The “Must-Visits”: Barton Springs, Austin Zoo, Lake Travis.

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This second blog post for today has been dedicated to the benefits of being a new Austinite. The “must-visits” that we’ve visited to date.

I’ll start with today’s adventure (after our official Texas crowning). We took a trip early this evening to…Barton Springs! 🙂 Barton Springs is a beautiful natural spring with a year-long temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Entry for adults is just $3/person. However, word has it around town that you can get in free if you arrive between 5-8am or 9-10am. We were steaming hot and needed some refreshment, so we got there around 6pm. Barton Springs really is amazing, so if you’re planning to visit or move here, don’t miss it!

Check out that nature!

Ahhh... refreshed!

OK, now let’s hop into the handy time machine and go back to last Sunday. As always, it was HOTTT in Austin. What do we decide to do? Use our UrbanDeelights coupon to go to the Austin Zoo–during the middle of the day! We must have been delirious. We got the deal, which was 2 adults + 2 bags of animal feed for just $8, and mentally prepared for our zoo animal visit. But, first, we needed to go to Wal-mart (story of my life, everyday, since we got here)! We bought the necessities: SPF 50 sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats. The hats were our saviors, and we quickly concluded that if you live in Texas, you need a good, floppy or wide hat. Back to the zoo, we arrived in less than 20 minutes and learned that this zoo is a non-profit animal rescue zoo; they house exotic animals that have been abused or mistreated in some form or another. Cool, huh? We mapped at a plan of course: birds, reptiles, sheep, goats, llamas, deer, pigs, wolves, lions, tigers, bears, *oh my!, panthers, jaguars, wolf hybrids, Galapagos turtles, monkeys, and the prairie dogs. Not too bad for $8 and a great organization! If you’re feeling lucky, make a donation or take a visit!

My own Tiger Woods?

THE floppy hat!

And, finally, for the crown jewel of visits in Austin… Lake Travis! This breathtaking lake is only 15-20 minutes away and is worth every minute of the scorching-hot drive! We went to Oasis restaurant, Austin’s largest restaurant boasting four stories and over 2,500 patron seating! I could not even believe it. We walked in and went down a floor to sit at one of the open bars and learned that I was on just one of FOUR floors. Jesu Cristo! Erik and I had a very friendly, personable bartender that served up some thirst-quenching frozen house margaritas and the nachos with beans and cheese. Although the kitchen put about a small jar’s serving of jalapenos and pico de gallo on our super-large plate, it didn’t matter. The nachos were saboroso and made for an early dinner fill. As we chatted and gazed upon the open lake, our bartender suggested that we head to the fourth floor to hear some live music (starts at 7:15pm every Sunday). Live music? Done. We paid our tab and walked upstairs.

Las Estrellas de Tejas!

The fiesta-style music had my booty shakin’ and hips swingin’. The band is called The Brew and has been creating latin jazz for locals for the past 15 years; they have quite the fan following. While latin jazz filled our ears and souls, we ordered mas margaritas and began to do our own shag-dance routine alongside several salsa, meringue, and cha cha native dancers. Who cares if we weren’t dancing to the right step or dance? No one seemed to mind. In fact, I think many folks were happy that we were enjoying ourselves!

Beautiful sunset over Lake Travis

Dancin' the Night Away...

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About asmallthingintexas

I am a small thing in big Texas. This blog will detail this big change for my husband, Erik, and I, as well as share new recipes, adventures, and commentary. We are moving from Raleigh, NC, to Austin, TX, in early July and cannot wait to start a new journey together, learning about the history, culture, food, and people of this southwest state. Wish us luck!

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