Monday, March 27, 2006

It was just so pretty there!, originally uploaded by estacey.

Austin was awesome. Honestly, I could live there. Even the grackels are awesome there; seriously, we have them here but they just make noise. There, they make music!

We spent the first day walking around Austin, watching birds and turtles, petting strangers' dogs, drinking coffee, and, finally, watching the bat spectacle. (It seems everyone sums Austin up in two words: music & bats. So maybe y'all know about that. If not, read this.)


Saturday we went drivin' into Hill Country. This made me very happy because it was definitely not Florida. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my Sunshine State, but I never go anywhere else. Austin was a breath of fresh air, but most of the scenery could've been anywhere (read: buildings, only with more little stars everywhere - seriously, these are on the garbage cans). But a few minutes of driving outside of Austin and it started to become apparent that we were, well, in Texas. :) We visited Perdanales and Guadalupe River State Parks. At the latter, I saw an armadillo in person for the first time in my life. They're such cute little tank-like creatures, hopping as they make their escape.

Perdanales State Park

There's something about Texas that I like very much, beyond how pretty it is there, and beyond all the country music on the radio. The only bit of Texas I saw that I wasn't too crazy about was when we passed what was surely a canned hunting ranch. Some big multi-horned ungulate was standing in a field beyond a fence, and it was certainly not a native one. I consoled myself with the fact that it didn't know it's just there to be "hunted" for money. Hopefully many months of sun-filled grazing pass before some dope from Tennessee forks over a couple of thousand dollars to shoot it.

Arkey Blue's Silver Dollar Bar

Anyway, Saturday night we went to Bandera, the "Cowboy Capital of the World." We ate at O.S.T. with a bunch of genuine Texans (cowboy hats, boots, western shirts, mullets), listened to some old-timers singing country & western music at Arkey's, then walked around the town for a bit before heading back to Austin. I really loved Arkey's with all the little locals all dressed up for their night on the town. But oh, I'm kickin' myself for not getting a pic of the guy with the spurs on his boots. Mark thought ahead to research these state parks and Bandera, so thank gosh I had him or I would've probably spent the whole weekend sharing Which 'Wiches with the turtles by the bridge.

Sunday was a travel day, so there wasn't much worth mentioning except the enormous, gorgeous Whole Foods Market (thank you for your comment/suggestion, Easternair) where we bought lunch and soap. I've been to a few Whole Foods Markets in my time, but this one was unreal -- so bright and clean and pretty!

Now I'm home and in need of a day or two to rest up!


glad you enjoyed the hometown. great pics!
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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