Going to Austin in July!

Jodi_SoCalJune 26, 2013

I keep hearing about Austin, San Antonio, the lovely "hill country" of Texas. I was actually invited by my friend Tina to spend a week at an exotic animal sanctuary in April but was unable since I had just returned from SE Asia. Then, we discovered an aunt we were planning on seeing in TN had recently moved to Austin. And other friends of our just moved to the hill country. Maybe we'd make our way out there next year some time.

Then, last week I found out my favorite singer/songwriter, Hal Ketchum (ran a fan site for him for 8 years) has come out of health-related retirement and is doing a concert in a small cantina in the hill country outside Austin ... on my 60th birthday. The big six-oh!

I saw no reason to celebrate 60 until this news hit. DH thought it to be a good enough reason to book a flight, so off we go in three weeks.

We leave on July 17th arriving in Austin around 5:30pm. Heard traffic is the pits there and looks like we will hit it square on.

We'll spend a couple days with Aunt Bea and then head to Fischer, TX where the concert will be, spending the night at Fischer Haus on Saturday, July 20th (my birthday).

After seeing a bit of the hill country on Sunday, we'll probably head over to San Antonia for the river walk and Alamo and then back to Aunt Bea's.

Anyone at the KT live in or near Austin or San Antonio?

Jodi-

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Laurie

What a great way to spend your birthday!
I'm sure you'll love it there....but, don't love it so much that you decide to move away from our neighborhood : /

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 5:52PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

You will have a great time. I love Hal, what a great birthday surprise to see him in concert. Lots of great music venues and artists in the areas you will visit. Just be very prepared for the heat. Since you are going through New Braunfels are you going to tube the Guadalupe? That's a good area to explore. Pretty country.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 6:06PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Laurie, I'll try not to have too much fun! LOL But if we do move, there's always the KT. :-)

RC, "tube the Guadalupe"? I'm almost afraid to ask. :-)

Never been to any part of TX except Amarillo and the large airports as stopovers to lands beyond.

After three weeks in sweltering hot and humid SE Asia, I think I can handle anything. I won't enjoy it particularly, I'll survive it, come home thankful for Southern California weather and Laurie will be happy. :-)

Jodi-

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Zipper_TX

Yeah 4:00 p.m. traffic starts around 2:00 pm lol. The last time we were down that way the traffic started in Round Rock haha.

Take your bathing suit and go to Zilker Park, it's one of the best swimming pools around :)

I don't know if you can still shoot the rapids behind the pool but it used to be a lot of fun.

You have to see the bats at sundown too, pretty spectacular!!!

You should visit the riverwalk and the Alamo, I used to love the culture center but I don't know if that's still a viable option. They have a wonderful zoo.

We lived both places - San Antonio the longest.

I have a son & his family living in SA right now. Let me tell you it's changed in 20 years and I'd have to spend a good month down there to learn my way around again.

Happy Early Birthday and I hope you have a great time!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 8:31PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

floating down the Guadalupe river on a tube! People come from all over to do it.

Here is a link that might be useful: guadalupe

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 9:53PM
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terilyn

Love, love, love, San Antonio! Austin is also beautiful, hit sixth street! Is your relative from TN the one from Fairfield? Remember, I am from Crossville. Grew up close to Fairfield.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:53PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Terilyn, yes, aunt Bea is the one from Fairfield Glade. She moved to Austin to be near her son. We fell in love with Fairfield/Crossville and were thinking we might retire there. Now she gone and moved to Austin and tells me we will love it there too. We'll see.

Ravencajun, that actually looks fun. I'd probably want to take a waterproof camera with me though. :-)

Ooo, Zipper, where do we see the bats?

Jodi-

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 1:29AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

yes I meant to mention the bats too, thousands of them swarm out from under the bridges at Congress Ave. Here's a video, just don't get below to view because they pee/poop all over you! There's a bat hotline you can call to get the appropriate times of flight.

http://austin.about.com/od/austinattractions/p/Bats_in_Austin.htm

Here is a link that might be useful: bats

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 2:26AM
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hounds_x_two

In Austin, See the Bats at Congress street Bridge
Go to a show at Esther's Follies (if a bit of bawdiness doesn't bother you)
Eat fabulous food! El Naranjo on Rainey Street, Eastside Cafe on Manor (pronounced "may-nor", not "manner", if you like sushi, go to either Uchi or Uchico, Hudson's on the Bend, Lake Travis area, go rowing on Town Lake, have fun!

