Thursday, April 15, 2010

I know it's hard to believe that we are in Austin and I don't have much to report but we have been laying low since we got here a week ago. Sometimes we really have to do this to replenish our finances after paying large chunks of gas to get somewhere, not to mention camping fees, and really, we found that there is no place cheap to camp in or around Austin. If we had not wanted to come here so badly we may have skipped it altogether.

Oh yeah, on the way here my bike was clipped by a semi. The Boves needed a new tire so we stopped at a little tire shop off the interstate. When we were pulling in this trucker was pulling out, turned too wide, and totally clipped my bike. The tire is ruined and who knows what else...we are going to find a bike shop around here but I have a feeling the cost to fix it is probably about what I paid for it which sucks. At least he didn't clip the car. We think the bike rack is ruined too because of it. Bummer.

Last week we went to a super kitschy cool taco stand because I had to have some tex mex. I wish we had brought the camera because this place was so artsy and funky. We'll have to go back before we leave to get some. Then we did take a drive down Congress and Guadalupe yesterday to check out Wheatsville co op for some groceries. I'm glad we did since most of their products are local. The Buddha Brew Kombucha is local and to die for. I haven't seen a health food store since we left Florida so I was sure to stock up. I'm thrilled to be able to support a place like this vs. a chain like Whole Foods although I was desperate to go with that if it was all they had. I also got a chance to see the multitude of funky vintage and thrift stores I can't wait to check out. That is the good thing about staying for a month is that we don't have to rush to do anything.

I can't believe we are in the live music capital and we haven't seen any live music yet! For one thing we couldn't find where the bars and music venues are. I guess they are closer to downtown than we have been. The Boves have offered on multiple occasions to watch the kids. Willow loves Chelsea, their 17 year old daughter so we just may take them up on that one night. I find myself not knowing what to do because there is SO MUCH to choose from. I did make a point to check out the local knitting shop today though;) Yes, I'm a dork because the most important place for me to go to in Austin was the yarn shop, haha.

I do have a couple of field trips up my sleeve though. If the weather is nice enough tomorrow we are going to the wildflower center to see all of these beautiful Texas wildflowers up close in person. They have a kid's area too so that should be fun. There is a wonderful place called pioneer farms that has various 1800 settlements and does a lot of educational stuff with schools so that is another one on our list. Then if we can afford it I would like to take Ellery to the caverns because he has really wanted to do that but so far it is the priciest trip on the list. We'll see.

It hasn't been hard to feel like we are on vacation here at this campground though. There is a wonderful pool. At first I dreaded it because neither of my kids can swim and going to the pool is just not a relaxing thing to me when I have to hold their hands the whole time....but this pool rocks. One part of it is a circular 1 ft wading pool with a tiny fountain which segways into the rest of the pool which is still only 3 ft for a large part of it. That means I can actually just lie out by the pool and rest without having to be in it with them the whole time. And did I mention the hot tub? Friday through Saturday they also have a $1 all you can eat pancake breakfast. You can't beat that. Funny thing is Ellery hates this campground which I said is fine with me considering that this is probably the last place with these kind of amenities we'll be staying at for a long time. It isn't very woodsy of course and there isn't room to roam like the place in Kinder. I kind of miss that place with its country road and wide open spaces.

I am actually surprised and a tad bit disappointed by how few rustic places we have stayed so far. Honestly with the passport america it is cheaper to stay at the rv parks than the state parks or we have found like we did here in Austin that they just don't have any openings for the days we are coming. I'm hoping that will change when we get further out west and that everybody won't be too spoiled by things like wifi, cable tv, and sewer hookups by the time we get there.

I'm sure hoping that the next time I post we can actually show some pictures of this great place. I tell you, it wouldn't be a bad place to live but I did find it is more expensive than where we are from so unless the pay is also right up there, I don't think it would be a candidate....great place to visit though with all kinds of things to do, family and adult wise. Looking at the rental ads had me fantasizing about large concrete loft warehouses with rooftop gardens that overlook downtown...lots of places like that here if you have the money for it. They also have a waldorf school here I was thinking of visiting for their spring faire.

This weekend though, reggae fest is calling both of our families if the weather is nice enough.


Mouse said...

Glad y'all made it safe and sound - sorry to hear about the bicycle. I hope you take a lot of photos at the reggae festival.. I bet there will be some fantastic sets of dreads!

The Valentine's said...

Amy, I'm not sure if you're planning to go to Carlsbad after Austin but the caverns there are amazing, the walk down into them was so cool - that was the kids favorite part actually! It's a NPS site so if you have the annual pass ($80 for a family for a year so if you were planning to visit any of the big parks out west, many of which are $20, you would save quickly), going there would probably be cheaper than the caverns where you are. If you go there in the evening during spring or summer, you see the multitudes of bats flying out, apparently it's an amazing site. There is a PA cg in Carlsbad with an indoor pool and neat tire swing, which our kids played and played on!
Enjoy! ali

Little House On Wheels said...

Thanks for the tip Ali. I have heard of the Carlsbad ones. I'm gonna have to look it up because I know we are hitting northern NM. I just don't know how far south we'll get with gas and all. You reminded me though I need to check out that annual pass for the national parks.

Mouse, I always love checking out the dreads at the festivals. I'm not sure if the weather is gonna hold out though. Right now Texas is getting pummeled:(

Auntie Em said...

For affordable bike repair in Austin, check out the Yellow Bike Project. I can't say for certain that will be your answer, but I've heard of a lot of bikes being "saved from the grave" (without it costing a fortune for their owners) because of YBP.

Are y'all familiar with Time Banking? We have the Austin Time Exchange Network and it's been a blessing for me, living on a fixed income.

Hope you find all the good, affordable secrets in AusTex. This weeking is the Yard Schtick Garden Tour, celebrating funky yard art and art gardens in town. There is an article and photo gallery about it on the Austin American Statesman website.

(Glad you found Wheatsville! Let me know if there's any thing else specific you're looking for while in town. Maybe I can help out!)

Blessings on your journey!

Auntie Em

Garnet said...

Check out the hoola hoop lessons given at um drats, forgot the name. Tattoo shop that also does henna. :) Watch where you stop if you're in NM notheast and heading down south to Carlsbad. The Mesa is not a place to camp and good place to get robbed.
Btw, did you guys ever pick up the Mountain guide for western states? NM has a few you should look into before hitting roads.

Little House On Wheels said...

Mountain Guide for western states? I'm not sure I've heard of that one.

Garnet said...

Hiya! Sorry slow for replies, been busy building storage for the RV. Try The western edition is a must for knowing what routes have what grades. Good for planning, especially if you must cross a dangerous mountain pass, this gives you an idea of where you can check brakes, cool tranny, etc.