Saturday, August 15, 2009

No Place Like Austin!

Austin, Texas has such a terrific vibe. Students at UT elevate the city's energy, and I love their style. One Austinite I know made a skirt out of vintage men's neckties -- very cute! Artists abound, and great music is everywhere. You don't have far to search for terrific restaurants -- Guero's Taco Bar on South Congress is my favorite. The bridge on South Congress is home to a Mexican freetail bat colony, and the nightly flight is a major attraction. South Congress Street is full of fun shops like Uncommon Objects (a treasure trove for a packrat like me) and Allen Boots. I'm still lusting for the black and turquoise Old Gringo cowboy boots (photo above) which fit me to a T -- Gotta have 'em. I love this city!

Earlier this summer, this was the view from our hotel room at Holiday Inn Town Lake. That's part of a sculling team practicing on the Colorado River, with Austin's beautiful hills in the background.

We enjoyed the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, though it was a bit too early for wildflowers to be at their peak. Still, the Center is worth the trip all year. Some wildflowers were in bloom:

The Center's prairie hike offers much to see -- prickly pear cactus:

a lone windmill reminding us how difficult it was for early settlers to obtain water:

and a path winding through Texas Hill Country scrub oaks. Hill Country oaks are not huge and majestic like the live oaks in Southeast Texas and Louisiana, but they are beautiful in their own gnarly, twisted selves, symbolic of tough Texas pioneer spirit. To my overactive imagination, these woods are enchanted:

The Center also has a sculpture garden -- I love this one. Give peace a chance, people!

And the entry loggia is gorgeous, embraced by mountain laurels and prickly pear:

Lady Bird Johnson loved wildflowers and was determined to restore the natural beauty of Texas.

Thanks for going along on my journey. Y'all come to Austin if you get a chance. It's worth the trip!

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