2 nights in Austin

Trip Start Nov 23, 2009
Trip End Mar 01, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Saturday, December 19, 2009

We considered going to Dallas, Houston or Austin from Lafayette. Austin seemed the best bet since we wanted to continue down to Big Bend National Park in south Texas. Dave Pricelined a very nice hotel in the Arboretum area on the north end. This is the less 'funky" part of Austin and 6 miles north of the capital building.

The drive from Lafayette was a bit mundane with the modern Houston skyline seeming out of place with the rest of the dry desert journey. Maximum posted speed was 80MPH in some areas and we covered a lot of miles quickly. As we approached Austin from the east, we noticed it has some woods and hunting areas about 20 miles from the city. We were very pleased with the Hyatt Place hotel and happy we decided on 2 nights.

For dinner, we drove to the center of town near the Capital and walked the lively bar area on 4th street. We stumbled on Manuel's, an award winning upscale Mexican restaurant on Congress Ave.  The enchiladas and mole were the best on the planet! The Rellenos were on fire and the waitress graciously traded the dish out for one less spicy. Dave had read about a Christmas lighting tradition in a neighborhood near the upper part of Guadalupe street.  Somehow we found it and enjoyed this funky Austin custom.

After a delightful breakfast at the hotel, we drove to the Lady Bird Johnson hiking and biking trail, parked at the high school, unloaded the bikes and rode along the lake (really a river) toward downtown . Tis a nice ride with cycles, joggers, runners and dogwalkers sharing the same trail.  We arrive at a park where the Keep Austin Bizarre Festival (art bizarre) was being held. We looked around at the handy crafts and hopped back on our bikes to get to the Convention Center by 3PM. Dave had wanted to get to this other art fair there,  because Asleep and the Wheel band was scheduled to play. They are a well known Austin group who have been popular since the eighties. The band showed up a bit late and we enjoyed about 30 minutes of their music before riding back to the high school before dusk.
We concluded that Austin is a very nice place to live. Lot of activities for the locals are always happening.......
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