2019 Convention: Austin


Austin, the capital of Texas, located smack-dab in the center of the state, is world renowned for its live music festivals, spring wildflowers, Mexican free-tailed bats, Barton Springs and its own style barbeque. The Colorado River flows through the heart of the city with the very popular ten-mile Hike-and-Bike Trail meandering along the water’s edge. Surrounding Austin is the scenic Texas Hill Country dotted with numerous wineries and small historic towns reflecting the mostly German heritage of the area.

The “Keep Austin Weird” motto of the city reflects the deep desire to retain its longtime, well-deserved reputation for having a laidback, just a bit quirky, lifestyle while embracing the advanced tech and higher education hub it has become in recent years. It is here we will meet May 2nd – 6th for the 2019 ISASC Convention.


We are delighted to offer Embassy Suites – Austin Central as our convention hotel. As its name implies, this hotel is centrally located close to downtown and offers free parking to those who are driving. The two-room suites, free cooked-to-order breakfast and the complimentary nightly reception with a variety of beverages and snacks are amenities which are tough to beat. This hotel underwent a complete remodel last year and the new lobby area features multiple intimate seating areas perfect for small groups to gather and chat. From this central location we will head off in different directions to explore Austin and the Texas Hill Country.

Thursday evening we’ll get the ball rolling with a legendary barbeque dinner with all the extras at the County Line on the Hill. Located in an historic old “speakeasy,” we will be in our own exclusive dining area aptly named the Vista Room. With walls of windows and its private balcony, this room offers an incredible twenty-mile view of the Hill Country and is well known for enhancing this view further with a spectacular sunset.

Friday morning is devoted to scales times two. We are heading north out of the hotel driveway to see the collections of Eric and Judy S. and Bob and Carol H. Between the two it is guaranteed you will see many scales that you are familiar with and probably quite a few that you might not recognize. The two collections total somewhere around 1,000 scales and they both show no signs of slowing their growth rates. For those of you looking for more, tons of weights are in the mix as well.

For the afternoon we will head back south to visit the Texas State History Museum with its stated mission to tell “the Story of Texas.” In addition to its three floors of interactive exhibits, The Spirit Theater hosts Star of Destiny, a short special effects presentation taking audiences on an epic journey through the history of this remarkable state, unique as the only one which at one time was a sovereign nation.

The informal Friday night get-together officially opens the convention with a warm welcome to all. This is the time to catch up with old friends, meet the first-time convention goers and build the camaraderie that lasts throughout the weekend. It is the time to share albums and tales of new acquisitions as well as seek sympathy for the ones that got away. Scale talk rules the night!

Sunday evening will feature a fascinating experience you won’t find anywhere else. Every summer night in the city, hundreds of people gather to see the world's largest urban bat colony emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Austin. The sky becomes black with the vast number of bats flying out for their nightly forage for dinner consisting of insects, including agricultural pests. In this way the bats are highly valued for their environmental role in the area.

You will get to witness this incredible phenomenon up close from our cruise boat. We will be dining on the boat while enjoying scenic cruising along the downtown waterfront on the Colorado River. The culmination of the evening will be the sight of the bats starting out on their nightly journey. In addition, we will have along with us an expert from Bat Conservation International to share his knowledge and answer questions about these gentle and underappreciated creatures. It is an adventure you don’t want to miss!

Austin Austin

Monday morning it’s a bright and early getaway heading west out of Austin deep into the Texas Hill Country. Our destination is the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and LBJ National Historical Park comprising over 700 acres co-located outside of Johnson City. Here we will spend much of the day. The Visitor Center features exhibits about the ranch and the presidential years. We will explore the ranch from the comfort of our bus and then have a private guided tour of the ranch house which became known as the Texas White House during his presidency. Lunch will be on site at the group dining hall and picnic area which sits on the banks of the beautiful Pedernales River shaded by an abundant number of mature pecan trees. With a deep blue Texas sky overhead and great friends by our side, what could be more perfect?

Amid the special activities and events offered by each ISASC convention is the common thread of sharing friendship and knowledge with other scale enthusiasts. If you have not had the opportunity to be part of this, you most definitely should come to Austin. Connecting with your fellow Scalies only increases the pleasure of collecting. Your hosts offer all members a personal invitation. So make your plans now to join them next May to “Keep Austin Weird.”

See you there, pardners!

Photos Courtesy of Visit Austin