I’m never really going to afford a private jet and am far to cheap to fly first class (heck I usually fly Southwest Airlines and there ain’t any first class seats). To make flying easier I look for Nonstop flights from Austin. You can fly to a surprising number of cities nonstop from Austin—Boston, Orlando, Washington, and my favorite during ski season Salt Lake City. ABIA’s website has been kind enough to list all the cities and airlines that offer Nonstop service from Austin at
Tired of hanging around the house? Need to explore our great state? The State of Texas provides a free 272 page full color guide to help you plan your vacation. The guide offers information on 400 texas cities and attractions. It also has a special section on lakes and state parks. You can get the guide at http://www.traveltex.com/travelguide/
I had to go down to San Antonio for a business trip and had some extra time. What to do? Seen the Alamo, seen the missions, the River Walk….aha what’s this…something I haven’t visited–the San Antonio Botanical Gardens.
The San Antonio Botanical Gardens has 33 acres of gorgeous botanical gardens and indoor displays. Their are many different gardens including: Rose Garden, Kumamoto En Japanese Garden, Garden for the Blind, and a Herb garden.
The gardens are gorgeous and well worth a visit.
It has been a stressful few months so we decided to take a trip to the beach. In these times, flying just adds to the stress level so we decided to drive down to Corpus Christi. The quickest way to Corpus is I-35 and then I-37 after San Antonio…crowded and again stressful. So we got on Mapquest and told it to avoid highways and found a . cool route from Austin, TX to Corpus Christi, TX that used Hwy 183 and then Hwy 77. I only knew Hwy 183 in Austin–crowded and dangerous. I learned it actually starts in South Dakota and ends in Refugio, Texas (and was the last US Highway to be paved). South of Austin it goes through beautiful rolling country, some of the best barbecue in Texas, and then Highway 77 takes you to the missions at Goliad.
The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a quick day trip from Austin that encompasses four historical Spanish churches and a long period of Texas History.
The Alamo is the most famous of San Antonio’s missions and unfortunately the only one most people take the time to see. The San Antonio Mission trail stretches south for 9 miles from The Alamo along the San Antonio river and has four beautiful 18th century Spanish churches–San José, Concepción , San Juan and Espada. The missions were built by Franciscan friars to help convert the Indians. The Coahuiltecans helped the friars build the missions because Apache and other enemies were threatening them and they could find safety behind the thick walls. One of the neat things about the Missions is that the four mission churches within San Antonio Missions National Historical Park are active catholic parishes, and hold regular services.
Got to fly Jet Blue for the first time out of Austin to Boston for a recent East Coast swing. I’ve always liked Southwest Airlines for domestic flights but I might have a new favorite airline. Plenty of legroom, efficient check-in, assigned seats, DirectTV and satellite radio at every seat (it truly helps pass the time). Heck even the snacks were decent (choice of 3-4 snacks instead of just peanuts). If you have a chance to try them–Highly Recommended.
The highlight of this trip was getting to go to the 2006 US Open (Ticketcity got me hooked up). The US Open is a quick subway trip from Midtown Manhattan (thanks to AMEX we got to stay 2 blocks from Broadway). The Open is a blast. Compared to going to a UT football game it is an intimate stage–only 23,000 in Arthur Ashe stadium, and the outside courts are like watching a match at a neigborhood tennis court (well OK the guys and gals playing there make the average club player look like they’re playing 1/2 speed). You do run into major tennis stars on the grounds of the tennis center–Jimmy Connors was signing autographs and having his picture taken the day we went. Cool trip and highly recommended if you’re a tennis fan.
Pictures are at:
Pictures of the extended trip are at:
This was also the first trip that we used Priceline. We sure lucked out. Got 2 hotels that were $200 on Expedia/Travelocity for $99. If you’re a geek and in Boston/Cambridge you need to try out Hotel MIT. It basically is a Radisson hotel with geeky decorations like Robots in the lobby, circuit boards for lamps, pictures of famous scientists in the rooms. The throw on the bed was filled with equations–been too long since engineering school I could only identify about half of them.
Security checks, dragging heavy bags, early morning flights … all contribute to the stress of airport travel these days. Airport Fast Park makes it just a bit easier. Park in a covered parking lot, behind a fence and the shuttle drive picks you up from the car (no dragging bags to a bus stop), helps you with the bags and delivers you to the airport. The little touches truly help, such as writing your car’s location on your ticket for you, and free bottles of water (both coming and going) and a free newspaper. I’m a fan. They usually have a coupon on their internet site so check before you go.
Airport Fast Park, 2300 Spirit of Texas Dr, Del Valle, 78617 – (512) 385-8877
A favorite flight out of Austin? In short, it’s a quick direct flight and preferably inexpensive airline flight to a place that makes a good long weekend. Please don’t misunderstand–it ain’t for the service..that’s non-existent these days. It’s not even for comfort….that’s non-existent in Coach.
One of my favorite flights is Delta 6452 to Salt Lake City. It leaves at 8:25 AM and arrives at Salt Lake at 10:19 AM. Why Salt Lake City? Skiing! With this flight, I can leave at a reasonable hour, get to Salt Lake in the morning, catch a bus to the slopes and have a quick lunch and be skiing by that afternoon. Want to come back…Delta has flights in the morning (Flight 3993 that leaves SLC at 10:53 and has you back at 2:34) or one that leaves about 7:30 in the evening and has you back at 11:00.
Want to head to the beach? Southwest Airlines has a nonstop flight from Austin to Tampa Bay that leaves at 4:15 p.m. and has you in Tampa (close to Clearwater beach) by 7:30 p.m. It’s another favorite for a weekend getaway.
Y’all have any favorite getaways?
Here’s a 360 Panorama of Sam Houston park from my road trip to Houston – www.tejasphotos.com/houston.htm. The church is called St. John church. In 1891, German farmers built this country church in northwest Harris County for their Evangelical Lutheran congregation. It still has its original altar-pulpit and cypress plank pews. The church was given to the Heritage Society by the congregation in 1968
If you’re heading to Houston, you might want to check out Cafe Indika–non-traditional Indian food but with great flavors and well prepared. Can’t tell you much about the service, we didn’t make reservations so they accomodated us at the bar. Well worth it. No whining that it was more expensive than the Indian Buffet (yeech!). For now it’s on Memorial Drive and soon to move to Montrose. Reservations highly recommended.
Well the website has become a lot plainer than in the glory days of the dot-com boom but one of the best deals is still on the website. Whether you live in Austin or visiting Texas, the Texas Travel Guide is a must–I’ve used the tourist material from a bunch of states and Texas is the best (just to prove this ain’t vanity speaking I think Utah’s travel website is much better). Order your today and find out about the many attractions of this state.