Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Austin: I Can't Quit You

I've blogged about our visits to Austin before. While, I always seem to tell people how unimpressed I am with Austin, somehow we keep coming back for more.

Our first trip to Austin was a rare anniversary in the states. We decided to experience train travel (it'll be just like the Hogwarts Express!) and Austin was a convenient end of the line. Our second trip was a conference John attended on my birthday. He made it up to me by bringing me along and letting me have a spa day at the Four Seasons.

On these trips we stayed downtown (the Driskill and then the Four Seasons) walked most of the time, and enjoyed the Congress Bridge bats and the various restaurants, bars and museums nearby.

Here's the thing with Austin. It has a reputation for being cool, and everyone (meaning everyone from Austin) knows it. The place so freaking pretentious, you just want to punch them in the face. Don't get me wrong we had a good time. Bats, awesome. Food, awesome. Museums, awesome. People, get over yourself, you are ruining this for me.

So when I decided to give John a special treat with a last minute trip to the Austin Marathon, I wasn't expecting a great time. But thanks to some great tips from friends, we saw a new side to Austin.

This was a last minute, on the cheap, trip to Austin during a jam-packed weekend. We couldn't get a hotel downtown if we had wanted. We drove more than ever. Traffic was a nightmare, but it freed us up to see some things we wouldn't have bothered with otherwise.

We took a shopping excursion and purchased a "bed picnic" at the Whole Foods (thanks, Dustin and Karee). The next day we "hiked" to the top of Mount Bonnell. It was definitely a highlight of Austin (thanks, Caitlin!).

On top of Mount Bonnell, the Austin skyline at our backs.

The Austin Marathon, well, that was great, too. It deserves it own post. I'll get back to you on that.


muddypebbles said...

any tips for hiking? i actually just started researching the gear i need to pick up so i can start hiking last weekend...looks to be much more fun than working out in the gym :)

BonnieAnn said...

There are actually some really fun trips from Outdoor Adventure through the Colvin. They have different length trips one-day or multiple day. You go with guides/instructors, pay a fee (which ends up being cheaper than going alone) and they take care of everything: food, equipment, travel, fees. It's a great way to see new trails you might want to come back to and they'll teach you about orienteering, first aid, and other outdoor skills.