Bat's & Bugs in Austin

Trip Start Jun 28, 2012
Trip End Aug 28, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hyatt Regency Austin
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, July 22, 2012

The original plan was for me to go to Dallas, but some friends insisted Austin was more my sort of town. They were right! What a lovely city. So clean, so friendly and so very HOT!

The drive down was fantastic. No major highways, just empty back roads with cute little towns dotted along the way. There were a couple of moments when Texas Chainsaw Massacre came to mind. Saw a house in the middle of nowhere that looked just like the one in the movie.

After a 6 hour drive, I arrived in Austin. I booked a room with a balcony overlooking Lady Bird Lake, which looks like a river, but is actually a reservoir on the Colorado river, created in 1960. The view was great. Had a birds eye view of the Congress Bridge, which was built in the 70's and became home to over a million bats! Apparently around sunset, the bats leave their home, en mass, in search of food. This is now a huge tourist attraction.

When I arrived at the hotel, the first thing I did was put the tv on to check the weather channel. While searching for the channel, I came across a show called Inside Edition. I though they were showing a trailer for a new horror movie called "Massacre At The Movies" You really had to see it to believe it. Even had one of those very deep dramatic voice overs. Turns out, it was actually a news report about the tragic shootings that happened the night before in a cinema in Colorado. So sad, and so very pointless. It got me thinking about some of the events similar to this that had happened in the past ie: Dunblane, Virginia Tech etc... and I remembered that Austin, Texas suffered a similar tragedy back in 1966. Charles Whitman shot and killed 16 people from a tower at the university of Texas. Very sad.

Anyway, scotch beckons... Decided to go on a little bar crawl of Austin. The great thing about this city is that everything is in walking distance, the only trouble is the heat. Was nearly a 100 degrees! As I crossed Congress Bridge (bat home) the crowds were already starting to gather, but I really couldn't be arsed to hang about, so headed off to a bar called Oilcan Harry's. Turns out they were having some charity event and the place was packed! Stayed there for an hour or so watching a great lesbian rock band singing songs with lyrics that made even me blush and heave in equal measure! Dry boak!!

Needed something more male after that, so walked up the street to a bar call The Iron Bear bar. Sounds butch right? WRONG! Men in cowboy hats drinking Appletinis and dancing to Kylie! Eventually I ended up at a club close to the hotel. Very mixed (gay/straight), with the strangest drag act on I've ever seen. Cross between our pals Teds and Donald, except singing his own songs that made you want to kill yourself!! I LOVED it!! My particular favourite, was "My Mother Hated Me From Birth" I kid you not!! After he finished, I didn't know if I should clap or go and give him a cuddle.

Next day, I decided to have a wander around town. I past the University and the tower where the shootings happened in the 60's. They do a tour up the tower, but didn't fancy that...too morbid even for me. Went back to the hotel to check the weather channel, as storms and flash floods were expected along the route I was supposed to be driving to Lake Charles the next day. Decided not to take the risk. Booked the hotel in Austin for an extra night, and a flight to New Orleans on Monday.

I would totally recommend Austin to anyone. Great city and very clean with a good vibe. EXCEPT one thing...BUGS!!! As y'all know, I'm not at one with nature, but unfortunately, nature is determined to be at one with me. Even at 17 floors up, my balcony seemed to attract all manor of bugs, which played havoc with my smoking regime. I even had to shout at a bat that flew a bit too close (again) This was after realising waving my arms in a mental fashion would do no good as they're blind. And f*cking crickets!!! Yes I know...everyone thinks they're really cute, just like the one in Pinocchio...well I'm here to tell you, they're NOT! They're just gay cockroaches!!! They sit in their trees singing all day (probably a Kylie song) then when you walk past, they go silent, like walking into a room when someone's been gossiping about you! 

 At 3am (yes my body clock is still up the wall) due to my balcony being home to all the local bugs AND a spider that could jump, I decided to go out to the front of the hotel for a smoke...HUGE mistake. There was a guy there hosing down the entrance who must have found it strange seeing me in my slippers chucking my freshly lit smoke on the floor and run, screaming back into the lobby because of all the roaches running about the ground!

Oh well...New Orleans here I come!

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George on

You are too, TOO brave for words!

Hel on

Love the cricket bit. You are so right.

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