Last we checked in on the eastward repositioning, we had just left Seminole Canyon State Park near Del Rio, TX.
Austin is what I consider my home town, where I grew up. Since my brother still lives there, it’s a frequent place we route through when crossing the country. Austin is also attracts amazing people, which tends to fill up our social calendar rather quickly.
Knowing this visit wouldn’t be nearly as long as we’d like, we did our best to not book up our commitments. Which is very difficult to do. But no matter what we’ve tried in the past, we usually leave Austin with bellies full of good food, and exhausted from running around town trying to meet up with everyone.
So, here’s how this visit went.
Driveway Surfing in Canyon Lake
Last October, we had the pleasure of crewing for blog readers Christel & Fred at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. With all the early morning balloon stuff, we didn’t get much of a chance to get to know them, but they certainly left an impression on us.
Well, I mean, how could they not when we got to ride in a freakin hot air balloon??
Turns out, they live in-between San Antonio and Austin, and they extended an invite to driveway surf with them (and share in local Texas wines) during our pass through.
It was a delightful stop over for a couple nights (saving us from having to find a camping option over a weekend) and wonderful to get to know these two better. There was lots of laughter, excellent food and wine in a gorgeous area of the hill country on their property.
Hey guys, as beautiful as your home is… wishing you all the best in getting it sold and out in your RV more!!
Spring Break and SXSW in Austin
When our intentions to head east started to take form last fall, and the timing was looking likely for March-ish – I snagged a 2-week reservation at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin. I don’t normally pre-book sites that far in advance, but we know better this time of year in Austin.
Between Spring Break and SXSW happening, the whole area gets booked up quickly. And heck, there’s only a $5 fee if we ended up needing to forfeit any part of the reservation.
Located in what was once the outskirts of south Austin (and quickly being enveloped by the ever expanding population growth), this park is a gem and an all time favorite of ours. The campsites are huge and private feeling, amongst luscious trees. There’s walking trails, a creek and water falls. But yet, close enough to be pretty darn accessible to all that is awesome.
And of course – after countless school field trips and science club campouts during high school – the park brings back a wee bit of nostalgia for me.
Since my brother lives in South Austin, it’s a pretty convenient spot to meet up with him and his sweetie after their work days.
While we didn’t host any meetups while in Austin, we did connect with some friends while in the area. We joined up with our RVing buddies Sam & Tracy a couple times, met up with Travis & Mel for an Xscapers birthday lunch and some SXSW friends for breakfast.
It had been a while since we spent any time in a ‘big city’, so we used the opportunity to attend to some errands.
I love Austin for thrift shopping, so we did a little bit of a wardrobe switch out while in town (one of our tricks for keeping a versatile wardrobe in a small space).
And my just out of warranty iPhone has quit taking a charge, so a visit to the Apple Store was a must (they swapped it out for just $79 as a battery replacement.)
It also rained for several days, which kept us at home. Which was actually quite nice. We hadn’t seen rain in months after being in the desert, and we were able to get caught up on some work projects – namely some more cellular antenna testing.
While we were in town for the start of SXSW Interactive (an event we’ve spoken at before), we honestly didn’t make much effort to venture in and un-attend as we have in the past.
One drive through downtown convinced us we just didn’t need to endure the crowds.
This visit, we ended up only sticking around Austin about a week. Just long enough to get in some family quality time, run some big city errands, meet up with friends and catch an early wildflower bloom.
A pretty tame visit, and we managed to leave Austin not feeling our usual level of over-exertion.
Maybe there’s hope for this balance thing?
What’s Up Ahead?
Despite massive flooding shutting down major roads at the LA/TX state line – we’re still making miles east. We just left the New Orleans area this morning. I’ll get the travelogue caught up soon on how we managed to route through.
We’ll cross into Florida tomorrow and enjoy a couple more stops until we join up with our parents at the end of the month. We’re moving right along, striving to find balance in miles, exploring and down time.