Live Music and a Whole Lotta Bats

Kenya volunteers reunite in Austin

Out of the entire great state of Texas, I was most excited for Austin. So many of my friends love Austin, and I really thought it had the potential to go on my Future Cities to Live In/Maybe My Next Move list. And if you know how few cities I’ve said that about in the US, you would know that this was kind of a big deal. I was also excited to go to Austin because a.) Stella and I were going to reunite and stay with a fellow volunteer from Kenya and b.) I was going to reunite with my college roommate.

We left San Antonio following a visit to the Alamo and met my college roommate and her friends on the river for a spectacular Labor Day weekend activity: floating down the river. The water levels in Texas were really low due to the drought, so even though we changed plans to float down a deeper river, we still went extremely slow and the river had bumper to bumper floating traffic. With a cooler full of beer for the rest of the ladies (I hate beer) and snacks, the six of us gabbed away and enjoyed the afternoon.

Making friends with a guy who had beer glasses

We had an extremely busy couple of days once we arrived in Austin. Tracy, our amazing host and friend from Kenya, had a great itinerary for us: a football party, a visit to the original Whole Foods (which is gigantic, by the way), a swim at Barton Springs, a birthday party, live music and drinks, barbecue, and of course, the bats!

The Spazmatics

It’s no secret that Austin is the capital of live music. We saw an 80s cover band and a Spanish band on the two occasions that we went out. The bars were crowded, and it was so fun! Watching the 80s cover band from above the stage, we got a complete view of the audience. And by complete, I mean we saw a threesome, a drunk groping, and the older woman (below) grabbing her husband’s crotch as she lustfully gazed at the lead singer. Yes, lots of characters in the crowd.

It’s probably also not a secret that Austin has the largest urban bat colony in the world, however, I did not learn about this fact until recently. A very bizarre phenomenon, the bats hang out under the Congress Avenue Bridge from March until October. Around sunset, the 750,000 (up to 1.5 million) bats emerge. It’s quite a spectacle. (It would have been even more enjoyable had I not been sitting in the grass and had an ant crawl down my pants… but that’s of course another story.)

Crowds wait to see the bats

After visiting Austin, I don’t think it’s the next place I’ll call home… but not for lack of fun! I’d definitely go back in a heartbeat, as I loved all of the unique people and and the city’s offerings.

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