Those of you who have been following along probably have picked up on the fact that our marriage has hit a rough patch the last couple of years. But thanks to therapy and our kids we are in a really good place so I wanted to celebrate our 33rd. It fell on a Friday this year so I took the day off, but unfortunately we got a pretty nasty ice storm on Thursday that made it unwise to stray too far from the compound. Thankfully it warmed up late Friday and Saturday and Lee and I finally headed into Austin.
I say finally because for as many times as we have been in San Antonio we have never made the hour drive to Austin. Crazy really, but I think the desire for a perfect experience got in the way of a good one. Turns out, for us at least, Austin didn’t live up to its press, but it was still a fun day and the weather was absolutely gorgeous.
I started with a short list of things we wanted to do, but when we arrived it was close to lunch time so we decided to eat first. Austin is known for its restaurants and no disrespect to those foodies out there, but nothing local really looked good to me. Ultimately we ate at an In and Out Burger which was an inexpensive sure thing. Hey I love to eat local as much as the next person, but seriously nothing I saw seemed worth fighting Saturday brunch crowds for. We got right in and out of the burger place (and yes I just got that lol) and were back to our list.
The first thing we did was visit the LBJ presidential library, but I am saving that for another post. When we were done the weather was beautiful so we decided to check out Covert Park on Mt. Bonnell. I had read that it offered 360 degree views of the city and the river and the best part was we got to drive through the fancy part of the city to get there. It was an interesting mix of smaller homes and huge estates all on postage stamp sized lots. We have seen this before but usually along the water. Not sure what the appeal of living higher up is but there is definitely some serious money up there. Finding the parking lot was a bit of a challenge, but ultimately we made it and were able to find a parking space.
There was a large group of people at the top, but people gave each other space and we walked along the ridge line. I wish I would have worn my hiking boots because parts of the path were steep and because it isn’t all fenced I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for small children or dogs (although we saw both). The views were really great though, and there were a couple of signs that explained the lake/river. I say that because this section is the Colorado River (had no idea) but also called Lake Austin?? I do know the lake/river is party central in the summer because a friend from college lives there and has a boat and the pictures in his Facebook feed are pretty rowdy 🙂
The best part though was looking down on the VERY beautiful houses along the river/lake. Most of them had boat houses and were quite beautiful.
After Covert Park, we headed to Barton Springs. I had seen some great pictures of the springs in the downtown area that are consistently at a temperature of 68 -70 degrees. The pictures in this case overstated the beauty (at least in my opinion) and I was glad it was free in off season because personally I wouldn’t have wanted to pay for it. The water is about five feet deep and there are lifeguards on duty and lots of rules. We saw a couple of kids get yelled at for diving and again for smoking even though hardly anyone was there. I get the liability rules, but for a place that was billed as a free resource for the community it was not what I expected. Plus the water was slimy and way too cold for my taste.
The best part was if you walk down to the far area there are rocks and a very pretty view of the skyline. I would have loved to walked further up though but unfortunately that area was all fenced in. Again not saying this wouldn’t be fun on a super hot day but it wasn’t the warm springs experience I was expecting.
Finally we swung by the capital building. There was a protest so we didn’t stop, but it was beautiful. Don’t get me wrong Austin by all accounts is a great town, but for us the experience was only so-so. Next up the LBJ presidential library and that did not disappoint.
Oh and one more thing, schedules got crazy but we were finally able to have our anniversary dinner at Genaro’s Trattoria in Canyon Lake on Sunday night. It is an excellent Italian restaurant that always requires reservations but if you ever have a chance to go I highly recommend it.
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