{View from lunch.}

{View from lunch.}

{The sun decided to peek out after lunch!}

{The sun decided to peek out after lunch!}

{Prague in the background, very washed out though.}

{Prague in the background, very washed out though.}

{Entering Prague Castle.}

{Entering Prague Castle.}

{Changing of the guards.}

{Changing of the guards.}

{"Hey can you take a picture of just me so I can show it to my parents." Thanks, Kevin.}

{"Hey can you take a picture of just me so I can show it to my parents." Thanks, Kevin.}

{Here are some selfies.}

{Here are some selfies.}

{Super hot.}

{Super hot.}

{Stunning.}

{Stunning.}

{These walks took my breath away.}

{These walks took my breath away.}

{Some more selfie action.}

{Some more selfie action.}

{Prague Lennon Wall.}

{Prague Lennon Wall.}

{Prague Lennon Wall.}

{Prague Lennon Wall.}

{Prague Lennon Wall.}

{Prague Lennon Wall.}

{Prague Lennon Wall.}

{Prague Lennon Wall.}

{Prague Lennon Wall.}

{Prague Lennon Wall.}

{Love locks. Do you see what I see?}

{Love locks. Do you see what I see?}

{A line of penguins.}

{A line of penguins.}

{Selfie on the bridge while we waited for the straglers.} 

{Selfie on the bridge while we waited for the straglers.} 

{Beautiful sunset.}

{Beautiful sunset.}

{*heart eyes emoji*}

{*heart eyes emoji*}

{Taco dinner. Pineapples are a must.}

{Taco dinner. Pineapples are a must.}

{Propaganda Bar with Lumi.}

{Propaganda Bar with Lumi.}

{NYU in Prague!}

{NYU in Prague!}

{Reunited with my love in Prague!}

{Reunited with my love in Prague!}

{Some street sausages.}

{Some street sausages.}

{Of course, KFC.}

{Of course, KFC.}

{czech this out pt. 1}

Like any vacation, my stay in Prague felt extremely short, and I wanted nothing more than to stay for another day {or 10} before returning to the harsh reality of sitting at my desk and staring into an abyss of excel sheets. Needless to say I have the wanderlust bug after this trip, and I'm already thinking about my next escapade.

Prague was nothing short of beautiful, and it exceeded my expectations. I'll let my little journal and photos speak for themselves. I decided to spread out my days into a three blog posts over the next few days. Here we go!

{Day 1}

I was fortunate enough to have a travel buddy flying out with me from JFK. Kevin and I had a long travel time ahead of us, from JFK, a layover in Copenhagen, and to our final destination, Vaclav Havel Airport Prague! To my dismay, we had an hour and a half delay in JFK due to some issues with the airplane. Fortunately, we were able to make it to our connecting flight with no problems. Being the little fatty that I am {plus the food on the airplane was disgusting}, I was hungry when we landed in Copenhagen. After exchanging 20 US dollars to Danish krone (DKK), we went on a hunt for a quick bite of food. But of course, first, coffee. We stopped by a Starbucks and ended up paying the equivalent of 11 US dollars for a iced grande Americano. 11 US DOLLARS. This meant that most of our krones were used, and I almost didn't get to eat, but after asking the kind lady behind the hot dog stand, "what can I get for 35 krones" I was able to snag a regular hot dog with all the works. It was a decent dog for what I paid for, I suppose.

After a short and sweet flight from Copenhagen, we were finally in Prague! We headed off to our flat, which was located on a nice, quiet street in Josefov (Jewish Quarter). Getting into contact with our friends who were already in the flat was difficult since none of us had data or cell service on our phones. Luckily, the bar next to the flat had just opened and had free WiFi! We were finally able to make contact {after a beer, heh} and drop off our belongings in the cozy flat. We immediately went to have our first dinner as a group at a local Czech restaurant. It was a solid dinner with plenty of beer and pork {but I had pasta, oops}. And what's a dinner without a display of my clumsiness? I managed to spill my entire beer on Bo, who I had just met. No, I was not drunk, but of course, blame it on the alcohol. Even our waitress played along and cut me off before we even started eating.

We spent the rest of the night walking around the city. We wandered into Old Town Square, where I grabbed some trdelník. Later, I found better trdelník at another pastry shop; the one from OTS was burnt and hard while the one from the shop was light, fluffy, and delicious.

I'm a sucker for city lights, so wandering around the city made me fall in love immediately. It felt surreal; I couldn't believe I was actually in Prague after a failing to make it here for study abroad. We continued our walk to find a bar that could accommodate the 10 of us, and luckily, we were able to find one. Note to self: never eat the pretzels that are literally hanging out on the tables because they will charge you for them. And they're pretty disgusting to begin with. Someone we're not entirely sure who, but I was also passing out from at this point actually stole the pretzels from the two tables that we were occupying. The funny situation led to some confusion when the bill came around. After a few rounds and some bar games, we headed back to the flat to recharge for the next day. It was a successful first night, and I was excited to see more of the city.

{My travel buddy!}

{My $11 Iced Americano. Sigh. At least they drew me a little heart on the cup.}

{Copenhagen Airport during our layover}

{My 35 DKK hot dog.}

{On the way to PRG.}

{On the way to PRG.}

{Korean at PRG. A friend informed me that the Korean and the plethora of Koreans in Prague is because SK is trying to invest in land there for golf courses.}

{Some Czech Koruna.}

{Streets of Prague.}

{Cute little corner. Cafe Kafka by Old Town Square.}

{Tasted like lemonade.}

{Giant beer the size of my face. Before I spilled it all over Bo.}

{I wasn't able to capture proper photos because of the red lighting of the heating lights where we were sitting, but my first meal in Prague: pasta.}

{Old Town Square in all its beauty.}

{Trdelník spinning 'round and 'round.}

{Yum! You can also see that it's a little burnt.}

{Prague Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square.}

{Absinthe bar.}

{Absinthe bar.}

{So many Absinthe variations...}

{So many Absinthe variations...}

{We asked for the "sweetest" Absinthe, and it was still disgusting.}

{Swans chilling in the Vltava River.}

{Swans chilling in the Vltava River.}

{Dark beers are my best friend after this trip.}

{Dark beers are my best friend after this trip.}

{Charles Bridge at night.}

{Charles Bridge at night.}