Austin needs a cool symbol like Portland has, PDX, which is their airport code. Why? Austin is what I feel like Portland would be, minus all the rainy weather. I guess Austin has SXSW and ACL, but they don’t quite flow into Austin itself. Austin is in general known to be weird, it’s a fairly liberal area in one of the most conservative states. It is definitely weird.
And there is a lot of traffic. Not that the other major cities in Texas don’t have traffic, but there are no large loops or bypasses around downtown, you pretty much go straight through it.
Anyway, we were there last week for a few days for a wetland training course. Now, I know wetlands, I focused on them in college, did some work with them in Florida and took another training course in Florida—but that little certificate is still in our storage unit in Florida—so I really don’t have ‘proof’ I took it. Plus my memory is fuzzy and I don’t remember exactly what type of training it was. So, off we went to Austin to learn all about wetland delineation.
Biologists—future biologists—wetlands are where it is at. Yes, there are lots of other environmental areas, but if you can delineate a wetland and do the permitting for it, you are golden. All people want to do are build on or around them and in general they need a permit for that.
But, I digress…Austin.
Because the class went primarily from 7:30 am until 6pm at night, with a lunch break, we did not get out to see the Treaty Tree, which was something we didn’t know about, or if we did, the information fell out of our brains the moment we left 6th grade Texas history. We did make it out to eat at a few places as Austin has a diverse culinary scene and is very friendly to vegetarians. A coworker recommended Kerbey Lane Cafe and we went to the original one on Kerbey Lane and it was excellent. We tried an Indian place the next night and then went near downtown the last night to Chuy’s. It is a fairly well known Tex-Mex restaurant and I was glad we went because they were vegetarian friendly. You may remember the incident the Bush twins had there when they were going to t.u.
The Texas capitol building as we drove by at 45mph (or maybe 35mph?). No slowing down as a cop was sitting at the corner. I’ve never had much of an opportunity to drive down I-35, usually only went on I-45 during college to and from Galveston back to DFW, but I do remember driving by the capitol when I was…mmmm, maybe late elementary or early middle school to visit a great aunt on my dad’s side who lived in Austin. I remember it as a spur of the moment day trip, three hours from DFW. But, really, I have not had much sightseeing in Austin.
We were done a little early yesterday and if we’d thought about it, because we did know about it, we would have taken some time and gone to visit the whooping cranes that are wintering in Austin right now.
So much to do in the Austin area…hopefully we can get back out that way soon.