|Getting the lay of the land...|
I wasn't quite sure what to do, so a little research was warranted (Hello Google). There is actually a lot to do in Austin; choosing what to do became more about deciding what would have the least crowds and wouldn't require being in the sweltering heat for too long (August in Texas = Hot).
As a side note, can I just say that Austin is a really beautiful city! A lot of it is so new that it literally sparkles, although that may be helped by the fact that it is a sparkling clean city. And green, there's green everywhere. It's in an in-between zone in Texas; not really East (swampy) but not quite West (desert) either, which kinda makes it perfect (but still sweltering hot, lol). It completely embraces the Keep Austin Weird concept, so everywhere you go (ok, there are some very typical suburban spots in the north of the city) you get to see all things crazy, funky, odd, quirky, and yes... weird. Most restaurants & businesses (and even some houses) have a look or theme or some general kookiness going on. I LOVE it. :)
Anyhoo... we decided first to hit a "Ghost Town" just outside of the city (it's completely manufactured, but still quite fun, especially if you've never actually been to a ghost town before, like my friend Barbi from Australia who was also visiting Austin!) It was typical wooden shanty buildings; jailhouse, general store, coroner, etc. that you see in any old western movie; great for photo ops and a giggle, but no actual ghosts to be seen. ;)
The coolest thing about this ghost town, though, was that it was more of a theme bar. It was "open" all the time to visit, but things only started happening -bars staffed, food served, live music, etc- on weekends. Unfortunately we didn't make it back over on the weekend, but I realllly wanted to. How awesome would that be! Eating, drinking, live music, and dancing in a ghost town... very awesome! -Oh, you can even rent the place for private events, ha! An awesome company party or wedding for those with a sense of humor! :)
It was a fun visit anyway and we did have the place to ourselves (getting the real feel of a ghost town, lol) for all but the last few minutes of the visit where we had the fortune of catching the owners on their way out. We were treated to stories about the ghost town and about the owner's father who was at D-Day at Normandy Beach (really! we got a souvenir photo!) and we were gifted with what Texans call a Koozie (which is just a neoprene can cooler). Nice people! --Did I mention that I really wanted to go back on the weekend for some drinks and music? Mannnn.... next time for sure!
Here are a few photos from the morning.
--Oh, what I didn't get a photo of was their maze (or is it a labyrinth) which is sort of an odd thing in a ghost town, but would be an awesome addition for a Halloween event. It was actually quite a good one, not the "just follow the path to the end" sort, but a long one with twists and turns and false paths. It actually took us a while (and the mean skills of a 13yo) to get out. :D
|We started off with a great game of horseshoes! I grew up with horseshoes, but Téo and Barbie had never played before. Throwing horseshoes is a talent for sure, lol, Téo had those shoes flying all over the place! ;)|
|Barbi played a little barmaid. You can't see it here, but Téo is off the the side playing some mean western piano tunes!|
|Was it the bad piano playing that landed him here?|
|It's not a ghost town without a cactus or two (even if you gotta plant them yourself!)|
Check out more photos on their website. Austin Ghost Town