Austin Trip 2012: Day 1, Melva Gomez (May 31, 2012)

After receiving some much needed rain in Walker County, packing my suitcase, I set out with the Junior Fellows on our road-trip to the beautiful city of Austin, TX. But what is a road-trip without adventures?  For example we took about four different turns on the outskirts of Austin, TX; it took the people in my car thirty minutes to collect fifty cents; and, interestingly, passed a corn field while turning a corner. In spite of our small (mis)adventures we finally made it to our Hotel.  After unpacking and figuring out directions to our destinations, we loaded the car and began our journey.

It’s not hard to see why Mount Bonnell is a popular spot for tourists.  It runs along Lake Austin, and the nature scenery is breathtaking.  For me, it was definitely the scenery that made the place worth visiting. Instead of going the “normal” way, up the stairs, we decided to hike up the mount. We climbed huge rocks, dodged broken tree branches, and walked through narrow walk ways, but it was all worth it to get to the end of our “hiking” trail.

The Girls at the Mount Bonnell Monument

At the top of Mount Bonnell we enjoyed a beautiful bright sunset that shined along the water.

Junior Fellows at Sunset

After working up a small sweat, we realized we had also worked up a hunger.  We decided we would eat at an Ethiopian restaurant and explore the culture that claims to be “the birthplace of humanity.”  We ate at Aster’s, a small restaurant located alongside I-35.

We had Injera, which is made from a high- protein grain called “tef”. This grain is so small that to equal one grain of wheat, you would need to get 150 tef. Injera is a really important essential to the meal. Because its tradition to eat with your hands, the Injera is used as a eating utensil. Because I wanted to make this trip a little bit more interesting, I ordered the Ethiopian National Dish, DoroWott. This dish is bursting with flavor; the spicy chicken is simmered slowly in Berbere Sauce and authentic spices and served with hardboiled egg. My dish was great, and we also had the opportunity to sample other’s foods, making the overall experience fun and interesting. I cannot complain about any of the dishes, they were all really good and had their own unique taste. The adventure tonight was one that I could never forget and the food was the start to what I hope is a great trip.


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