Austin, TX

A little departure from the home reno. My hubs and I travelled down to Austin for the American Craft Spirits Association convention/trade show.

Fortunately for us, we have friends that love us enough to drive 3 hours from Dallas and spend an evening with us and show us around. (Helps that her mom lives here, so a good little visit on the home front for her, too.)
During my walk to Corepower,
Marathoners were everywhere!
In deep background is Pink Capital Building.
Frost Bank Building to the right. 

Our totally awesome friends gave us the drive-by tour of Austin. The city is nestled on Lake Austin, part of the Seven Highland Lakes of the lower Colorado River (a damn system, if you ask me). This makes for lots and lots of rowing. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency and, since our cheap room wasn't ready, they upgraded us to a river view. YAY! I was in the room more since it was a distillers convention and I was not a participant.

Our host first drove us down to the State Capital building. A lovely pink building made out of Sunset Red Granite and in keeping with Texas tradition built mostly by convicts and migrant workers. And the land was bartered in exchange for one of the largest ranch transactions on record. No back deals in that arrangement. Go Big or Go Home!

Near our hotel was the Frost Bank Building. This was the first high rise built in the US after 9/11. Our friends said it was a bit of a controversy because it doesn't seem to fit in with the surrounding buildings. I have to admit, I like it.

Then, our UT graduate friend drove us around campus and past the Clock Tower. When you are aware of it's history, there is an energetic vibe that wraps you in to it's ineluctable stolidness.

Onward we went to tour the layers of limestone cliffs and valleys of the hill country to wrap back around to Uchi's Sushi Restaurant. Uchi's was as good of a restaurant as many you'd fine in Boulder/Denver at the same price-point. VERY yummy, unique Japanese food creations and kitschy sake drinks made for a wonderful evening!

Within a mile of the Hyatt was a small, up-and-coming shopping district on 1st street and a Corepower Yoga in 5th. So, I indulged in both. Lots of construction and high-rises are on their way.
Friend and I taking over the
Tipi at Texas on the Rocks

A View of the Lake.
Also near is the Austin Music Hall. This is where we went to a tasting event "Texas On The Rocks." I am totally biased but the only whiskey that I tasted that even came close to my hubby's Gold Label was Balcones. Personally, I think Dead Drift Bourbon will be even better and nothing came even close to our Jinn Gin. They had some pretty weak entertainment but no one was really there for the baton twirler.

The worst part of Austin is the traffic. The stop lights are poorly timed and it takes 30 minutes to drive 5 blocks. Lots of electric car outlets and rental bike stations. Uber seems pretty popular too. This all ties into the greening of Austin.

It's actually quite charming how liberal Texans think Austin is...Austin is like a huge, conservative Boulder. Austin is as blue as Texas can get but it's pretty much a deep shade of aubergine. Nonetheless, it has it's eclectic elements and, while I didn't see anything all that weird, they apparently want to keep it that way.