Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Best City Ever

So I ventured to Austin this weekend and I'm SO So glad I did!! I had 2nd thoughts about making the trip just a few days before my journey to Alaska, but ohMan! Becoming introduced to this city has changed my whole view of living in TX! Basically I'm like a million times more stoked to be here. Austin is an easy 2 hr drive from my house and it is the city of my dreams. No its not portland, or SanFran, but maybe those are too well known for their coolness. Austin is known for being 'weird' which is fine and dandy but I have some other adjectives to add.
Classy high-rise filled

So this building, right on the water and incredibly awesome Hike&Bike path, is where I stayed for my 1st trip to Austin! It will be hard to top in subsequent visits! Cara, my new german friend, and i couchsurfed and were lucky enough to be hosted by a really cool couple who started an impressive, up-and-coming green business, re:char. They took us out and introduced us to the nitelife on friday evening and i had an excellent microbrew IPA at a bar called lovejoys. On Saturday, they gave us directions to cool things and made a special trip to give us the keys to their flat when we were up on the roof of the bldg-- where there was a suh-weet pool!! On sunday morning, they invited us to brunch with a couple of their friends @ moonshine, which just happens to have been recently voted Best Sunday Brunch by the Austin chronicle. It was rad, i tell ya. And to top it off, one of their friend's paid for everybody's brunch with a giftcard she had!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
In a state where the Fresh! Green! Active! scene is not really catching on like it is in other places, Austin bucks the trend. This is a shot of a juice place where a bunch of cool kids (people of all ages) were chilling outside, sippin fresh juice. You just dont see that happenin in College Station. Not a chance. But here, greeness was bursting at the seams. I
never couldve imagined that a city and a lush river ecosystem could jive so well together!
Well, i could imagine it, but wouldnt believe it actually existed!! There were multiple
pedestrian bridges crossing the big river and an amazing trail on both banks, which I
tooootally took advantage of on Saturday a.m. It was the run of my life! There were SO many
beautiful people out, all running like they were being chased! There were very few people
walking..and just hundreds and hundreds of runners of all ages and one fitness level: Fit!!
It was like incredibly exciting for me. I just ran along a took it all in, grinning the whole time Im pretty sure. I made myself turn around after 3 miles because I knew I'd be walking a lot later, and that it'd be HOT out. At 7:30, in the shade of all the cottonwoods and bald cypresses on the trail it was not uncomfortable at all, but later Im sure it heated up to 103 degs!
Flat out gorgeous

The river is right in the thick of things and the sky is just so BiG in Texas! Austin cant help but be gorgeous. And I think its just the right size--not too big and uet you definitely still get the city feeling, even though you simultaneously feel like you're in a nat'l park or something!
Wild and Cool

This pool was incredible!! I took this photo looking upstream so you can see the pool in its entirety..and yes i did say upstream! Its a stream-fed pool and its icy cool! like 65 F i heard a lifeguard say. And its teeming with life! The bottom is very natural: a thick covering of vegetation--not sure on specifics as I didnt have my snorkle gear like another girl did. A lot of vegetation is floating on the top of the pool too. This place is a total enigma to me still--i dont quite understand how its still so nice with all the use it geys and how you go about containing a rushing, wild stream in 4 long concrete walls. However they did it, Im so happy the Barton Springs pool was created! I will be back again and again.

And a shot from whole foods!! More in an upcoming post. oh man. Austin is home to the
mothership of WHole Foods bc the this was where the lil company got its start as I understand it. This shot is of the beer cooler within the gigantic beer& wine section.

I enjoyed the wine tasting area and met some other nice enthusiastic-WF citizens.

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