So, that light fixture right there was $90 a letter?! If I had $90 to spend on a light-up letter, that 'A' totally would have came home with me. But, don't and didn't ;)
And if someone were to ask me what I thought about Austin, I would say that it was cool. And weird. There was lot's of cool music. It had a lot of fun and unique shops. And that the food was good. And that there were some weird people. And don't go see the bats until after 9:00! But I'll slow down now and explain more...
We drove out to Austin this past weekend to stay with my Mom because my youngest brother was in town. My sister and her boyfriend came out too, and ALL THE DOGS! We brought Ted, my sister brought her dog and my Mom also has a dog so it was madness. (well, it's mostly just Ted who brings the madness lol) I kind of felt like we were camping or something because it was such a full house, and because I mostly never know where I am ever so life is always like a vacation, haha. (never been camping, but I do know it's not usually done in a condo..just not sure how else to describe it)
We knew we were going to go downtown Austin Saturday night, so the day before I had tried to look up some "cool" things to do, but it was kind of hard to pinpoint where to start. There is a lot to do there. A lot to see. A lot of good food possibilities. Honestly, I was really interested in all these cool graffiti murals they have, and if was up to me I would have spent most of my time tracking them down to take photos of. But, I'll jump ahead here and tell you that we didn't do that. Instead, I will just steal them off google and show you how cool they are.
I actually have never heard of that Matthew McConaughey one until just now, but that's cool.
Anyway. Here is what I did take some photos of...
Mostly photos of signs, t-shirts and the back of Johns head.
It was about 1,000 degrees outside, so we didn't head down there until after 5pm. And nobody cared about the murals or the any of the other silly things I researched so we just went with the "walk until we see something cool" approach. We had our uber (when your sister works for uber you do not drive anywhere) drop us off on the famous 6th Street where we just wandered in and out of shops for a bit.
Right away I could tell that this was a "weird" city. And I don't mean that in a bad way necessarily. The people seem interesting, and it just seems like a different sort of lifestyle there. I was taking some pictures outside a storefront window of t-shirts (because why?) and some guy stopped and pretended to take a picture too. Like used his hands to click a pretend camera, and then kept walking. Someone drove down the street sticking their head out the window screaming the lyrics to Miley Cyrus "Party in the USA." Just weird things like that..
And this is Johns face when we went into the "Museum of Weird" and the woman working there was telling us about some guy who is immune to electricity. He was a just a little skeptical. John was the one who was a little uncomfortable during this "wander" down 6th Street. He later explained it like, he was just too "conservative" for it. Haha.
And maybe we are. I'll give him that. Almost immediately I suggested that we stop for a drink because it was a lot to take in. We ended up stopping at this place called the Iron Cactus for margaritas (sorry 15 yr old brother) and guac. (again sorry brother, but who doesn't like avacados?!)
This is my baby sista Jordan and her bf Casey. We mostly picked this restaurant for the cool view, which I did not get a picture of except for this. But besides the view, the best part about this place was that the perimeter surrounding the outdoor seating area, was lined with something like fans but were misting out water too. It was ah-mazing! I have never seen anything like it before. Felt so good!
I feel like this is just totally random and probably means nothing?
I got this 1 photo of John and I. And instead of in front of a cool mural, I opted for this wall of nails/staples/tacks. I look happy because I had one margarita in me. John looks happy because I made him stop on the sidewalk while a lot of people were trying to walk by, and there was a man to the left of us trying to balance a long stemmed flower on his head tweakin' out. Oh wait, just kidding, he looks happy because he LOVES ME and goes along with my stupid requests like this. Love you too John.
*Also I was totally called out by John and my sister for trying to "stage" photos and being annoying, which I was, so I tried to just be candid and real after this. I'm lucky I'm surrounded by these people, truly. Everyone needs someone to keep them grounded. Especially someone with a blog ;)*
(so moving on)..we continued to wander around some more, blah blah. Took another uber to another section of town. Eventually someone had to pee, so we stopped in a cafe to let that person pee/get another drink. It was there where the barista told us that the Congress Ave. bridge, also known as the "bat bridge" was just around the corner. Apparently each night over 2 million bats come out from under the bridge. And it was going to happen in 30 minutes! So we headed over that way..
Look at all those people! They lined both sides of the bridge. And all those people in the water in boats and kayaks?! There were even hotels behind us with tons of people waiting out on balconies to see this. I had read about this bat thing before, but I had no idea it was such a huge attraction.
Then we waited...and waited. And entertained ourselves with taking pictures, (john called this one an "oscar selfie" lol) petting dogs, and eavesdropping on strangers conversations.
So long story short, we waited over an hour before we decided to just leave. It was dark, we were hungry again and the bats just weren't coming out. And I think we were at the wrong end of the bridge anyways. But, here's what we would have seen had we stayed. (maybe?) Also stolen off the internet..
And the good news is that there's a bat bridge in Houston too, so if we REALLY wanted to, we could go there sometime ;)
By this time it was pretty dark out, and all of a sudden there were TONS of these richshaws/pedicab things everywhere! (I really had no idea what they were called, I just had to google "austin, bike carriages") It was pretty cool to see. Some streets even had their own lanes for them. I think that if it would have been just John and I (+ a few more margaritas) I might have wanted to take a ride. But, I also would have felt bad for him/her peddling. That has got to be so hard right?
The other thing I thought was pretty cool about Austin at night, was that there were twinkle lights everywhere! All of a sudden it felt like Chicago in December, except it was still HOT out. (and because I was wearing shorts & sandals and million other reasons) But how charming right?
So, I think I mentioned we were hungry again, yes? We didn't want to go anywhere far, so we walked to a nearby Mexican restaurant where I had mexican food for the THIRD time that day! (we had Chipotle for lunch earlier haha)
You KNOW you're at a good place when they have the tortilla machine. We had another margarita, more chips & salsa, and John and I shared steak fajitas. After we ordered we literally saw the guy come out to make the fresh tortillas. I think Texas will really ruin Mexican food for me after this ;) It is just too good here.
Now the highlight of my whole night though...
We left the restaurant, and while we were waiting for our ride to pick us up I kept looking across the street at this building thinking that it looked so familiar. Then it hit me. I took out my phone to look up the address, and I was right, it was the Real World Austin house! Seriously whenever I think of Austin, a little voice in my head goes "The Real World: Austin!" like the opening of the show. I couldn't believe it! That was by far my favorite season ever, so the 16 year old inside me was geeking out a little. No one else seemed to care though haha. I think my little brother even asked "what's the real world?"
How many pictures am I allowed to steal off google in one post? But just my final proof here that yes, that was it! Even though no one else probably cares...
So let me do a tally here. I used the word "weird" 5 times throughout this, and the word "cool" 11 times.
So I guess Austin was pretty cool ;)