Visiting Austin During A Pandemic

Never in my wildest dreams where I had to choose between regular mask or the airtight N95 mask when riding a plane.

It’s our first out of State travel during a pandemic.

Chlorox and N95 for hand carry. I never dreamed traveling like this but we do what’s necessary to travel and enjoy life again.

Anxious? Yes. Excited? Yes. In disbelief? Kinda and who wouldn’t?

Passing through 360 Degrees Bridge.

19 months of brainwashing that it’s dangerous to travel, it’s shock and awe that 10 friends and family from New York, Texas and California decided to have a vacation in Austin without masks, without distancing, without COVID worry of whatsoever. It’s the freest we all have ever been. It’s the most normal we all have ever been. And it feels amazing!

Whitest Comet Clouds raining down from the Bluest Sky. Austin Skyline is a thrilling canvas of beauty and imagination.

Travel destination? Austin. It’s more of a revisit to a beautiful place that once was home.

View from Mount Bonnell.

I didn’t realize how much I missed it. I didn’t realize how much I was blessed with kind, generous and very funny friends. I haven’t laughed this hard for awhile now.

Magnificent views overlooking Lake Travis.

Texas is big on everything…heart, happiness and adventures.

A great friend reminds us of what’s important and possible.

Can’t believe I waited this long to see again our good old friends and family.

C for Cholesterol, D for Delicious Ribs and Brisket, E for Eat Big.

First stop, best moist flavorful Brisket and BBQ in town at Stiles Switch for early dinner.

Left over Brisket Sandwich. OMG Breakfast Texas Style.

Texas is generous in portions, smiles and experience.

A relative from Houston treated us for a delicious authentic Tex Mex feast at Vaqueros. The last time we saw each other was 6 years ago.

We also celebrated two Birthdays of two classmates who have not seen each other since their Elementary School years.

So much fun. So much nostalgic reminiscing of a beautiful time that seemed like they just happened yesterday.

Wife baked that morning for her cousin to take back to Houston her famous melt’s in your mouth heavenly tasting Cheese and Purple Yam Brioche. Kitchen was just loaded with sweet love and joy.

4 miles of early morning walk with my Son at Steiner Ranch. So peaceful. So free. So Texas.

Overall rating, maximum 10 stars and it’s only day one in Austin.

About Island Traveler

Just a Man too curious where his dreams will take him.
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32 Responses to Visiting Austin During A Pandemic

  1. Thank you for sharing a glimmer of hope around some normalcy. With small steps, we will overcome the profound brainwash present. I look forward to reading more.


  2. dolphinwrite says:

    Nice pictures.


  3. hartlife1973 says:

    That video should be the restaurant’s commercial, it’s great! I love Austin, I don’t visit enough. Houston gets boring!


    • Austin is kind of a contrast to Houston where I live close by for 9 years. Mostly flat, no hills, too hot. I did enjoy pool time during warm weathers and Galveston. Holidays,Summer and Spring , it’s Austin and the Hill Country adventures. I thought I did already a lot of Austin when I was still in Texas but all the more I realized there are so much to see and taste. Perhaps next trip. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cameel says:

    Very beautiful 😍


  5. ourcrossings says:

    Looks like you had a fantastic time exploring Austin. I have to say that the views overlooking Lake Travis are quite fascinating and so are the fluffy Comet Clouds. From hand sanitisers in hotel lobbies to cabin crew in masks, localised lockdowns to contact tracing apps, Covid-19 has transformed the world of travel. However, it is encouraging that by now, we have seen stabilisation or recovery of travel activities in many of the markets. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva xx


    • I didn’t realize I was ready to travel beyond California until I did. I have the 3 best weapons to never be afraid again and get my normalcy back…vaccine, mask & mindfulness. Covid is part of our lives now, and we need to restart the was with everything that will keep us safe while doing what we love in the next 10-20 years. While people are still fighting about mandates and politics, we on the other hand can start living and doing our bucket list fast. Thanks.


  6. lulu says:

    These days gathering is such a treat and I appreciate how much you enjoyed time with friends. I also agree with your comment about Texas.


    • Other than work friends, the pandemic kind of disconnected many people’s friendship in person activity and interaction. To have it again is like winning something truly precious. Thanks.


  7. I love that happy music on the video! Sums up the post perfectly!


  8. Ab says:

    What a wonderful family adventure! I’m glad your family got to gather and reunite with good friends at your old home. It looks wonderful and the food looked delicious.

    Sometimes you just have to let go of the fear and embrace life and I’m glad you got to do that with your family. Enjoy the rest of your trip and look forward to further updates and photos!


    • I told my wife after our Texas trip, “I think I’m half Republican and half Democrat. I will embrace the good parts of both.” It’s nice to wake up each day free, no worries , no fears, no negativity, just laid back and enjoying the moment positively. It’s also nice to see people smile and greet you back during my morning walks. People are not afraid to share happiness and normalcy in Texas, while California got too cautious, fearful and paranoid. Moving forward in unity, living with covid should be a mix of two. Not too strict, not to reckless, and no political dictators. I love my Texas trip so much that my friends and I thought of living close to lake Austin with each other as neighbors. Just a small container house with simple living so we have so much room for peace , happiness and adventures. May be in 5 years. Thanks Ab.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ab says:

        I am glad to hear what I feel is someone who has been rejuvenated and revived during a wonderful trip. Very happy for you!

        I also agree with your approach. Politics have become so divided these days. Best to think of yourself and move forward as an American rather than by your political creed. This is what will get your country through the hurdles and challenges ahead. 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻


        • Thanks Ab. I will be trying mindfulness that will give me all things good, happy, peaceful and kind. I won’t let the negative , angry noise of the world influence and drown my heart anymore. Our lives are meant to be lived and celebrated more for as long as we can.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. How nice to get together with friends and family. It’s funny how you don’t realize how much you miss your friends, until you get together with them. Safe travels.


  10. SamSahana says:

    What gorgeous pictures! Finally returning to normal, huh? 😉 I wish you a wonderful time!


  11. restlessjo says:

    So good to have you smiling again! Happy days!


  12. What great place tonsee

    And beautiful image


  13. So stunning photos and video 🌹👌🏼 so marvelous nature 👍🏝️🌹🌿


  14. thefensk says:

    Nice photos. I remember when there were no houses below Mount Bonnell and Steiner Ranch was, well, a ranch we drove through to get to one of the county parks on Lake Austin.


    • Thanks. It has changed so much in the last 10-15 years. Steiner Ranch original owner and their families still live at the end part of Steiner ranch close to lake Austin. I kind of admire how they remained simple and shared the dream of having a home surrounded by nature to others in the biggest way. Kind of crazy though that some builder homes are so huge that they look like hotels or apartments and dwarfed the house of the person whose name the subdivision carries. Austin and surrounding cities definitely are a must see and a consideration to build ones dream home.


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