Keep Austin Weird…4.2009

as the saying goes....

And what's printed on almost every t-shirt and bumper sticker, and as some of the residents prove....but it's really been a fun place to visit!

I landed in Austin last Saturday, early afternoon,...to attend a conference for work.  The conference began on Sunday and ended late Tuesday night...I worked soooooo hard and was such a good little employee....

...but now the fun begins.

The first place I ate was the "Oasis" at Lake Travis...the entrance was this beautiful stone building with sculptures tucked throughout the landscaping....I love these type of sculptures.


   

   

The inside of the building was just as neat as the outside...check out this super cool glass light fixture.

but then....you walk through the building to the outside...and this is the view....way cool.

       

I sat at one of the tables, ordered lunch (fish tacos) and took in this view....wow....Austin is pretty neat so far...

(just some pretty weird flowers I spotted outside the building.)

Outside the restaurant there were several vendors selling everything from photos to jewelry.

This really nice woman was creating and applying BEAUTIFUL henna tattoos...those of you who know me, know that I'm too chicken to get a "real" tattoo....but the henna one this woman gave me is really fun (and pain-less!) (NOT MY LEG IN PIC BELOW).

After lunch, I visited a nearby park, climbed the steps and took in the view!  These are huge homes, but all nestled next to each other lining the shores of the river.

My next stop was to create my own walking tour of downtown Austin.  Along the way, I began to find these colorful guitars on the sidewalk (I figured, since Austin is the music capitol of the world, they're little "thing" to display is the guitar.  I was in Sarasota Florida a couple of years ago, and they have tons of really cool clowns all over their downtown, since it's the home to Barnum/Bailey Circus....and back in Kansas/Missouri....we have cows.)

However, in all my blocks and blocks of walking, I could only find two guitars...still pretty cool anyway.

       

The other thing that I was beginning to notice, was all of the really neat, old architecture and various buildings.  Here are some of the buildings I enjoyed the most....

           

               

This is the capitol building which sits on huge, beautiful grounds...(they kind of remind me of the Nelson Art Gallery grounds).

   

This was a drinking fountain....but you had to drink with your head upside down to get the water...very weird.

I wanted some caffeine, so went to a local coffee house I'd read about...the coffee was good and the people-watching was great!

I knew Austin had a lot of lakes, and followed the directions from a local on how to find one.  As I approached the bridge that crosses the river, there were tons of people standing on the bridge and lots of people in kayaks and tourist boats in the water below the bridge.....just sitting there, staring up at the bridge.  I thought it seemed really weird that no one was moving around, so I asked the girl standing next to me.  She then told me about the "Congress Bridge bats" which swarm out from under the bridge from the end of March through the summer each night at dusk...and a couple of minutes later...thousands of little bitty tiny but cute bats came flying out from beneath the bridge...and it went on like that for about 20 minutes.

       

What may look like black smoke up in the sky, are actually the bats flying away to go catch their dinner.  It was soooo amazing....

   

I ate breakfast at the Magnolia cafe...the gingerbread pancakes were really good and I had my first "Bellini".....very, very yummy!

   

The cafe is south of downtown...where there are some very eclectic (or some might say weird shops,  weird houses and weird people), but I thought it was all just great.

           

       

           

This was an old fashioned candy store...I didn't buy anything, but had a great time looking at all the candy, some of which I remember from when I was a little girl and now no longer exists!

       

hey cupcake!...what a cute place...this little trailer was set up in a parking lot, selling several flavors of cupcakes.  and the people were lined up like crazy...not only did I order one (white cake/white icing), but the guy happily added to my "sticker" collection.

       

The sun was out, the air was warm, and it felt like summer! I happily sat by the river watching the kayakers paddle by, the bikers zooming down the trails, and a couple of little kids wading in the water.

The Capitol building at night.

       

 

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