The last few days in and around the San Antonio area were mostly geared towards riding bikes through all the Riverwalk that allows bikes both the north end and south through the Missions National Historic Park (which of course is free entry).
The last night in San Antonio we heard that there was this old church that they shine laser lights onto it and call it “the saga”; I’m pretty sure it is the visual story of how Texas belonged to Mexico, then how it was fought for and is now Texas of the US. The 24-minute, 7,000-sq. ft. projection video art installation was FREE and here is my attempt at video editing about 3 minutes’ worth: The Saga
Headed to the Austin area for the next 10 days where we found ourselves at the Jim Hogg campground in Georgetown, Tx – another Army Corp of Engineers Park. We had friends from California fly out to meet up with us for 5 days and they were staying with family in the same area. The last time we saw the two of them together, was on Mar 13, 2020 when the world shut down (and this blog link: Keep Calm and Carry on (you freakin’ f@#$tards) – Wheels On The Bus) It’s kind of awesome to meet up with familiar faces, makes you feel like you’re not alone in this big state and happy to have a different dynamic than just the two of us.
Drove up to Waco for the day on Saturday for lunch, check out Baylor University and Magnolia. Our lunch stop was Vi-Teks – a long history in the Waco community: Vitek’s BBQ – Waco & The Heart of Texas (wacoheartoftexas.com) We are BBQ pro’s now and have a good understanding of what constitutes good BBQ and this was top notch!
Had a tour of Baylor University – Baylor is a private Christian college and wow it was impressive! Our friend’s niece goes here and so she and her girlfriend toured us around and we learned a tonne of cool things, but this is all I remember:
- They have a live bear habitat though for the “Baylor Bears” – it’s a class 3 zoo. They used to take these bears to football games until someone got mauled and then they stopped doing that, duh?
- Elite athletes do not have to walk to class, they get picked up daily in a golfcart and driven to class AND elite athletes also have their own cafeteria where they get slightly nicer food (love a great class system…)
- The health science building has only 31 classrooms but 250 labs
- The average class size at Baylor is 25 people
- The university was established in 1845 and in 1945 they took a bunch of relics and put it in a time capsule on campus and in 2045 they plan to open it
We did have a bunch of questions about costs of schools though and this is what we found out. There are 19,000 students that go here, and it averages about $70,000 per year for school (yes that’s what I said). My calculations tell me that this is $1.3 billion coming in for the school and a cost of $280,000 per student. The school also raises $3 billion in fundraising, and they charge anywhere between $60-$150 to attend a basketball game and even more for football. Why is this fundraising and game attendance money not used towards lowering fees?! This amount of money is mind blowing to us. How the heck does ANYONE afford to send their kids to school?! This is so crazy. Again, this is a private university and I totally get that this isn’t the price everywhere but OMG, even if public university was half price, this is still insanely too much!
The university was the only thing that really kept Waco alive, until Chip and Joanna came onto the scene with their HGTV show (fixer upper). They are both Baylor graduates, they promote Baylor a lot and all things Waco. We ran out of time to do a solid tour through Magnolia, but we did a drive by, it was very busy and cool to see in real life. There is so much tourism now to Waco that the main I-35 had to get overhauled to allow for the people. Our Waco tour day ended us back in downtown Georgetown, to an area called “the square” (Visit Georgetown) and its super cute/cool! Lots of funky and antique shops and restaurants, you can order a drink at any of the bars and walk around outside. So we did exactly that! Walking around Todd struck up a conversation with a guy at a table outside of Roots bar. Turns out he is part of the band playing that night; he plays fiddle AND even knew where Calgary, AB was. He invited us in to listen, introduced us to the crowd and dedicated a fiddle song to us; we were famous for 3 minutes!
Found ourselves the next day at the Austin Porsche dealership getting a private tour of the second largest dealership in North America and were allowed to test drive as well! Thanks for the tour Brett and letting the boys have a bit of fun!
This was pretty sweet and we followed this up with an amazing lunch at Torchy’s Tacos. If you find yourself in the Austin area, Torchy’s is NOT to be missed! ( Damn Good Tacos – Torchy’s Tacos (torchystacos.com))
Another recommended thing to do in Austin, was to check out the nightly bat flight from under the congress bridge. There is anywhere between 20,000 and 1.5 million bats that migrate from Mexico to Austin and depending on the time of year, they come out nightly in a cauldron and ascend into the sky all at the same time. We thought it might be cool….well so did the bats – it was probably too cool for them and they never did fly (except for maybe 10).
Thanks for coming to visit, will see you next year!