Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Travel Tips: Austin, TX

Howdy, readers.

School holidays are coming up, so I thought it might be prudent to return to a little feature here at ijustwanttoconquerpeopleandtheirsouls that I like to call Travel Tips. This is a place for me to pass on the hidden gems that I have discovered throughout my voyages.

Loyal readers will remember that the inaugural Travel Tips post was a guide to the wonder that is the Paris Sewer System. As a nod to the Financial Crisis, I thought I'd keep it domestic this time. Just because you don't have any dinero doesn't mean you can't have a good time.

With that, I present to you Veronica Montebellucci's guide to Austin, Texas!

Now, I will just put this out there: Austin is no Big D, little a, double L, A, S. Unfortunately, there aren't so many women who look like this:
Instead, there seem to be more girls that look like this*:

Really, Austin? I know you like to keep it "weird" but I can see this kind of shit in Williamsburg and that only costs me a Metrocard. Ironic, hipstery fashion does not suit you Austin; you should embrace your roots, and backcomb them.

* Upon closer inspection, I think this girl is less of a hipster and more of an escapee from a hospital judging from the tags on her wrist and general air of insanity. No matter, she still looks like many of the Austinites I saw. The photo stands.

Anyway, Austin prides itself on having many "cool" boites and other gastronomical attractions, but I'm going beyond all of that and skipping right to the good stuff.

First, visit Austin's historic Capitol building. Once you arrive, skip the building itself altogether. Instead, take the walking tours of its grounds. Readers, I can honestly say I have never been on such a riveting tour. Be sure to pay attention to all of the helpful plaques which provide you with a fascinating history of this momentous expanse.

Check out the West Grounds Lake.

According to the plaque the lake was "difficult to maintain and produced hordes of mosquitoes" because "it was not built right and every rain filled it with mud and trash". Consequently, the lake exists as a filled in depression which you can still view today. Mesmerizing!

Or the West Drinking Fountain. OMG guys! I can't believe I actually stood close enough to touch it!

When you run out of plaques, you simply must move on to this impressive sculpture. Pose behind it practicing your best dictator form.

When you tire of the attractions within Austin's city limits, venture out for a real treat. In a mere 2 hours, you can drive to beautiful downtown Waco. With gorgeous vistas like this, the drive alone is well worth it.

I know, I know. Waco. It's got a bad rep for cults and fire bombs and nutters. But really, what town worth its salt doesn't?

Anyway, don't bother driving around looking for a museum, or even a Waco plaque, my brother and I already saved you the trouble. Alas, it seems as though the residents of Waco are better people than us and hence decided to cover up their local tragedy, rather than promote it shamelessly.

We found this out the hard way when we drove through some barren fields, and a lady who looked kind of like this
ran out of her house in what looked like a Victorian nightgown and started gesturing violently at our (now speeding) vehicle. I swear on Ray Pruit this really happened. I actually feared for my life, and my brother suddenly got very serious about driving, going from his usual "driving slouch" to sitting at 90 degrees in mere seconds.

As the woman's cloven hooves clip clopped behind us, a menacing swarm of eagles buzzards, started swooping the car.

We hightailed it out of there pronto and didn't look back until we reached the Dr. Pepper* factory, Waco's other top attraction.

*An aside:
If someone offers you a free case of Dr. Pepper, politely shake your head and walk away quickly. When I was around 12 my brother somehow obtained two cases (24 bottles each) of free Dr. Pepper. Being teenagers, we proceeded to drink them in their entirety over a 6 day period while playing Super Nintendo. Readers, I did not sleep for 4 whole days in a row. I got to the point where I thought I was invincible. That Pepper messed me up, y'all

Once you're done driving by the barren fields and the Dr. Pepper factory be sure to stop at the jewel in Waco's crown: The Sleepy Hollow Pet Cemetery. Doff your cap in respect to those who have fallen. Pour some of your Pepper out for our 4 legged Gs.

Here, Dr.Poobelle looks suitably mournful. He's probably remembering our 3 legged cat named Elwood who came and found us even after we moved house and gave her away to a creepy little girl at our school.
I only hope that when it's my time someone will deem me worthy of such glory as the final resting place of this Sleepy Hollow resident.

Vaya con Dios, mi amigo.

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