This should be a busy week. We are at Canyon Lake which is right in between two beautiful cities, San Antonio (home of The Alamo), and Austin (the state capitol), Texas. We spent one day in both cities last year and decided more time was needed in both.
Saturday in Austin. Sunday watching sports (YAHOO – Stamps in the Grey Cup!). Monday a tour around the Canyon Lake area. Tuesday and Wednesday in San Antonio, then Thursday watching glass blowing and another stop in Luckenbach.
We got a couple scenic shots on the drive into Austin, Texas. Austin is a beautiful city with plenty of history. The capitol of Texas and the capitol building is stunning. Incredibly well maintained. The desks are 129 years old and look brand new.
Then a wander around old downtown Austin. 6th street is lined for blocks with old buildings that once were the economic hub of Austin. Many years ago they became bars and night clubs. Austin is famous for music and here is where you find it in the raw. The pubs are small, intimate places and the patrons are right on top of the musicians. The atmosphere is great. On Saturday night they close the street to vehicles and it is a block party for several blocks.
The cameras we carry seem to be magnets. People stop and want to pose for us, or talk photography. What's amazing is most of these people are 1/3 our age. Between the history and old building and the people it was a good day.
Sports day today. We stayed in and first watched the Flames get a win in Phoenix and then we cheered the Stamps on to a Grey Cup victory! So, just a shot from our deck and three of the stunning sunset over Canyon Lake.
A short drive around the Canyon Lake area netted a few shots of Northern Cardinals (we don't have these in Alberta) and a few other birds as well as some scenic views.
Later in the afternoon I noticed that we were not far from Luckenback, Texas. Legend in song and fable, Luckenbach is not what I expected. I had a vision in my mind of a town with bars and restaurants. Not so. Luckenbach was a U.S. Post Office founded in 1849. A very small community was there for a while, but now the population is .... 3. Many years ago, the old post office was turned into a store and the post master living quarters in the rear is where the musicians (famous and not so famous) come and play. Quaint, cozy and oh soooo cool! There is a small outside stage and a larger "dance hall" that is used on weekends. There is live music here 7 days a week. A list of upcoming shows can be found here: http://mobile.luckenbachtexas.com/home.htm. Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and the list goes on. Corb Lund is here in February. Rusty doesn't care who you are. He will crow during any performance.
On the way home, I stopped in Blanco, TX for a few shots of the Christmas light display.
Inside the room at the back, they have the "Picker Circles" daily. The musicians sit on old wooden benches around a pot bellied stove and play and sing. Magic! To add to the wonderful "ambience" there are several critters that inhabit the place, including "Rusty the Rooster" who crows whenever he gets the urge. Here is a link to a short video clip. https://youtu.be/_aMILf0x5Jk
On the way home I stopped in Blanco, TX for a few shots of the Christmas light display. Very good for a small town.
San Antonio. Another beautiful city in the heart of Texas. First we did one of the double decker bus tours. Then a trip through The Alamo. If you are unaware of the real history of The Alamo, it is worth looking up. The battle literally changed history and paved the way for first Texas and then California and the rest of the west to become part of the U.S. 180 men held off 5,000 Mexican troops for 13 days, allowing Sam Houston the time to raise an army to repel the Mexicans at the Battle of San Jacinto a few weeks later.
Then we walked the famous River Walk. It is wonderful. The River Walk is miles of sidewalk below street level along the San Antonio River. It is lined with trees, artwork, restaurants, bars and hotels. And history. Very nice. After dinner and a brief wait, we went back to the River Walk for some night shots.
After the big day in San Antonio, we took it a little easier today. Just a short drive into New Braunfels, TX.
Quite a nice place, settled by Germans in the mid 1800's, it now has a population of about 75,000.
We decided to have dinner at a small, unassuming looking steak house called Myron's Steak House (picture included). It didn't look like much from the outside and we have been trying to keep expenses down by eating most meals in the condos. We get seated and given the menus. So much for the budget. Baked potato - $8.95 (U.S.). Rib eye steak, $50.95. Yikes. We shared a steak and a potato which was perfect because both were large and we left full. I will say this. The food was excellent!
Our last full day in the Canyon Lake area of Texas. We decided to go into San Marcos where we found a glass blowing company and watched them make a beautiful bowl. It is quite the art. Then in the evening I took Joy to Luckenbach. It was warmer today so the picker circle was outside on the back porch.