Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Austin, Texas October 2014

 All Pictures are at the bottom!

 Austin, Texas October 2014 So why Austin? That is a good question, the only real answer, it is a city in the United States that I have not visited yet. A few months back I had asked Lorenzo about visiting Austin, I knew he was from that area. Not only did I get a complete itinerary of what to do and see, I found out Lorenzo actually owns a house with Wade Howard in Austin and he offered the house for
me to stay in.

With having a house to stay in I asked Margarite to come along. Wade Howard and Lorenzo's house purchase was recent and one of the items on the itinerary was looking for furniture.

We arrived late on Wednesday night, Wade Howard lives in the house but was away until Friday evening. We got an Uber Car from the airport to the house. This was the first time I used Uber. What a great technology, not sure if it was any cheaper or faster than a cab, but the experience was a lot easier.

10 Minute Video of Austin:

What a great house in a very quite neighborhood, less then a mile from Down Town Austin. The house appears to be brand new. The neighborhood is well established and it was clear that there was a lot of pride in the homes. So many were either under renovation or had recently been renovated.

We decided not to rent a car, Wade Howard had left us his mountain bike to use and Lorenzo had recently purchased a beater bike for $170.00. We would soon realize Lorenzo paid $170.00 to much for his beater bike.

Thursday - Margarite made us a spinach omelets for breakfast. The kitchen is well equipment and very well laid out. After breakfast we hopped on the bikes for a bike tour of the town. The house is on a hill, so the ride toward town was very easy for me, Margarite had some issues the beater bike had a very poor rear break, this is not the best option for a steep down hill ride. Between the weak back break and the somewhat functioning front break Maragrite made it down the hill in one piece.

Austin Straddles the Colorado River a dam system has created several lakes. The city has done a fantastic job of creating bike / running trails around these lakes and throughout the city, including
several pedestrian bridges to cross from one side of the river / lake to the other. In a very short time we got a very good feel for the layout of the city.

It was getting close to lunch time and the itinerary Lorenzo had put together for us, dictated we eat at Chuy's we decided to eat at the original Chuy's on Barton Springs Road. After lunch we peddled over to the UMLAUF sculpture garden & museum

In 1991, the property was transformed into a sculpture garden for the dozens of bronze and stone pieces given to the city of Austin by noted 20th
century American sculptor Charles Umlauf. I highly recommend taking a tour of this sculpture garden if you happen to be in Austin.

From the sculptor garden we headed over to a local furniture store to get some ideas for the house. After the furniture research we headed back to the house for some R&R.

The next item on our itinerary was seeing the bats. The Congress Street Bridge is home to about a million bats. These bats arrive from Mexico pregnant in the spring have their offspring over the summer and return to Mexico in late October early November. Each evening around sundown the bats come out all at once. Seeing a million bats all fly out from under the bridge is a fantastic sight.

We peddled down to Congress Street locked up the bikes and walked around town, they bats would not be out until sundown. As the sun started setting we headed toward the Congress Street Bridge. At first we watch the bats from below the bridge and then went to watch from on the bridge I would suggest watching them from the bridge as you get a better prospective.

After the bats, we headed to 6th street. 6th Street has a lot of bars, music, and restaurants. We were looking for a casual dinner and picked the Old
School Bar and Grill, we sat up stairs on the balcony over looking 6th street. Great food, great casual place to eat.

After dinner we walk back to the bikes and peddled home, what a great town for using bikes as transportation.

Friday - We got up and went for a 10 mile run that turned into 11 miles. We explored more of the trail system, what a great place to run. We stopped for Breakfast at Austin Java on Barton Springs Road  as that was what our itinerary said to do. After Breakfast we hung around the house thinking of decorating ideas.

We had planned to cook dinner for Wade Howard so back on the bikes and we peddled to Whole Foods, what a Whole Foods this was. You could buy a beer to enjoy while you shop. We decided on
Mahi Mahi as our main, along with salad and sweet potatoes, berries and Ice Cream for dessert.

Lunch was out of this world we hit a truck food court at the corner of Lamar and Bluebonnet. I had a Pork Belly Sandwich with Onions, Pickles and Jalapeños Peppers at Lone Star BBQ  simply out of this world. Margarite had a protein shake made with Cricket protein.

Wade Howard would be home soon so we had to get back to the house clean the house and get ready for dinner. Margarite made an fantastic dinner.

Saturday - Today the primary event is furniture shopping. We started off with Breakfast at Austin Java. We decided Wade Howard would take us on a city bike tour Sunday so before we went furniture shopping we had to buy another bike. Wade Howard bought an awesome used get around town bike.

Now off to the furniture store, dinner was going to be at home and Amber Green would be joining us, so a dinning room / kitchen table and chairs were the priority. Our sales person had Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), this made the shopping take a lot longer then expected. After the purchase we dropped Margarite at the bike shop to pick up Wade Howard's new ride and get the groceries for dinner while Wade Howard and I went back to pick up the rest of the Kitchen set.

Wade Howard had gotten show tickets so to save time we had dinner at home. You may remember Amber Green from the Lake Placid Iron Man. After dinner we went to see Esther's Follies, what a great show, it was like Saturday Night Live on steroids. Two and a half hours of non-stop laughter.

After the show we headed over to The Broken Spoke one of the original Texas Honky Tonk, Dance Halls. There was a lot of history in this place along with some very interesting characters.

Sunday - Wade Howard took us on a city Bike Tour we hit most of the downtown area, a good part of the University of Texas Campus and more of the inner city bike Trail systems. We had Breakfast at Annie's Cafe and Bar, I ordered Eggs Benedict and it was the best Eggs Benedict I ever had! Toward Mellow Johnny's bike shop to see if they could put some life back into Lorenzo's beater bike, which they did.
the end of our ride we stopped in at

After the city tour we visited the local Farmers Market that was not to far from the house and at the same location as the Lone Star BBQ, with it being late in the day unfortunately for me, that were sold out of pork bellies.

We would be going to Salt Lick BBQ for dinner which was about 40 minutes outside of town. One our way we stopped at Home Goods for some more shopping and bought a nice carpet for the upstairs hall area. While Salt Lick BBQ is an institution and a must see when in Austin. I would not give the food a very high rating.

We had an early flight in the morning so we called it a night. Not sure where I am headed to but I will keep you posted. Please vote on where I should go to next. Upper Right Hand Tab.




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