Austin Daytrip

Ever have the feeling that you just have to get away?

Well – we were hit with that feeling this weekend. Just could not stand hanging around Dallas this weekend. So we decided to take a day-trip to Austin.

For those of you not familiar with Austin, it is likely the best place in Texas to visit. There is something for everyone at every age. Alex wanted to visit the Texas History Museum, while Kathryn and Rebecca wanted to do some shopping at the Hill Country Weavers store on Congress Avenue.

When we woke up – another big surprise. It was raining! Now for those of you who are not aware of the situation here in Texas, we are about 25 inches behind where we should be. It’s looking to be a hot dry summer. But we drove all morning in hard rain – and it continued to rain as we drove around Austin.

We had lunch at the original Chuy’s resturant. While all the Chuy’s restaurants are good – there is no beating the original restaurant on Barton Springs road. We ate in the hubcap room, which is decorated with (you guessed it) hubcaps all over the ceiling.

Great lunch – Rebecca and Kathryn split the fajitas and I had the burrito. Alex even got into the spirit of things and had cheese quesadeas.

After lunch, we went by Hill Country Weavers – a really nice “local yarn shop? on Congress avenue south of Town lake. Rebecca is on a quest for the perfect sock yarn, and she found at least one or two nice yarns. Kathryn experienced total sensory overload – but also found some yarns for future projects. She is really getting into knitting, and is enjoying attending the knitting group that Rebecca attends.

After finishing up at the knitting shop, we went on to a place Rebecca found on the Internet to get some loose tea. Sometime, I will write a post on the joy of really good tea – but for now suffice to say you will never go back to tea bags after trying real quality tea.

So a bit of ‘net research had revealed the Tea Embassy located on the corner of 9th and Rio Grande in downtown Austin. It’s a really wonderful place, with a wide selection of tea and related products.

Tea Embassy is one of those rare family on-line businesses that has made the jump to “bricks and mortar? with the opening of their retail store in Austin. They are located in the historic Campbell-Miller house, which was built in 1872. The property has been granted historical designation; however they are still waiting on their state shield.

We spent a great half hour sampling teas and talking with one of the owners. Came away with several new teas, including a chocolate tea that Alex decided was just right for him.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Now, I know that the Internet is global in reach, and that only a small number of people in the United States are blessed to live in Texas. I have to say, every time I get to visit the museum I am proud to be a Texan.

The Story of Texas is a very well put together educational experience. We have not had time yet to attend the IMAX presentations. If you really take your time and read everything, the galleries will take you all day. There are three levels taking you from the early (and often failed) attempts to map and settle Texas, to the modern industrial and technological contributions of Texas and Texans.

I will not try to describe the exhibits (if you want a summary see the exhibit summary) but I will say – if you are in Austin be sure to allow time to visit. It is well worth it!

Ended the day meeting by brother, Kyle, and his family for dinner. The the long drive home to Dallas. But – it was worth it to get out of town for the day. Only annoying thing – no photos due to the bad weather. Oh well, there’s always next time.

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