the adventures of a small fruit in a big world

Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

the california of texas

In Austin, Texas on March 22, 2010 at 9:30 pm

photo by Anne Jansen

Austin, Texas, is a beautiful city. Of course, I went there in an attempt to flee the deepest part of a midwestern winter, so arriving in a city that was experiencing 70-degree weather was enough to make me fall in love with it all on its own. But Austin is not lacking in its charms. With its beautiful rivers and picturesque skyline, this city which has been described to me on numerous occasions as “the California of Texas” captured a little bit of my heart.

photo by Anne Jansen

Of course, any city boasting a capitol building (pictured above) made of pink granite possesses a good deal of character, and when that slightly pink capitol building is located in the Lone Star State — a state that prides itself on being the biggest, the baddest, and the most independent of all — it only adds to the enjoyment. But what else did I like about Austin aside from the architecture? Oh, that’s easy. The music! By the most wonderful of coincidences, I ended up in Austin during one of its biggest musical weekends: SXSW. That is to say, its annual South By Southwest indie music festival. I managed to attend a few free concerts by some amazing musicians, and was lucky enough to wander around the historic downtown area at a time when the roads were closed to vehicles and were instead teeming with excited fans zipping from concert to concert and merry food vendors offering the most delicious of treats.

photo by Anne Jansen

Music festival or no, Austin’s definitely a city with a lot to offer. At the risk of alienating some readers, I’ll admit that I never imagined I’d find anything very appealing in Texas, but I was pleasantly surprised by this eccentric and well-situated city. I think another trip to Austin lies in my future.


remember the…what?

In San Antonio, Texas on March 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm

photo by Anne Jansen

Yes, of course: the Alamo. And while it is certainly a beautiful relic of an ugly and violent past, I didn’t find the Alamo nearly as enjoyable as the San Antonio River Walk with its cute shops, restaurants, and waterways. The River Walk boasts famous restaurants and hotels, as well as a few sculptures with rich pasts. The most fun thing about the River Walk, for me, was the boat tour that I went on. Yes, it’s cheesy. I’m very aware, but I also know I had a lot of fun. The waterways were still green from the recent St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, which added to the picturesque nature of this particular San Antonio tourist trap, and it was nice to enjoy some time in the sun while drifting through the canals.

photo by Anne Jansen

San Antonio was a lot of fun, but I’m not sure this city has much more for me to see if I were to return. It was a positive experience, and one very much enhanced by the presence of two good friends, but I think I can safely say it was a one-time deal. If you find yourself in the area (especially during the mild early-springtime) you should definitely check out the River Walk.