We have been busy with school, family, friends, life, and wedding planning, so it has taken a while to get all of the pictures and stories out. Thanks for following along through all the blog posts about our road trip from Dallas to….
University of Texas Co-op
For our last day in Austin, Justin wanted to take me on a tour of his University campus. There was so much left to see in Austin, but that would have to be for another trip. Our first stop was to head to the Main Building on campus which is close to one of the most popular streets around Austin, Guadalupe Street. We parked our car in a parking garage behind the University Co-op.
The Co-op was created in the late 1800s. Disappointed with the services and high book prices charged by a privately owned bookstore on campus, support was organized for creating a bookstore similar to the Harvard Co-op that was an association owned by students, faculty, and staff to furnish books, supplies, and clothing at discounted prices to its members. The original store was located in the Main Building on campus with intent to sell its products to students at the lowest possible prices.
Artwork near UT campus
We walked towards campus to Guadalupe St., which is locally known as the Drag. The Drag is a nickname for a portion of Guadalupe Street that runs along the western edge of the University of Texas campus. The Drag began as a strip which provided vital resources to UT students. Bookstores, restaurants, and clothing stores fulfill students needs. The proximity to campus adds to the popularity.
The Drag is considered an important part of Austin’s civic life, but in recent years Austinites avoid it because of congestion. The area has become less desirable because of the presence of young panhandlers known as “Dragworms/Dragrats”.
We made our way to the Drag and looked for a nice place to eat. Some of the buildings had changed since Justin was a student here, but some were still the same. At his suggestion we decided on a place called “Which Wich”.
Choosing our Subs at Which Wich.
We love getting Subway, but in my opinion, this place may be even better because the bread is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, like a baguette. Instead of pointing to the ingredients that you want through a glass window, you simply check the options that you want on a brown paper bag, and then hand it to the cashier.
Bacon and Egg Breakfast Sub.
At $10 a person we each got a footlong sub, chips and an unlimited soda. Not cheap but a large portion, so I couldn’t eat it all. I took half of mine with for a snack to munch on later in the afternoon. I don’t stay full for very long.
UT Main Tower
After lunch we went to the University Campus admin office to get some transcripts printed for Justin. These are just some of the papers that we need in order to teach overseas, so it was easier to come and get them while we were in Austin.
For the next couple of hours Justin took me around the UT campus showing me where he used to walk, eat lunch, attend class, and the dormitory that he lived in for a year. I really enjoyed seeing this part of “his history” because I know that he had a good time when he lived in Austin.
Walking around the South Mall
The sun was out but we were feeling chilly, so we laid down on this grassy area to take in some sunlight. The warmth felt great. I munched on the other half of my sub, and listened to all of the students chatting around us. I liked listening to their accents… hahaha! While we were laying there, many other students came by and joined us here while they had breaks between lectures. I imagine going to school here must have been pretty awesome. What a great town to live in.
Eves-dropping and catching some winter rays.
University of Texas Fountain on South Mall
After exploring the campus, we decided to check out the University Co-op and some other stores on along the Drag (Guadalupe Street). I definitely need more UT gear to fit in with the Esser’s because they are all big fans of the burnt orange university outfits.
Before we hit the road we took a quick detour to Jamba Juice on the Drag. I got a yummy Pina Colada Energy Drink for the journey back to Dallas. The ladies in Jamba Juice ooohhh-ed and aaaah-ed over the two of us and our story of coming from different sides of the world, meeting in Asia, traveling the world, and soon to be married in sunny Cape Town. *Yes, we got through all of that while they made out shakes! It’s my accent… Huge conversation starter 😉
Kolches (meaning “a small cookie” in Macedonian)
I had heard about Kolches before we went on our road trip to San Antonio and Austin, but I completely forgot until Justin pulled up to the Little Czech Bakery. A kolache is a type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit, or meat and/ or cheese, surrounded by a puffy pillow of supple dough. Originating as a semi-sweet wedding dessert from Central Europe, they have become popular in parts of the United States.
Steamy, cheesy, and delicious.
We bought a box of six containing only sausage, and then another six filled with cheese and sausage. The plan was to take them all home for mom and dad, but we ate a number of them before we made it there. They sure were tasty, and it was hard to ignore the smell wafting from the boxes!
We arrived back in Dallas a couple of hours later, and we were welcomed home with big smiles, hugs, and tail-wagging. How nice to come home to family after a trip away. That is something we will miss when we head back to Asia after Christmas.