Thursday morning I bid adieu to my adobe abode in Las Cruces and hit the I-10 east. I was headed to Austin, Texas for December.
I went from the peaks of the Texas Mountain Trail to a land of plateaus and windmills, which gradually changed to a land of hills that became increasingly greener as the miles passed. I learned from my close calls of the past and took ample opportunities to fill up my gas tank and to use the ladies' room. Most of the trek was very sparsely inhabited.
The sun began to set when I exited I-10 for Highway 290, so after that, the landscape is somewhat of a mystery to me. There seemed to be a whole lot of nothing until I arrived in Fredericksburg, which looked like a fun spot to revisit in the near future. Johnson City came shortly after that, and the incredible Christmas lights adjacent to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park prompted me to turn my car around, surround myself in a magical glow, and snap a few photos.
The rest of the route was mostly steeped in darkness until I began to approach Austin. The city's skyline contained the first tall buildings I've seen since I drove through Tulsa after my time in Tahlequah. After a month in Las Cruces, Austin just has so much stuff.
My Central Austin neighborhood loft apartment is significantly smaller than the 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house I called home in Las Cruces, but it's all I really need. And yes, it cost more. I guess that's part of what comes with so much stuff.
Unfortunately, the city was dreary and rainy yesterday and today, and is projected to be that way through Monday morning. After a day of resting up from 10 hours on the road yesterday, I attempted to explore today. My first reaction was major sticker shock when I discovered that a public parking lot I almost used was going to cost $10 PER HOUR. I may have to increase the price of my artwork with those rates! Thankfully, I finally found a spot on the street for a more reasonable cost of around $4 total for 3 hours.
I visited the Mexic-Arte Museum, the Contemporary Austin, Voodoo Doughnuts Austin, and the Driskill Hotel. I finally had enough of traipsing around in the chilly rain and took refuge in the Austin Ale House, where I enjoyed a $4 beer special with a plate of fries. A budget-friendly indulgence.
I think I'll hunker down at my place for a while and get some work done (yes, I do actually work) and paint. Come on Tuesday, I need some sunshine!