Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Keeping Austin wierd (Throwback post)

From Houston it was another bus trip to Austin, Texas, where we happened to arrive during South-by-SouthWest, a huge festival that encompasses technology, film and music elements.  Unfortunately we were there during the technology bit rather than the music bit, and to be quite honest we really couldn't be bothered to queue up to go into the events that were open to the public, so we gave it a miss.  We did discover a few sites where you can get free or reduced tickets to events though, so if you do plan to go at any time, do a bit of internet research before you spend your money.

So why were we in Austin if not for SXSW?  Well, in the main, it was (a) on the bus route and (b) where we could meet up with one of our travel buddies from our first Antarctica trip.  We'll come back to our catch up with Emily later, as she was away for the first few days, so we had a few days to look around Austin ourselves first.
We stayed in an Airbnb place that was actually a tent in a back garden.  It was a good size tent with the very civilised addition of an air bed, and was fine the first night.  However on the second night there was an almighty storm and the tent started leaking.  Thankfully the woman whose place it was quickly ushered us inside and we set up our bed in her dining room, much to the interest and excitement of her friendly dogs.

We had no particular tourist activities on the agenda for Austin, so we simply enjoyed wandering around the town. The motto for the city is 'Keep Austin Wierd', and whilst we wouldn't call it weird exactly, we could kind of see why, as by comparison to most places we had been in the States, it is far more laid back and unconventional. And where else has a recreation of the Bates motel from Psycho?

We especially like South Congress.  We were a bit unsure to start with because as we started walking up the road it seemed that there was nothing there at all.  But just as we were about to give up, we reached the good bit.

As well as lots of interesting shops to poke about in, and in my case buy a few bits of jewellery, we found a few places to sit and have a drink while listening to live music.  In the spirit of weirdness, one of these was outdoors and there was a couple who had brought their pet parrot out with them, and had it sitting on their shoulders.

There was a great cafe called Woodland, where we had our first US cream pies.  Very tasty.  We also ate at Snack Bar, which had a great patio, nice food and some good drinks on the list.

Outside of South Congress we found a few other places to eat and drink including the Le Cafe Crepe and Cru Wine Bar, which had a great selection of wines with champagne half price on Thursdays - how could we say no to that?

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