Consideration for the Travel Addict

I really believe there is a gene or some other internal influence that causes us to want to travel and be on the road so much. I think there’s some gypsy spirit inside me or some other kind of societal rogue. My feet are constantly moving and even when I sit still my brain runs will off to some forbidden shore. I’ve been reading Eckhardt Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, in order to help myself come to terms with this inner nagging voice.

It seems that the music and enterainment has always paid for this habit to grow. Now I’m trading all my personal home time to be on the road seeing the world and singing for the people. Can’t be in town but for a few minutes. I really love to visit and just pass through. I know most people don’t understand why we do it it. Frankly sometimes it’s actually just because we can. I can’t let the opportunity slip by. I’ve got to chase my dreams up into the sky. I’m not really sure if anything will ever come of what I’m doing myself. But as I said, I just can’t give up.

I wanna be instrument in the greater global good. I wanna spread love all over the world. I don’t really fit in here, but I also don’t fit out there. Is there Somebody who can help me find out what I’m supposed to be, where I’m supposed to be and how on earth to get there. (According to Eckhardt I’m just supposed to “be”.)

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My Travel Board of Places I’ve Been on Pinterest

Follow Melissa’s board Travel on Pinterest.

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A Few Things To Do Austin Texas

Austin from South Congress

View into Downtown Austin from South Congress

The other day, my cousin messaged me and asked if I knew of anything to do in Austin… Of course, I have some great recommendations for thinks to do in Austin. I love it there. It’s been our second home for over ten years.

 

Austin Capitol at Night

Austin Capitol at Night

Visual treasure
For sights, I really enjoy the architeure of the Texas State Capitol Building on Congress. Also, the bridge on Congress Avenue over Lady Bird Lake at dusk with the bats flying out from their roost.

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Plus there are miles of fantastic walking, running and biking trails all along the river in downtown Austin. Loads of places to wander and get in touch with nature.

Melissa's Kung Fu Grip

Melissa’s Kung Fu Grip

 

Shop til you drop!
South Congress Avenue and 6th Street West of Lamar are great neighborhoods for browsing and window shopping. There are a several uniquely Austin businesses around there where I have found some funky finds. From homegoods to clothing, the shop owners are proud of being Texans and they support their local artists and designers.

Curiosities and randomness in Austin Texas

Curiosities and Randomness

Food & Tunes
On the South Congress side of town, The Continental Bar and Guero’s Taco bar are great places to socialize and also happen to have good live music. Just check what time the band starts online… It’s almost always a good representation of local Texas music.

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On Sunday’s the brunch time band at Joe’s Coffee is also awesome. I’ve been to Austin in January when it is freezing rain and there’s nothing happening outside. Rarely though does the cold keep Texans inside when they could be out playing music.

Here’s a little video that is 15 seconds of exactly “What I love about Austin”

Another place that’s got a great band most Saturday nights is called the White Horse & it’s east of I-35 a couple blocks and near 6th Street. Look it up, my friend Dave Insley has a band called the Careless Smokers that usually plays honky tonk swing in there. They also offer dance lessons on Saturday nights. Super good times, not fancy, but as a bonus they have a pool table.

Dave Insley at White Horse Austin

Dave Insley at White Horse Austin

Another great iconic Austin place is the Driskoll Hotel on the famous 6th Street. Even if you’re not staying there, it’s beautiful to have a drink inside in the bar. I’d recommend 6th Street, but only if your college age or into a crazy shot-shot-shot-shot scene. For me, “Dirty 6th” is not really my cup of tea. Generally, I prefer the places that are off the beaten path a bit. Even Antone’s, the icon for live blues music has moved to the East side of I-35. What’s the city coming to?

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Great trendy Vietnamese food at a place called Elisabeth Street on First Street (also on the South side)… and as always the Torchy’s Taco Truck would never steer you wrong. Those guys can make tacos out of the most amazing ingrediants. The guys at Torchy’s recently opened a retro dine in taco dive that has a huge bar area and outdoor seating to boot. For those of you familiar with the bygone Austin landmark, Fran’s, you’ll note that Torcy’s Taco is on that same plot of land.

