day tripper

went to houston for the day but there was literally nothing going on. when we stopped into one of the few open shops and asked for advice on "what a tourist should do in houston" the response was "get out of downtown". apparently houston is a commuter city - everyone drives in to work and the real exciting stuff happens in the suburbs. so we ended up going to montrose which had a bunch of antique stores and i indulged my addiction to books and bought two nice hard cover books - emerson's collected works and this side of paradise by fitzgerald. i'm excited about both reads. otherwise houston wasn't a great city to mess around in. it was harder to drive around the suburbs, not really sure what you're looking for. its not the type of city where you wander around on the streets, do shopping, sit in a coffeeshop, stumble upon quaint stores. it wasn't my cup of tea.
although i did enjoy the fountain in tranquility park, a gift from gus wortham.

and then there's austin!
such a cool city. we went there a couple days after houston and had such an enjoyable time.
if you ever visit austin here's my suggestion based on how our day went...

1) walk down 6th street and have a burger at Hut's Hamburgers on W 6th Street near West Ave. on the way you'll pass the Driskill Hotel - the oldest operating hotel in austin

2) do a hiking or biking trail in zilker park right by lady bird lake if you want to stay close to the city. or if you don't mind a ten minute drive, check out barton springs, a natural spring that the city adapted into a swimming area.

3) walk on north congress, look north, and get a great view of the state capitol building

4) walk on south congress and browse the unique shops and eateries that line the street.

5) check out book people, waterloo records, and the whole foods market around n. lamar and w. 5th street.  the whole foods is the whole foods headquarters, so they've really done it right. there are tables to hang out and taste food, buy a meal, or just have some wine and cheese. waterloo records has a great selection of music and sometimes even live music. and book people is a homier barnes a nobles with plenty of staff picks and books divided into creative sections like "you shoulda read the book first"

6) have ice cream at Amy's either on south congress or right across from book people on lamar

7) have dinner at a food cart on east 6th street. however normally the city is divided east and west by congress blvd. but the real divide is after you pass under I-35 which runs right by austin. so, go to the east side of 6th street, passing under I-35, and you'll find good bars and food carts to enjoy.

its especially cool because the carts are grouped together and create a courtyard for all the diners. one cart had a tv mounted into it and was showing ferris bueller's day off. it felt like we were at a friend's house for a barbeque.

i'd love to come back. it seemed like we just scratched the surface



with all the cows on the ranch sometimes it can be hard to get around. i'm not sure exactly how many carol has but i'd guess between 50-75.
plus the numbers are always growing because of this guy. he's the only bull in the whole herd, and he's been pretty busy over the last couple months. when i got here there were only 3 babies. now there is at least 14 and each day it seems a few more pop up.

all the female cows are all black but the poppa has a white face so all the babies have been born with white faces. they're easy to spot from the road and count because their white faces stick out so much. you can even see the one in the background here.

to me grown up cows look awkward and a little brain dead, but these babies are just adorable.

so adorable!



recently its been warm enough to have bonfires outside and even wear shorts. the horses are shedding too which means summer (and warm weather!) is on its way.
its a little odd to be able to say that in early february. going to florida in the winter for a couple days is one thing, but seeing a mild winter (by texas standards no less) followed by an early summer is really something else.