The adventurously awesome travel blog of a woman, her dog, and a punk cat.

nomadic travel, photography, insights along the way

Archive for ‘February, 2016’

Austin A Bit Like Boston

Austin, is a mini Boston. I am a city girl through and through, so I loved Austin. In fact, other than Asheville, NC,  Austin is the only southern city that I thought maybe I could relocate here. I would miss the seasons, and the ocean is far away; so there would have to be something pretty amazing to make me commit to life in Austin, but never say never…

Austin’s motto is keep it weird but honestly I didn’t see anything all that weird. It is a very laid back and open minded place with a lot of artists and music, but weird…unless I missed something not so much. The weirdest thing I ran into is a few of the highway routes have loop at the end of it, which made me think that they went in a loop around the city, but they just go straight away from the city, no loop… The only other truly weird thing I found was Bat Bridge. Thousands of migratory Mexican Bats make their home under the bridge, and every evening at dusk they fly out for a night of bug eating in the hill country. Going to watch the bats fly out at dusk is a tourist attraction, and I was among the hundreds of people who showed up to watch. It wasn’t as dramatic as I expected but it was pretty cool. I thought if Bat Bridge was in Boston they would probably try and find a way to get rid of them, but in Austin they have a bit of a cult following.

Austin is a rapidly growing city, and they don’t have a very good transit system so traffic can be bad. I’m used to Boston traffic , so I didn’t mind driving around too much. Austin has an excellent bike system, so that was my favorite way to see the city. I also took and excellent city tour for twenty five dollars, it was the best city tour I have ever taken. I learned a lot about the history of the different neighborhoods. Downtown has a totally different vibe at night, and the music scene is very good. I think there is 250 different venues. I attempted Texas 2 step which could not get the hang of, but it was fun. I am heading for New Mexico tomorrow, March 1st. I will update my blog from there is a few days. I have more shot of Austin that I need to go through but here are a few for now

Points Of Interest

I went to San Antonio yesterday, and it was just OK… The River Walk was nice with  a lot of different restaurants. It would be a cool take in at night with all the lights and the water. They let me sit outside and eat with Buddy , which is always a huge plus. It would have been cool to take the boat tour down the river, but I had Buddy, and that would have become a siren boat tour with Buddy howling  his way down the river.

I got to see the Alamo, but didn’t get to  inside because of Buddy. In hindsight I should have left him at the camper, but I was worried it would have been too long of a day in the camper for him. It was to hot to leave him in the truck, so I just made the best of it. I will say, that The River Walk, and The Alamo seem to be the biggest attractions. Otherwise the city just seems, OK…nothing really grabbed me and made me want to linger.

Closer to camp, I visited Hamilton pool which was a nice way to end the day. Buddy had to stay in the truck for this stop, but it was cooler and I parked in he shade . Hamilton pool is open for swimming during the summer. The waterfall is not he most impressive I have ever seen, but it is very pretty, and a really peaceful spot. I liked walking around in the cavern, the energy there was great.

So far my impression of the area is it’s nice, but not for me. Outside of Austin there really isn’t much going on. They do have state parks, and there are some cute little towns, but otherwise Texas is just kind of “there”…lots of wide open spaces, and more wide open spaces. If you like that kind of thing, you will love the hill country. I  am winding up my stay here so it’s off to Austin tonight , so hopefully I will be able to get some good shots of the city. For now I will leave you will a few pics of Hamilton pool, and some shots around The Alamo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hill Country

I arrived in the Austin , TX area last Thursday, and since then Texas has surprised me at every turn. I always assumed Texas was flat plains and wide open, but  that turn out not to be true. The Texas terrain differs depending on your location and Austin is part of hill country The roads are windy twisty and fun to drive, and they get more so the further into hill country you travel. Today Buddy and  I hiked up  Enchanted Rock, which is a massive , well rock that rises approximately 425 feet above the surrounding terrain . It is not a gradual incline so you do feel it a bit but the views are awesome. I took a cool panorama video which I can’t seem to upload to word press right now, but trust me the view from the summit is pretty cool. These shots are from the trail going up and on top of the rock.

As for Austin, it is a very cool city, almost as cool as Boston:) I have explored the city and scoped out some locations for shooting so I will be going out to shoot , and posting pics. I booked here until the 3rd so plenty of time to shoot and explore. Bye for now

New Orleans Part two…

I wanted to elaborate more on my last post and thoughts on New Orleans. I will say it is probably the kind of place you will either love or hate. My neighbors at the RV park were from a small town, and  were really turn off by the city. Personally, I loved it and really enjoyed the Chaos. This was post Mardi Gras, so I can imagine that would be total chaos. It is a city that has a lot of class and charm, much like Savannah, GA, but because alcohol use is so prevalent it cheapens the city a bit, in my opinion. I will be honest, Bourbon street smells like old pee, and beer. That said, there are many cool elements to the city which I thoroughly enjoyed. I got to witness my first Wedding Parade. In New Orleans you can have a parade for just about everything.  New Orleans is all about music, and it is everywhere. Walking along almost any street you will find someone playing, singing or some other performance going on. There is also and artist market in Jackson Square which was really cool. I loved walking around and chatting with the artist who are happy to talk about their work

