During September and October Susan and I embarked on a tour of several midwestern and western states, driving in our 2000 Toyota Siena van(215,000 miles before our trip)a total of 7,279 miles through 13 states. We were gone 33 days and spent the night in 21 different places. When we got home it dawned on us that we had been together virtually 24/7 for the entire trip with no major disagreements and without growing tired of each other. I think our marriage of 41 years will last.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thursday October 13: Austin TX

We actually arrived in Austin late Wednesday afternoon, got checked in and went to dinner at Trudy’s.  Our daughter Patricia had eaten there on a previous trip to Austin and recommended their speciality—avocado stuffed with chicken and then deep-fried.  Thanks for the recommendation, Patricia—it may not sound great but it is.

On Thursday morning we had a wonderful time at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center south of Austin.  We hiked a few trails plus toured the wildflower gardens, a visit we thoroughly enjoyed.  I love to take flower photos, so I doubly enjoyed the visit—here’s a few to share.  

Entrance sign








After the morning at Lady Bird’s we had lunch at Magnolia Café, where you’re welcomed by a sign that reads “Sorry, We’re Open.”  We sure weren’t sorry we went—we created our own international meal with tortilla soup, hummus, and tabouli, plus we shared a gingerbread pancake for dessert.  YUM!

Following the filling lunch we needed some exercise, so we rented kayaks at Zilker Park.  We paddled down Barton Creek to the Colorado River (not THE Colorado River) to a wide spot in the river called Lady Bird Lake.  Then we followed the lake (river) to downtown and back.  It was both a refreshing and beautiful trip.  Downtown Austin is much larger than I expected and is a growing and prosperous city.


Susan on the move

After all that exercise we needed some refreshment, so we went to the South Congress area (SoCo) which sports numerous  bars, restaurants, and funky shops. We refreshed ourselves at Wahoo’s and then windowed shopped for awhile.  Doesn’t Susan look refreshed?  She even managed to change clothes after kayaking.


We fought Austin traffic to get to our dinner place, County Line on the Lake (actually just a small river—I don’t know why Texans can’t tell a lake from a river), a favorite Austin BBQ joint.  Not only did we eat too much, but we also had enough left for lunch tomorrow.

Relaxing after gaining 10 pounds.

Driving in Austin may be easy for someone who lives there, but we found it to be very difficult to find our way anywhere.  We had a GPS, but when interstates and exit ramps and frontage roads are so close together and confusing, the GPS isn’t sure what road you’re on.  Anyway, we eventually found our way to everywhere we wanted to go, but often it took a lot of “recalculating.”  We sometimes used the British voice on our GPS and we named her Camilla because she was quite bossy and in charge.

We eventually made it back to our hotel to veg out (can you do that after eating tons of BBQ ribs?) and turn in for the night.

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