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Austin, TX

Stop #27 Austin Lone Star RV

sunny 84 °F
View Western Loop 2013 on scpurvis's travel map.

Left Dallas traveling south on the interstate to Austin. As a truck was passing by, the driver starts signaling to Bob. Your first thought is "oh crap" somethings wrong with the trailer, so, the first exit we come to, we pull off. We both hop out and start walking around the trailer. Hmmm, we don't see anything out of order. What could it be? Of course, we don't want to find anything bad, but, now we don't know what he was trying to tell us. I ask Bob what was he signaling because I didn't see him. It was like he was trying to tell him the trailer was bouncing up and down...you know, he had his arms together and was moving his hands apart. All of a sudden, it dawns on him....he tells me, "he was doing the Gator chomp"! (We have "FLORIDA STATE" on the back window of our trailer) lol, damn Gators! gator.jpgArrived in Austin and let me tell you, Tampa has nothing on Austin with "malfunction junction"; all Austin traffic is horrendous, all the time. We haven't even been out during rush hour. I don't know how it would move.

Got settled in with the RV and headed to downtown to search out some good music. It appears the Austin Film Festival is going on so it was bustling down there. Of course, as far as I know, it might always be like that. Anyway, after the hunt for parking, we "walked the streets" just to get a feel for the city. Finally settled on the Stage on Sixth which turned out to be a good choice. We had gotten there kinda early, around 7pm, so not real crowded, but, it definitely picked up as the night wore on and we ended up staying there because the band was so good. It was more of a rock band, but played all genre really. I must say we were a little surprised at the type of music being played at most clubs. We thought it would be more country, kind of like Nashville, but turns out, to be more rock then anything, but, you can find just about anything.

Day 1 - Sat, Oct 26, 2013
Another day of laundry

And then, some FSU FOOTBALL!!!! We looked for the Austin Seminole Club so we could join them for the game but, they obviously don't meet for every game, although they had met last week for the Clemson game. Oh well, we just pulled out the grill and the steaks and got ready.
NC State Wolfpack vs FSU Seminoles and what a blowout 17 - 49!

Day 2 - Sun, Oct 27, 2013
Took a road trip to visit San Antonio today. We started out at the Alamo, Remember the Alamo? I really thought it would be much larger which seems to be the consensus of most people. It was interesting and makes me wish I had been a little more studious in my American History class.

Walked over and hopped on the tour bus thinking to get a good overall view of San Antonio and the places we want to go visit. Hmm, it was an hour "tour" that rode way out of town to the missions then back into town swinging by about 5 "popular" spots. I really thought there was a lot more to San Antonio than the Alamo, Riverwalk and the Missions.
MissionEsp..rmacher1102.jpg Mission San Francisco de la Espada
P1020148.jpg Mission Concepcion

After the tour, we hoofed it back to the Mercado which had actually been one of the stops. There was some kind of health fair going on there so it was very crowded but we stopped at a couple of restaurants to try their beer and margaritas.
P1020175.jpg Mi Tierra Restaurant

Passed this beautiful cathedral on our way - the San Fernando Cathedral

We decided it was way too crowded so walked back to the Riverwalk, found some more beer and margaritas along with some decent Mexican food.

On the way out of town, we drove around the King William Historic District which was settled in the 1840's by German immigrants building impressive houses designed in the Greek Revival, Victorian, and Italianate styles. By the early 1900's the neighborhood had started to wane as families died out, but, in the 1950's, it was recognized, once again, as a neighborhood with a lot of potential and property began to be bought up and restored. Very beautiful. Reminds me a lot of the garden district in NOLA.

Day 3 - Mon, Oct 28, 2013
It was overcast this morning, but, cleared in the afternoon to a hot, sunny, 83ยบ. We have made reservations to take the boat tour on Lady Bird Lake which is really a reservoir on the Colorado River in downtown Austin. The real purpose of the "tour" is to watch the bats fly from under the Congress Avenue bridge at sunset. These are Mexican bats which immigrate (legal or illegal?, no idea), oh yeah, that is migrate, to this bridge in the spring and then leave in early November. Anyway, the boat leaves from the Hyatt on the river, so we went a little early so we could sit out on their patio balcony overlooking the river and downtown and get "primed" for the bats!
The boat tour
P1020208.jpg note "bat" on back of boat
P1020214.jpg "white" tree, a reminder to all of the Texas drought

Congress Ave Bridge..people waiting for bats to fly
P1020228.jpg joints under bridge where bats "hang"
P1020290.jpg Start of "the flight"

It is estimated, there are over 1.5 million bats residing under the Congress Ave Bridge in Austin from March until early November, eating 20 to 30 thousand pounds of insects A NIGHT! The exodus from the bridge will last from 30 to 45 minutes. The bats "discovered" the bridge in 1980 when it was renovated, giving them a new home.

P1020314.jpg most will follow the tree lines to avoid being seen by predator birds

Bats flying over treeline and down the center of the river looking for food


Back to the dock on a beautiful night in Austin
P1020392_copy.jpg State Capital on Congress Street

Day 4 - Tues, Oct. 29, 2013
Took a day off to just "chill" today with plans for some Texas BBQ tonight before we leave the state. After perusing the internet, we decided we would try Rudy's which has locations in Texas and Oklahoma. Well, when we pulled up to Rudy's, it was actually at a Shell gas station so we were wondering if we had made a mistake, but, we were there, so we would try it, especially since the parking lot was packed. On going in, you see the maze cordoned off in front of the counter where you place your order. Fortunately, the line wasn't too long and moved quickly. If you are a new customer, they will give you samples of any meat without bones (ribs) to try before ordering . All sides are sold by the container and the meat is sold by the pound. Your order is placed in a large tray along with with what looks like freezer paper for your "plate" and about a half loaf of bread. Bread is free, so go back for more if you need it! Yuuuummmmmm. It was delish! We had the juicy brisket and st louis ribs. Also, tasted the jalepeno sausage links which they make themselves and it was wonderful! Sure wish they had these in Florida.

Day 5 - Wed, Oct. 30, 2013
Packin' up and movin' on....headed to Beaumont for an overnight stay.

Posted by scpurvis 05:23 Archived in USA Tagged san_antonio austin rudys_bbq congress_ave_bats

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Hi Shirley, Your vacation is still going strong and so fantastic. The Alamo and the other Missions were so incredible. The bats, wow!, I never knew there were so many in one place. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip!!!.......Lorine

by Lorine Clayton

What amazing pictures and adventures you've been having during this trip. Have been so enjoying traveling with you :) The bat flight & bridge were awesome - what a treat to see. I hope you dropped a hint at Rudy's that they need to expand to FL...that food looked terrific! Safe travels as you head home and Happy Halloween!

by Judy Smith

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