January 22 Austin II

Trevor and Gina were gracious enough to offer their guide services to us again today and we jumped at the offer. Unfortunately for me, they are still dining under the vegan lifestyle and I was skunked on getting any food that I would normally consider palatable.
Today’s dining selection was Thai Fresh. On our way in, we were happy to see that we had not chosen an easy place to park because a sign fell off the roof of the building where we were originally going to park. The sign made a wet slapping sound as it hit the concrete where we didn’t park. The Thai Fresh Restaurant does serve some meat items but today they were out of the chicken I ordered. There was one other lunch suggestion that the staff made; it was a pork belly sandwich with stuff on it I normally would not put in my mouth because of my peculiar dining habits. It also did not have any meat on it – nothing but fat. After a considerable wait, the food started to arrive in little dribbles, delivered by a guy with horn-rimmed glasses missing one of the temples. The glasses fit funny giving the wearer an appearance of having one enormous eye and a patch of flesh where the other eye should be.
The restaurant has a “no tipping” policy which is appropriate because the prices are pretty high and management can pay their staff quite well out of the excessive amounts collected with the bills. In summation: this is not the type of place I would normally go although I imagine rich vegetarians might like it. Service is almost glacial. Maybe they should rescind their tipping policy to get their staff moving such that ordinary viewers can see they are not statues.
We left Thai Fresh and wandered through the Bouldin Creek neighborhood to look at the spectacular architecture of both the residences and nearby downtown Austin. Austin has some magnificent highrise buildings, all surrounding the muddy brown state capital building.
We drove over to the state house, parked and strolled over to the capital building to take a look inside. Donald Trump was recently inaugurated as President and it seems quite a few women are really pissed off about that. There was a large demonstration crowd of mostly women on the steps of the capital and they were not using endearing terms about the new administration.
Once we got inside, we were exposed to an absolutely stunning rotunda with massive wings extending in four directions. We wandered through some galleries with many pictures of Texas legislators, many of whom seemed to have served for life. We visited both the senate and house of representatives chambers which are liberally decorated with much gingerbread and architectural confections. The building is impressive and visiting is free.
We felt compelled to again seek rewards for our day’s activities so we wandered through some gorgeous Austin neighborhoods before stopping at the Beer Plant, another place that, unfortunately, only served vegan fare so I settled for a few varieties of porter for dinner. Peggy had to take over the driving responsibilities but we eventually made it back to Leander without getting stabbed by the Texas DOT toll thieves.
Texas toll roads only allow two forms of payment; get an RFID chip for your rig and an account to pay or you will get a nice picture and bill in the mail for every time you screwed up and got on the tollway. There are no toll booths so occasional users get rogered. We would not get our bill by mail until we returned to San Diego which will not be until after a warrant would be issued for our arrest for non-payment. There are no signs or posters telling idiots like us where or how to get an RFID tag from TxTex so that doesn’t work either. We like many things about Texas but their toll road system is difficult for non-residents.
There are some Austin photos if you clickhere

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