This just puts a smile on my face. I’m amazed by what folks are creating nowadays.
5. Salt Lick in Driftwood. BYOB (since Driftwood is a dry county — doesn’t sell alcohol in the county). It’s a drive out there — so if you’re going to drive, I think Smitty’s is better. Plus, you can pick some up in the airport as you’re heading out. It’s a pretty cool atmosphere on a warm Texas night.
– El Naranjo – great interior Mexican on Rainey Street. Well done interior, and I’m a huge fan of the Tres Leches in the jar.
– Curra’s on Oltorf – Mexican/Tex Mex. Corn tortillas are made fresh here. A favorite spot of the locals.
- Walk down “dirty” 6th street on Friday/Saturday night after 11 PM as it’s neat to see the closed off streets, but drink somewhere else
- 4th Street or West 6th are for the professional crowd (can be dressy)
- Rainey Street is a bit more casual
- East 6th (East of I35) is hipster central.
- Draught House or Black Star Co-op are more chill locations North-Central
I’m jetlagged and waiting for breakfast, so some more travel tips that I’ve picked up.
- If your hotel room requires a key in a slot to turn on the lights – any card (or a piece of cardboard) will work. You should be able to use old key cards. I believe in turning off the lights, but sometimes I want to keep the lights/computer on if I’m headed to the gym for a bit.
- Colgate Wisp “toothbrushes.” They don’t require rinsing or spitting, and you can give yourself a quick brush in your plane seat. (I think it’d also be awesome in T2 of an Iron-distance triathlon.)
- Global Entry. If you do a lot of international travel and you live in the US, it may be worth your while to apply for the Global Entry pass. You basically get to breeze through the Global Entry quick-entry (and get your family to the front of their respective lines) at immigration.
- TripIt. Website, iphone, blackberry and android apps. Forward your itinerary and TripIt parses the information. Great to organize multiple friends traveling or even for your own travels. Just use the free version. (iPhone and Blackberry get AMEX integration)
- For packing and security tips, just watch Up in the Air.
I’ve spent a bit of time on the road lately, and I’m glad to be home for some time. Here are some things I learned the last few months that may help you out with international travel
- Unlocked GSM cell phone. In most places overseas, you can pick up a pre-paid SIM, and the convenience often outweighs the cost. My rule of thumb has been a two week minimum stay if it requires any effort. If you really like your GSM phone, you can unlock it so you don’t have a learn a new phone interface. I was able to get my HTC Aria unlocked by the folks at freeyourhtc.com (Quality Product Source). I think you can find cheaper unlock codes on ebay.
- Capital One credit card (or credit card that doesn’t charge international fees). Make sure you pay it off monthly as the rates are horrible.
- Spare passport photos. This one is a bit less important, but some places require passport photos for the simplest of things – like getting a SIM card in India. Far easier to get them done ahead of time.