Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Texas State Capitol Building and Austin's SoCo

Our friends Steve and Norma told us the Texas State Capitol tour in Austin was pretty cool.  Then I saw a web site called 25 Best Things to do in Austin, which listed a state capitol visit as number one.

So, that was our main activity for yesterday.  Photos and a few facts below.

The Texas State Capitol, plus Jim walking Cooper. The stone for the building came from Marble Falls, Texas, where we had lunch with friends Ted and Sandy the day before.
The star in the dome of the state capitol rotunda is 218 feet above the floor; the space between floor and star is high enough to fit in the Statue of Liberty sans the platform she stands on.  And the tiny star in this photo is actually eight feet across. On the floor of the rotunda are the seals of six countries whose flags have flown over Texas:  Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, the Confederacy, and the U.S.
Our Statehouse tour guide, Gloria, waits for Texas rangers to pass by before beginning her description of the Texas Senate Chambers. The rangers were leaving Governor Rick Perry's office, which was just around the corner.
A Texas star chandelier on the ceiling of the Texas Senate Chambers. 
Tour guide Gloria waits for our group to assemble in the Texas House of Representatives Chamber.  Everyone else in our tour group was from England.
In the 1990's Texas' Capitol was running out of office space for Senate and House of Representative members, so an underground extension with skylights was created. 
I told Jim we might as well end every description of our day's activities with "And then we went to a brew pub."  Here's Jim after our Texas State Capitol tour at Hopdoddy Burger Bar in Austin's SoCo (South Congress Street) District.  He's got a 512 IPA and that's my 512 Pecan Porter  to the right.
My mom asked me something along the lines of "Those photos you post of your meals -- do you actually eat all that food?"  Since we've left Tucson, the answer to that question is usually "yes."  I have to get out of a state that has such good food because my jeans are beginning to hurt.  Same thing happened in Louisiana and New Mexico.  Anyway, this is a blackbean and corn veggie burger Jim and I had at Hopdoddy's.
Austin's SoCo District has all sorts of weird little shops, including a antique store we wandered through.  I like the painting above.  The tag gave the price as $325 and said it depicted "A very important couple."

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