San Antonio to Austin

What a luxury to sleep in a little!  One last walk around town, with the chance to let the Riverwalk redeem itself.  And it did, in good form!  It turns out that there is a section that runs along the King Charles Historic section of town (a mere 2 blocks from the hotel).  We had a wonderful walk along the path with morning joggers, dog walkers, other hotel guests and local employees.  A pelican preened in the morning sun in a tree across.  A great way to start the morning.  Although the temperature was in the upper 90’s at 9 AM (eventually it would reach 107), it was a restful walk.  Such a sense of humor in this town.  There was a 3 level water fountain – pet, child and adult level water spigots.

Austin city limits were not far away at all.  First on the agenda was the State Capitol.  Very impressive building and grounds.  Texans are very proud of their state, and it shows at the Capitol.  Austin was named after Steven Austin – before it had been know as Waterloo.  (Definitely an improvement).  Ornate details abounded, such as chandeliers with bulbs spelling out Texas, and brass-carved door hinges.  The grounds are very walkable as well.

After a few hours of that you can imagine that food was on our minds.  There was just too much to chose from.  After a little driving around we settled on Historic 6th Ave – formerly known as Pecan Ave.  It’s quite the college student/artsy/tattoo section of town.  Many places looked abandoned, or maybe they were the kind that only open at night.  The building architecture is very reminiscent of New Orleans.  Iron Cactus, a Texas-based restaurant, pulled us in.  Thick, spicy salsas, served hot and cold, with enchiladas with a kick hit the spot on such a hot day.

There was a Visitor’s Center 2 blocks away, where we armed ourselves with maps and directions to the University of Texas at Austin. There is NO VISITOR parking there – can you imagine??????  There are paying parking structures tucked in between the University grounds and the local businesses.  Good thing, because our car was parked in shade.  We toured around the main campus building, past the stadium, past the museums which were closed because it was a Monday……just as well, we walked enough to make up for being cooped up in a car for 2 days.  The Tower (officially known as the Main Building, from the maps), faces the Capitol building downtown.  There are various statues of prominent figures – George Washington, Jefferson Davis, Woodrow Wilson, Hogg, and others.  But the heat was getting the better part of me – by the time we got back to the car there was not one part of me that wasn’t drenched.

Our hotel for the night was located in Round Rock, a community just north of Austin.  Just settling into the room brought a surprise – lightening, thunder and a downpour that lasted about an hour.  Great time for a nap.  It cleared up in time for a drive out to the Salt Lick, a local BBQ place that is next to the Dell Stadium (AAA), right in town.  It’s been featured on several of the Food and Cooking channel shows, and it did not disappoint.

Tomorrow it’s back on the road – an 8 hour drive to Baton Rouge.


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