Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekend in Austin

The State Capitol

Kelly, Holly, and I headed down 35 to Austin this weekend. We made a quick stop in West for Kolaches, and once we got to Austin Kelly, and Holly catered to some of my 'to do list wishes' for our Capitol City. I have been down many times, but it's been the wrong season, or I've been with people who insisted they did NOT want to see the bat colony that lives under the Congress Street Bridge. There is an estimated 750,000 that live under the bridge, and fly out around sunset (most fly south in the winter, but they follow this routine the rest of the year). We couldn't find a place to park near the bridge, so we found one on the other side of the river, and we walked along a trail so we could overlook a part of the river the bridge spanned. Sure enough, they all began flying out around sunset. There was a continuous massive line flying out for more than 30 minutes. It was a pretty spectacular sight (they said the best time to see this was in late August). They were off to eat insects in the area....

...then we were off to eat BBQ. This was another item on my 101 wish list. I have seen this restaurant featured on tons of national shows, including three Food Network Specials.
The Salt Lick

It's a BYOB restaurant, though they do serve sodas. We got a big selection of their meats and sides. The sauce was different, less sweet, more vinegar, the meat had more 'pepper'...I love pepper. The atmosphere was really fun, very relaxed, rustic, located in the middle of the hill country, and a vineyard, with a lot of outdoor seating, and a live band. It was completely packed.
On Saturday Holly, and I went swimming at Barton Springs. They dammed up a portion of the cold springs, and created a pool for the waters to flow through. There was more moss, and water plants than I remembered, and the water was like swimming in a cup of ice water. We basically built a layer of goosebumps to help us adapt and swim, but it was fun to swim in the fresh spring waters, I think August may be be one of the few months I can manage this because even with it being 103 degrees, it was so cold.
Barton Springs

We ate at Threadgill's for lunch, near the Springs. I had never heard of the restaurant, but it was great homecooking, and according to the restaraunt, a local legend.
That evening the three of us went to see Wicked the Musical. Holly is obsessed, Kelly had never been, and this was my third time, but it's so cute, I'm always game.
Wicked at Bass Concert Hall

We stayed at the Doubletree downtown with a suite room, and a balcony overlooking the middle of downtown (thanks to Kelly's connection working at a hotel, we got a great deal, and an even better room). It was a fun girl's weekend, but I'm glad to be home, with no real plans to leave town (though plenty of plans IN town) for the next few weeks. Starting with a herd of students coming back to school tomorrow! Time to get some sleep!