Weekend in Austin

by - June 07, 2011

I have lived in Texas for over three years now and this weekend I finally got my first taste of Austin. Weird-cool Austin. This city gets a lot of hype as being a place unlike any other. Music, food, vibe. Willie Nelson lives there. Who is more weird-cool than Willie? I didn't stay with Willie though. I finally went to stay with Ryan and Jessica Walling, or more appropriately stated: I finally went to stay with family. This was our first time to visit while wearing pajamas. I was surprised to learn they sleep in matching footy pj's, but it works for them, and I loved catching up and talking it all out as we solved world issues. They don't really sleep in matching footy pj's. I don't have friends that do that.

I had said it would be a miracle if I slept till 8 am Saturday morning, but encouraged them to sleep as long as they wanted. At 9 am I rolled out of bed, proving myself wrong again for the eleventy-billionth time. We went to their favorite breakfast taco dive, and it was really good, but ultimately I think refried beans shouldn't happen at breakfast. Then we went to some thrift shops, and on to SoCo or South Congress Street. It was as billed: weird and cool. I bought a CD off of two guys with a banjo, a guitar and a harmonica who hadn't seen a shower in days. I haven't stopped listening to their music yet.

My favorite thing to do, outside of doing what I do, is taking pictures. So I chronicled some of the sights we saw through my camera. Here are a few of my favorites. They don't necessarily make sense, but I like looking at them:










Austin was great. Ryan and Jess went to a graduation for one of his students, so I got a little alone time at Starbucks. Then we had dinner and finished with Bananagrams at their house. Ryan won every game, however Jessica and I are still cooler than him. Winning Bananagrams doesn't change that.

We spent Sunday morning at Anderson Mills where Ryan serves as the Youth Pastor, then had an amazing lunch at Sandra Bullock's restaurant: http://www.bessbistro.com/. Between the grits, brick walls, old pictures, chandeliers and the DJ spinning Motown...you may want to live there. I did.

Finally back on the road again. I stopped in Temple to put together a flower arrangement in memory of my ggGrandfather whose grave is located in Waco. He came to America from Ireland, and died in Waco in 1896, when my gGrandpa Tom was 2 years old. I am an ancestry geek. Don't judge, you are probably a geek about something too.


So...Go to Austin if you get the chance; buy a CD off the street; have dinner, stay up late, play games with people who know you really well; and put flowers on the grave of someone who should be remembered.

Thanks to my weird-cool hosts for your friendship and for humoring me when I say "don't move" and then let me take your picture. Everyone should have a Ryan and Jess.


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  1. I love your writing! I enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoy reading Ryan's...shh don't tell him I said that. You should definitely keep this up. We so enjoyed having you come and can't wait for the next visit. Love ya.