Hook 'em horns...

Trip Start Oct 01, 2010
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Trip End Oct 01, 2011


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Where I stayed
Big B - Walmart

Flag of United States  , Texas
Monday, April 11, 2011

I had BIG expectations for Austin. I just thought it'd be alive/thriving/bustling with street musicians. Maybe we missed it? 

We got off on the wrong foot from the get go. Parking was hard to find. Not that parking a 34 ft motorhome in a city is every going to be a breeze but on top of that we want free parking. For such a small city, more of a town, there's a whole lot of paid parking. Then there's the trees. I love trees (I could easily put a portfolio of tree images together) but there were so many untrimmed, low hanging branches that it was stressful trying to maneuver around them. Not RV friendly capital of the US!

We spent a lot of time around the University of Texas campus because we found parking easier to come by. In the area, we had some BBQ and visited the LBJ Library on campus. I learned a lot about our 36th President. He did so much for bringing about social progress. It's too bad that his presidency was clouded by the Vietnam War.

While we were visiting the capitol building, we saw a group on a Segway tour. Then all of a sudden, one of the women fell and cracked her head! The firefighters & ambulance were quickly dispatched. Not a pleasant view. I think she was okay, just a bit inured. 

Then we had our first Walmart sleeping scare. We were in Walmart earlier and we didn't really notice anything unusual except an overflow of what appeared to be returns in shopping cart, after cart. I even commented on it as we were checking out and the bagger said, "Today's not that bad." (?!)

I usually ask the manager for permission to park overnight and like every other night the manager said yes but stipulated, "It's just not safe. Look around." So it's more ethnic, that doesn't scare me. People can get bent out of shape when they are not in their comfort zone. Yet to have a man of color tell me that, I was a bit apprehensive. I decided to ask the security guard for his thoughts and he agreed, saying something along the line of, "America is just not what it used to be." I had just started baking some homemade meatballs but we decided that it was probably best that we didn't stick around. With our meatballs in the oven, we drove to another Walmart and got turned down, some lame excuse about city ordinance rules. The third Walmart said yes and did reconfirm that the first Walmart was best to avoid. Always a good idea to ask if you are not familiar with the neighborhood, even if you are sleeping in a lot with patrolled security. Thankful, through all that, the meatballs didn't get burnt! (I've always got food in mind!)

Austin wasn't all bad! Sixth Street in downtown had a lot of dive bars and restaurants with live music. We also didn't go out at night so, we very well could have missed something amazing as the night owls crept out? SoCo had some nice shops, trailers/RV's turned into meals on wheels and a great outdoor band scene at Guero's. The best time I had was actually doing something I thought might be a lame tourist trap. We watched the sunset and just after dusk a plume of over a million bats made their way from under Congress Bridge, into the night. It was just never ending! They all fell in line, flapping their wings in a unified formation, up, up and away....
 
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