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Journey to the Land of the Hipsters

It did not take long for Bruce and I to discover why it is that Jonathan and Alissa are so happy in Austin. What a great city--not too big, not too small.
As you can see I'm in love with sitting next to the window, whereas Bruce is all about the aisle seat. Because we flew Southwest, things were a little different, re: Bruce is not the big wig on SW like he is on Delta. That said, we paid the extra money to board first, getting good seats near the front. Furthermore, Bruce, being the frequent flyer that he is, knows a few tricks, one of which we employed. Putting our bags overhead, he directed me to my preferred seat, then proceeded to sit in his preferred seat, leaving the middle one open. Do you think anyone took that seat? Of course they didn't! Brilliant! Worked both on our way out there, and our way back.

What Forbes did not include in these rankings, is the vast array of places to eat. Our first stop was for a milkshake at a food truck park, located on Cesar Chavez, one of the main streets heading through downtown.
Guess who is driving the blue Mini Cooper? Can you believe it?? Originally we were meant to have a Mitsubishi (!), however, Bruce asked if we could have the MINI instead and they said YES! Even five years later I still miss my MINI, so how happy do you think I was? Very happy indeed.
The picture above about says it all--three meals, wi-fi, and live music. All any Austinite can hope for in one place. Actually, only a couple of the trucks were open which generally seemed to be the case in quite a number of the "food truck parks" we encountered. There was one adjacent to our hotel which, during the five days we stayed there, only one or two were ever open. Of course, we weren't there at lunchtime, so who knows?

Before leaving, we had a list of things to do from Alissa who generously sent links and the like to get us acquainted. As well, I'd done a fair amount of searching for things we might like. Then too, in a awesome stroke of luck, the New York Times recently published this handy dandy guide to the hill country. Starting our tour of Austin, we made our way to South Congress, otherwise known as SoCo. See the weird back in angle parking? Seriously difficult!
Making our way down the street, we were looking for a place to have lunch, eventually stopping at the Magnolia Cafe.  I knew the place was cool as soon as I saw this building just across the street.
Seeing the RCA street art brings back loads of memories for a certain age group, to which I belong!
Sorry We're Open indeed.
Austin is known for having great food and we both agree that it is a well-deserved reputation. Good grief our lunch was good. It was a mixed crowd of hipsters and us regular folks. Back on the street we moseyed through some shops and this won't surprise you one bit--I bought an adorable orange shirtwaist dress with lions printed on it. Did I mention it was hot? It was, so much so that I changed  into the new sleeveless dress immediately!

There were boot stores, boutiques, art galleries, and oh yeah, this:
and this:
I can't speak from experience because I'm not a big cupcake fan, but later on Alissa told me they are so popular they have three trucks. We moseyed down the street, looking for the Continental Club where later on James McMurtry was to play.
You may not have heard of James McMurtry, few people have, but you may have heard about his dad, Larry McMurtry, the author of one of my all time favorite books, "Lonesome Dove." Joseph, our singer at the market, introduced Bruce to his music through his former radio show, Sunday Morning Coming Down. Bruce fell in love with his songs; each one is a story of sorts. As you can see from the above photo, people are pretty casual about how their music venues look. Because it was closed, we made our way down the street and around the corner to the Texas Folk Life museum where they were having a little show about, of all things, Fritos.
To his credit, I caught him on one of the few business calls he made during our trip. Seriously, it was fascinating to learn how Fritos became the success they are today. More street art on S. Congress:
Bats are a way of life in Austin, what with the nightly fly-out from under the bridge of some 1.5 million bats!!! According to J & A, some nights they actually don't come out, or if so, much later than sunset. And no, we did not stand on the bridge to see it. Maybe next trip.

Despite my new adorable sleeveless dress, I was still hot and thirsty. I needed some ac and something to drink. Stopping into a Mexican place, we took a seat at the bar next to two ladies who turned out to be celebrities of a sort!!! Of course I did not know it when I began chatting with them, but pretty soon I learned their last name--Von Trapp. Does that ring a bell? It should. Meet Annie and Sofia Von Trapp:
When Sofia (left) went to the restroom, Annie told us that she was a singer. That, of course, is not good enough for me. Probing further, I learned that her great grandfather was the real Captain Von Trapp, and Kurt Von Trapp is her grandfather. Together, with her other three siblings, they perform as The von Trapps. They were super nice; we had a great time chatting and learning some of the details about the family that are not shown in the "Sound of Music." My sister-in-law Judy has watched the movie maybe 30 times because she loves it so, making me excited to share this cool happening with her. I learned as well that the group is working hard to move into contemporary music scene. There's more to this story, but I'll quit while I'm ahead!

Does it sound like all we did was eat and drink? You are almost right about that. By now J & A were off work and we could finally see them. Meeting them at
we got our first taste of yet another, oldie but goodie, what else? Fried chicken!
See the $1 can of Pearl beer sign behind them? Austin is very much a beer town which is not great for a wine drinker. It took about four days until I was served wine in a wine glass, which now that I think about it, may be part of the whole hipster thing.....?

After a little more sightseeing we finally went to our hotel--around nine we sent them home so that we could have a little nap before going to see Mr. McMurtry who was to go on at midnight!! What? The Pecks going out at 11??? Yup! We did it and were oh so happy we did.
Apparently, for nine years the top two on the marquee have been performing on Wednesday night at The Continental Club--some people like to stay up late it seems. The place is small with mostly high tops and padded benches along the side. We were very close and being able to sit down was a bonus!
Larry is wearing the white hat on the left. After a bit, another musician came on stage, showing off his moves with an accordion!
Amazingly, we were not too tired, despite the late hour and the time change. Finally, around 2 AM, we fell asleep at our Holiday Inn, in the land of the hipsters.

More tomorrow.....
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