Friday, May 30, 2008

Austin, Texas

Our hosts in Austin - Bettina and Eric
Posted by Thane
We arrived in Austin on a Friday night to be guests of Bettina and Eric. I worked with Bettina on several Bare Necessities cruises. She visited us in California for a few days last year. Bettina showed us around the Bare Necessities office, a cool old house in a residential neighborhood with Steve and his gang madly stuffing envelopes for an upcoming cruise. Nice Obama poster Tom!

Eric was working late at his bike shop, Austin Bikes . It was Memorial Day weekend and there was a triathlon in town. Bettina was serving drinks at a club that night so she gave us a couple of recommendations for dinner. We ended up at one of the many vegan restaurants she knows in Austin. I'm thinking these are a rarity in the rest of Texas. Great food at Veggie Heaven and ya got to try the pearl tea with black tapioca balls in it.

The next day Bettina, Melissa and I went to the LBJ Museum. What a great place. I thought I would have been there less than an hour but we stayed for three, at least. What a powerhouse he was and always batting for the little guy, whether it was education, food for the undernourished, jobs, or civil rights. His"Great Society" program became the agenda for Congress: aid to education, protection of civil rights (including the right to vote), urban renewal, Medicare, conservation, beautification, control and prevention of crime and delinquency, promotion of the arts, and consumer protection. If only other Texan presidents could be as effective as he was. Sad to think that some people (including me before visiting this museum) only recall him for the mess he inherited in Vietnam.

The library includes all of the records from his presidency..

a section devoted to Lady Bird...

and a great exhibit on the Civil Rights movement and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

After having lunch at another vegan cafe, Dhaba Joy, we went to the State Capitol. I am now steeped in Texas history from The Alamo to the present.

We met Eric for dinner at Tom's favorite Thai place and then walked over to the Congress bridge to see the nightly bat exodus. I couldn't get a picture of the bats but here's a pic of all the people watching the bats.

We walked back from the bridge in the warm evening air, listening to the sounds of live music wafting from the clubs, to Eric's house to be greeted by the two Border collies and a pint of pistachio gelato.

Sunday morning Eric was up early for his 60 mile training ride while Bettina, Melissa and I walked over through the neighborhoods to a beautiful park where Barton Springs feeds a huge swimming pool.

From there we hiked over to Casa de Luz, a macrobiotic, vegan, organic mecca for brunch. mmmmmmmmmmmm

Thank you Bettina and Eric - and also Wrigley and Sadie - for a great Austin Weekend.


Kathryn said...

I love the pictures if your meals. I am so glad you two are finding healthy food that deep into the south!

Melissa Keith said...

Hi Kat, It tasted even better than it looked. Austin was a really great place for healthy food. It has been a little harder for the last few day in the South. The catfish sure is good though! xoxo - Mom

Linda & Don said...

Hi Y'all!

I bet you miss the nice cool weather in MS--I think it must be ven hotter where you are now. How was the motel in Macon? It looks like a nice town. I love the food pics too!--Linda