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  • Let us know your favorites during your trip or your own #top5list for a chance to win a $50 VISA gift card. Just add #toptriprentals to your post of Austin. Drawing in May. 
  • This amazing photo is from the LBJ Library Digital Collection of Civil Rights Photography. This week, Austin hosts four living Presidents, in an historic Civil Rights Summit April 8-10, featuring President Barak Obama, and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Expect traffic delays on Thursday, April 10, as both President Obama and former President Bush will be speaking.
What an exciting week for our city. Tickets sold out in seconds, but you can watch live streaming here.
  • Even though Austin offers endless things to do and see, a quick trip to the Texas Hill Country is a gorgeous way to spend a Spring day. Here are our favorites:
Enchanted Rock—A Legend states that the Tonkawa Indians named this 425-foot pink granite batholith, believing a Spanish conquistador cast a spell on it, making magical ghost fires glow at the top. Well, we cannot vouch for the magical ghost, but this state park has great hiking, the view is gorgeous and there are places to camp too.
Hamilton Pool—County park with natural swimming “pool” and hiking. Call 512-264-2740 for hours and information.
San Marcos River—Go Tubing on San Marcos River about 45 minutes from Austin.
Fredericksburg—German pioneers settled this quaint town 90 minutes outside of Austin. With great shopping and numerous restaurants along a picture perfect main street make this a popular day trip destination. The 40 local area wineries don’t hurt either!
Pedernales Park—A close by state park with swimming, camping, hiking, picnicking, biking opportunities and much more.
  • This weekend is a gorgeous time to go to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Bluebonnets and other native Central Texas plants are in bloom right now. It’s Goldilocks weather (not too hot, not too cold) to stroll the grounds and enjoy the many gardens and outdoor art installations. $9 for adults, $7 for students and $3 for children. Open daily through May 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more, click here.
  • SXSW Interactive has grown like a wild vine (pun intended) in the 21 years since it was added to the SXSW event lineup.
To help you, our Top Trip guest, navigate the hundreds of panels, we picked our Top 5 for you. Music recommendations to follow in our next post.
1. “OMMA: Instagram vs. Vine: Realworld Smackdown,” on Friday, March 7, 3:30-4:30 p.m., AT&T Conference Center, Salon ABCDE, 1700 University Avenue. Here’s the panel summary and presenters list.
2. “Always Be Innovating: Thinking Like a Startup,” also on Friday, March 7, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Hilton Austin Downtown, Salon JK, 500 E. 4th Street. Panel summary and speaker list.
3. “Star Power: Innovative Ways to Engage Millennials,” on Friday, March 7, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Austin Convention Center, Room AB, 500 E. Cesar Chavez Street. Panel features MSNBC’s Alex Wagner and actress Rosario Dawson.  
4. “Everyone’s a Curator: Do museums even matter?” on Sunday, March 9, 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Omni Downtown, Longhorn Room, 700 San Jacinto. Panel summary and speaker list.
5. “100 Years of Oversharing: Tools for Time Travel,” on Monday, March 10, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Austin Convention Center, Room 12AB, 500 E. Cesar Chavez Street. This panel looks incredibly interesting. All about ways of storing memories online. Speakers and panel summary here.
And a runner up, because we love breakfast tacos:
Bonus favorite: ”Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Food, People and History,” with co-author Mando Rayo of Austin Breakfast Tacos, Austin Convention Center, 11:00 to 11:20 a.m., Austin Convention Center, Ballroom G, 500 E. Cesar Chavez Drive. 
To review the entire SXSW interactive schedule of events, check out the SXSW Interactive Schedule.
To see the SXSW staff’s recommendations, check out Staff recommendations.
  • 5 Nights. 5 Amazing Shows. Watch for Free.
  • It’s not all work and no play for the staff at Top Trip Rentals. Even though we’re getting ready for our first wave of SXSW guests to arrive in two weeks, we had a staff meeting today at The Backspace—a Neopolitan-inspired pizza restaurant located right around the corner from our newest rental home at 410 E 6th street.
In between work talk, we munched on a spicy roasted pear appetizer and the pizza bianca. The Backspace, created by chef/owner Shawn Cirkiel of popular Austin restaurants Parkside and Olive & June, has daily dinner service and M-Saturday lunch.   
  • SXSW Music Festival Schedule Grid is Now Live! | SXSW 2014
  • All of these places in our “Top 5 breakfast” list are good places to grab brunch or breakfast food any time of the day. Late night, nothing beats Kerbey Lane pancakes or a Magnolia Cafe omelet after a night out in Austin. Kerbey Lane and Magnolia are open into the wee hours of the night and are a great place to people watch. Enjoy!
  • If it’s Super Bowl Sunday, it’s time for NACHOS. If you are a guest of Top Trip Rentals this weekend, you can catch the game at any bar in town or you can stay in and cook some game day food.
To help you get in the Super Bowl spirit, here’s a recipe from Jae, a Top Trip staff alum, for quick and easy nachos for game day or any day really. 

Top Trip Nachos
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings

6 oz tortilla chips
1 can (15.5 oz) Goya Black Beans, drained
4 Goya Whole jalapeno peppers (thinly sliced)
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro
Goya Pico de Gallo
Sour cream
Preheat Broiler. Arrange tortilla chips in an oven proof dish. Sprinkle beans, peppers, tomatoes and scallions evenly over chips. Sprinkle cheese evenly over chips and toppings.
Broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese bubbles and toppings are hot.Serve with cilantro, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole if desired.

Or for a dairy-free option (it’s very Austin to be something-free) try one from Whole Life Nutrition’s website. 
 Photo courtesy of Alissa Segersten of Whole Life Nutrition blog.