At 8:00 a.m. we picked her up for the 1-1/2 drive north to Austin, Texas. Traffic was light and we arrived at the Extended Stay America (our start point) at 9:40 a.m. A little after 10 a.m. we were on our 11K (6.8 mile) Volksmarch through downtown Austin.
Austin is a beautiful city. We took the Congress St. Bridge over Lady Bird Lake into the heart of downtown. (Note: From mid-March to November, the Congress St. Bridge is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America. If you're in Austin during those months, head to the bridge at dusk to watch the bats fly out from under the bridge.) On our route, our feet passed two Golden-Age-of-Cinema movie theaters, the Paramount (1915) and Stateside (1935).
Downtown Austin, Texas
Here are photos from our walk.
|My favorite building|
|Bob and I with serious guitar art.|
|The Driskill Hotel|
|There must be an 1886 Cafe in The Driskill.|
This car sits out in front.
|The Driskill front entrance.|
|See the halo around the tower of this church?|
We would have taken the tour through the Capitol; however, because it was Sunday, the first tour wasn't until noon and we were there at 10:30.
|Texas state Capitol building, Austin|
|Susan photographing the dome.|
|Beautiful clock surround in the Rotunda.|
|Santa Rita #1 oil well|
|Susan M., a soldier|
|University of Texas, Austin, Main Building|
|One of many murals we passed today.|
|Part of sculpture diorama dedicated to Tejano history.|
Bremond block Victorian homes...which now house businesses.
Along the way we stopped for lunch at City Hall Cafe at the corner of 2nd Ave. and Lavaca. The food was remarkably fresh and good. From the cafe it was a short walk back to our start point.
|Snowy egret and turtles enjoying the sun and warmth.|
|Bob & Susan on 1st Street pedestrian bridge|
|Lady Bird Lake/Colorado River. What a day!|
Once back at our start point, Susan needed to use the facilities. Bob and I were ready to hop in the car and take Susan to Sugar Mama's Cupcakes for her birthday cupcake. We walked around the corner of the motel. Screech! Put on the brakes. "Isn't this where we left the car?" No car, just empty space. Oh, no! The car got towed!
Into the front desk we trudged only to find out there were signs posted on the door and at the front desk saying a parking pass was needed for guests from Jan. 24-27 due to a tattoo convention at the Convention Center across the street. The sign on the front door could barely be seen because their door has dark shading on it and we didn't go to the front desk because the walk box was in a side area off the lobby. Sigh.
We explained our dilemma to the front desk clerk who called out an assistant manager. The assistant manager apologized and called the towing company asking them to release our car because we were guests of the hotel. She told us it would save us $193!
Our next move was to hire a cab to drive us to the tow yard about seven miles away through downtown traffic (luckily it was Sunday). Twenty dollars lighter in the wallet, we claimed the car. J&J Towing honored their agreement with the assistant manager and did not charge us for towing and storage. The bill said, "No charge." Lucky ducks, that's us!
Next up, Sugar Mama's Cupcakes. When Bob and I did a different Volksmarch in Austin last year, we literally stumbled upon this delectable den of cupcake sin. We all ordered our just desserts and bought two extra cupcakes to take to the desk clerk and assistant manager at Extended Stay America to thank them for their help. As I was getting ready to pay for the cupcakes, the cashier said, "I'm only charging you for three cupcakes. The two cupcakes for the hotel are my treat. I'm paying it forward to someone who did a good deed." Impressive!
Sugar Mama's Cupcakes was winner of Food Network's Cupcake Wars.
|The Pinup - my favorite!|
|James Brown cupcake|
|Pink Champagne! cupcakes|
|The champs of Cupcake Wars|
|Light fixture in Sugar Mama's Bakery - I want one!!|
|Sugar Mama's Bakery|
|More cupcake flavors|
But wait! The day isn't over yet. All of us wanted to see "American Hustle." Susan and Bob checked movie times (on their smart phones) for locations on our drive home. The movies just weren't playing at a time we'd be passing through. Finally, Bob found a movie that started at 4:15 p.m. in San Antonio. It was a long shot to make it there in time. We arrived at 4:30 p.m., bought tickets, headed straight for the theater and the movie was just starting.
Movie review in the next blog. Stay tuned.
Travel Bug out.