Junction to Austin

Trip Start May 08, 2008
Trip End Jun 08, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, May 11, 2008

This morning, instead of waking up to the sound of screaming children, I woke up to the sound of screeching starlings.  They are some of the most annoying birds I have ever heard.  Leslie and I enjoyed a deluxe breakfast of granola bars and tea from the gas station next door and then set off towards Austin.  By the way, the Motel 6 in Junction, Texas is quite nice.  Actually, I am quite fond of Junction as a whole.  It is tiny, with about 2 hotels, 4 restaurants, and 8 gas stations, but it is very clean and well-kept and the people are really friendly.  We only had about a two-hour drive to get to Austin, but along the way we passed through Fredricksburg, which was basically the epitome of small-town America.  There was a long Main Street with very attractive old-style store fronts, pretty churches and imposing government buildings.  All the people seemed to be out walking around, enjoying themselves.  I wish we could have stopped.  We drove on and got to Austin about 12:30.  We immediately went to find Threadgills, a restaurant that we had heard from many sources was supposed to be fabulous.  And indeed it was.  Leslie and I shared a vegetable sampler plate filled with Southern goodness.  We had sweet potato fries, collard greens, squash casserole, macaroni and cheese, and fried okra.  It was really, really good.  Unfortunately we didn't have room for the peach cobbler.

After lunch we went to explore the UT-Austin campus.  It was a beautiful campus, full of grand hacienda-style buildings and large trees.  It was one of the prettiest college campuses I have seen.  Unfortunately it was about 95 degrees and 80% humidity, so it was pretty uncomfortable to be walking around.  We explored for a long time and then grabbed a pick-me-up at Starbucks and headed to the hostel.  We are staying the the HI-Austin hostel, which is right on the Town Lake lakefront.  It is a very nice hostel, with a big green lawn, a dock, and a resident cat.  We are sharing a room with 12 other women, most of whom we haven't met yet.  But we did talk to Robin, a nice woman from Australia who is here on a grand tour of the US.  She's headed up to Jackson Hole next.

We sat around at the hostel for a while and then went into downtown Austin to find some dinner.  We went to the famous 6th Street, which is known for its live-music scene.  We wandered around a little and then stopped at the Iron Cactus for dinner.  I had very good vegetable fajitas, which made me stuffed.  Everything's bigger in Texas, right?  Then we went to listen to a few bands, who were very good and very entertaining, if a bit loud.  I was crashing by this time, so we wandered our way back to the car and returned to the hostel.  Tomorrow we're planning on going to the farmers market and Zilker's Park.
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