Things never seem to go as planned, and our long weekend in Austin turned into a short weekend. But it was worth it; we had a great visit.
We were supposed to arrive at 5, but didn't get in until 11 pm. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott South . We over-slept on Saturday morning and had no time for breakfast before we had to leave for our tour. I'm so glad we did, because, after confirming our reservations for the tour at the Austin Visitor's Center , they told us we had time for breakfast before the bus left. They recommended the 1886 Café & Bakery at the Driskill Hotel on the corner. The Driskill Hotel is a gorgeous Victorian building, and the Café & Bakery, with elegantly tatty period fabric wallpaper, beautiful furniture, also has delicious baked goods.
The Austin in 90 Minutes tour was very good. Incredibly informative. I'd give it an 8 out of 10, simply because we never had a chance to stop and take pictures, and our trip was so short, we didn't have time to go back and find stuff later. Cool stuff we saw and want to visit the next time we go: Treaty Oak; The French Legation; Congress Ave. Bridge bats; Esthers Follies...the list goes on.
We then met some old friends from Virginia for lunch at The Tavern . They took us there because it's an Austin "institution" but neither the food nor the atmosphere were worth the effort.
Our friends dropped us off at the state capitol building . At first we figured we'd just take a few pics of the facade and then leave, but for some reason we decided to go inside, and I am so glad we did. We took the tour, and took way too many pictures.
We wandered on 6th Street for a while, and made the decision to go to the Warehouse district for the evening--6th street is really for the college crowd, and we were told the more "mature" folks go to the Warehouse area for entertainment.
We'd planned to go to a local restaurant for dinner, but the road was so crowded that we went to Fado, an Irish pub chain (12 restaurants nationwide). Good food, good atmosphere, and good cider (my drink of choice!) Then we went to Antone's blues club. Had no idea it was a standing-room-only sort of place and, having walked all day, our feet couldn't take it through both the opening act (Jonathan Terrell --an amazing young artist) and the main act (Storyville ). So we limped our middle-aged selves back to the hotel after Storyville's first set.
Allergy sufferers alert! The cedar and juniper pollen in Austin almost knocked me out, and I usually only suffer minor hayfever.
In the end, we found that we need to spend another vacation here, and soon. And we're even thinking of relocating!