In San Antonio, stroll along the River Walk- ride a barge. They are fun! Have lunch at Schilo's Delicatessen, 424 E. Commerce, downtown. Visit the Alamo and the Missions. Great museums! Witte, Art Museum and the McNay.
Enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:45AM
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Jodi_SoCal

Wow! The bats are incredible ... like a starling murmuration. I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

Jodi-

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:41AM
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pammyfay

A "murmuration" -- I never knew that word before! I've seen birds do that, but ... Thanks for that, Jodi!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 1:08PM
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gardenspice

Jody -
I can fill ya in and give you some tips. - Email me through my page. The bats are not all that active in July as they are tending their new bat babies, but you will see some.
Yes, you should see Barton Springs pool - naturally Spring fed and about 68 F year round. Considering it will almost definitely be triple digits whilst you are here, it could be sweet relief.
Email me if you want to discuss.
The traffic from the airport even at rush hour all depends on where you are heading, but it won't ruin your day.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 4:18PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Will do Gardenspice. Just waiting to hear back from aunt B so I can tell you exactly where she lives. I think it is in or near Sun City.

Barton Springs sounds like something right up my love of nature photography alley!

Jodi-

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 4:34PM
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ronf_gw

For a moment I thought you were coming to Austin, Minnesota. It's only an hour from my place and home to Hormel, where Spam is made. There's even a Spam Museum; maybe another tiime.......

Ron

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Yeah, maybe another time Ron. :-)

Gardenspice, turns out aunt B lives in Georgetown. She says it's about an hour north of Austin. My understanding is that Fischer/the hill country, is about an hour west of Austin. Sound about right?

Jodi-

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 7:38PM
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susanjf_gw

oh jody just saw the expected temps..sure hope they go down next month!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:12PM
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RuthieG__TX

Poor Jodi........July is not a great time to visit South Texas...the temps will be soaring .....Bring shorts, sleeveless Tee's and sun tan lotion a hat/visor and sun glasses...

we are in the Texas Hill Country about 60 miles west of San Antonio toward Fredricksberg...Kerrville to be exact...We are unfortunately planning our next RV trip which might coincide with your trip..I'll try to keep up with your plans ..

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:21PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Oh Ruthie, I'd love to meet you! Are you anywhere near the YO Ranch?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:42PM
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gardenspice

Jodi - Geogetown should not be an hour away from Central...but of course, it depends on traffic, it should be half that, but from the airport, I'd count on an hour.
And my take is that Fischer is going to be more than an hour from Georgetown.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 11:42AM
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RuthieG__TX

We live in the country south of Kerrville TX on Highway 16 ...but we could meet you anywhere in Kerrville TX ...The YO Ranch has a big hotel conference center at the edge of town where we stayed many times when we were looking for our property...There are lots of good places to eat in Kerrville...One of our favorites is a place called Billy Genes http://www.billygenes.com/..good Hill Country fare at reasonable rates...Best Chicken Fried Steak around....LOL...Maybe we could meet you there if we are in town....

We are not close to the YO as it is a huge ranch and way out off the beaten path...It is a big working ranch...If I remember you continue on past Kerrville on I10 and take 41 to the YO...don't know mileage but it's not that close but you have to go through Kerrville to get there most likely...Fredricksberg is another tourist town close by...Remember Buzzard from the KT...I assume she is still there...

Here is a link that might be useful: YO Ranch

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 2:37PM
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chi83

We just went there last week :) visited the Alamo and riverwalk in San Antonio. It was way too hot for me but very interesting. We stayed overnight in Austin and it was a fun city. Lots of bars and restaurants and live music. I am sure you will have fun!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 3:35PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Ruthie, I was invited to spend a week at the YO Ranch in early May with my friend Tina but had just returned from an exhausting and expensive trip to SE Asia and simply couldn't justify it. We are hoping to go back next year. She has a friend who owns a house on the ranch so lodging would be free but I still have to get there.

I just looked at a map and Kerrville is probably not doable this trip but perhaps next year. It's another 65 miles from Fischer via 281 and we're hoping to head south to San Antonio after we leave Fischer.

I do certainly remember Buzzard. Hope she's doing fine.

Chi, glad you had fun in Austin but you missed a great time at the KT get-together at my house too! :-)

Jodi-

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 4:00PM
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RuthieG__TX

Well maybe next year then...I have a feeling we might be on our trip anyway...if you are doing the YO next year...we can surely get together then....

