Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Austin, Texas

Reflections on our recent trip to Austin:
The capitol building – ornate

Here’s the view looking up into the dome from the first floor of the rotunda.

Amy’s Ice Cream – decadent

The Hat Box – a dapper haberdashery (love that word)

Whole Foods – My favorite grocery store. Ever. Yes, there’s one in Pittsburgh. But this one was bigger and better. (Oh, yeah, that’s right, it’s in Texas. Also the chain originated in and is based in Austin, so that could explain why they have the best store.)

The famous eclectic music scene – we really didn’t have time to check this out, but a jazz band played in the parking lot of Whole Foods while we were there.

The campus – noisy

Pok-e-Jo’s BBQ – awesome brisket

The people – active, youthful, thin, healthy. I’m not kidding. There’s an obvious mindset in this town that stands out in contrast to the southern stereotype of being some of the unhealthiest people in the country. We went to Zilker Park Saturday morning, and the place was packed. We could barely find a parking spot. Runners, bike riders, dog walkers, parents pushing strollers, soccer players, hikers. The river dotted with colorful kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddleboards.

It’s like the whole city scrambles outside to play. Sure, it was hot. But they don’t seem to care. There’s a different attitude there. They want to MOVE. And have fun. People ride bikes everywhere in this city. Truly like maniacs, weaving in and out of fast moving traffic and rarely wearing helmets, but that’s off topic. The point is, exercise isn’t just something these people do because they think they should. It’s a lifestyle. And it shows. I found that aspect of the culture there quite refreshing.

To back up my observations, Forbes listed Austin as the 16th healthiest US city in 2011. It ranked number 3 on Travel and Leisure magazine’s America’s Fittest Cities list in 2010.

Austin is a lovely exciting city and I wish I’d had more time to explore.

Have you been to Austin? What were your impressions?


Common Household Mom said...

I love, love, love your photos! Is there a zipline across the river? When I looked at the enlarged photo, it looked faintly like there was some kind of cable going across. I'm embarrassed to say I don't know which river flows through Austin.

The capitol building looks like the US capitol building in DC, yes?

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Thank you, CHM. Not sure about the zip line. I thought I saw a cable, too, but I do not know what it is for. And I'm not sure which river that is, either. Yes, it does resemble the US Capital. I've never been in the DC edifice, so I do not know if the interior is similar. I picture the US one being MUCH larger.

Jody said...

Austin. It's weird. I love it.
If I didn't live in New Orleans, I'd live in Austin.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

I could live there, too, Jody.

Jan Rider Newman said...

My reactions to Austin are pretty much in line with yours. I love it there, and I could live in the area. I haven't yet visited Whole Foods; still infatuated with Central Market.

Angie said...

Jan, I didn't go to Central Market. What's it like?

Jan Rider Newman said...

Huge and kind of expensive, but very well organized in different sections. I could spend hours in the coffee, seafood, and cheese sections.