Cdnpearly's Blog

Pearl's musings

Austin, redux April 2, 2011

I went to Austin again!  Lucky me!  Last week East met West in Texas…sister in law Denise flew in from Boston, while Heidi and I flew in from Santa Barbara.  Seanny and Erin live there.  We stayed at a house on Lake Travis.  Our first night we hung out on the dock and watched the sun go down.  Peaceful, warm, relaxing…it was all good.

Grant found it the most relaxing, I wager (if you look close you can see the cutest little drop of drool on his chin)! Sorry Grant, I couldn’t resist including this photo!

Erin and Kara enjoyed kayaking around the lake, while Heidi and I enjoyed the warm temps and lovely breeze.  A perfect afternoon.

We toured around Austin and landed at a fabulous restaurant:  The South Congress Cafe.  The salad I had was simply divine!  If you like “breaded goat cheese medallions, field greens, shaved prosciutto, toasted pine nuts, and maple balsamic vinaigrette” with seared scallops, you will want to order the warm goat cheese salad for sure.  And believe me, you won’t be disappointed!  It is the best salad I have ever had.  Seriously!

After lunch we browsed at the boot store…sigh…I tried on so many beautiful boots!  Alas, I walked out with nothing but this photo of the most interesting embellishments on cowboy boots:  a sterling silver skull!

We also enjoyed Esther’s Follies downtown.  Our seats were front row center!  What a show!  Funny, entertaining, creative, current, classic, mysterious, musical, naughty…it was all good.

We availed ourselves of the legendary Lake Travis sunsets at the Oasis.  This facility claims itself as the Sunset Capital of Texas.  I’d have to agree with this assessment.  According to staff, the Oasis can accommodate 3000 people over multiple floors that offer spectacular views of the Lake.

We enjoyed appetizers like:  Veggie Road Kill and Homemade Chips.  Despite the questionable moniker, it was tasty!  Live music and cocktails added the finishing touches to a memorable evening.

Oh, and while we were waiting for our table, there were tarantulas!  Wait!  What?  Tarantulas?  YES!  I did not make contact with the creatures, but Seanny and Grant did…

We returned to our Lake House and enjoyed Aunt Denise’s Italian extravaganza.  She cooked all day:  chicken parmesan, the famous Downing spaghetti sauce, chicken picatta, antipasta platter etc.  Divine!  Over 50 chicken breasts were transformed into marvelous dishes with plenty of leftovers for Seanny and Erin to enjoy later.

Sunday arrived with no set plans in place…what to do, what to do?  Answer:  pedicures and bingo, of course!

We all agreed that this was the best Pedicure ever!  We got the super deluxe, and it was heavenly! Grant claims to have the “best feet” of the group, and the salon owner seemed to agree…hmmmm…

We stopped for barbecue on the way to Bingo!  So tasty!

And then, we arrived at Bingo!

Have you been to an authentic Bingo Parlor before?  None of us had…thankfully, the regulars took us under their wings and made us feel right at home.  They offered us their colorful daubers, watched over our shoulders to make certain we didn’t miss any of the wild numbers (Thanks Gayle and Misty!).  Although none of our group won a game, we all had a grand time at the Capital Bingo

An interesting side note: it appears that toilet paper theft is a problem here.  I’m not sure if it’s a wide-spread Bingo issue, or peculiar to the Capital only.  There were signs posted stating:  “Please do not steal the toilet paper.  Our police officers will now be watching for anyone taking toilet paper.  We have also installed a  camera at the front door.”

You can’t make this stuff up!

Despite these ominous warnings, we felt completely safe!

Back to the Lake for some final R & R before returning to our respective coasts.  We had a wonderful time!  Love love love Austin!

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4 Responses to “Austin, redux”

  1. Heidi Downing Says:

    These are great Pearl. Wish I was there. Hee hee!

  2. scdowning Says:

    Another epic trip under the belt

  3. Beth Ann Says:

    Pearl!!! I am coming over at Jack’s(Poems and Ponderings) suggestion!!! So glad I did!!! You look like my kind of people!!! And lo and behold the first post I see is of your recent trip to Austin!!! YAY Austin! Our oldest son lives there and we LOVE going! I agree with the food at South Congress Cafe–delightful!!!! And I had to laugh at the bingo thing because our son who is 26 (in two weeks) had a bingo dabber in his car and I was aghast!! What 26 year old plays bingo?? Well, think about it, Mom….there are cash prizes involved!!! And maybe some drinking???? Anyway, I am now following you via email subscription and know we are going to become fast bloggy friends!!! Thanks, Jack!

  4. Erin Says:

    Hi Pearl,
    We are having a giggle right now!!! Great blog, so nice to look back on fond memories. I love love love this!
    Love,
    Erin& Kara


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