Austin Trip, 2012, Day 1: Annel Gonzalez

After much anticipation and planning we began our drive to Austin, Texas for the 2012 Politics Boot Camp. Our drive was an adventure all in itself! From almost ending-up in a corn field to scrambling to find fifty-cents to pay for the toll road—which we ended up paying with pennies—it was quite an experience.  We enjoyed the drive because we were able to talk about each of our favorite events as members of the Junior Fellows and vote on which place we wanted to go for dinner.

After arriving at the Fairfield Inn we quickly unpacked and headed to Mount Bonnell. Once we arrived we decided to take the adventurous route and skip the manmade steps. We made our way through a small path through the brush doing our best to get to the top without tripping or falling.

Junior Fellows Start Their Hike

When we finally made it to the platform we proceeded to take a few pictures of the team and capture the beautiful scenery. The view was absolutely fantastic! The river was bordered on both sides by beautiful houses. In the other direction, you could see the Austin skyline.

Annel Gonzalez, Holding the Moon

Lake Austin made it a very calming and comfortable place, although we did encounter a creepy crawly creature (editors note: the “creepy crawly creature” was a tarantula) that made us all a bit nervous.

We ended our day with dinner at Aster’s Ethiopian Restaurant. We all ordered something different so that we could sample as much as possible. We shared the meal in a big platter, as is traditionally done in Ethiopian culture. It was a deliciously spicy selection of various types of meat such as lamb, chicken, and ground beef accompanied by white rice and various veggies.

Ethiopian Food at Aster’s

We were all very pleased with our selection of restaurant. The experience was great; the staff was very welcoming and helpful when it came to ordering and explaining the dishes and traditions. I’d call day of Austin Trip #1 a success!

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