It would be remiss of me not to write about Austin if it took us two weeks to get through Texas including our stopover in the state capital. My gosh, we had the Don’t Mess With Texas threats in other parts of Texas but not here. We actually felt a little at home in Austin. At least in the neighborhoods we walked through the Portland vibe was prevalent.
I’m not going to argue which is weirder Austin or Portland. Austin claims to have coined this city slogan before Portland. Okay, yeah Sam Austin was a weird dude. Pistol wavin’ fool. That was what, 200 years ago? Or wait, that was Sam Houston. Sorry, got my cities, and dudes, mixed up. Today, in the 21st century, Portland IS by a long shot, weirder. Except for maybe the one weird(in a good way) neighborhood in Austin, South Congress.
We were tipped off by my friend Murray that we’d probably like this area. He lived in Austin about ten years and stayed with us in Portland a year earlier so he’d seen Voodoo Donuts, the Kennedy School, naked bike ride, and wanted us to feel right at home in Austin. And we did. Never once did we get that cop an attitude “don’t mess with me, you different people(happy hippies)” feeling here.
Didn’t see any pink boxes with Voodoo on them but the folks back in Portland have opened up a donut shop here in Austin. The outdoor spaces along the waterfront of Lady Bird Lake felt very similar to the Willamette River Esplanade back in Portland. The throwback watering hole of Barton Springs in Zilker Park reminded us of the environmental conservation reflective back in Oregon.
It was sunny, dog-friendly, bike-friendly, and full of diversity. All within walking distance of some funky shops, hip bars, retro-thrift stores, and beard-friendly breweries.
We even stayed an extra day so that we could grab a beer here at the Austin Beer Garden Brewery. Normally closed Monday’s, we were here on Tightwad Tuesday.
The one bummer part of our visit to Austin was that my boyhood buddy, Murray, was back in town for a football game and we missed him by two days. Much as we wanted to stretch our stay in Austin, we had to get back on the road. No, we weren’t tired of Messin’ with Texas and Texas wasn’t tired of Messin’ with us.
I’ll argue that Austin is NOT as weird as Portland, but Texas is weirder than both, by a long shot. Two weeks in the Lone Star State was plenty and we were ready to head east where Voodoo doesn’t come in a box. The state who’s slogan is “Come as you are. Leave different.” Now we’re ready to Mess with Louisiana- The Pelican State.