Torchy's Taco

Torchy’s Taco

Another idea is the Whole Foods headquarters store. It’s downtown Austin on the corner of 6th and Lamar. It has an ice rink on the roof. Also enough prepared food to pick up anything your tastebuds fancy for a great lunch on their patio. While you’re there, across the street is one of the only record stores left in the world called Waterloo Records and they have our 7 Million Jigawatts cd on their shelf somewhere. :)

Check out Cedar Street in the Warehouse district at night when my pal, Rob Wagner and his band Suede or the Jukebox Junkies are playing. ┬áThe place is “inside-outside” and has a totally fab Austin vibe.

A great outdoor concert venue to see major label artists is Stubb’s BBQ.

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I would not recommend their bbq, but I do love their sauce. The outdoor stage with the wild west style lean-to beer and bbq stands surrounding the main hill. The stage sits on the edge of some valley would have been stream if the weather ever rained in Texas.

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That’s not all!
There’s Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, swimming in Barton Springs, tubing the Colorado River, drive through the Hill Country, take in a pickers circle in Lukenbach, shop till you drop at the San Marcos Outlet Mall… There’s so much to do in Austin. All you really have to do is put your feet on the ground and bring your appetite.

View from the Lamar Walking Bridge

View from the Lamar Walking Bridge

Gorillas in Austin

Gorillas in Austin

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Do Justice to Your Talent
says Horatio T. Birdbath

I’ve been fortunate to travel around Australia twice now. The first time was a sort of feel around and try out anything. Take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. Now, I’m not saying that the second time you just coast and give up all goals. In fact just the opposite, since you’ve already had a smattering of options from the first time, now you can hone your targets on something a bit more specific. So in each port of call, you are making the absolute most of your time in the vibrant Land Down Under.

The second time we visited Fremantle or Freo as the locals like to call it, we heard about the main streets for shopping and eating like Market Street and Little Creatures Brewery on Mews Road. We spent quite a bit more time walking the side streets and checking out the fantastic free public art in the forms of statues (Bon Scott), paintings and murals (Horatio T. Birdbath).

UntitledYou see, we just wanted to get a little exercise and walk around the town. It has a really cool artsy bohemian vibe. In the park in the center of town, there was a fair. Well, atleast that day there was one. There was a breakfast juice cart with some dread locked hippies selling cold pressed watercress juices and some other varieties based on coconuts or carrots. They also made espresso and cappuccinos. My inner caffeine addict was super happy about that. Around the rest of the “fair”, there were some tents of people selling vintage clothing… or things that looked like they came from 1980′s era Mad Max. Other tents had leather goods and some folks were making lunch time snacks on portable bbq grills. Lots of folks just wandering around chatting it up and enjoying a beautiful day.

Lonely Planet Perth & West Coast Australia (Travel Guide)

After we passed the park, we walked to the waterfront and followed it around to the marina side of town where Little Creatures Brewery is based. They have two buildings. Basically pole barns with really cool decor. One side is the actual brewery with the big silver vats of suds on display through glass. It has that notorious smell of curing hops and barley. They offer sampler size glasses, allowing a wee taste of their wide variety of beers in the garden out front. Untitled

The other side of the building is the main restaurant. Long picnic style tables cross the main floor, huge order windows look into the kitchen that spans the length of the entire main floor. Plus second floor drinking seating area and also additional eating space outside on the pier overlooking the marina and ocean. It’s a wicked place to hang out with amazing pub style food. I recall our group tried almost all of the appetizers, had a pizza, some burgers, and ordered more food than we could consume.

UntitledAfter our lunch, we wandered through yet another park and back into town. Across from the Freemantle Markets is a building with alot of personality. On one wall, there was a fantastically detailed mural with small intricate circles, squares, mazes and spaceship style architectural overtones. Untitled

It’s like Horatio has seen the inside of a great machine that we are all just cogs in. On the other side of the planet in a land that is inhabited and yet deserted all at the same time, he’s drawn a map right on the side of the building. Who knows what direction it’s pointing?

Ever wonder exactly who he is calling on that little red telephone receiver?

UntitledI chatted with Horatio for quite some time that afternoon. We discussed art, music, travel. We talked about inspiration and why people keep pursuing art. He’s an interesting bird with a free spirit and amazing talent. Untitled

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Sometimes I wonder what my true inspiration is, should be, has become, once was… “Do justice to your talent”, says Horatio T. Birdbath. Somehow I agree.

Horatio insisted on taking our picture in front of his mural. He said something about being able to capture the true spirit reflected in our souls.

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I love how the picture turned out. True happiness.

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