Friday, March 28, 2008

All About Austin

In Texas, we did a few more things besides the Big Joe Polka Fest.

First thing to do on a road trip is get gas. Man, I thought LA gas prices were high!

On the way from Austin to Round Top, we stopped for some famous Czech kolaches. I had always heard of them and finally got to sample one (or two!).

These are from Weikel's, which is located in a gas station mini-mart. We had cherry, peach, and cheese. They are pretty much like a danish, but the base is a sweet, yeasty dough rather than flaky pastry.

Since we attended the Polka Fest only on Friday, Saturday we went for a ride in the surrounding countryside. The Round Top area is famous for their antique shops. Aaron took us to a disc golf place and we played nine "holes". Dale and I had never played before, but once we got the hang of it, we didn't do too badly. It was a beautiful day just to be outside and enjoying the fresh air.

One of our favorite tee-vee shows is "King of the Hill" and right or wrong, that show is how we think of Texas and Texans. ("I tell you whut") One of the things often seen on the show is the restaurant Whataburger. Conveniently, there was one across the road from our hotel. Didn't have a burger, but the breakfast stuff was OK.

On the way back into Austin, we stopped back in Round Top for lunch at Royer's. Wow. A country cafe on steroids.

Everything is bigger in Texas---these are jalapeno poppers!

The food was wonderful and the pies even better!

Much to our delight we learned that Brave Combo would be playing a show in Austin on Saturday night. They played at a restaurant/nightclub named Jovita's. The place was kinda small, there might have been 150 people there.
This show was a lot different than the Polka Fest. They played more Tex/Mex songs and of course, the famous Hokey Pokey! Alan, the usual drummer, was there too. Dale got to chit-chat with the band after the show and he got everyone to sign his cap. They were pretty impressed that we came all the way from California just to see their shows.

After the BC show, we got a whirlwind tour of the famous Austin music scene. We went to the Continental Club (where BC played a few weeks ago for SXSW) and to the Saxon Inn. The band at the Saxon Inn was "The South Austin Jug Band" and they were really good. Sort of bluegrass-y but a little more intense.

Sunday we took a ride out to Lake Austin and had lunch at The Oasis.

On the way back into town, we stopped at the University of Texas campus and checked out the tower. In 1966, a sniper inside the tower killed 14 people.

I loved this frieze on the Natural History building.

Monday, we checked out Congress Street for some shopping, then toured the Texas State Capitol.
I don't know about you, but I see something else here.

Can you guess what this is?

It is a BUBBLER!! You step on a foot pedal and water flows from the spout. So maybe not a true bubbler, but pretty snazzy just the same.

The capitol is very beautiful inside and we learned much about the history of Texas. I tried hard to forget Dubya also trod these very halls.
These elaborate door knobs and door hinges are on every door.

Lunch was at The Ironworks, for some yummy BBQ.

Aaron's mom gave me these cool-ass antlers! They are gonna look great on the patio. Maybe they will scare the squirrels.

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