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 6:43PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

I think July is a hotter month than June. You can probably count on 95-100 degrees and humid (to a Californian). It cools a bit when it rains. Texas is a state with nice folks and peculiar politics.

I've been all over the state and have spent a fair amount of time in various places. It's funny, but in places along the Dallas-Waco-Austin-San Antonio line, people seem to like to say "Whoa, it's a hot day, I'm sure glad I'm not in Houston today." Maybe it's human nature to diss others. I've been to Houston and found it a bit more uncomfortable in the summer compared to these other places. BUT it isn't like you suddenly hit comfortable weather if you drive to Austin from Houston. Hot is hot.

Let us know if you hear anyone saying something like that on your visit.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 8:00PM
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gardenspice

107 at my house in Austin right now. That being said, carry something with you - ls shirt, scarf or wrap, for places that over air condition. It happens less than it once did, but it still happens.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 6:05PM
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Jodi_SoCal

I'm really getting nervous about the humidity, just don't deal with it well.

Got our itinerary all set I think. Fly in Wed. July 17th and drive to aunt B's house in Georgetown. Leave Georgetown on Saturday morning for Fischer where we see a concert and spend the night. Leave for San Antonio Sunday morning and see the sights. Spend Sunday night with friends who just moved there. Drive back to Georgetown on Monday seeing Austin as we go and leave for home Tuesday night.

Jodi-

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 11:01AM
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kacram

oh, you are going to have so much fun. I don't envy you the heat or humidity. I get physically sick when it's too hot or humid. I can't handle it.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Can anyone tell me if I have to worry about mosquitoes while in TX?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 2:07AM
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hounds_x_two

Yes! We grow 'em big and thirsty down here.
I don't like to keep myself covered in bug-spray, but I am miserable when I get a bunch of bites. Avon Skin So Soft lotion really does help fend them off.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 7:20AM
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Jodi_SoCal

Well darn Hounds, that was not the answer I wanted to hear! I detest mosquitoes and they love me. I have terrible reactions to their bites and really hate having to apply poison to my body to keep them at bay. Maybe I'll order one of those repellent fans someone wrote about here a few weeks ago.

When we went to SE Asia earlier this year where the humidity matches the suffocating heat. We were warned and prepared for mosquitoes. Bought Jungle Juice from REI and another brand from a local pharmacy. Never used either. In three weeks of travel throughout Asia, didn't hear or see a single skeeter.

Jodi-

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 10:55AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

It really just depends on the weather and the areas. At times we can't even go to the back yard they are so bad, but other times it is very peacefully lacking mosquitoes. I have the little personal fans I wear when I go out back you can get them every where including Walmart, walgreens, cvs , Lowes, the grocery stores, etc. We were just recently at the beach in Galveston and not a single mosquitoe was seen, came home was sitting in my living room and a mosquitoe landed on my arm. I was very happy with the lack of them at the beach.
They have several new botanicals available in spray and lotion that are supposed to be good and have no pesticides in them, you might research those.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Jodi_SoCal

Thanks, RC. I think I'll wait until I get to TX and pick up one of the personal fans once we're in Austin.

The aunt we will be staying with in Georgetown used to live in Eastern Tennessee. We were there visiting her for the 4th of July about ten years ago. Got nailed by mosquitoes the instant we stepped out of the Nashville airport. We quickly jumped into our rental car and headed to Crossville.

Once we arrived at the aunt's home, situated on a beautiful lake, I realized the insect repellent was in the trunk of the car. I tell hubby I am not leaving the car without it! So he gets out, aunt Bea runs out to greet us and asks where I am. He points to the car and explains I'm terrified of skeeters and will not leave without bug spray. She laughs and tells him that they have never seen a mosquito in their neck of the woods. I was so, so happy and relieved.

Jodi-

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 12:10PM
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Laurie

I'm going to give this a try on our next camping trip:

Taken from "50 Ways To Reuse Dryer Sheets"

Some people claim that dryer sheets make a wonderful bug repellent. Due to the chemicals in the dryer sheet, you definitely donâÂÂt want to rub the used dryer sheet directly on your skin. Instead, place a dryer sheet in a belt loop or sticking out of a pocket when you are outdoors and this can help to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 11:37PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Ok, got my dryer sheets, back up deet and money in my pocket to buy the little skeeter repellent fans so I think I'm set! LOL

Really looking forward to meeting Texas! We leave Wednesday morning with an itinerary as long as my arm.

Jodi-

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 8:24PM
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