Keep Austin Weird

VERY delayed Thanksgiving in Austin post coming right up!

Seeing as Chienyn and I visited Karin in Chicago earlier this year (or should I say earlier in 2013), Karin and I went out to visit Chienyn in Austin, where she is doing her PhD! The only date we could both leave for was on Thanksgiving, so after a lot of deliberating and two crazy expensive flights later, we were in Austin, Texas!

Chienyn picked us up from the airport, and first stop was Torchy’s Tacos. :) FOOD = INSTANT HAPPINESS. It was enough to appease my indignant rage at the lack of tumbleweeds and desert in Texas. I guess not all of Texas looks like something pulled straight out of a western. It was hard to get over myself at first, but the tacos hit the spot and did the job.

After Tacos, we headed to Chienyn’s apartment to drop off our stuff and do some quick grocery shopping before heading off to see the Capitol, which is basically like Texas’s version of a patriotic Disney Land. Except the hidden Mickey’s are really hidden Lone Stars. And characters are politicians instead of cartoons. Close enough.

Lone Star #1 (but hey what a beautiful ceiling inside!).
Senate Chamber.
Lone Star #2, light fixture in the Senate Chamber.
Lone Star #3, door handle of the Senate Chamber.
No Lone Star, but look at the detail in these door hinges!
Can you see the Lone Star? No but seriously this is the seal of Texas. The different flags on the side represent the different countries that Texas has been ruled by over the years (starting with France, who would have thought!)

It was a beautiful building with beautiful grounds, and our tour guy had a pretty good self depreciating yet sassy humor underlying his tour, which one family did not appreciate, showing their annoyance by defecting to a different tour (almost wrote defecating there, oopsies!).

drank~

Afterwards, we blundered around trying to find a bus that would take us to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, where we could buy our Catching Fire tickets in advance for the next night.  It was really nice walking through downtown Austin, just as the sun was setting.

Check out this architecture!
We didn’t know what this was when we were there, but a quick Google search resulted in either “A Satanic Alliance” or the “Frost Bank Tower.” I’m going to go with the latter.
So festive!
There were tons of really cool bars alongside what I think was Sixth Street.

This was when we realized we had absentmindedly left all the groceries (including the ice cream) on the table and left to see the Capitol, so we bought our tickets and hurried home to a tub of sad, mushy ice cream amongst other things.

We took it easy that night, and watched a pretty terrible movie with Chris Hemsworth and Josh from Drake and Josh.

Then, the next day was Thanksgiving! :D We made breakfast, which is when Chienyn introduced us to the “Dirty Sanchez.”

Basically scrambled eggs with salsa – so good!
Plus toasted croissants stuffed with Nutella… :’D

We took a drive to her campus, University of Texas Austin, which was pretty nice, passing some pretty cool places along the way.

“Ninja Bachelor Party”
Mural right by UT Austin.
Finally on campus – isn’t this archway passage gorgeous?
Karin and I!
VERY cool sculpture out front.
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Guys I found my first cactus!!!!!
I loved that UT Austin had these! They were pillars on which students could post ads, notices, etc. Rutgers needs these instead of trying to “clean up” all the ads at the bus stops! What a great way to keep everybody connected! :)
Also, check this out! A station where student can pump the air in their bike tires! Rutgers also needs this!!
UT Austin football stadium – like everything else in Texas, HUGE.
“No dumping, drains to creek”

We then headed off to Whole Foods for some last minute grocery shopping and walked to a park on Lady Bird Lake, which is not a lake but a river in my opinion but whatever.

Yarn bombing on our way there!
Loved this art!
Thanksgiving appropriate yarn bombing.

Once we got to the park, we realized there was a memorial called “Thirst” meant to bring attention to the affects of the drought in Texas. It consisted of hundreds of these white prayer flags as well as an installation on the “lake.”

“Ghost bikes” to serve as memorials for individuals killed in bike accidents with automobiles. :(

We goofed off a little big and explored. You could see the skyline from here, which was really nice!

Then we headed back to make Thanksgiving dinner, which we did in style:

We took pictures of each other “cutting” the turkey.
And tried VERY HARD to all get in one picture… Success, no?!

Later that night, after living through our food comas (from a delicious dinner that we made all by ourselves!!) we watched the first Hunger Games movie at Chienyn’s apartment, followed by Catching Fire at Alamo Drafthouse. It’s cool because it’s like an old fashioned dine in movie theater. Sadly, we were sitting under a cold vent and smack right in front of where all the waiters and waitresses passed, but it was still pretty cool. :) Instead of trailers, they played parodies of Hunger Games videos from online. Very fun!

The rest of the night we rested (and by rested I mean stayed up forever and talked… Karin and I may or may not have fallen asleep at some point/s).

Stay tuned for Austin Part II!

A

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