Austin?

Old Jan 9, 22, 10:12 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Cool city but I wonít go there anymore as itís not safe.

the police department was de-funded so there are less cops patrolling. Good luck trying to get a cop to assist there.
In Austin? I see cops everywhere in the downtown area.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 10:22 am
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Cool city but I wonít go there anymore as itís not safe.

the police department was de-funded so there are less cops patrolling. Good luck trying to get a cop to assist there.
Oh please. By that measure one could cross just about every major metro area in the US off the list. You are factually correct. Police have been defunded, they have stated they will not respond to non-violent, non-emergency incidents, and, predictably, crime is up. But like most other cities the spikes in crime are in areas tourists would typically not frequent. I would not discourage the OP on that basis.

On a positive note, just a few months ago downtown and the tourist areas were one big homeless camp. That was a reason to steer clear of Austin, but it has largely been cleared up. It took a local ballot initiative to get the city administration to do it, but they finally did.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 10:40 am
  #48  
 
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The scale of TX, even at the speeds most people drive on the interstates, is massive compared to someplace like the UK. Stick to Austin plus one. At the end of the trip you'll be left wondering why you strayed so far from the brisket. Other than the BBQ, in my travels to Austin I was not impressed but mostly because what's now Austin is not what made the city popular. It's a mid-size city that had an economic incentive (low taxes and cost of living) that brought in businesses. Now the quirky things about the city from a previous era are just a caricature of its prior self. That said, you will probably find more success finding what you're looking for using the city as a base to explore the region. Comparing SAN to AUS, they are fundamentally and culturally very different (aside from the Mexican influence). San Diego is about warm weather and Mexican food (sometimes with a California influence). Austin is about music, the TX hill country, BBQ, and TexMex (which is a different beast from California Mexican food - which I grew up on).

I suppose if the OP were like a lot of Brits and the objective was simply finding warm weather, then the destination of choice would have been the Canary Islands.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 10:48 am
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by Charlotte B View Post
if you can splurge Soho House if you pay 10 bucks a month for Friends membership is lovely if you like that sort of thing.
Charlotte, I understand that the Soho Friends membership doesn't entitle you to visit the Houses unless you are staying in a bedroom, but would you happen to know if you are allowed to attend and buy tickets to big parties like those they host at Halloween, NYE, etc. The SH website mentions that Soho Friends can attend their "events", but it's not clear if that includes their big parties. Just curious.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 10:58 am
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Can't speak about Dallas, but Houston is LA with less masks, more cowboy hats, and real Tex-Mex food. The traffic is a mess most of the time and even just in Greater Houston the distances are long and slow most of the day. Not worth the drive.
There really isn't anything I'd travel to Houston again to see except maybe the USS Texas at San Jacinto and a bunch of friends at the bar. As several of them have said, the only increased police presence seems to be in the Traffic division to try to balance the budget.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 11:25 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
WTP. If it's a cash ticket with Avios used to reduce the cost then you could be offered a POUG on that. It's also possible on a redemption ticket too but less so.

It is actually quite normal to get a seat allocated at booking if using BA.com and often a good one, so I'm surprised you haven't seen that before. Ironically it doesn't work if you are 3 days to departure and you've been moved to the FLY system, ironic because Theoretical Seating then kicks in, so you get a seat down the back and no-one next to you. Row 30 has masses of leg space but has partly fixed seat arms, and you best be slim for them. THe rest of 789 seating is fairly cramped, it is WT. The other option perhaps is 43H, and hope that 43J stays empty for you. If the loads look low and you are looking for 3 empty seats it's difficult to second guess that, so it may be easier to board late and scout out the options.
I booked it as an Avios redemption - I don't have enough Avios to buy WTP outright. Can I use cash to upgrade at the airport?

I am not slim so the fixed armrests are an issue and therefore it would make sense to move to the back and as you said hope I retain the seat next to me as unoccupied.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 11:25 am
  #52  
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Houston is a dump.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 11:28 am
  #53  
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I reserved the Kimpton Van Zandt - I have emailed to see if I can get an even better rate as it comes out to around £850 for 4 nights but I was just trying to decide between £250 for the Aloft and £700 for the Marriot - both using bonvoy points and the Kimpton looks lovely... but I may still change my mind!

