Monday, November 1, 2010

Helping Keep Austin Weird

Next stop: Austin, Tehas.  Home of Lance Armstrong, UT-Austin, a flourishing social and business culture, and now, for a short while, me.

The generosity and hospitality of some local athletes and businesses has allowed me to stay in Austin while I finish preparing for IM Cozumel over Thanksgiving weekend.  Why Austin?  Other than the fact that Austin is quickly become a triathlon center to rival Boulder and San Diego, the fact that when I landed in Austin it was 44 degrees in DC and not 44 degrees in Austin. Austin: 2, DC: 0.

The first and second stops were obvious: Jack and Adam's, the bike shop that will probably be my second home-away-from-home (more on them later),

the twice-weekly FREE abs class going on in the J&A's parking lot

and Costco, cuz a girl's gotta eat and more than BBQ.  Austin's Costco has sweet potatoes...Austin: 2, DC: 0.

The third was not obvious, but absolutely clutch: Taqueria Aranda's #5.  My Gracious Host is vegan, but that does not stop him from knowing and eating quality hole-in-the-wall food.  I think the "#5" was the key.  A restaurant with a number in the name screams WE OFFER NO FRILLS, BUT THE LOCALS LIKE US ENOUGH TO WARRANT MULTIPLE - at least 5! - LOCATIONS.  There is a Mexican hole-in-the-wall down the street from my apartment that serves goat tacos and Aranda's had a few missteps - next time I'll order my migas sin queso and the horchata was a mix - but I'm finally in a place where "TexMex" is not ironic.  Austin: 2.5, DC: 0.5

And I'm told, with pride, that the Texas State Capitol building is three feet taller than the U.S. Capitol.  Apparently everything is bigger in Texas.  Austin: 3.5, DC: 0.5.

Stay tuned as I train hard to compile A Triathlete's Guide to Austin!!

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