Monday, March 25th – Friday, March 29th, 2013
We probably ate some of the best tacos I’ve ever had at Sarita’s Taco Truck off of Congress Avenue before wandering around downtown Austin. After Trevor grabbed a sticker at the Patagonia store (a new tradition on his behalf in order to speed up the collage of stickers developing on the van), we hung out with Nat, Robert, and the crew until it got dark.
Later that night, we went to Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the bat migration.
America’s largest urban bat colony lives under the bridge and a cloud of them comes out between March and October, with the largest numbers coming out in August when the babies (called pups) are ready to fly with the rest of the colony. Did you know some species of bats catch fish by using their echolocation with the ripples of the water when fish come up for air? Did you know they can eat over 1,000 mosquitoes in a given night? Did you know I’m a bat nerd? The more you know.
Tuesday, March 26th 2013
The next day, we grabbed lunch at Wholly Cow Burgers downtown which had some yummy chicken club sandwiches (I know, a burger joint and we go for chicken. What’s wrong with us?). Afterwards, we met up with Nat and Robert to check out their Magic Music Bus that they drive around to give music lessons in.
We went to Greenbelt Park where we played Frisbee then took naps in the sun, before heading to the Hindu Temple that Robert recommended which apparently was very pretty with peacocks on the property. We accidentally ended up going to the wrong one, which was peacock free and under construction. We then decided to walk around Congress Ave for a bit. I saw a lizard man in a restaurant being filmed and it appeared he was on a dating show. No I wasn’t tripping on LSD at the time, the man was tattooed like a lizard.
We had been invited to check out Lisa Marshall’s show at the One-2-One Bar that night where Robert’s lovely lady, Nnedi, would be doing backup vocals. It was an awesome show and a very talented group! We went back to the house to hang out with Nat before crashing out in the van.
After coffee, we drove downtown to locate the G’Raj Mahal Café, an Indian restaurant recommended by Robby that we would check out later that night. We planned to meet with his sister there for dinner. Outside of the place was a really cool rattlesnake float welded onto several bicycles.
We listened to Nat’s band practice, went back to Congress Ave to do more window shopping, then met up with Robby’s sister, Brookie at the G’Raj Mahal.
Maybe I’m biased because all Indian food tastes incredible to me, but the food was awesome! It was technically a food truck but was placed in a wonderfully decorated lot which disguised it to look like an upscale patio area. We ate Pakoras and Garlic Naan bread with Raita for appetizers, they ate Baingan Bartha (an eggplant dish) and I got the Chicken Korma. We spent so little time with Brookie, but had a good time chatting with her and showed her the van before heading back to Salado to briefly check back in with Jess since we felt bad for leaving so suddenly the other day.
We spent our first day back in Salado lounging around, then after giving Jess a proper goodbye, we headed to Hamilton Pool Preserve located around the more properous side of Austin the next day. The water was 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius to the rest of the world), but we decided to swim in it anyway. It was short lived! The park was really pretty and we took a short walk on one of the trails by the river before heading back to Austin.
We did more window shopping along Congress Ave. (there are a lot of cool shops there by the way), then went to The Hill’s Café as suggested by Nat to get the Country Bob Burger, a burger with Applewood smoked bacon, American cheese, smoked brisket, a fried egg, and all the fixin’s with steak fries on the side. Their kitchen was under renovation so they had a fixed menu without the Country Bob Burger on it. They were kind enough to make them for us anyway since we mentioned that we were visiting and it had been recommended to us. It was a heart attack on a plate, but Trevor was able to finish his. I came very, very close to finishing mine (literally one bite away), but was too nauseous to complete the task. The elderly couple sitting next to us had initially laughed at us when our plates came out (we’re not the largest people to be eating such a filling meal), but they were quite impressed with our achievements by the time we finished gorging.
After Nat got off work, we went to watch a Grateful Dead cover band at The North Door with his girlfriend Kate. Trevor and Kate were the only Deadheads out of the four of us, so we were all rejoicing when we were informed that there was no cover charge. The show wasn’t hateful and as we were leaving, we were surrounded by colorful Donks cruising around with their bass at full blast.
Jump Back to Part 08: Jesus Saves & Llamas Behold
Jump Ahead to Part 10: A Beaver with a Baseball Hat, The Alamo & El Poopador