April 7-9, 2015: “Keepin’ it Weird” in Austin

Continued our adventures in Texas by making our way to the great and “weird” city of Austin!

Spent a night camping and hiking at McKinney Falls State Park, just outside the city, where we were attacked by massive flying beetles at night and resorted to drinking a bottle of wine and eating cheese and crackers for dinner while locked up in our tent. We then got lost in the park the next morning, and what was supposed to be a 4 mile hike, turned into an 8 mile hike. True to Austin form, we kept it weird.

We then met up with Steve and Catie in Downtown Austin, where we commenced a night of BBQ, kayaking on Lady Bird Lake to see the bats emerging from under Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset, going out on 6th street, and more! We culminated our Austinian adventures the next day with a visit to the Whole Foods Flagship Store, which is THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD. At least, for now. We’ll keep you posted.

Miles hiked/walked:       16
Miles driven:                  77

McKinney Falls State Park

“Dining in”:

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Yes, you saw correctly – these are indeed FROZEN cups that we’re drinking our wine out of:

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Lost:

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In case you’re wondering – yes, I successfully made it to the other side:

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Downtown Austin

First things first – a visit to the Capitol:

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If Steve can climb it…

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When in Texas:

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Went kayaking on Lady Bird Lake to see the bats. Naturally, we brought some road beers, or rather… “lake beers”, onto the water with us:

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Found ourselves a nice little area under the Congress Avenue Bridge, home to the world’s largest urban bat colony. These Mexican free-tailed bats, more commonly known (at least to us) as the “Bacardi Bat“, spend their winters in Mexico and summers in Austin, at which point it is estimated that up to 1.5 million of them live under this bridge!! In fact, they even built this bridge as a home for the bats after researching the most habitable way to construct bridges for bats. No joke. Every summer evening at dusk, the bats emerge all at once and set out to feed for the night. Tourists from all around the world come to see this phenomenon, resulting in an estimated annual bat-related income of $8 million for the city of Austin. As these bats have become a city symbol, the bridge and lake become absurdly crowded as dusk approaches, so we arrived early to claim our spot for excellent bat viewage. Come on, little vampires!

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The start to a ridiculous night:

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We made friends:

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Apparently this is how you’re thanked when you eat at a French restaurant in Texas:

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The Live Music Capitol of the World!

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Awesome architecture:

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Having a deep moment:

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The weird things one finds in Austin:

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And, apparently, Austin is the home of Whole Foods, where the headquarters and flagship store reside. We decided to pay it a visit (best decision ever!):

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There is a massive fridge full of thousands of craft beers from around the world. You just go in, pick one out, and then go sit at the BAR – an awesome bar, mind you – and enjoy your drink. Brilliant.

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And to top it off, they were selling MASSIVE boxes of strawberries for $3.99, which, of course, we bought. Thank you Whole Foods, for a wonderful way to end our days in Austin!

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