It’s been a wonderful month of no snow, warm temps, BBQ brisket sandwiches, amazing tacos, Mexican Cokes, live music, murals galore, and exploring this wonderfully diverse capital of Texas.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been here for a month already. It truly is the perfect place for a Minnesotan to come to escape the doldrums of winter. This is usually the time of year when I have a little bit of seasonal affective disorder. But here I can’t stop grinning at the simple fact that it’s January and February and there’s no snow! I’ve been trying to power-walk around my neighborhood every afternoon between meetings. The grass is still brown in a lot of spots, and there aren’t leaves on most of the trees, but it’s warm. Some days are borderline hot. Earlier this week I had to turn the A/C on for a little bit to cool down my 79-degree apartment.
I feel like I’m living in the movie “Pleasantville.” Almost everything within a 15-minute radius of my apartment in southeast Austin was built within the past five years. The homes, streets, sidewalks—even parks and schools—all look brand new. The ice cream truck drives by every afternoon between 3:30-4:00 blasting its nursery rhyme jingles or now-offseason Christmas tunes. There’s a wonderful taco food truck only three blocks from my place.
Last year a lot of my travel adventures included trips to national or state parks, but since I arrived here a month ago, I’ve really just been enjoying the city. Trying on cowboy hats and boots. Learning how to navigate the city. (There’s an entire Mueller neighborhood here!) Finding new places to eat. (Did you know there are more than 1,200 food trucks in Austin?! It’s insane and amazing!)
I’ve been working a lot this month, almost always with the windows open. I’m not quite ready to share the big project I’m working on, mostly thanks to the non-disclosure agreements I’ve signed! But look for some fun news later this year. I’ve been on my own as a freelance web designer and developer for 3.5 years now, but this newest project is something else entirely. And I’m having an absolute blast. How’s that for a tease?
Keep Austin Weird
Austin’s unofficial slogan is “Keep Austin Weird.” It’s on signs, t-shirts, and shot glasses. It’s used as a fun tagline to support local businesses.
But it’s also an attitude. Everyone seems laid back and open-minded for a city of almost one million people. I love that Austin is this quirky, liberal beacon in the middle of a very red state. It’s become a center for artists, creatives, musicians, and foodies.
I’ve only got a couple weeks left before I continue south to San Antonio for the month of March. For now, I’m excited to keep exploring all the unique things that keep Austin weird!
I’ve created a photo gallery of favorites from adventures so far in Austin. Enjoy!