A Short Tour of My Hometown

As many of you know, Belinda over at Busy Mind Thinking is ill. Since she can’t travel, she has asked in the post Project – Travel that her blogger friends take her on a virtual vacation by posting pictures of their hometown. I am more than happy to take her on a tour of Austin, Texas. Ready, Belinda?

austin capitol

Texas State Capitol

The capitol building in Austin is taller than the nation’s capitol. Didn’t you know? Everything is bigger in Texas 🙂

townlake

Downtown Austin and a view of Town Lake, also known as Lake Austin, and recently renamed Lady Bird Lake in honor of Lady Bird Johnson. It’s not a natural lake, but a reservoir formed when a dam was constructed on a portion of the Colorado River. I worked in the white stone building topped with a black pyramid (background, right), for 10 years.

townlake-hike and bike

Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail

This trail consists of a 10-mile loop around Lady Bird Lake. I’ve probably run hundreds of miles here over the years.

Lake Travis

Lake Travis

Another reservoir formed from the Colorado River. Most of my summer days were spent here as a youth.

UT Tower

The UT Tower

The University of Texas is located in Austin. The UT Tower is illuminated in orange and white to mark academic achievements, sports victories, and other events. The picture above marks a National Championship. From the corner, it is said to resemble an owl. UT legend indicates that it was designed by an architect from a rival school, Rice University.

FrostBank_000

The Frost Bank Tower

This is my son’s favorite building (he wants to be an architect). It is also rumored to be designed by a Rice graduate, but neither story about the UT Tower or The Frost Bank building is true. Do you see the owl?

frostowl

Corner view of Frost Bank Building. Do you see the owl now?

austinbats

Mexican Free-tailed Bat Colony

Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America (about 1.5 million bats). Watching them emerge at dusk is quite a sight. They nest under the Congress Avenue bridge and an overpass on I-35 during the summer months and then migrate to Mexico in the winter. Don’t stand underneath the bridge to watch unless you want to leave smelling like bat guano.

hamilton pool -907

Hamilton Pool

A natural pool formed by the collapse of the roof of an underground river. I came here often as a teen. You may have seen it in the movie The Tree of Life (if you hadn’t fallen asleep yet).

 oasisaustin

The Oasis on Lake Travis

I worked here as a teen. This was my first place of employment (that two-week stint at Taco Bell doesn’t count). I got quite a workout running up and down the multiple levels and countless decks as a  hostess. The views are spectacular, especially at sunset.

 Zilker Tree

The Zilker Tree

The Zilker Tree is lit each December. It stands 155 feet tall and holds over 3,000 lights. I remember standing underneath this tree as a child and twirling around in awe.

pennybacker

The Pennybacker Bridge

This bridge was completed when I was a teen. When I saw the large steel structure in the distance for the first time, it didn’t seem real. It’s also known as the 360 bridge because it connects the northern and southern sections of Loop 360, also known as the Capital of Texas Highway (It seems Austinites have several names for just about everything). I crossed this bridge on my way to and from work (my last place of employment). It’s a good thing I had that beautiful sunrise to help me face the day.

longhorns

Texas Longhorns

This tour wouldn’t be complete without a picture of a Texas Longhorn. My sister raises them, and I snapped this photo from her back yard. I apologize for the poor photo quality. It was taken from an iphone that was later drenched in water, causing the photo to fade.

I could go on and on, but I think I’ll stop there. I hope you enjoyed the tour, Belinda and thanks for the break from editing 🙂

Why don’t you join in with a tour of your hometown? I know Belinda would love to see it.

Quote of the Week: Stephen King

stephen king“When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.”
—Stephen King

I’ve been trimming the fat in my manuscript. I just hope I don’t nick an artery somewhere and watch helplessly as it bleeds out all over the floor.