Austin Journals

Austin-It's SOCO-ol

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A January 2007 trip to Austin by zabelle

One Congress Plaza in the foreground Photo, More Photos
Quote: Austin can’t quite decide if it is a college town, the state capitol or the Live Music Capitol of the world. It’s all 3.

Austin-It's SOCO-ol

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Overview

One Congress Plaza in the foreground Photo,
Quote:
Austin is the capitol of the state of Texas. Austin’s population of just under 700,000 makes it the fourth largest city in Texas and the 16th largest in the US. Settled around 1835 it was originally named Waterloo. President of the Texas Republic Mirabeau Lamar was responsible for the new name, choosing to honor Stephen Austin who is called the father of Texas for his role in the colonization and independence of Texas. Austin became the official and final capitol of Texas after it was annexed by the United States in 1846.Our plans had been disrupted by the ice storm which closed down the city for several days in January 2007. When we finally arrived we found the streets slick and some s...Read More

Austin Motel

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Hotel

Austin Motel Photo, Austin, Texas
Quote:
There are several words that come to mind when it comes to the Austin Motel but I think to limit it to one it must be FUNKY. As usual I went in search of the unusual, the different, the funky and I found it. Their motto says it all, “So close yet so far out”. Family owned and operated since 1938 they offer 41 rooms with a style to fit anyone’s taste and budget.First:You can’t book this hotel way in advance. They only book three months in advance. Call them and find out when they will begin accepting bookings for the dates you want. If you are coming on a weekend you need to book at least two nights. Go to their website and look at all the rooms, they are all different. Austin Motel. You ca...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 14, 2007

Austin Motel
1220 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78704
(512) 441-1157

South Congress Café

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Restaurant

South Congress Café Photo, Austin, Texas
Quote:
If you are looking for a restaurant that will give your taste buds something to sing about, I want to suggest the South Congress Grill. We were looking for a restaurant within walking distance of the Austin Motel. Some of the restaurants nearby were not open yet after the ice storm, we asked the desk person for some suggestions. With those in hand we headed out going south. It really was pretty funny, we crossed four lanes of traffic only to fund out that the restaurant was closed so back across; we went and being me I refused to cross again and insisted that we find something on the west side of the street. Sometime being a stubborn B..ch pays off. The first restaurant we came upon the South Congress...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 14, 2007

South Congress Café
1600 S Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78704
(512) 447-3905

Magnolia Cafe

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Restaurant

Magnolia Cafe Photo, Austin, Texas
Quote:
The Austin Motel doesn’t have a restaurant and I wanted to have a special breakfast. I did a little research and found several recommendations for the Magnolia Café and luckily it was just down the street from the motel. You know that you are in for something unique when you drive up and see the sign that says ‘Sorry We’re open.” That gave us a good laugh and a bit of a pause. We walked in and actually the only one who noticed us at all was a customer who is obviously a regular and he told us that someone would be with us shortly. It took a bit longer than that, a bit longer than it should have but eventually we were seated, given menus and had steaming cups of coffee in front of us.Th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 14, 2007

Magnolia Cafe
2304 Lake Austin Blvd
Austin, Texas 78703
+1 512 478 8645

Blanton Museum of Art

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Attraction | "Blanton Art Museum"

Blanton Museum of Art Photo, Austin, Texas
Quote:
First let me warn you that parking here is a bear. It’s not that there isn’t parking, there is not only a large outdoor lot across the street, there is a parking garage almost next door. The problem is that they are both full. We refused to take no for an answer with the parking garage. You can talk to someone on an intercom and we keep trying to talk them into letting us in until they did and we found a parking spot so we were right, the lot wasn’t totally full.Plans for a museum at the University of Texas at Austin began in 1927 when Archer M. Huntingon made a donation of some land to fund an art museum. It took 11 years for a College of Fine Arts to be founded. In 1963 a small museum was op...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 14, 2007

Blanton Museum of Art
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas 78701
(800) 474-1201

French Legation Museum

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Attraction

French Legation Museum Photo, Austin, Texas
Quote:
I am sure that most people don’t have any idea what the French Legation Museum is. When Texas became a republic they looked for recognition from other countries. This would add a certain amount of legitimacy to their country. In 1838, two years after the founding of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston sent James Pickney Henderson to France and England. France was at War with Mexico. They signed a treaty on September 25, 1839 recognizing Texas. England in spite of their desire to see slavery abolished world wide needed to protect their supply of cotton and in November 1840 signed three treaties with the Republic of Texas. The Netherlands also signed treaties with the Republic in 1840. They did not howev...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 14, 2007

French Legation Museum
802 San Marcos St.
Austin, Texas 78702
(512) 472-8180

Texas State Cemetery

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Story/Tip

Albert Sidney Johnston Confederate General Photo, Austin, Texas
Quote:
This is a unique cemetery. When State Senator Edward Burleson died in December of 1851,Andrew Jackson Hamilton donated the 21 acres that comprise the cemetery to the state of Texas so that Burleson could be buried here. It became the Texas State Cemetery in 1854. After the Civil War the State took over the home for Confederate veterans and they buried the veterans along with their generals in the cemetery. In 1910 Stephen Austin was moved to the Texas State Cemetery. In the 1920s Louis Kemp spearheaded a drive to have as many prominent former Texans reinterred in the cemetery. Starting in 1929 with the former governors James Pickney Henderson and Peter Hansborough Bell over 70 men and woman we...Read More

Shopping on South Congress

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Story/Tip

Strolling the store Photo, Austin, Texas
Quote:
After our wonderful dinner at the South Congress Café we headed back toward the Austin Motel on Congress. We came upon Uncommon Goods 1512 South Congress St which is open daily until 7pm but on Thursday they stay open until 9pm. We can never resist an antique/unusual item store. This shop has 30 dealers who offer an eclectic variety of object d’art, second hand cowboy boots, loads of stained glass windows, baskets, books, pottery, and a whole lot more. It can be a little crowded in some of the booths so be careful as you look at items. In some ways it was very flee market in the way objects are displayed. Be prepared to dig and look under tables and in cupboards. We were looking for a painting ...Read More

LBJ Presidential Library and Museum

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Story/Tip

LBJ telling jokes.  Photo, Austin, Texas
Quote:
This is a fabulous Library that is amazingly hard to find. There is a sign that tells you which exit to get off the freeway and then nothing. We drove by it the first time. I am so glad we found it because it ended up being one of our very favorite stops in Texas. You begin your visit by watching an orientation film. Given the weather we watched with only one other couple. Entrance to the museum is free, LBJ wanted everyone to have access to the Library. For someone who lived through the Johnson presidency I found that I was woefully ignorant about the man. What I came away from here with was a very strong admiration. Also a great deal of sadness that the war that he inherited ...Read More

Where in the World is Ima Hogg Buried

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Story/Tip

Hogg family plot-Oakwood Cemetery Photo, Austin, Texas
Quote:
When we found out that Ima Hogg was buried in Austin we made it one of our priorities to visit her grave. On Friday we headed to the Texas State Cemetery which was beautiful and had a great map to help us find all the important grave. After our visit we headed up Navasota Street in search of Oakwood Cemetery. Oakwood is Austin’s oldest cemetery, provisions for it’s created were made in 1839 when the city was founded ad the annexe was opened in 1917. This cemetery is maintained by the city of Austin and I have to tell you there is no comparison to the state cemetery or even to privately owned Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, this cemetery has a neglected look, everything is overgrown and in a bad state of...Read More