As for the locals, well forget the stereotypical Hollywood idea of New Orleans. First of all, people who are from New Orleans don’t really have a southern accent. It is an accent that I can’t easily explain , but it’s not southern; that really surprised me. I found the locals a bit rough around the edges, and they actually reminded me a bit of Bostonian, again very different from what I had pictured, but it made me feel right at home. To be honest, I don’t know if I would visit New Orleans again. I’m glad I saw it, bu it wasn’t the type of place that kind of sucked me in. It was difficult to shoot because it was so busy but I did OK. Hope you enjoy the pics:) we are off to Austin tomorrow. I am really looking forward to that.

 

N’ Orleans

N’ Orleans
I am fighting a cold so this will be a quick post. I do have picks that I will post when I’m feeling better.
Next to Asheville, NC, N’Orleans was my favorite stop. Yes, it is loud, and crowed, and you find yourself drinking more often the normal, but when in Rome… I was warned by a few people that New Orleans was too dangerous, and to steer clear, but I never felt unsafe in the city. The only time I felt unsafe here is when my neighbor knocked on my door told me there was a Tornado in the area. This ended up not being true, and the campground has safety shelters in place if there ever was. We were under a Tornado watch all day, but all we had was a lot of wind and wild rains. I was thankful the camper was on the truck because it was really getting rocky. Otherwise, Loved N’ Orleans , and the people I met, true locals, and fun people to hang out with. The music scene is everywhere! Pretty much everyone is a musician or and artist.

The RV park was surprisingly nice, and the staff was fantastic, I enjoyed using the shuttle service from the park to the French Quarter. It was really nice being driven around. I am heading towards Texas most likely tomorrow unless I am still feeling crappy. We’ll see:)

Gulf Shore

Just a quick video shot on my phone. Sorry about the crappy camera work. I didn’t really plan on posting it, but Buddy insisted.I made a typo in the credits. It says ” staring Buddy” instead of “starring” oh well…The next video will be better.

Update From The Road

I am currently in Summderdale Alabama, which is a small town just 20 minutes from  the Gulf Coast, and 30 minutes from Mobile. I haven’t explored much as I arrived late on Thursday, and yesterday was errands, a mountain of laundry, and just a little exploring around town. I am surprised how hilly Alabama is. I thought being close to the coast it would be rather flat like Edisto, and Charleston, SC is, but its pretty and hilly. Driving along rural routes you pass farmlands  with horses, cows and homes with goats in the front yard. In many ways this part of Alabama has ghe look and feel of New Hampsire.

One big difference I have noticed in the people I have met so far is they are more reserved, and not nearly as friendly as the people I met in South Carolina. I found this a bit surprising. It’s not that they people are not nice, they are very nice but they just don’t chat you up like they way they do in Edisto. I guess I had just gotten used to that.

The campground is a Granny and Grampy campground, but it’s ok, because I don’t plan on hanging around much. I will say they have the best showers, and plenty of steamy hot water which is awesome! I also have the best TV reception that I have every had from my digital antenna, 31 channels, but I am in the bible belt, so half of those channels are telling me that Jesus still loves me, thanks big guy. I was able to take the camper off the truck yesterday which made me very happy. The month in Edisto the camper was on the whole time, and let me tell you it sucks having to bring the camper everywhere you go. I am looking forward to getting out today to explore by myself. Mobile looks like and interesting little city, and they have Mardi Gras too, and claim they are the be the original Mardi Gras not New Orleans. I love Buddy and Phoenix, but they are two of the neediest pets ever, and being with them 24/ 7 is a bit much especially in such a small space. I need a little alone time, so I am heading into Mobile tonight with my camera.

My thoughts on the RV life and travel at this point… I am really glad that I am making this journey. It’s surprising how content I can be in such a small space most of the time, and my camper is super cozy. There are moments when the smallness makes me nuts, but overall I am pretty content. Homesickness creeps in, and then back out again… I am missing the snow, and the New England accent. Southern accents get on my nerves after awhile, and I like snow what can I say… but I still am having fun, so I will keep calm and RV on. In fact I am already dreaming on a newer and bigger truck camper. Little things like clean sheets on the bed are a huge comfort thing now, so laundry services at the campgrounds are essential, as are bathrooms and showers. Finding familiar stores like Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s is also a huge comfort. Buddy is much calmer and seems to almost be enjoying the traveling to different spots now. His favorite spot so far was Edisto for sure, so many sights and scents, and a quiet beach to run on. My favorite places where Asheville, NC, and Edisto Island, Charleston, not so much snobby and expensive as hell. It’s pretty, but the snobby vibe kind of ruins it. Where to from here? Most likely New Orleans if I can find a sight. If not I will probably head to Austin , TX, but not before exploring Mobile and the gulf coast with my camera.