Austin is one cool town.
The food scene, especially the food truck scene, is great. I thought NYC had a lot of food trucks, but it’s nothing compared to what you find there. One food truck park after another. It’s amazing and all different kinds of food trucks too. The BBQ is something truly special. Look, I thought I had good BBQ in NYC, but let’s face it, fancy pants city slickers don’t know nothing about BBQ. We drove up to a food truck to get a brisket sandwich and chili and got the most tender and juiciest chunk of meat ever. And the bourbon BBQ sauce was out of this world! Okay, Texas, you got me. Yes, you really do have better BBQ.
Also breakfast tacos are amazing (if you get them at the right place)! We ate several breakfast tacos at Taco Joint. I’m not normally a fan of flour tortilla (corn, please!), but I actually prefer the flour tortillas in Texas over the corn. The good taco places make their own tortillas and this makes all the difference. And yes, everything is bigger in Texas. The tacos are pretty sizeable, so 2-3 tacos can really fill you up (4-5 if you’re a Benny). My favorite breakfast taco is potatoes, refried beans, and cheese. Another thing I appreciate about Taco Joint is that they have a salsa bar with great fresh salsa. Sooo good.
Sunday night, on the recommendation of Hector, we went out to downtown Austin on 6th Street to look for live music. Austin is the Live Music Capital of the world for its sheer number of live music venues per capita. There’s live music playing somewhere pretty much all the time, as we found out on a quiet Sunday. If you’re looking for lots more music, Sunday night is not a good choice, but we were still able to check out a few bars with live music. We liked the guy playing his guitar at the first bar the best. He played oldies, but goodies. We drank and sang along with the other patrons in the bar. I had a lot more fun than I had anticipated; I’m not really a music kind of gal, but I enjoyed it immensely and would do this again.
Other things that I would have liked to do, but couldn’t was to see bats fly from Congress St. Bridge at sunset (the bats had migrated to Mexico for winter) and swim at Barton Springs (it was closed for cleaning on a Friday, when signs and the website clearly stated cleaning happened on Thursdays). Barton Springs Pool is a beautiful swimming hole right near downtown Austin. The weather would have been a bit cool, but I still wanted to go and experience it. I was disappointed that I couldn’t go in on Friday. We thought about going Sunday afternoon, after the half, but it was too cold because of the wind. I guess we need to go back to Austin for bats, swimming, and food!
The Friday before the half, we did a short speed work to sharpen my legs on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail along Lady Bird Johnson Lake. If you’re ever in Austin, you MUST RUN HERE! Hands-down, this is my favorite urban park for running (beats Central Park, yes, it does). Ten miles of wide flat trail going around a lovely “lake” (it’s really the Colorado River), with plenty of shade, water fountains, restrooms, bridges going across, friendly dogs, and other runners, cyclists, and walkers. Ben and I did only about four miles on the trail between walking and running. The trail and the views of the “lake” are wonderful. We really loved this area. If you’re a runner, this is a must run if you’re in Austin.