I do like the idea of staying a night in different cities so I can rove around Texas but I would rather have a base to come back to everyday (even if I did end up staying away for one night).
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Old Jan 9, 22, 11:30 am
  #54  
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Originally Posted by ttuna3 View Post
There really isn't anything I'd travel to Houston again to see except maybe the USS Texas at San Jacinto and a bunch of friends at the bar. As several of them have said, the only increased police presence seems to be in the Traffic division to try to balance the budget.
The Battleship Texas is currently closed to visitors as the ship in undergoing repairs.

Every tourist who goes to the Houston area and hasn't seen it already should have Space Center Houston in Clear Lake in their plans. Also, Houston has some very good museums including the Museum of Natural Science and the Museum of Fine Arts.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 11:32 am
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by Charlotte B View Post
if you can splurge Soho House if you pay 10 bucks a month for Friends membership is lovely if you like that sort of thing.
.
This thread saved me starting another on the same topic. Just booked a week-long trip to AUS late Feb / early March. Donít like Florida and we used to live in California so a trip back would make us too homesick so we decided on Texas!

Iím a Soho House member so was planning on a 3 or 4 day stay there, plus 2 days in San Antonio plus a ranch somewhere. Sound like a plan? Is the Soho House in a decent part of town?
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Old Jan 9, 22, 11:46 am
  #56  
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Originally Posted by AndrewC View Post
This thread saved me starting another on the same topic. Just booked a week-long trip to AUS late Feb / early March. Donít like Florida and we used to live in California so a trip back would make us too homesick so we decided on Texas!

Iím a Soho House member so was planning on a 3 or 4 day stay there, plus 2 days in San Antonio plus a ranch somewhere. Sound like a plan? Is the Soho House in a decent part of town?
I am not a member - is there any way I can get in? 😉
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Old Jan 9, 22, 12:29 pm
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If our dates overlapped I’d be happy to guest you in but I think me miss each other by a fortnight!
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Old Jan 9, 22, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Spinstorm View Post
I am not a member - is there any way I can get in? 😉
If you take out a Soho Friends membership you are allowed to book a bedroom in the House. They start at $235 at the Austin Soho House. If you are staying in a bedroom I believe you can then use all the House facilities, including the bars, which are usually pretty awesome.

https://www.sohohouse.com/en-us/hous...ustin/bedrooms
https://www.sohohouse.com/en-us/membership/soho-friends

Otherwise you will need to have a full Soho House member guest you in, and I think they will need to be there at the same time.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 12:38 pm
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Spinstorm View Post
I booked it as an Avios redemption - I don't have enough Avios to buy WTP outright. Can I use cash to upgrade at the airport?

I am not slim so the fixed armrests are an issue and therefore it would make sense to move to the back and as you said hope I retain the seat next to me as unoccupied.
Yes, I would definitely ask for an AUP, but always do the sums for buying in some Avios instead via BA.com. Usually AUP is the better option however you don't normally get the TP upload which would have been your option if it was a cash plus Avios purchase. Maybe that's for the best - it turns a winter cheapie into a plus plus plus trip if the AUP is too attractive.

Some people, well guys invariably, seem to have a long upper leg area which means that in a 787 they can never get comfortable since they can't seem to easily get their lower limbs below the seat in front, and so if you are in this scenario, so 1m88 / 6ft 2 at least, then that front seat row is very important. But if you can flex your legs then it's not so bad, But 787s WT is in my view worse than A320 NEO Recaro seating. But I guess if you have an empty seat and plenty of interesting things to watch the flight will zip by quickly.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 12:53 pm
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I did a three day solo trip to Houston and Austin a few years back to see 2 gigs by the same band (long story).

Houston wasnít great but I really liked Austin. I felt comfortable wandering about the city. Itís worth visiting the capitol building and itís grounds.

I stayed at the Westin in downtown Austin, itís has a nice rooftop pool, plus it was across the road from the venue where the gig was.

I also stopped by San Antonio on my drive from Houston to Austin. Was interesting to see the Alamo and the Missions are an even better visit, as highlighted earlier in the thread.

I ended up on a guided tour with a park ranger, which was really interesting.
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