Friday, April 23, 2010

Austin Scenes

"Keep Austin Weird"
~Unofficial City Motto~

On April 8th, Mike Broderick, Peter Saucerman and I flew to Austin Texas to participate in the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) Texas Hill Country 7 day bicycle tour. We were joined by David and Christina Vandershaf where the five of us formed the Sac Pac contingent of the tour's 47 participants.

We spent 4 days in Austin, 2 days prior and 2 days after the tour. It was a first time visit for the three of us so we were excited about exploring the city with a hip reputation. We were not disappointed. With an enrollment of over 50,000 students at UT, Austin is a youthful, high energy city full of history, funky and innovative architecture, a beautiful riverfront park, great neighborhoods, and a hopping night life. Austin is deserving of its reputation as the music capitol of the US with big name artists and lessor name musicians performing year around at a number of venues scattered through out the city.

The blog of our Texas trip is organized in seven entries:

Austin Scenes
State Capitol
University of Texas
Verde Camp
Rat Rods
The Hill Country Bike Tour
The Mighty Texas Dog Walk

The first entry of neat Austin Scenes begins below

For enlarged view, click twice on pic

Skyline of downtown Austin from a high hill

Walking across the Congress St. Bridge to downtown - Peter, Mike and me

Congress St. terminates at the state capitol

Town Lake running east-west bisects the city into north and south districts. Bridges crossing the lake have wide sidewalks allowing easy access to parkway trails on each side. There were runners and cyclists by the hundreds using the parkway at all hours of the day.

A must see for cycling enthusiasts is visiting Lance Armstrong's Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop located in the downtown area. The two-story, 9,000 square foot pedal palace is chock full of cycling apparel and equipment. A museum full of Armstrong memorabilia fills the basement.

Colorful display of bikes for sale

Two of the seven Tour de France yellow jerseys displayed in the museum

Peter checking out some of the bikes Lance rode

Looking out the window to one of Austin's new high rises

Tempted to buy one of Mellow Johnny's $170 jerseys . . . Phew! . . they did not have my size

Zoomie bike on display

A couple young Austin Flyers Racing Team members pose in front of the shop

Reflection of high rises in beautiful Town Lake . . . from under the Congress St. Bridge

View of 1st Ave Bridge

Time for a couple brewskies and music at an outdoor beer garden on So. Congress St.

Festive beer garden comes alive in the evening

We discovered a number of unusual eateries along the back streets in our neighborhood

Bouldin Creek serves outstanding breakfasts in home spun rustic setting.

Outdoor dining at Bouldins

Kickin' back with a good cup-o-joe

Simple, yet tasty breakfast - spinach and mushroom omelette with potato pancake

It started raining so we moved into the enclosed dining room at Bouldins

Some of the unique shops along So. Congress St (above and below)

Dinner at the Snack and Grill on So. Congress, another great eatery with decor of the 1950's

Nice presentation.
Burger with carmelized onions and cheese served with a side of cold slaw slacked my hunger . . . quite good!

Breakfast at another cool eatery on Congress St.

Great grub served on 5o's Jetson-style china

The homes in the Travis Heights neighborhood where we stayed was quite interesting. Alot of rehab and new construction are taking place. Here are a couple - historic and contemporary.

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