Our Austin adventure
On Thursday afternoon I asked The Scientist if he would mind coming home a little early on Friday so I could go to a hair appointment. He said he’d be happy to, and hey, what did I think about packing up and leaving on Saturday for a quick getaway to Austin? To which I replied, to hell with my hair appointment, I’ll cancel it and we’ll leave for Austin as soon as Charlie is done with school.
The Scientist and I love going on road trips. We are an equally adventurous duo and it never takes much (read: any) convincing to get the other to go along with whatever scheme we’ve cooked up. We’ve talked about visiting Austin together since before I even moved to Texas, so this was a long overdue trip. And super bonus points for him: he does most of the driving which equals lots of car knitting. Score!
After a breakfast that included much moaning and face-stuffage on my part (more about that later), we headed over to the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library. You know I have a soft spot a mile wide for presidential history. While there were parts of it that were breathtaking, like the view of the stacks from the third floor, and very interesting, The Scientist and I both thought it didn’t go into nearly enough detail, with some of his biggest moments in his presidency receiving little more than a passing mention. But overall we all enjoyed it, even Charlie. He is wonderfully curious and happy to accompany us to places that would bore most kids his age.
Austin is one of those places where a lot of the people I know have either been there and love it or want to go someday. And there are definitely some awesome things about it, and some not so great. But let’s start with the good stuff. Pros: The food. Oh my god, the food. Both mornings we were there I meant to take a picture of my migas before I started eating, but once they arrived at our table the primal part of my brain took over and was like STUFF IN FACE HOLE NOW. If you don’t know what migas are 1. I’m sorry and 2. I didn’t know before I moved to Texas either, but there is a description of them here. Spicy salsa is an absolute requirement. On the advice of Caro Splityarn we went to Guerro’s, where I had Al Pastor, and it was fantastic. Al Pastor is seasoned pork, cilantro, and pineapple in a tortilla, and if you haven’t guessed yet, why yes, Tex-Mex is my favorite type of food. The last notable food place we went to was Lick, which is a local ice cream shop. I had the Caramel Salt flavor, which uhhhng. So freaking good. The Scientist had Dark Chocolate with Olive Oil and Sea Salt, also amazing, and Charlie had Goat Cheese, Thyme and Honey, which we were both jealous of. I want to repeat this for the record: my seven-year-old passed over normal flavors like Sweet Cream and Strawberries to get Goat Cheese ice cream, so clearly? We are doing something right. Another thing Austin has going for it are hills, like honest to god ground that changes in elevation. There is one hill in Houston (not counting the ones that lead down to the bayous, a wonderful reminder that this place is built on top of a swamp), and it is across the street from my work. And is man-made. Now maybe you’re thinking to yourself “Kate, Houston sounds great! I bet the flatness makes it so easy to bike everywhere,” but you’re wrong. The city hasn’t heard of bike lanes, and no one, including the other cyclists, have any idea what bike laws are, so while in theory you could get around the city easily on a bike, it might be quicker to step out in front of a train because you’ll get the same result. Also, it’s like 900 degrees here with 5000% humidity for ¾ of the year, so have fun biking in that. Hills are cool.
We spent part of Saturday afternoon walking around Congress St, which I think is the trendy part of town, something I don’t usually go for, but Hill Country Weavers is there so we had to go. You guys. This is my favorite yarn shop ever, ever, ever. I don’t like shopping, not even at yarn shops, but I kept wandering around this store, wide-eyed and fondling everything in sight, and the only reason I left when I did was because I felt bad making Charlie and The Scientist wait for me any longer. Not only do they have a crapton of MadelineTosh and several indie dyers like Sweet Georgia and Alisha Goes Around, they have an entire wall of BrooklynTweed yarn. I’m pretty sure I stood in front of it for a solid five minutes, petting it and talking quietly to myself.
I easily could have spent all the money in my bank account there, but I managed to walk away with just a pair of carbon fiber needles and two skeins of Hedgehog Fibers Luscious Single Silk, which I bought simply because it was pretty. Do you know the last time I bought yarn with no project in mind, just because it caught my eye? Me neither. But I had to have this. The colors are so very me. Any ideas for what I should make out of it?
But there are a few cons about Austin. Namely, it’s in Texas. And it‘s CRAWLING with hipsters. After hearing one girl behind us on the street declaring loudly, for the entire world to hear, that she wouldn’t be caught dead wearing $5 sunglasses, my introvert bell went ding and I knew it was time to get out of there before I started twitching. Also, if you were looking for all the neon clothing, I found it. The young people in Austin are hoarding it. They are also wearing fanny packs for reasons I don’t understand because it can’t possibly be for style I AM SO OLD.
On the way back, we stopped outside of Brenham and Charlie ran through some wildflowers.
I had a lot of fun in Austin, but I’m glad to be home. I missed my cross stitch. I’m all done with January!