The tree that weathers the storm
The live oaks on the capital grounds have grown sideways from all the years of wind coming off the prairie. To me they are a symbol of Austin and TX, battered and bent but never broken. 20% of the population was wiped out in the Civil War, but Austin is once again a vital, vibrant city with a flavor all its own. I loved the walking tour of the grounds of the capital building.
Spamarama... yes it is dedicated to SPAM
There is no better explanation of what Spamarama is rather than the originators own words:
It was the early spring of 1976. Dick Terry and I were fraternizing one afternoon and Dick was bellyaching about how chili cook-offs had become so common-place." I mean, anybody can cook chili." Dick observed, "All you need is some kinda meat, some water, chili powder, comino, and maybe some cayenne, garlic, and/or onion, and you got yer basic chili. If you're from north of the Red River, you might throw in some kinda beans, but basically, that's about all it takes to make 'chili.'" " Yeah, not much of a challenge there, is it?" I responded.
" Now if someone could make SPAM® edible," Dick continued, "That would be a challenge. We ought to have a a 'SPAM®-Off.'"
" Yeah, a 'SPAMARAMA™!'" I blurted out. "We could ask George Majewski over at Soap Creek Saloon if he'd like to host it, and we could have it on April Fool's Day." " Let's do it!" Dick agreed.
And that, in a nutshell, is the beginning of the very first, longest running and funnest SPAM® event in the history of the entire universe. I never thought that it would last more than a year or two. I never thought it would attract more than a handful of Spamophiles who had been cooking and eating the infamous potted pork product since World War II. I never thought there were so many things you could make out of SPAM®!
But I was wrong! .......
The Potentate of Potted Pork Parties
A great place to watch the sunset!
Many local and travelers have probably heard about Mt. Bonnell, but most have not visited this great Austin Landmark. It is off the beaten path a bit, but this short trip from downtown is well worth the drive when you see the view! Go west on 35th street off of Mopac to Mt. Bonnell Rd. or go west on FM 2222 to the second street named Mt. Bonnell Rd. , take a left and follow the winding
road to the top.
LBJ state Historical Park
Johnson City has been created in the 19th century by one of the president’s ancestor; the original ranch has been restored to show us how life could have been at that time.
In the Johnson settlement itself, an exhibit shows what the life of a cowboy was.
You can then walk through different building: the Dog-trot cabin where Samuel Ealy Johnson, the president’s grandfather brought his bride in 1867, the Bruckner barn, constructed in 1884 by a German immigrant who purchased a portion of the ranch, the James Polk Johnson Ban, built by the nephew of the president’s grandfather. You can also see a windmill being used to pump water into a water tank.
You can also have the opportunity to see a couple of longhorn cows in the nearby pasture. These cows are now a symbol of Texas!
It is definitely a must-see (and it’s free!) if you want to have a better idea how was life in Texas in the past.
Laid-Back Sports Bar
A great bar to start the night off is the Fox and the Hound. A national chain of bars, I know, but Austin's has a feel that seperates it from the other 3 that I have been to. It has the usual pool tables, couches, and numerous TV's playing sports. But, it also has a much more relaxed, unassuming atmosphere that the others didn't. Very laid-back, very cool. Jeans are fine, as well as khakis for guys. Girls, as usual, can wear whatever.