Ko Olina looking toward Nanakuli Head, Oahu, HI, December 5, 2016

Ko Olina looking toward Nanakuli Head, Oahu, HI, December 5, 2016
Ko Olina looking toward Nanakuli Head, Oahu, HI, December 5, 2016

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Turtles in a Tree -- Sun., Apr. 7

Today is a free day from the A-to-Z Challenge, so tomorrow's letter will be "G."

Austin, Texas was our destination to see our son Randall who is now living there. We picked him up at the place he's staying and headed to lunch at Luke's. Marissa, his girlfriend in Portland, Oregon, saw a show on TV about this place. When we got there, they were not serving lunch; instead they were serving brunch in Gibson's next door for $19.00 a plate. That was a little steep for our budget, so we took him to Chuy's instead. We will go back to Luke's on a day we can have their normal lunch. (Marissa I took these photos for you.)

Bob and Randall outside Luke's food trailer.
Randall the chameleon blending in with Luke's trailer.
The menu.
Gibson's Restaurant which served the brunch we didn't eat.
Chuy's--where we ate.
Chuy's loves all things Elvis!
Then, because Randall's new to Texas, we hauled him over to Barton Springs at Zilker Park so he could see the swimming hole all his friends told him about. We walked from Barton Springs to Lady Bird Lake for a view of downtown Austin.

Barton Springs swimming area.
Barton Springs--83 degrees outside today.
"Get away from me or I'll kick your face!"
Six turtles sunning in a tree.
Austin, Texas with Lady Bird Lake in the foreground.
Our after-lunch walk was enjoyable. We had a chance to catch up with Randall's life. He had quite an adventure getting from Nebraska's freezing cold to Austin by bus a few weeks ago. He was moving three heavy boxes of tools and had to change buses three or four times. But he made it safe and sound.

We did a "let's get lost" driving tour to look for wildflowers east of Austin. We went through Elgin, headed north, saw a good roadside display of bluebonnets. We turned off the road we were on and meandered through beautiful green farmland. Randall got to see his first longhorn cattle.

The road we were on lead us directly to Luminant's Three Oaks Mine. From what we could see it looked like a huge strip mining operation with coal-scooping machines known as "draglines" sprinkled across the landscape. We also saw coal. Coal? In Texas? We learning something new today.

In my Google search, I found an Austin Chronicle article from 2008 regarding strip mining in Elgin, Texas, 25 miles east of Austin. According to the article, "...there are 14 active strip mines in Texas, all producing lignite, a low-grade coal that emits nearly twice the greenhouse gases, smog, and mercury pollution of higher density coals."

A few wildflowers graced the countryside, but nowhere near what we expected to see. I took a couple of photos.

The landscape as we whizzed by at 70 mph.
Indian paintbrush.
Drummond's phlox
With that we ended our serene, green drive, dropped Randall off at his place, and headed to San Antonio. We enjoyed re-connecting with him as we hadn't seen him for 1-1/2 years. We plan to get together more frequently. And we'll make it to Barton Springs for swimming, and Luke's for lunch yet!

Travel Bug out.



15 comments:

  1. Nice to have family so close now. I see lots of trips to Austin in your future.

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  2. Every time we pass through Texas, we say we want to see Houston, Austin, etc. but are too focused on seeing our daughter or, in the past, getting home. Now that we are fulltiming, no problem. We will now see Texas! Thanks for the tour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. And thanks for the comment. I love the feedback.

      Texas sure has a lot to offer if you're willing to, as Bob says, "Drive through a whole lot of nothing to get to something."

      Delete
  3. Your "kick your face" turtle picture is so cute. I guess we are not the only ones craving sunshine. All of the turtles on the log, looked like someone had lined them up there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To tell you the truth, we might have walked right by those turtles on the tree if people hadn't been standing there staring at them.

      It's kind of fun to anthropomorphize (ascribe human form or attributes to animals, plants, material objects) the animal pics.

      Delete
  4. Nice that you had a good visit with your son. Love the turtle pictures.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, we had a really nice day just hanging out. Randall loves seeing turtles. In the Pacific Northwest there aren't many turtles around. We're more likely to see salamanders.

      Delete
  5. So glad you were able to reconnect with your son. Looks like you had a fun day!

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  6. Austin is a beautiful little city. . .lots and lots to do and see. Depending on how long you guys will be in the area. . .be sure to see the bats at the Congress Street bridge. . .it is quite a site and a huge tourist attraction!

    All the fields of wildflowers and bluebonnets are closer to the Brenham/Navasota/Chappel Hill area. . .some fabulous German pastries can be had in all those areas also. . .enjoy! And of course the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory Tour is in Brenham. . .always a fun day. . .

    Janice
    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog
    FaceBook.com/ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the "local knowledge." We need to head out toward Brenham/Navasota/Chapel Hill while the flowers are in their prime.

      Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory Tour...sounds marvelous. I bet they give free samples, don't they?

      Sounds like you've been reading all my blogs about bakeries, my weakness.

      Delete
  7. Just stopping by from the A-Z Challenge list to say "Hi" :)

    Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vikki,
      Thanks for stopping by. I'm going over to check out your blog now.

      Susan (travelbug-susan.blogspot.com)

      Delete
  8. Looks like a great outing, too bad you didn't get to eat where you had planned, but where you ended up look much nicer anyway. Cool swimming hole. Wish we had those temps here.

    A-Z

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sandy,
      C'mon over and read a spell anytime. Welcome to you.

      Susan (travelbug-susan.blogspot.com)

      Delete

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