We took a road trip up to Austin to visit my family up north. I would like to say the drive was pleasant, but it was horrible. I don’t want to sound rude, so let me explain. There are two things that are abundant on the road heading toward Austin and they are traffic and huge semi trucks. Its incredible how many are on the road. There was one point on the trip where were were boxed in by these things for miles. As for the traffic, everywhere we have gone so far there is an unbelievable amount traffic on the roads—it takes forever to get in and out of the city. Now that that is out of the way, Alisa and I have had a really great time here. We met up with Lucas, my youngest brother, and he gave us a tour around town.
We started off our tour walking toward UT. As soon as I saw a coffee shop, I wanted a hot cup of coffee. Another lesson I learned since my trip is not to walk around on a hot day with an even hotter cup of coffee. It was miserable. The university was amazing. The school is huge. What I liked most about our walk is that the place actually felt like a school or a place of learning. In Portland state, the university is so well built into downtown that if you wandered onto the university grounds would you still think you were in the middle of the city. However, at UT there is no mistake where you are. There are two things that are noteworthy during our trip. First, the gigantic clock tower. This things is huge and when the top of the hour hits you can hear a real bell being struck (at least it sounded real to us). At the bottom of the tower is a turtle pond which is place to remember those who died in the horrible shooting in 1966. The pond is beautiful and filled with dozens of moss and algae covered turtles. Second, we made our way over to the giant stadium where the Long Horns play the football games. Im not a football fan, but I have seen the stadium on television many times, and I had no idea how huge it is. We really enjoyed the memorial they had in front of the stadium. It was a memorial to remember the those who had died in all wars in the United States. It had the names of the Texans who had died it and really touches you when you see thousands of names written on the wall. Even though it wasn’t everyone who died, it was enough to give you an amazing perspective on the actual number.
Next, we headed over to the capital building. It is a really beautiful area. I had never visited a capital building before so forgive me if I sound naive, but I really liked how they let people just walk up to and inside of it. We looked at a lot of the memorials and took a few pictures around it. I wanted to go inside to see what it looked liked. But Lucas insisted that we needed to see the bats fly out from under a bridge. We were about a 100 feet from the door and the sun was getting close to drop. I should have been more aggressive on wanting to go inside, but I broke. We headed down toward the bridge. Wait—by heading down toward the bridge I mean we drove in traffic and looked for parking for about half an hour. By the time we parked and walked toward the bridge, we could have gone into the capital building and walked the ten blocks and gotten there at the same time. However, I must admit it was great to be able to see those cute little bats flying around. It was pretty windy that night so a lot of them were not brave enough to venture out, but we did see them try to fly out from under the bridge.
On the way back to the car we headed down Sixth street. I guess this street is pretty famous here in Austin. It is pretty amazing to walk down if you have never experienced it before. We actually saw a mechanical bull in one of the bars. However, unless your main goal is to drink drink drink, this place is kind of repetitive. For example, on every block there are about 8 to 10 bars. As you walk by them there is some dude-bro or woman in a skimpy outfit that tells you how cool their bar is. If you look in them as you walk by, you will notice that they all are the same. Tiny long rooms with a bar, loud music, and a different neon color. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to rag on this area, it´s just not for me. Alisa and I did have a lot of fun checking out this side of town and how crazy it can get, but we really enjoyed the University a lot more (maybe cause we’re getting old?)
By the time we got back to Jones town, we were all pretty tired and called it a night.