Austin ain't no San Antonio. Everyone talks about how great Austin is with music, nightlife, etc. but I disagree. I think if you exclude 6th St, where all the bars and restaurants are located, Austin is just a large, crowded, run-down city. Traffic is a nightmare and the highways are bumper to bumper regardless of the time of day.
Luckily we found some great places to eat and the city has a ton of craft beers... so it has some redeeming qualities. Including women with long hair.
We left Grandpa's in Mission shortly before noon for the 6 hour trip north to Austin. We had to make a quick stop a the Camping World along the way as the electrical tow cable broke and we had no running or brake lights on the Jeep. Luckily the cops never spotted us! We pulled into the campground around 6pm and finally found our spot in the dark despite having two different site numbers. After partially setting up in the cold, I hopped on Yelp and found Trudy's about a mile down the road. It was a local city chain with good food and a bunch of craft beers.
Wednesday was our 21st Wedding Anniversary and despite the cold and rain we ventured out for dinner after work and school. No one really wanted to go but it turned out to be the second best meal we've had on our trip so far. Gourdough's Public House is a funky little restaurant bar with a ton of craft beers and all of their food is served on donuts. Yes! Donuts. I had chicken fried steak, on top of a potato pancake on top of a donut covered in gravy with cranberries. Cathy had bacon-wrapped meatloaf, on a potato pancake on a donut with candied jalapenos. It was about 30 minutes this side of heaven!
The weather broke on Thursday and we finally saw the sun. The city looked a little less dreary and depressing so we decided to head downtown to 6th St. for the first time. Cathy's friend from high school, Wynn, was playing at the Chuggin' Monkey from 5-8pm (a kid friendly time) so we decided to say "hi" and listen for awhile! The bartender kicked us out promptly at 8pm so we headed across the street for some really good tex-mex tacos! BTW, 6th St. isn't that impressive when you have kids. However, if we were still in our 20's-30's, Cathy & I would love Austin!
We were supposed to leave Austin on Friday to but decided to extend our stay for 2 days to "give Austin a chance". The weather was beautiful again on Friday, so after school and work we headed over to McKinney Falls State Park on the south side of town. Even though the water level was low, both the upper and lower falls were a nice walk and place to meander around.
Afterwards headed back into town, the kids were ready to pass out, to this funky little restaurant bar called Hi Hat Public House. With 24 craft beers on tap, good food (including giant pretzels) and old-school rap playing on Pandora, it was my kind of place!
Saturday was our last day in town and I was determined that it would be electronics free. Cathy found another outdoor activity but we decided to head downtown one last time for brunch. After wandering around for 30 minutes or so, we found a little cafe with a "proper english breakfast", burgers and beignets. Not a bad joint.
Afterwards we out to Wastcave Outdoor Discovery Center, about 45 minutes west of Austin, for a 1.5 hours guided canyon and cave tour. The tour guide, an retired Navy guy, was very informative and interesting. There were a few challenging sections for Kira but she did quite well. The cave was small, in comparison to Mammoth Cave, but there was a tiny bat still living there that was so close we could touch it. Afterwards, we fought the traffic returning home, got dinner to go from Logan's and hit the sack.
Sunday we had a leisurely morning and took a quick run before packing up and heading north to our friend Sharon's house north of Fort Hood.
Dates: January 13 - January 18
RV Park: Austin Lone Star Carefree RV, Austin, TX