On the LEAP Ambassadors’ first day (or actually, evening!) touring downtown Austin, we walked through lively streets filled with loud music and a diverse array of people. For many of us, it was the first time to sixth street, which we traveled on simply to get to our restaurant. The travel was a bit slow going, owing to the maskless throngs (from which we took wide berth) and aggressive requests for money.
For dinner, we stopped at the Mediterranean restaurant CAVA.
The appetizing assortment of options ranged from lamb to falafel, which were topped with a variety of savory and sweet sauces, as well as other toppings. Although we had all had Mediterranean food previously, we did try new food items, whether it was falafel or tzatziki sauce, and we were very pleased!
After wrapping up dinner, we walked up Congress Avenue, stopping near the statue of Angelina Eberly. Ms. Eberly was well connected, having hosted both Presidents Lamar and Houston in her home, but that did not impress her much. In fact, in 1842, when President Houston sent emissaries to remove the state archives from Austin and relocate them, Ms. Eberly greeted his officials’ with a cannon, thus repelling efforts to relocate the archives and capital. This “archives war” is preserved in Pat Oliphant’s statue prominently featured on Congress.
As we made our way further up Congress Ave, we took a moment to observe the Texas Capitol. Unfortunately, the gates to the Capitol were closed, and we had to view–and photograph–it from afar.
Across the street is Governor’s Mansion, where the LEAP Ambassadors were surprised (and excited) to encounter Governor Greg Abbott’s two golden retrievers. We weren’t positive of their identities, but Blake Roach, who works for the Governor, provided us with the dogs’ names (peaches and pancake) and a bit about their personalities!
Thus armed with knowledge, we posed with Peaches and Pancake and provided us with a very satisfying beginning to our trip.