Getting Inked in Austin – Travel Diary 9

Waking up on our second morning in Austin it was a lot greyer than our first day, but it was ok as I had plans! First off was a stop at Mi Madre’s a basic joint loved by locals for some awesome breakfast tacos before heading to All Saints to get a tattoo.

I am a person who is driven by gut and waking past All Saints tattoo parlour on 6th Street I had a feeling that this was the shop for me. Initially drawn in by the cool skull exterior I did a little research online then sent an email checking if they could squeeze me the next day. After a prompt and super upbeat response from owner, Jon, I was booked in with artist Gibbs at noon.

So less than 24 hours later here we were, parking up outside the tattoo shop, Gibbs was stood outside having a cigarette, he held the door open and welcomed us in. After all the paperwork was out of the way I was ready to get my David Bowie tribute on my arm – a simple little piece, but required an artist with awesome line work

As I took my seat next to a heavily tattooed man who was getting more added to his arm the artist revealed himself to be Jon, the owner I had been corresponding with, who was just as charming in real life as he had come across in email.

The tattoo itself didn’t take long but it was a really enjoyable experience. Gibbs is a great guy who was easy to strike up conversation with and made me feel completely at ease as he added to the ink on my arm.

The shop was old school, and had the clinical smell (as all good shops should have) but it was a super laid back environment. Over the buzz of the tattoo machine we chatted amongst ourselves and picked up loads of tips for our next stop: New Orleans.

Leaving beaming after such a great tattoo experience we didn’t have much else planned for the day. Originally we wanted to rent a kayak but the weather hampered that idea so instead we got on with boring chores.

The thing with travelling for a long period of time is that sometimes you need to take a day to do laundry and grocery shopping.

With all the boring crap out of the way we had a couple of beers in our Airstream before making our way to The White Horse, Austin’s largest honky tonk bar. Entering the hall it was like stepping into a cowboy working mans club. Most of the men wore cowboy hats, jeans and boots while the women had similar attire or dresses that swirled as they danced along to the live band. The music changed every hour and it was wonderful to watch people socialise in a way that seemed so humble.

Stepping outside onto the porch we grabbed our second taco of the day from a street van. Sitting out back listening to locals’ conversation whilst sipping on a beer was everything I hoped from Texas.

There were three twenty-somethings sat beside us, one of them got up and enthusiastically asked if we could take a picture as he was showing his cousins around town. Behind us a large, jovial gent burst threw the doors and seemed to know everyone. Loudly he greeted his many friends and proudly showed off the new knife he had gotten as an early Christmas gift. I could have a happily sat in The White Horse taking in the cast of unique characters and live music but we had an early start for a day on the road so had to call it a night much earlier than I would have like.

The cities tagline Keep Austin Weird fitted it perfectly; the city has a tough edge, unique personality and warm character. Ending our night at one of East Austin’s indie breweries we reflected on our time and agreed it would not be our last visit.


  1. I really want to get a tattoo over in the States – awesome that they managed to squeeze you in for a sitting! Austin (well, Texas in general) is somewhere I’d love to visit.

    1. Emma says:

      Austin is seriously awesome you would love it! I think you should totally pick up a permanent souvenir on your next trip across the pond

  2. I want tacos for breakfast! The characters in that bar sound awesome, I love people watching when I’m abroad. And I agree with you, laundry when travelling is such a pain in the arse. If I could just buy a new outfit in every city I totally would!

    1. Emma says:

      Charlie you would have loved The White Horse I could have stayed there for days just watching the quirky cast of characters

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