Cdnpearly's Blog

Pearl's musings

Austin! October 6, 2010

Leaving the cool clear sea air of Halifax, we arrived some hours later in Austin, Texas.  Walking off the plane we hit a wall of heat and humidity!  While washing my hands in the ladies’ room in the Austin airport I observed that etched in the mirror were 3 very bouffant hairdo silhouettes (think Dolly Parton, Amy Winehouse, Marie Antoinette, Lonnie Anderson).  Standing directly in front of the silhouette, it appeared as though I had Dolly hair!  Welcome to Texas, the Big Hair State!

Moving on…

Seanny toured us around downtown Austin and selected the Moonshine Grille (an historic building with a varied and colorful past) for dinner.  I had the catfish.  It was the best catfish I have ever eaten!  We checked into the Domain Westin where we participated in the Texas Work Comp Forum–Dennis was a featured speaker, while I managed the booth.

After a successful conference, Seanny resumed his guided tour of Austin.  We enjoyed Esther’s Follies, a vaudeville/burlesque/SNL/musicale/current events type show.  The small, but impressive cast featured skits, songs, magic tricks…we laughed till we cried!  Top rate entertainment.  The next morning we visited the Mother Ship (aka the First Ever Whole Foods).  Dennis browsed while I ordered and fully enjoyed a made to order Margarita omelet with heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil.  TASTY!

Seanny chauffeured us to the Capital Building next.  Side note:  I always make a point of visiting Capital Buildings if at all possible.  So much thought and effort goes into these edifices–definitely worth a tour).  The cupola was undergoing some construction, but it was still impressive.

Inside I observed a myriad of stars–appropriate since Texas is the Lone Star State.

On the grounds were evidence of Texas’ military history including cannon and horses/Texas rangers likenesses.

After our Capital tour, we picked up Seanny’s room-mate Grant and headed out to the Salt Lick for lunch.  When I say “holy cow!” I mean it literally!  This place is the mecca of all barbecues.  I have NEVER experienced ribs like this–picture Fred Flintstone sized beef ribs and then imagine the meat, so tender, falling off the bone.  Sniff the smoky goodness and the sweet/spice flavor exploding in your mouth…excuse me, I’ll be right back after I get a napkin for the drool…

Ok, I’m back!  Here are some photos of the fire pit and the plethora of meats being oh-so-carefully tended for hours…and Dennis (not his best picture–but you get the idea of how good these ribs are) enjoying the house specialty.

We also sampled the turkey, baby back ribs, potato salad, slaw and a peach cobbler a la mode that is to die for–seriously!  Somehow we were able to step away from the feed trough and we headed back into Austin.  My Texas tradition has always been to purchase some fine boots and then do some line dancing.  Dennis, Seanny and Grant didn’t seem too keen on this however, so we settled for boot browsing and skipped the line dancing–although we did check out the Broken Spoke Saloon (self-proclaimed Last of the True Texas Dance Halls).  It was filled with memorabilia from the likes of George Strait, Dollie Parton, Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall and more!

Anyhoo, back to boot browsing!  I tried on many many boots…I love boots!  However, I wasn’t prepared for the sticker shock–it turns out inflation has hit the world of boots.  So, I settled for a few photos and the memories rather than taking them home with me.

Cindy, that scar on my right leg is from that (*$&#(  tomato stake in your garden! Saturday night we headed back downtown to 6th Street, famous for bars and live music.  One of Seanny’s favorite bands The Belleville Outfit was playing at Momo’s.  It was a heck of a band!  We stayed out way too late, but it was so worth it…even 3 hours later when we boarded the plane back to Santa Barbara.

What a great trip!  Nova Scotia and Austin–2 very different experiences.  We loved them both!  Thanks for the superb tourguiding, Seanny and Grant.

Oh, and we returned home to celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday!  Mom flew out to stay with Meg while we were gone.  Thanks Birthday Girl!

Quick update:

Almost done with Echo in the Bone, and I also started Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson.  It’s an entertaining travel book about England–a light, easy read for sure.

No new recipes to report–I tried one last week and although it seemed good on paper, on the palate–not so much!


2 Responses to “Austin!”

  1. Mom Says:

    It was a fun time with Meghan.
    Wonderful birthday dinner at a very special restaurant.
    Just want to say I am wearing a tiara. All that gray is Not Only My Hair!
    Mom xxxxxooooo

  2. Liz Pettegrew Says:

    Great photos! Coincidentally my sister and I have decided to go to our dear friend Louises just outside of Austin in Feb! You’ve got me really looking forward to my next mini-holiday!

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