Suerte, The Driskill Hotel Bar, Austin by bike, Gueros Tacos

I rode all day on a bike around Austin’s Lady Bird Lake before noticing the name of the bike I’d rented was the same as my grandson’s (aka Linus). Fitting end to a fantastic day. Coming from subzero Iowa, Austin was glorious — in the 60s, flawless blue skies, breeze. I may have gotten a sunburn. I’ll take it.

I rode about 12 miles, I think, all the way around the lake trail plus a jog up the hill on South Congress to meet an old friend and native Austinite (Allison) for lunch at the popular Guero’s Taco Bar. It was almost warm enough to swim at glorious Barton Springs Pool – a huge natural pool carved out of springs- in Zilker park and I had my suit this time (unlike 6 years ago when I vowed to revisit some day and swim) but I decided I didn’t have enough time and I loved riding too much to stop. swimming there remains on my wish list.

The trail system along the narrow Lady Bird Lake and on passageways between huge skyscrapers downtown is impressive and I felt safe sharing the trail/bike lane with pedestrians, scooters and cars. My rental from Austin Bike rental and tours got off to a rocky start when I walked past the place three times before realizing it located in a metal storage container plopped down in a food truck court in a small pocket of undeveloped surrounded by glass high rises. (How very Austin.) And the container was locked. eventually some nice girls arrived and I was on my way with a very comfortable and sturdy 7 speed “Linus” bike, a helmet, lock and pack to carry stuff.

Breakfast was at a little cafe and yoga studio terrace on the north bank of the lake – with a lovely view of early morning kayakers and paddle boarders. It was MLK Day so a busier Monday than usual. Great to see so many people out enjoying the day and lake.

Austin is a boom town, as my friend Allison confirmed at lunch, packed with new buildings and trendy restaurants. We went to one last night called Suerte, which serves some form of masa (corn meal) with various proteins, think masa tacos with flavor-packed pork or goat meat. Afterwards, we wandered over to the famous old Driskill hotel where the bar was hoping with elegantly dressed members of Austin’s film crowd, celebrating the SAG movie awards. Great people watching and live swing band in old western bar. perfect opening night in Austin.

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