|On the Way to Austin|
This afternoon Chet and I embarked on a 200-mile road-trip to Austin! He needed to go there for work, and it was my next stop anyway, so we joined forces and had a ball! Notable pit stops include gas in Italy (yeah, I thought it was located across an ocean, too!), where we encountered Starship Pegasus, "an architectural nod to Star Trek," but mostly where the aliens reside to lure their next target, I'm sure. It's currently listed for sale, and has lots of space, haha!
|Room at The Four Seasons|
|Dinner Is Served!|
Wednesday, August 17th
|View of Lady Bird Lake from the Balcony|
By recommendation of the hotel concierge, I stopped into Lambert's for lunch, and tried the Cold Smoked Rainbow Trout (the fish was fresh and the plate presentation was beautiful), before snapping more photos of painted cattle and beautiful old buildings. I took a self-guided tour of the exquisite Italian Renaissance Revival-style Capitol Building, set on 22 acres of landscaped lawns, with 17 monuments, and beautiful historical buildings. "At the time of its construction in 1885, the capitol building was billed as "The Seventh Largest Building in the World!"
Then I had a few happy hour brews (only $1!) at cozy Cork & Co, where I got to talking with Mike and Junior, and the friendly waitress who kept serving me drinks without my asking, lol!
When I got back to the hotel I lounged by the pool for a while and got to know a cool guy named Steve, who been working on a film, a documentary, about a guy who kills child molesters. A modern day Dexter! Check out his other film, "Native New Yorker." Cool!
|A Piece of Downtown|
Afterward, I went to my room and ordered a children's tomato and cheese pizza, with ranch and extra pizza sauce and parmesan and oregano on the side, to be exact, then I took a chair onto the balcony along with a marble table, and kicked back to watch the the nightly "Bat Flight," viewable right from the hotel room! "An army of bats pouring into the sunset sky may sound like something from the latest horror flick, but each year, thousands of people flock to Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge to see such a spectacle. Humble abode to nearly 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats, the Austin landmark stands as a popular attraction to tourists and locals alike." It was AWESOME!
|The Capitol Building|
The night got even better when I drove over to the The Park at The Domain for "Gong Karaoke" with Mike and Junior! The patrons are given signs with one side marked "Sing" and other side "Stop," and if everyone holds up Stop the DJ bangs the gong. After 3 gongs the singer's out! If you make it through the whole song without getting gonged off, you win a shirt and a shot! I did it! Thanks my usual "Baby Got Back," LOL!
The next morning we headed back to Dallas, after taking a little drive through quirky South Congress Avenue in Austin's hip "SoCo" neighborhood.
PS: "Keep Austin Weird is the slogan adopted by the Austin Independent Business Alliance to promote small businesses in Austin, Texas. The phrase has long been believed to have been coined in 2000 by Red Wassenich, who says he made the comment after giving a pledge to an Austin radio station. He later began printing bumper stickers, and now operates the web site keepaustinweird.com and published Keep Austin Weird: A Guide to the Odd Side of Town. A recently released book on the topic, Weird City, discusses the cultural evolution of the "Keep Austin Weird" movement as well as its commercialization and socio-political significance." I had no idea there was a whole sub-culture attached to it, with strange places all over the city to see! This is a whole trip unto itself the next time I come visit Chet!