Rockin’ in Austin
All you Texas detractors can bite your tongues. Adam and I saw both Houston and Austin over the last couple of weeks, and we thought they were great. Sure, we mostly saw Texas from the inside of bars and restaurants, and we only visited two cities, but that’s how we’ve seen most places…
First, let me say that I love Austin’s airport. It’s been our most hassle-free experience of aviation in the USA to date, both arriving and departing. Quick check-in, quick security, quick rental car pick up (and cheap! Go Ace!) – makes me far less apprehensive about our remaining internal USA flights. Bravo, Austin! Unfortunately, our expeditious exit from the airport robbed us of our usual time to plan what we were going to do in Austin, so we were very disorganised and haphazard about the 4 days we had. Still had a good time though 🙂
We arrived on Sunday afternoon, so took advantage of the minimal traffic in downtown to visit the State Capitol. I know everything’s bigger in Texas, but this building is bigger than DC’s to the tune of 5 feet! From a distance, it looks a dusky pink – a bit feminine for such a ballsy state, but it turned out to be Red Sunset (sand? lime?) stone – it’s quite attractive up close. The building was testament to the money in Austin: the building is grand, pristine and actually quite classy.
We bunked at Ryan’s dad’s house (thank you again for having us, Mark!) for a couple of nights, so got some tips to check out Zilker Park (lovely), drive around the wine region and sample the local BBQ flavours. Most people seem willing to admit that Texas produces crap wine, so we didn’t bother sampling it – just admired the scenery and architecture, and ate ribs (drool).
We managed to catch up with some new friends for dinner on the famous 6th Street, followed by some jazz at one of the local spots – it certainly whet our appetite for what was to come in New Orleans! And we took a short drive to San Antonio to check out The Alamo and the river walk – very peaceful.
Austin was lovely and I look forward to seeing it again next year for SXSW 2012! Now onto the pre-honeymoon cruise…