Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fort Worth & Austin

Fort Worth (Cowtown) is a great place with a vibrant downtown! And who better to visit with than your favorite travel partner? On a recent TDY, the stars aligned and Elizabeth was able to come with me. The double-edged sword here was that now Elizabeth knows just how nice a town Fort Worth is. So when I go TDY without her, I won't get any sympathy.

While I was at work during the day, Elizabeth was able to do work for her job and spend time exploring the city. And in the evenings, I was finally able to take Elizabeth to the restaurants I've wanted to try - but didn't want to enjoy with the fellas (sorry Jesters).

Before returning back home, we were able to take a side-trip to Austin. The Congress Street bridge was a highlight. Each evening at dusk, a million or so bats fly out. Unfortunately, mid June is breeding time, and the wave of departing bats (from under the bridge) was minimal. Also in Austin is a destination I highly recommend: The Cathedral of Junk (4422 Lareina Dr). It's in a fella's backyard and is closed for now, but you can check it out from the road.

For a midday snack, try Hey Cupcake. Best cupcake ($2.75) I've had that came out of a trailer. They've got a main store and several satellite trailer locations. When you go, be sure to ask for the whipped cream special. It's no additional cost.

The highlight of the trip was the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. We started in Johnson City at the NPS visitors center (so Elizabeth could get a National Park Passport stamp). LBJ's boyhood home is there, as is a 0.8 mi path thru his grandparents' homestead. Lunch at Cafe 290 (no website, but you'll find it) in Johnson City was a treat. Then we drove 14 miles west of Johnson City to the LBJ ranch. You can get a CD for the driving audio tour (free) and check out the little White House, Johnson's Cadillacs and the show ranch animals. The LBJ experience takes a whole day but is a tremendously cool time.

The LBJ library in Austin and the Texas state capitol building are both very cool too. The Austin music scene is renowned and the town has enough excellent restaurants for many future visits.

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