I have not lived in Austin, Texas for almost 20 years.
I laugh a little as I type that because well, it seems like such a long time.
When I visit here I come to my parents’ house, the same one where I grew up, for all of my childhood. I’ve watched it change over the years, with different floors or paint or furniture but it’s still the same house.
The room I lived in no longer has a twin-sized bed with a girly bedspread with yellow ruffles like it once did but the sun still streams in the window so brightly every morning that it shines. Just like it always has. And the kitchen has not expanded. It is still hard to have more than four people standing in it at any one time. And my Mom still sits in her same spot (although minus her loyal little dog who died a few years ago), reading her prayer books while my father still sits in the glider on the deck out front that he built years ago, drinking his glass full of iced tea and watching the cars go by.
Since I have not lived here in so long I like to try to see parts of the city that I have heard about or remember and take the kids on little adventures. You know, be a tourist in my own home town. And the children (and mom and/or dad too) are so lucky (wink, wink) that they get to go along for the ride!
Yesterday we hit up S. Congress which is known for it’s kitschy shops and food trucks. Unfortunately the food trucks are closed on Monday (FYI) but that’s okay because we ended up eating at Fran’s and having an old-fashioned, greasy hamburger. YepUhHuhSoGood.
Then we wandered down the street to this amazing candy store (cinnamon roll salt water taffy anyone?) called The Big Top and my children were in hog heaven. I only got them out of there with the promise of actually eating the treats we purchased. Thankfully K chose her trusty Dum Dum and that was all (crazy kid!)
Lastly we stopped in Uncommon Objects, which is amazing but basically an over-priced antique store in which my children could touch NOTHING(!!!). And they even took our candy shopping bag (they better not have eaten any of the taffy I got for Tim
me) behind the counter. Which I get, I mean they did have a bunch of pricey old metal keys (you’ve got $23 for an antique key, right??), one of which I could have totally slipped into my candy bag, you know if I was that kinda gal. For the record, I do like old keys and thought they were very interesting but I neither stole nor paid for one. Oh and my children didn’t break anything, so Hey! successful browsing trip!
After that my Mom and I took the kids to the Austin Children’s Museum and they had a blast. It is just about the right size and kept all of my three children entertained for about 2 hours. I was REALLY impressed with an area upstairs where you could build and craft things out of recyclables. Like anything from toilet paper rolls to plastic fruit holders to yogurt cups!
And these two windows of the building were covered in these beautiful designs, made from non other than…
…lids to all kinds of plastic containers like detergent bottles and water bottles!! Aren’t they cool?!?!? I just had to share. (this is for you Erin, since I know you will appreciate it!)
My children, however were not as impressed with that area and all three spent much of their time playing with some type of trains.
All in all it was a great place to visit on a hot Texas day!
Sometimes I think I could live here again. All of my family still lives in the area (meaning my parents and my brother’s and their families). And it really is a great city, full of great things for families and kids and well, the scenery ain’t half bad either. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up here again. Only time will tell…
But for now, it is a pretty wonderful place to visit.