howdy do Austin

Posted by on Apr 18, 2013 in travels | 2 comments

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We’re back from a too short but truly sweet trip to Austin, capitol of the Lone Star state. My head is spinning with the glory of it all.

After an unexpected delay that detoured us through Dallas, we landed wearily into the open arms of our cowgirl hostess, Katherine Mahoney, who brought us over to Tesoros Trading Company, a feast for sore eyes.

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We faithfully bowed in reverence to a bounty of folk treasures, blessed by our safe arrival.

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Everything along South Congress Street called to us, from catchy sandwich boards

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to vintage signage and wheels.

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We needed more than a visual pick-me-up, and thankfully found it at Gourdough’s.

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Nothin’ like a Big. Fat. Donut. to revive a traveler. Below we have three “quickies” and a bonus sugar buffet.

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Fortified, we traveled to Travis Country, home of our beloved hosts, Kathy and Barton. Here’s Kathy’s own portrait.

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Kathy and I go waaay back to cowgirl days in Boston. What joy to find her art all over the house. These are works in progress on her studio table.

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A detail of a lovely mural in the living room:

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Her art brightened our guest room, too.

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Wait, there’s a vintage piece of MINE, an illustration I did for the Washington Post!

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We discovered more delights outside in the back yard. Daisy shot these of the wild anoles darting about.

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We tried some brews at Hops and Grains. My favorite was the Mean Irene. This deer made me feel right at home.

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With an improved mood, we returned to the airport to retrieve our detoured luggage. Luck was with us: our bags arrived via Chicago (don’t ask) and we gussied up for a trip to Ballet Austin.

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After the show, we passed by live music here and there and found this homage to hometown hero, Willie Nelson, who turns 80 on April 30.

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Our next day began with a stroll through some prairie out the back door, where we found classic signs of Texas, barbed wire and cactus.

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Got our fill of the story of Texas at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

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There are some rootin tootin displays, y’all. Loved the illustrated scratchboard backdrop on this one.

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From Native American history to the Republic of Texas to Hollywood’s cowboy movies, we learned about Texas spirit. No quizzes, please. This called for more refreshment, over at Torchy’s. Fried avocado tacos? Yes.

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Squeezing in more Austin on our last day, we went to Cavender’s. Ask for Johnny Alvarez if you want to know all about what makes a good boot.

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Daisy landed these beauties.

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Shopping works up the appetite, so we refueled at Hopdoddy, where Willie makes an appearance.

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With full bellies, we strolled around. Uncommon Objects is a veritable altar of vintage relics, the “raw material for creative living” indeed.

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Only in Texas.

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Sticker art galore on the streets.

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Found good things at Yard Dog. Here Miss Mahoney finds communion with the art of Will Johnson.

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This one’s for you, Art Astarita!

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I bought a Raw Paw zine and a series 3 of Left Field Cards. Then we zoomed downtown over the famous bat bridge.

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The Capitol, which will be open to the public 125 years as of April 21, is actually taller than the nation’s Capitol.

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It’s darn impressive inside, too.

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Our history student, Daisy, was eager to find the treaty signed by Santa Ana after the battle at San Jacinto, the defining moment when Texas became an independent republic. Well, we found the painting. The treaty is likely in the archives.

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We drove around University of Texas, and lingered at the Harry Ransom Center, where we saw a copy of the Gutenburg Bible, one of 48 complete copies in the world of the first book printed with moveable metal type. The bible is inside the enclosure on the left.

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We wound our way through the heat to the river, where paddle surfers were cooling off.

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Stevie Ray Vaughn looks on.

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Back at the hacienda, a little music in his memory.

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Austin, we fell in love with you!

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My cowgirl heart beats on.

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Now that we’re back, I’m organizing my ephemera. From ballet to boots, tacos to lizards, and zines to the Bible, Texas tops it all.

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Many thanks to our fine hosts and to all the friendly folks in Austin, y’all made it purdy sweet.

2 Comments

  1. Weeeeee Doggies!!! I am so glad that the home of my birth (Texas) gave y’all such a warm welcome. Sounds like you tore it up down there in the short time you had. Love your blog about Austin and I look forward to seeing how signs of it show up in your art. XXXO.

  2. So amazing that you document all these things so beautifully while talking to me at the same time!! It was a total pleasure to play hostess to your amazing self with the added benefit of Marty and Daisy being part of the picture! It’s wonderful to see Austin through your eyes!!
    Love you, Kathy

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