Austin, Texas has been on our list of places to visit for a long time. A liberal mecca in a conservative state, Austin is known for its food, music and for being “weird”. We’re weird musicians who love to eat so it’s obvious why we wanted to check it out.
Because we were on an extremely limited budget and I’m on a very limited diet, we chose to make Austin a quick visit and to return later. In fact we might have skipped it completely if it wasn’t for the fact that we wanted to participate in the Women’s March and realized Austin would be our best location for that.
The logistics of our visit proved to be surprisingly challenging. It’s a very hilly community, and our first sign of challenge was when we could barely fit in the Lowe’s parking lot, our chosen location for Ross to teach as we headed into town. I also realized quickly that at least the outskirts of town make walking from place to place challenging. (It always makes me sad when new developments don’t encourage walking or biking.)
Our next challenge? We found an adequate Walmart to set up shop for the night, but we didn’t feel safe leaving the RV alone while we marched. As I called campground after campground (our top choice was booked up weeks ago), I realized we might not find any vacancies within an easy walk or Uber/Lyft ride or the march. This would significantly increase the cost of our visit and kind of defeat the purpose.
Luckily, when I reached out to my mother’s cousin’s son about meeting up, he suggested we park on the street near his home. I’m so glad we gave that a shot. Although we weren’t completely level, we felt very safe parked on the street and it seemed to be allowed by the city, both from what I read and in practice. This location was actually amazing – we walked about 3 miles to the march and back without any issues! Our host let us use his shower and we got to spend a little time (not enough) getting to know him and his girlfriend and seeing his amazing custom guitar company, Moniker Guitars. (Ross was in heaven with that.) We also visited Prohibition Creamery for a fun ice cream and alcohol adventure.
We hoped to take our hosts to breakfast but we had to settle for coffee due to their schedule. Instead we drove to a local supermarket, bought a couple of groceries and walked a little over a mile to Picnik, a gluten, corn and soy-free restaurant where I had an entire menu of food specific to my diet to choose from! We had an outstanding local, healthy meal (Brussels sprouts with bacon, cassava pancakes with chocolate chips and a side of amazing vegetables for me) and the atmosphere is lovely too. Well-worth a splurge!
Traffic in Austin isn’t fun but it beats Dallas, and we managed to avoid driving in it too often. We will definitely be returning to the area, but we highly recommend booking an RV park far in advance. There are plenty of Walmarts but since they don’t have great reviews I wouldn’t want to walk away from my home and hope for the best.
Next up I’ll explore our quick taste of New Orleans. We’re currently settled in Florida for two more months. Thanks for reading and have a great day!