Sunday, March 26, 2017

We're in Texas!

We had a couple of great trips to Florida the past two years, but this year we wanted to see a different part of the country during Kai’s spring break. The destination this time: Texas.

We flew down to Austin yesterday morning and are spending a couple of days here before moving on to San Antonio, then heading south to Big Bend National Park on the Rio Grande River. Following that, we will head west to southeastern New Mexico before flying home.


Our time in Austin got off to a bit of a rocky start.

After we dropped our bags off at our hotel, we went to have a late lunch. Foodwise, Austin is famous for barbecue and Mexican food. We wanted to start off with some good barbecue and I had gotten some recommendations from a co-worker who used to live there. Austin is famous for food trucks in permanent locations, and we took a cab to one of those, Kerlin BBQ. We got into the long line of people waiting to order. After a few minutes, I suggested that my wife and Kai could go upfront to look at the menu so they would be prepared to order. They came back a minute later saying that they didn't see barbecue on the menu, just tacos.

We were in the wrong place.

It turned out that Kerlin was in the next lot but they were closed for spring break, and we hadn't notice the place because no one was there.

We went to plan B, the next barbecue food truck on the list. I pulled out my phone to call an Uber but found out that Uber is not present in Austin. But my co-worker texted back to let me know that there is a similar operation just for Austin called Ride Austin. I downloaded the app, got a car, and we were soon at Micklethwait.

There we saw another line of people, this one even longer than at the taco place.


Kai was not happy. At all.

He loudly asked/complained about how long we would have to wait. The line seemed to move very slowly which only agitated him further.

I tried to get him to use his phone. But there were no Pokemon in the area so he was not interested in Pokemon Go. And while normally he can't get enough of the internet, when he's agitated like this, he's too dysregulated to even do that.

As we were waiting, my wife and I were thinking of what we would order. Maybe we would get a variety of pork ribs, beef ribs, sausage, and brisket. But as waited, the selection of food kept diminishing. Places like this are only open until they run out of food, and we were wondering if they would run out before we would get any. One by one, they covered up items on the menu board indicating that they were sold out. Soon, brisket was the only thing left.


And then, one of the workers announced that there was enough food left for 15 people. And there were 15 people ahead of us in line.

We held our breath. Kai was already so agitated; how would he react if we couldn't get any food and have to go find another place to eat?

But when we made it to the front of the line, they still had enough food for us. We ordered the brisket. :)


Kai was happy. My wife and I were happier. The brisket was very good, by the way, though that was almost beside the point. :)

After that, we went to the South Congress area of Austin that is known for its many small eclectic shops.


I really wanted to stop into Allens Boots, but we did not buy any cowboy boots. (I was surprised how expensive they are).


After strolling through many shops, we returned to our hotel to use the swimming pool.

And then we went out to see Austin's bat colony. Home of the largest colony of urban bats in North America, over a million bats call the South Congress Street Bridge home in the summer (we were there early in the season).


We found a spot beneath the bridge and waited for sunset when the bats would emerge.


Finally, about 10 minutes after sundown, the bats started to pour out from under the bridge. It was really an amazing sight! I was surprised at how the bats seemed to keep coming out. They just kept coming and coming.

I took a number of photos, but none really captured the experience. In most of my pictures, the bats blended in with the dark background of the bridge. Here is one photo where you can see some of them against the sky on the right side of the photo.


We had dinner after that at a Mexican restaurant.


Our meals were tasty and filling, but we had room for dessert.


We split a tres leeches which was really light and yummy.

And so wrapped up our first day in Texas. We're just getting started.

4 comments:

  1. Yum to the brisket! Glad you got to order! Have fun!

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    Replies
    1. We were glad, too! Just made it!

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  2. I must say...after looking at the line in the photo...I wouldn't have been happy either! It looked like something out of a State Fair. No thank you, I wouldn't have waited. All of you have much more patience than do I!

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    Replies
    1. It certainly wasn't ideal but as we were already on plan b, I didn't want to abandon the place as it would have taken time to go elsewhere. Fortunately it worked out!

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