I truly hate to broadcast how great the weather is in Austin. It almost feels like bragging. You know, that kind of bragging that says, “My dad is stronger than yours.” But, boy, do I ever LOVE the hill country weather. A day trip to Fredericksburg is almost never cancelled because of cruddy weather. Recently, I was exclaiming about the greatness of the Austin weather in this way: six months out of the year, it is absolutely wonderful — the other six months it’s fantastic!
If you grew up here in the Austin area, you may not know otherwise. If you grew up somewhere else, you most certainly do. You know. You’ve seen other weather. You’ve screamed at the kids to run to the car, every man or child for himself, racing to get out of the frigid wind. Or you’ve listened all night to the attic noises of creaking beams, hoping the wind doesn’t break them loose and send them flying through your neighbor’s window. We used to drive up and down the streets of our rural development and see whose trampolines had traded yards in the previous night’s windstorm. When our barn was being built one January, a huge piece of metal siding came loose and whipped against the existing structure ALL NIGHT LONG. Yep, when you’ve experienced other weather, you know when you’ve encountered heavenly weather. It’s here. It’s definitely one of the three things I love most about living in Austin. (We no longer need a budget category for hair spray, either.)
When I was a dreamy high-schooler, my downtown experience was not only limited – it was virtually non-existent. Well, I did know all the words to “Downtown – Where All the Lights are Bright.” But I’ve been to a few downtowns now, and I would say that downtown Austin is somewhat atypical. Stylish and sleek condo buildings – check. Texas-sized capitol building – check. Restaurants – the best! Respectful drivers – yes! A trip to Austin would almost be complete if you rented an Airbnb, walked to Whole Foods and never went anywhere else but Congress Avenue, the Main Street of America. I NEVER tire of the view of the Capitol Building. And then there’s Christmas on Congress Avenue. Ah. I could go on and on.
There, I said it. The traffic is horrible in Austin. Grueling on some days. But is there a silver lining? Most assuredly so. Mike and I ride together every day in the traffic, and we’ve intentionally found a little adventure in the monotony of it. We’ve learned from podcasts. We’ve listened to Sirius 70’s music, which always sparks good conversation. We avoided rush hour by staying downtown for happy hour. We recently read this book out loud to each other and really enjoyed discussing it. He talks a lot about networking in business, but we thought it had lots of great advice and motivation to just connect with people in general. When you’re new in town, you have to get out of your comfort zone and connect!
We recently listened to the audio version of this legal thriller by Scottoline.
It kept our attention from start to finish, and it actually built anticipation to get in the car and be on the road so we could hear what happened next – and find out which one of us had correctly predicted the finish.
What’s been the best thing about the traffic, though? It has forced us to find alternate ways to get where we’re going. Side roads, residential areas, lesser beaten paths. Instead of getting on Mopac with the masses, we’ve dared to investigate other ways to get to our destination. As it has turned out, there’s so much to explore on the road a little less traveled. Hmmm. Let’s go get a cup of coffee and discuss that topic.
I would love to hear something you love about where you live, so please share something in the comments below.
Encouraging a little adventure, even in the slow lane,