Today was our day of inside activities and try to get a refresher course on Texas History. We tried not to have too big of a breakfast at the hotel so we could sneak in some more food stops I wanted to try. First stop of the day was a drive out to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. I figured we would hit it first thing instead in in the afternoon heat, which I’m glad we did even though we still got all sweaty. Today was Lady Bird Johnson day so it was free to get in, where normally it’s $8 for adults. Honestly I’m glad it was free, because I was a little disappointed with the lack of flowers. Of course with the Texas heat wave we’ve had it’s to be expected. If you have time it’s worth strolling through, but probably best viewed in the spring. My favorite part was the Courtyard Spring which reminded me of our trip to Yellowstone.
Back in the truck with the ac on full blast to cool down we headed to the LBJ Library and Museum. Personally I loved this stop and remember visiting on a field trip in 5th grade. They have fantastic displays documenting LBJ life as well as important events through the time. There’s even a cool smaller scale of his white house office. The best part is it’s free so be sure you stop and visit.
Ready to have lunch we went to the place listed as the best chili in Texas, Texas Chili Parlor. I ordered a bowl of XX Spicy which is their most popular $6.95 large. Loved it and would go back for this anytime. The meat was tender and you got plenty of chunks in there. D on the other hand decided to order a Grande Burrito $6.95 (with rice and beans and choice of filling w/ choice of sauce). I’ll try to keep from gagging again and I write this. Holy Moly this was horrible. The meat was so chewy even cutting it up the size of my pinky fingernail it was still in-edible! I don’t know how he forced it down or why he didn’t want to share a bowl of chili at a place that’s known for chili. Of course we both figured if they can cook chili meat then they should be able to tenderize fajita meat, but we where wrong.
We where full again so on to our next stop to walk it off. The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum is $9 for adults, and we thought that was fair for our refresher course of Texas History. You can’t take pictures in there, but I didn’t know that since other people where taking them and I had my big honking camera when I walked in and no one said anything. I saw a sign at the end and of course felt bad afterwards that I had taken so many while in there. So I figure I won’t post any to make up for my wrong doing.
After a day full of knowledge we rested up at the famous Driskill Hotel built back in 1886 it’s the oldest hotel still in operation in Austin.
The lobby just makes you drop your jaw with how big it is and the stain glass is amazing to look at as well.
Be sure if you stay you ask for a room in the older section. Over the years they added on to the hotel and our room seemed renovated and not as old as some of the other sections we walked by. The room was really nice for $139 a night I thought it was more than fair for an old historic hotel.
For dinner we drove to Lake Austin to eat at the Hula Hut which is known for Mexican food with a surfer twist. It’s very casual and has a lot of seating. Even though it was hot out we where seated out over the water on the patio. With the breeze and fans going it wasn’t so bad. There’s a cool large floating bass out by the boat dock too.
I wasn’t a fan of their salsa, but D really liked it.
We ordered the Huli Huli Luau Platter $24.99 (A half rack of BBQ baby back ribs. 4 Texas nachos with grilled chicken, 2 BBQ chicken tacos, 4 chicken flautas, Hula Hut chopped salad, papas asadas and chile con queso) Ummm yeah a LOT of food! We asked if they could sawp out the chicken for beef on the nachos so we could try that as well. With a “sure no problem” we learned later it cost us an extra $4, not happy. Anyway the food was really good and I would go back again any day.
Our last stop of the evening was a 30 minute drive out to The Oasis on Lake Travis. A simple search of this place will tell you it’s overpriced food, but the best view for sunset around. You can sit out on the deck, but there is a 2 drink minimum. There’s actually several places you can choose to eat from here with all joining deck, but we didn’t know that until we got there. It kind of reminded me of a casino when we got there, this place was huge!! They have umbrellas to shade you and as it gets closer to sunset they come around and take them all down. The sad part was you could really see how bad we need rain in Texas, the water level was so low.