Day 1 – set up in our campground – Austin Lonestar Rv Resort. We ventured out to dinner at Kerbey Lane Cafe and went to bed early.
Day 2 – After morning school we left for our first adventure: Voodoo Donuts!
We have been to every store, Portland, the shop in Denver, Universal City Walk, and now Austin! Obviously we recommend this place!!
Then we set off for Pease Park for some outdoor playtime after the sugar. The boys kept slipping on the rocks in the river so we left our hike plans and headed for the playground. We ended up at REI to buy them some new Teva’s. Now we are ready for our next water hike. The REI downtown is next to the flagship Wholefoods. This particular whole foods had a restaurant set up like Eataly (my favorite Italian store). So we ate a late lunch here and refueled. We headed back south of Downtown to get our computer fixed and realized we had some family left in the area from my brother’s wedding weekend! Shoutout to Peter and Julie! We drove back to downtown, parked by the Congress St Bridge and found a spot on the hillside to wait for the bat extravaganza! There are over 1 Million bats that live in this bridge and come out just before dark! It was so cool to see, and something I would not have done if my family weren’t already headed there. Afterwards, we walked to downtown and ate Mexican food for dinner @ Manuel’s. Tasty food, but no kids menu; the boys split the chicken tacos and seemed happy with them. We then took a pedal cart ride back to the truck! So fun!
Day 3 was more running around town. After morning school we went to the LBJ Library and were educated on all things from his life and presidency. When I asked Oliver what MLK was known for saying, not only did he surprise me with answering “I have a Dream,” but he knew the whole line -“that one day my children will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” *proud mamma moment! After the library and museum tour, which took us about 2 hours, I needed coffee. I read some reviews and headed to Thunderbird Cafe. Parking was difficult but the Mexican Mocha was so worth it. The boys were happy with the pastry. We walked by a taco place on the way back to the car and picked some up to-go for later. Then we ran around the city- I did a drive by of Lady Bird Lake (tomorrow’s plans), to REI (this time for my shoes – the other store didn’t have my size), Walmart for a new bicycle for Oliver, IKEA for some free babysitting and mommy time :D. We ate our tacos and the boys were in bed at a decent time. I participated in Wine Wednesday by myself after dealing with a moody 7 year old all day.
Day 4 – It is overcast, windy and cool. Oliver has finished online class and the boys have been outside playing with the new bike and fun stuff I keep stocked – that cool molding sand stuff… I’ve vacuumed, done laundry and dishes :/ Now they are at the playground. We are waiting for our maintenance guy to come look at the messed up auto leveling system so we can get back to being fully functional. My experience with Jayco and customer service, with this issue, has been great! No complaints here. Our lake day is postponed. Maybe a movie day?… so the maintenance guy showed up, looked at the system- which came right on this time, hit “retract all” like it says to clear faults, and retracted all them fully. Then hit “auto-level” and everything worked like it was brand new. Figures… I apparently would get scared when it would tilt and bring the front down too much and stop the reset function of the process. $189 later, 5 minutes of work? New job for me? LOL! Anyway, we loaded up the bike stuff and had the best afternoon. Roma had her first bike ride around Lady Bird Lake and Emmy didn’t complain about his booty!
Day 5 We had to go back to Fredriscksburg because we forgot the Jayco “bed” for the playroom and the sheets. Oh darn! We started off with a fight about hiking, my kids hate the idea, but love the activity of climbing and hiking! So on our “halfway-through-the-deployment” day we climbed Enchanted Rock! It was awesome and they didn’t complain once.
Then we went to Boot Ranch, my brother’s company development just North of Fredericksburg and spent the day at the lake. We fished, kayaked, paddle boarded and played all afternoon. They did not want to leave. We had dinner at Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ, again seemed a fitting end to our halfway until Valentino (daddy) comes home!
Day 6 – We snuggled, watched cartoons – we stream Apple TV off my hotspot on my iPhone -bought snacks to send to Tino, went to the post office to mail his rice krispy treats from Disney (finally!!) and the new snacks… we found Gourdoughs Donuts and afterward and then went to play at Zilker Park. I thought we’d swim today at Barton Springs pool but it’s windy and 70 degrees; not our swimming temperature… We stayed and played here for hours, the boys made various friends, climbed on the rocks, flew kites and kicked around a soccer ball. This park is very dog friendly and very few are on a leash, all were well behaved!
Outside of Austin, there are lots of fun things to do.
We moved to La Hacienda RV Resort which is near Lake Travis. A huge, beautiful lake west of Austin.
Here we have explored parks and restaurants:)
Lakeway City Park – has a “beach” where you can lounge and swim; a rocky area where the boys tried (and succeeded) catching minnows; bike/walking trails, picnic grounds, and area to launch kayaks and paddle boards. We played here for hours on a nice afternoon.
Eat, listen to music, and relax and watch the sunset at The Oasis. This place came up in all my research as a thing to do in the area, but going there was a little confusing. It is a large conglomeration of restaurants and stores. You can eat in multiple areas. We put our name in for a table, walked around the stores, played in the arcade, went up to the Brewery area, all before our table was ready. I ordered some Oasis Beer – a flight because I couldn’t decide and listened to a guy sing and play guitar. The view was AMAZING. The german style beer was my favorite.
The Bee Cave area has decent shopping and a splash pad out front of the local library. It is called Hill Country Galleria. We played here for a while, bought some books next door at Barnes and Noble (because we couldn’t check out books as we don’t live here), and took dinner to go from Whole Foods. There is a farmers market here on Sunday Mornings 10am-2pm.
Hamilton Pool – B-E-A-you-tiful. You NEED a reservation!!! plan ahead. And bring $15 cash per car at the gate. You can carry in a cooler – no glass. No pets allowed at the pool. There are snakes and the ranger there steered my kids away from the 1 area he had recently spotted them. The water is COLD, pick a hot day! It was ~85 the day we went and I only went up to my hips. This Florida girl likes bath temp water, the kids thought it was cold but played in it for hours. The walk is doable in flip flops but I wouldn’t wear them. We wore tevas/chacos.
More things to do next time:
WestCave – what most people do when they don’t have a reservation for Hamilton Pool.
Pace River Bend Park
Thinkery – the Austin Children’s museum
I made a list of the restaurants to eat at based on Trip Advisor, Yelp and asking people I run into.
Lucy’s – the spot for brunch or Fried chicken
Torchy’s tacos for tacos (especially breakfast tacos) – a chain in these parts but delicious. The boys each had 2 kids meals, either they were really hungry, or the sizes are small.
Verde Mexican – great “playscape” for kids to run around or play on the playground while you enjoy a quite meal. Happy hour had good deals. Try the spaghetti squash appetizer! the kids meals are a great size.
Salt Lick BBQ – Yummy! The Brisket was great, the boys liked their ribs and sausage. I enjoyed the potato salad which I can usually go without, there was a little kick at the end. We went on a Tuesday afternoon and there was no line, but there were lots of signs indicating this place is usually PACKED! They don’t serve alcohol with your meal in the restaurant but they have a beer and wine tasting room where you can sample and buy your drinks. To go or to stay and enjoy.
Oasthouse Kitchen and Bar – lunch or brunch