Day Trip to Austin, TX – 50mm Life

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Austin, TX – “hill country” or the capitol of Texas, is about 2 – 2.5 hrs away from Houston depending where you’re driving from.  I had planned to make a day trip to Austin for awhile now, but found a reason to do it much sooner…I had bought a set of wheels online from a seller in California.  The plan was to get some friends to pick up the wheels and ship them back, but shipping wheels are a hassle. You would need to package them well or else they would get damaged, and I didn’t want friends to go through that.  Luckily, the Japanese  Classic Car Show (JCCS) was that weekend…  Thaison Nguyen and Branden Chaisorn of Natsukashi Garage  happened to make the trip the same weekend I bought the wheels.  Long story short, lots of contacting and planning was done to get the wheels transported to Austin the following Monday.

Law and I loaded our bikes to ride in Austin.  His was the creamsicle colored Brookyln cruiser and I had the panda colored Mercier fixie.  Sadly we didn’t get the chance to ride.

I planned to make a solo trip to Austin, but Law had offered company and a truck to transport the wheels back. We made the trip on Wednesday at 10AM and got to Austin around 1 PM.  We thought about places to eat, and the first thing that came to my mind was Franklin BBQ.  I had never been there and have always heard good things, but have always heard about the wait times being ridiculous.

We arrived to Franklin BBQ and there was a new ND Miata sitting in front of Legend’s Coffee stand.  I am a fan of the updated Miata body style.
Across from Franklin BBQ is a mural of art work.
Austin is not only known for their live music festivals, but also diversity of culture in art.
We arrived around 1PM and it wasn’t too packed.
Law and I were at the cut off of being guaranteed some briskets, ribs, and sausages.  That was fine because I don’t really eat a lot and I like sampling things.


A look at their menu.
The friendly gnome when you get to the counter.
My sampler order of brisket, ribs, and sausage after waiting 20 minutes.  I don’t eat a lot and this was enough to give me meat sweats.
Law getting ready to dig in.
I’d probably recommend Franklin BBQ if you’ve never had it before.  Go on a weekday to avoid long weekend lines and sellouts.

Since it was mid day on a Wednesday after the lunch rush, the wait wasn’t too bad.  We got  our food within 20 minutes of waiting in line and they weren’t sold out of everything. Success!  The brisket and ribs were good, but I could probably pass next time if there was a long wait for it.   After filling up on meats, we decided to get some coffee at Flat Track Coffee to wake us up a little.

The coffee stand outside of Franklin BBQ was closed by the time we finished eating.  Looks like a good concept sharing business with Franklin BBQ.


We decided to get some coffee at Flat Track Coffee / Cycleast.  It’s a coffee and bicycle shop concept.  Last time I’ve been to a shop like this was in Japan.


Coffee beans and swag.
I wish I can tell you what kind of espresso machine they had, but I’m not into coffee machines yet….
A view of the bar seating.
Looks like they’re motox bike enthusiasts as well.
Not sure which beans they were using, but we paired our espresso shot with Topo Chico mineral water.
Placement of products and machines are placed really well here.
Cycleast side of the shop.  They had cruisers, fixies, and street bikes on display and for sale.
I don’t think I’ve seen a foldable bicycle before. Pretty interesting.

We got recharged with coffee in our system and still had time to kill before meeting up with Thaison for the wheels so we found some stuff to do.  We passed by a small toy place and decided to kill some time there.



We thought it was just a toy store or gallery, but it was a full blown Toy Museum.  You can can get info about the place here at

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It was about $15 to enter a back room full of nostalgic games and toys.  The owner said a lot of the toys are either donated by people for display or from his personal collection.  There was a good collection of stuff in there.

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Check out the pokemon collection here.

Bunch of random toys…
I had one of these guys from TNMT!
Original arcade boxes with free play after purchasing museum tickets.  They also take donations.
Of course we couldn’t say no to free arcade game plays.
This thing is probably worth a good amount of money.  Checked Ebay and it starts at $5,900.
In the backroom, there was a bunch of Nintendo systems.
Anyone remember this game? Haha
I could only dream of owning this back then as we could barely afford the original Nintendo console.
There is a good collection of Nintendo cartridge games you can play with.
Of course we took the opportunity to relive our childhood days.  Check out the collection of games on the wall.
Collector game watches by Nelsonic.
Spotted this interesting sticker-tisement after leaving the toy museum…
Still had some time to kill so we stopped by to get some ice cream.
Anything with ‘Prohibition’ is associated with alcohol…
The Prohibition Creamery is what it is – ice cream with alcohol in it.  This place was like Anvil Bar & Refuge but with ice cream infused.
I decided to get the Connoisseur Sundae. I was still full from Franklin BBQ earlier and this just topped me off even further….

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It was time to meet up Thaison at Pho Thaison.  I’ve also been wanting to see his newly acquired Black Limited AE86.  We got the chance to see it because that was the container used to transport my wheels.

Yep, TE37SL’s in 5×100.
Law and I have owned several AE86’s before so seeing Thaison’s Black Limited in excellent running condition got us a little excited and jealous.
It’s not perfect by any means but there aren’t any many legit Black Limited AE86’s in the U.S.
Being a 30+ yr old car, there won’t be many original parts left.  At least the dash is not cracked like all AE86s…
Still has the Japanese license plates on it.
Right before JCCS, Thaison and Branden swapped in a 4age because the previous engine blew.
Thaison’s Black Limited Hachiroku sits on Work Equip 01’s.
Another look at the rear set up.  As you can see, this is a modified set up with flares for aggressive fitment.
Thaison (left) and Law stares at the Black Limited Hachiroku.
Seriously, it’s hard not to stare at it.


Ok, this is my last AE86 Black Limited porn photos.

Shout out to the homies and California for picking up and meeting up with Thaison – Linhbergh and Karrisa <3.   Another huge shout out to Thaison for taking some time from the trip to pick up the wheels from Linhbergh and transporting them back to Austin.  And a final thank you to Law for driving to Austin and back.

Austin is always an enjoyable place to visit every time I’m there and will definitely be back for other activities, food, and the people.  As always, thank you for reading/skimming through this long ass post.

Nikon D750
Nikon 50mm 1.4



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