Yep, we’re still on vacation! Last week we were exploring around Dallas and having a great time, but our vacation isn’t over yet! When you’re financially independent and “mostly” retired, you could argue that everyday is a vacation, but I still like to make the distinction when we’re away from home it’s a “vacation”.
Partly because we’re a lot free’er with our spending than we would be at home. On vacation, we eat out at restaurants, and are generally far less optimized in our spending. (Don’t worry, I’ll account for all the vacation spending in one of my usual Dividend Income And Expense posts.)
After checking out what Dallas had to offer, we moved-on to the Austin area this week. We’ve done touristy things in Austin before, but this time around we’re trying to decide if it might be a good place to raise a family (and lead a nice relaxing life).
The above picture was the view from Mount Bonnell. It’s the highest point in Austin, and a free tourist attraction with good views of the surrounding area.
Austin is a beautiful town, with lots of great neighborhoods… but the city has grown so much in the past few years the traffic is getting kind of crazy.
A quieter suburb is more our family’s speed, so one of our first stops in the area was Georgetown (a suburb north of Austin).
Georgetown still has that nice small town feel, and the traffic isn’t terrible yet. A nice quiet place that might be good for raising some kids. The town’s Blue Hole Park (near downtown) was also really beautiful.
Our family is also a big user of public parks, so a town with good parks is really important. We try to check-out the local parks as much as possible. One of my personal favorites in the area was Brushy Creek Lake Park near Round Rock.
Jim and his family are getting ready for their big move to Panama, but I’m glad we had a chance to meet-up, talk, and devour some delicious tacos together. Thanks Jim!
Yum! The above picture is a steak taco and shrimp taco from Torchy’s Tacos (it’s a local taco joint). Tacos are one of the foods Austin does extremely well, so of course we’ve been eating plenty of tacos. 🙂 There are taco shops galore in Austin… if only I had time to try them all!
This trip wasn’t all “business” of course, we still had plenty of time for doing goofy tourist stuff. For example, we stopped in at the famous Allens Boots shop and checked out all the cowboy-wares. Boots, hats, and large belt buckles galore!
Then, we did a little spelunking under the freeway at Inner Space Cavern…
Yes, this incredible cave is directly under the I-35 freeway. If you’re quiet enough, you can actually hear the rumble of the cars overhead on the freeway. Freeway construction workers found the cave back in 1966 when the freeway was first being built, and the cave system is pretty amazing. It goes on for miles!
And yes, there are a few bats in the cave. Austin is famous for its bats, and Innerspace Cavern did have a few to look at up-close and personal-like. You can see a dark spot in the flash-light beam below… that’s a bat!
All that walking around definitely helped me work-up an appetite, so *of course* we had to devour more delicious food.
We decided some Korean Fried Chicken would be good, along with a side of bacon-kimchi fries and shishito peppers. We weren’t wrong! It was absolutely delicious!
In a way, I think this plate of food perfectly sums up the town of Austin Texas. Austin is a fusion of many different things — Texas, a college town, tech companies, music, delicious food, super hot weather…. There’s so many ingredients fused together it sounds kind of crazy… and in a way it really *is* crazy.
But it also works really well!
With that, I’m going to end this series of vacation posts. Thanks for following along! It’s been tons of fun to adventure around and explore one of America’s biggest states, and finally meet up with some of my favorite bloggers. I hope it wasn’t too boring!
Don’t worry, I’ll be back to posting my usual stuff next week! See you then! 😀