Of course, we had to visit the "I love you so much" graffiti on the side of Jo's Coffee Shop on South Congress. This is my friend that we went to visit. She used to live in Orlando with us until she graduated with a journalism degree and moved to Austin, TX. She is the main reason we planned a trip to her new city!
One of the mornings, we walked up and down South Congress from our friends house, peeking into the shops and grabbing last minute souvenirs for friends and family. By noon, all of the walking got us hungry so we stopped for lunch at Snack Bar. We had heard good things about it, and the retro sign definitely enticed us. We split a tender and juicy burger, as well as black bean dip, and sauteed brussel sprouts. So yummy and even with sharing, so filling. Paired with a pomegranate and lime mimosa, it was a great meal to start the day.
To walk off lunch, we walked to Elizabeth Street to try the doughnuts of Gourdoughs, a food trailer. There's nothing too special about this food trailer, except the fact that they make doughnuts, and pile a bunch of treats on top! I ordered a key lime pie doughnut which was tart, just like I like it, but also super sweet. S ordered a banana pudding doughnut and that was the superior choice. It was not too sweet and topped with Nilla wafers, a cookie I used to love as a kid. On top of lunch, we could barely take more than three bites out of these massive doughnuts.
The next day, I tagged along with my friend to do a cover shoot for her magazine, Naturally Fit. The issue she was working on was the September issue which is out now and you should definitely check it out! You can see the photos in that article which were done by John Conroy.
It was pretty cool to meet the models at Rae Cosmetics, where they got their makeup done with work-out friendly cosmetics, then see them on set at Vuka. Vuka is an event venue and coworking co-op in one. The space was really cool and was a great place for graphic designers, writers, etc to work in an environment that they can focus in.
What was really awesome was seeing how a professional photographer shoots on set. It was neat to see the kind of equipment John brought, how he scoped out the place before the models arrived, and even how he looked for light. So many things go into making a professional photo, more than just happenstance.
It was really fun to just play assistant and get to see what my friend does on a monthly basis for the cover shoots. Being that she is the editor in chief for a magazine that has been around for over a year now, she gets her hands in every aspect of the issues from layout to article writing to pitching article ideas. She's onsite for the photo shoots and even location scouting for the next one. She has so much in her job description and it was great to get to see her in action of just one of her responsibilities.
The models that were on the cover of the September issue of Naturally Fit are a yoga power couple and they even teach weekly classes at Vuka. It was the perfect place for them to shoot the cover with a great little oasis in the back of the venue. There were huge trees shading the tables and chairs as well as hammocks for relaxing.
Vuka is definitely a cool space and a great addition to the Austin community. I do wish that Orlando could have a space like this with so many things in one. We have a couple of event spaces similar such as Urban Rethink and a coffee shop co-working space like Downtown Credo. However, Orlando is behind the ball on a lot of trends and I don't think a place like Vuka would be successful just yet in central Florida. Our one event space that functions much like Vuka, announced recently that they will be closing their doors.
This space was definitely a gem in Austin. As much as I wish Orlando had as many neat places like Austin does, I'm okay that it doesn't because we don't plan on being here forever. In a few years, we'll think about moving to a bigger city and I'm excited to explore places like Vuka in other cities. Until then, happy weekend!