Our first visit to Texas was to the city of Austin where the Sencha conference was being held that The Mister was presenting at. I was prepared for stinking hot weather but to be honest it wasn’t too bad – I think with it being autumn the heat wasn’t too muggy and really only got really hot in the afternoon (really hot = almost 30 degrees C).

Austin was a strange kind of city – the only city I’ve been to in America where there were barely any shops – never even saw a Walgreens or Macy’s or Dunkin’ Donuts. Just a FedEx (which had amazing long opening hours), a few boutique clothing stalls and drive through banks! We were staying and based in the downtown area, I think when the city wasn’t working in air conditioned office blocks with underground parking or going to drive through banks, they were shopping at air conditioned malls with underground parking.

Drive through bank

The one thing the city did have a lot of was bars and barbecue and restaurants – mostly along Sixth Street but generally throughout the downtown area. The roads and sidewalks were hot and sticky and smooth from being melted in the summer – looked and smelled disgusting like a perpetual night after a huge street party – each time I got back to the beautiful marbled hotel lobby I was embarrassed by the sticky squelching my shoes made traipsing sticky dumpster dribble and god knows what from the streets I’d just walked along! The streets were really wide too – I guess people in that town mostly drive everywhere to escape the heat so in general the town seemed quite sleepy because everything was in doors or underground. Every now and then you’d come upon a steaming parking lot with some food trailers in it or see great mirrored sky-scrapers shooting up in to the sky.

Downtown Austin

Rollin' smoke BBQ chuckwagon

Early morning downtown Austin

Their state Capitol building is pretty majestic – pinkish during the day and white at night.

Austin Capitol

Found a few great coffee places, more on that in other posts, but otherwise not a lot to do other than hang around the conference. One night we did go and watch the bats that live under one of the bridges across the river come out at sunset and swarm around before flying off into the night.


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