Surviving Austin: Day Five

Hello! Matthew here, checking in from ATX.

Today’s itinterary was probably the loosest one we’ve ever had. We only had three events actually planned and actually only did two of them. For the rest, we threw schedules, timetables and all other scheduling to the wind … and by “the wind,” I mean “other people”. Basically, we made Ricky and Ely keep us entertained. I’ll use today’s entry to fill you in on how they did.

I’m going to level with you — we woke up late.
We knew it is going to happen occasionally, but it’s frustrating to get a late start on a vacation day, because you’re not going to make up that time later — it’s just gone.
Okay, okay … I know that is true of every moment of every day, but vacation days are special days. You’re in a place you’ve maybe never been, doing things you’ve maybe never done before, and you’re on a time limit! You have to make the most of it, and even if that means waking up early when you know you don’t technically have to, you get up early.

A coffee run makes all the difference, though. The moment the warm liquid passes your sleep-deprived lips, you know it’s all going to be alright — and even if it isn’t, you’ll be awake for it.
Maybe it is the caffeine — or maybe it’s just the routine — whatever it is, it is definitely an intregral part of a successful morning.
For this particular morning’s rocket fuel, we joined Ricky and Ely at Flitch Coffee in Austin’s Govalle neighborhood.
Don’t worry, I’m not entirely sure how to pronounce that word either. My crack Google skills have revealed the name originates from a Swedish word, “GaValla”, which means “good grazing land.” Enjoy that useless information.
Anyway, back to business. The peppy baristas at Flitch served coffee and a few minor foods from what looked like a circa 1970s travel trailer, with a deck attached for ordering.
The trailer was surrounded by several different outdoor seating sections — some completely open-air and others beneath canopies. The weather was very pleasant, so we went open-air while we enjoyed our coffees and breakfast burritos (strange combo, I know).
One thing we have noticed is that many places in Austin sport patio seating, which is nice for a couple of reasons:

  • Eating outside is fun
  • DOGS

Does anything else really matter? Hint: The answer is “No”.

After we sipped coffee and finished our breakfast, we had to part ways with Ricky and Ely for a bit. They had something normal life-y to do. I guess just because the Pearons are on vacation doesn’t mean the rest of the world is too.
Quick aside: Does anyone know who we should talk to about that?
So, sans vacation buddies, we wandered off to Zilker Park, which is situated perfectly on the shore opposite Downtown Austin proper, providing one of the best views of the city we’ve encountered.
The park was home to a bit of wildlife: turtles, egrets, ducks and some very brazen squirrels. There was also a dog park off to one side, so we got to see a bunch of happy pups running around without a care in the world … well, other than that rascally squirrel in the tree over there.

The second of our planned events didn’t start for several hours, so we headed to Ricky and Ely’s to catch up with their crew of dogs (Moose, Opal and Oliver). Those three dogs have more range in their personalities than some people I’ve encountered, and one of them is the size of a small horse (the aptly named Moose is a Great Dane) that doesn’t know his own size, so that makes for an interesting visit.

We decided to go toward the afore mentioned event but not before getting some grub.
Ricky and Ely are vegetarians. Valeri and I are not. I love chicken far too much and Valeri is pretty attacehd to Tacos and Burgers — both of which generally contain beef.
Normally, restaurants have menus with a limited selection of vegatarian-friendly options, but for today’s lunch, we were guided to a local plant-based eatery, The Vegan Nom. This placed offered exclusively vegetarian and vegan tacos, burritos, burgers, and it was really very good.
I don’t know why I was surprised; I know vegetarians the world over wouldn’t just settle for sub-par food … actually, maybe they would. To be honest, I really only know three vegetarians, so I’m not going to pretend to get it.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of our food, so I’ll put up a few shots of the art around the place.

Anyway, my point was that this food wasn’t what I would consider a compromise. The food was great, and unless you had told me the meat in my taco wasn’t actually meat, I might not have been able to tell, and even if I could, it wouldn’t have dissuaded me a bit. It was solidly great tasting food. Good job, Veggie People.

Next, it was on to today’s main event: Retro Boat Rentals!
This was a lot of fun. Basically, you rent a little bitty, vintage fiberglass boat and can cruise up and down the river to your heart’s content.
Our boat was a 1958 Lonestar Meteor named Lola, made in Grand Prairie, Texas, and designed by Bob Hammond. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful, making sure we had a great (and safe) time on the water.
One thing I will say about Lola is that she’s not very fast. Maybe back in her hayday she was pretty zippy, but part of the restoration was an effort to replace the very dirty outboard motor with a small, eco-friendly electric motor … and with that small, eco-friendly electric motor comes small, eco-friednly electric motor speed — or more accuratly, lack thereof.
Are you ready for this?
A whopping 4.3 miles per hour.
Yep. We were moving at less than 5 mph. Elderly people in kayaks were outrowing us. That aside, it was very enjoyable to cruise down the river in a laughably slow boat with good friends.

After our speedy river cruise, we headed to Oasis on Lake Travis for a snack and a great view. The weather was not agreeing with us (quickly dropping 20 degrees) and forced us to head back toward home to change into warmer clothes.

After all was said and done, we decided to go easy tonight and grab a lazy man’s meal: Pizza.
Home Slice Pizza offered a great selection of tasty options, of which we took full advantage, filling our stomachs before saying our goodbyes and settling in for our last night in Austin.

Tomorrow’s blog will be a joint effort, so be sure to check back in then!

To view more photos, check out the PhotoStream or follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

“There’s a freedom you begin to feel the closer you get to Austin, Texas.”
Willie Nelson

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: