Searching for Noah’s Ark in Austin, TX
This part of Texas has been having torrential rain, tornadoes and floods. We’ve been closely monitoring local weather as we make plans and have been lucky. We stayed off interstates and headed towards Bandera (known as the “Cowboy City” and appropriately hosting a Memorial weekend rodeo), and then onward to Comfort. Comfort bills itself as “An Antique Town” and I thought that might refer to the vintage of the place, but actually, I saw quite a few really enticing-looking antique shops. But, between Sunday hours and an unenthused travel partner, we had to move on. We continued on the Texas Hill Country Trail into the quaint German town of Fredericksburg in search of some good brisket for lunch (which we did find).
This is a beautiful part of Texas, gently rolling hills, lush green fields (probably from all the recent rains), wildflowers and lots of ranches with cattle and goats, but no oil wells. I loved seeing the names of the ranches and wish I had made note of them all along; Indian Springs, Rattlesnake, and Happy H are three that come to mind.
The area near Fredericksburg is home to much of the Texas wine country. I know there is also at least one bourbon distillery tucked in among the wineries.
We just had to go by Luckenbach, made famous by the Waylon Jennings song, this day hosting a big music fest in their dance hall. That’s pretty much the entire town, the dance hall. The Trail continued, leading us through Johnson City, home of LBJ and finally into Austin.
The weather was cloudy but nice in Austin, and expected to turn ugly the following midday. We seized the opportunity to see the University of Texas campus (I still prefer the other UT!), as well as explore the major areas of commerce, shops, music and restaurants. We eventually worked our way down to the area known as SOCO (South of Congress) and had dinner. Austin has a great reputation as a major foodie town with more than 3,000 restaurants. We managed to dine at one I considered overpriced and overrated (even though highly recommended).
Our second day in Austin was destined to be dedicated to the mundane chore of getting laundry done (a feat seemingly beyond the ability of our hotel’s for the last four nights), reading and maybe getting to a movie. We did manage to get a nice walk in during the morning hours, checking out the beautiful state capitol building.
It was no surprise when we entered the building we had to go through a scanner. What was a surprise is that I even had to take the Kleenex out of my pocket. They even wanted used Kleenex . . . but I threw that away. The female Ranger told me very sternly, “Mam, we don’t just screen for metal.”
Our movie intentions were abandoned when the weather kept getting worse. Even as a Floridian, I’ve never experienced rain any harder or as many lightning strikes (68K+ in one hour). The newscasters here are talking about “unprecedented flooding” and we are just happy to be back in the beautiful, historic Hotel Ella, which is fortunately equipped with a nice restaurant and a bar, which we are headed to now . . . .
Daily Trivia Questions (answers next post):
Which capitol building is taller, the US or Texas?
How high is the star at the center of the rotunda in the Texas capitol building?
Last post’s trivia answers:
What state was David Crockett from? Tennessee
How long is the River Walk? The downtown portion is approximately 5 miles. New extensions, however, are returning more of the river (previously straightened) to its natural bends and flow, almost doubling the length of the public access
First, you are really lucky, as it appears you were right in the area where it was really bad.
Second, check your route to see if you will go near Hico, TX on your way north. It, too, is an antique town – EXTREMELY small. But it is also where my grandparents lived, and later my aunt who took care of them and then lived in their house until she passed. We spent may Christmases there when I was young, traveling from Illinois to see my mother’s family.
Really enjoying your journey…
Maybe you should continue to California and see if you can end the drought there.