Austin and a little Hill Country 

We left the rig in Waco for a quick overnight trip to Austin.  We’ve been to Austin a few other times over the years, but this time was less about sightseeing and more about visiting our BFF Alisa!  We’ve been friends since middle/high school and she was maid of honor at our wedding–like I said, she’s a BFF, and such a gracious host! 🙂

On each of our other visits to Texas we missed blue bonnet season, but this time we hit it!  I was delighted to see their color popping up all along the highway, along with two newfound favorites—Indian paintbrush and primrose.  I call it a “rush” of color whenever there is a good-sized cluster of blooms, and we saw plenty of rushes!  We stopped in downtown Austin’s Zilker Park to picnic, stroll and take pictures of course.  Lots of families and college students were enjoying Spring Break in the park and on the river—kite-flying, paddle-boarding, fishing and kayaking.

When Alisa got home from work, we got all caught up over wine and later, on the way to dinner, she took us on a quick tour of the nearby neighborhood where her new home is to be built next year.  The next time we visit, she’ll be in it!  At El Chile, she treated us to a fantastic meal; Tom still raves about his Pollo Poblano entrée, it was that good!

We had to say our goodbyes before bed because Alisa would head to work before we got on the road, but we made plans for her and her adorable pup, Abby, to come to Waco that weekend to see our home and spend a day with us!  On our way out of Austin, we drove up to Mount Bonnell, a lookout spot high over Lake Austin with really great views of the lake, city, and surrounding hills.  Then, as we like to do, we took a different route back to Waco, driving west and north through the top of Hill Country.  We picked up a deli lunch to take into Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge where we walked some of the many trails.  This place is a bird-watching mecca; the refuge protects the nesting habitat of some highly endangered species.  We’re not birders per se, but we appreciate efforts to protect wildlife!  We had a great day exploring this new territory on the backroads–some are like roller coasters!  Loved seeing more road runners and tumbleweeds in our path, too. 🙂

When Alisa and Abby came to Waco, we packed a lot into that great day–the Spring at the Silos art festival at Magnolia, a great food truck lunch, strolling along the riverfront and then back to our campsite for sangria, steaks, and sunset over the lake!  I think Abby enjoyed the adventures as much as we did. 🙂

As I mentioned previously, we really enjoyed Waco, and being there for 12 days gave us the time to enjoy it.  It would be super to stay that long everywhere, but then we would miss our window to summer in Alaska!

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