River views, good conversation, and good food in Austin


What a great day! High temperature in the 80s. The humidity was mild, and with the gentle breeze, it actually felt kind of nice after all these months of dry air.

Early this afternoon I set out for a wonderful local spot across the river called Casa de Luz. I had hosted a Dream Into Change salon there, five years ago when I first visited Austin. The food is all vegan and very healthy, but consistently delicious. You enter through a lovely outdoor corridor, go inside and pay for the meal (oddly priced at $14.07) and then wait for the staff to put together a plate for you with the day’s menu. As I enjoyed the meal at a shaded outdoor table, I also appreciated looking at a hammock strung up right near the table, available to anyone who might like to lounge in it.

After Casa de Luz, I pedaled along the extensive riverfront bike trail to Barton Creek, where I met a friend for a hike along the creek. We talked edible plants and travels, and he even showed me an active spring in a quiet part of the creek. There are several springs in the area, but this was the first time I had seen a spring actually bubbling out of the ground into the creek that surrounded it. Apparently during the summer, that creek bed runs dry.

Downstream a bit, though (or maybe it was upstream?) we passed by the large dammed area that is used as a local swimming hole. With the warm sunny weather, we passed swarms of people in swimwear, some actually swimming and others sunbathing. It felt surreal to me in February, especially since local temperatures are forecast to drop to 33 degrees two nights from now, with daytime highs in the 40s and low 50s. I did my best to appreciate today’s weather while I could.

After I said goodbye to that friend, I rode along the bike path for about another half hour, passing wonderful bridges and city views, until I crossed the river again and met up with another friend for dinner at another of my favorite Austin restaurants, Mr. Natural. This is a longstanding all vegetarian restaurant, with mostly Mexican offerings. We dined al fresco, warm enough even after the sun had gone down.

Then I biked back to my Warmshowers hosts’ place, and we had some great conversation for a few hours.

One more hot day tomorrow! I’ll need to find a way to maximize my enjoyment of it.

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