Austin, TX

Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
1
7
59
Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United States  , Texas
Saturday, April 11, 2009

Home to a highly developed youth culture that spans much of the city, Austin's vibe is nothing if not energetic, creative, and free spirited.  Youthfulness is not confined to those under 30, however.  As a friend and resident of Austin put it, "there are a lot of old hippies here", and their influence is obvious in the abundance of good, live music venues, trashy chic cafes, menus that cater to vegetarians and vegans, thriving art scene, community student housing, garden and grocery co-ops, and gentrification of fringe areas.  We were happy to discover Buffalo Exchange (a great used clothing shop north of UT and off of Guadeloupe) and Spider House (a very cool, outdoor café with healthy, cheap food and wifi).  Thanks to the generosity of friends, Sheila and Bill, we lucked out with digs right off of Guadeloupe and MLK Blvd, within easy walking distance of University of Texas campus, S. Congress' 6 block stretch of trendy shops, restaurants, cafes and bars, and Red River Street.  We even got to join their team, the She She Freddys, on weekly trivia night at The Screaming Goat, a cheap, good tex mex place.  Hopefully, our participation didn't forever tarnish their esteemed reputation.  

Prior to our two nights with Sheila and Bill, we spent two nights camping at McKinney Falls State Park, located within Austin's city limits.  A beautiful park that boasts limestone rock formations and an upper and lowers falls, we walked, hiked and jogged and saw several deer, a long green snake, and lots of birds.  Thus far, the most challenging aspect of this trip has been our attempt to transition between wilderness and urban settings.  The energy required to set-up and breakdown camp doesn't seem to justify one night stays, and trying to simultaneously enjoy a city, like Austin, and a national or state park, like McKinney Falls, seems futile.  Both get short-changed and in the end, so do we.  Given our month long stay in Nashville, we're really only just beginning the traveling portion of our adventure, so perhaps it's understandable that we haven't quite hit our stride yet.  As for weather, car performance and health, we've been most fortunate!  
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