So many of my new friends in Victoria have told me that I would love Austin because it is so different from any other city in Texas. Boy, were they right! Though it is still very hot and humid, Austin has a refreshing hipster vibe reminiscent of downtown Fullerton or Whittier in California. I really did like Austin and can’t wait to go find a reason to come back.
When my awesome sister Lauren came to visit me in mid July, Austin was definitely on our list of places to explore. Our adventure took us to Zilker Park in where we toured the Botanical Gardens, swam in the Barton Springs Pool and had dinner at Buenos Aires Café.
The botanical gardens were beautiful and lush, a refreshing blend of foliage, softly flowing water and naturally placed wood and stone walkways. The gardens also housed historical reproductions of building originally built by a group of Swedish settlers. It surprises me how diverse and long the history of Texas is, stretching back four hundred years.
Unfortunately, we only lasted about half an hour in the botanical gardens because we felt like we might melt if we stayed in the sun any longer. So, we headed across the street to Barton Springs Pool to cool off. Lauren lives in Chico, California where they have a great little dammed up river where people go swimming called “One Mile.” My dad began taking us there over twenty years ago when we visited our grandparents (who also live in Chico). So, Lauren and I thought Barton Springs Pool would be somewhat similar to One Mile, but when we arrived, we realized it was at least five times as big and much, much colder! We set down our stuff and eased into the chilly pool; it felt so good after the heat of standing outside in the afternoon.
After sufficiently cooling off, we headed over to a paleo-friendly restaurant over on 6th street, Buenos Aires Café. We shared an arugula and artichoke appetizer, which contrasted nicely with a glass of their house Sangria, and a beautiful strip steak, medium, with an extra spicy chimichurri sauce. We ended with a leisurely walk down 6th Street noticing a the striking old and new aesthetic of construction- beautiful new retro buildings standing next to an old Victorian or craftsman- that I realized I really miss seeing.
Overall, a great day spent with my sister 🙂