Thursday, April 14, 2005

Day 13- Bats, sushi and the capitol of Texas

Today was better than yesterday, in the sense that I am not actually bleeding or on fire. Acutally, it was a fine day- the weather was nice, the hotel was better and I found a Jamba Juice. I spent most of the day walking around downtown Austin, starting with the capitol building, because it was the first thing I came across. I went in, because it seemed like something to see, and found that it contained twenty percent people in suits, eighty percent high school students on field trips. There was a really high dome, and paintings of all the governors, but aside from that it really wasn't that interesting, so I just used the bathroom and got a drink of water and left.
I'd read in my guidebook that 6th street was supposed to have nice stores in restored buildings, but I must have turned the wrong way because I found mostly auto-body repair shops and offices. It wasn't a complete loss, though, because I was able to make another Roadfood stop. This one was a place called 'Hut's Hamburgers'- kind of a dive, but in a friendly way. The food was good (so far, Roadfood hasn't led me astray) but they had a very direct approach to hamburgers. which is to say, if you ordered the one that was described on a menu as a 'burger with hickory sauce' (tasted like barbecue sauce to me), then that is exactly what you got: a patty, on a bun, with sauce. No lettuce, no tomato, no pickle on the side. They served their Coke in big glasses, though, and refilled it whenever it got about halfway down, so I'm not complaining. I'm also not complaining about the fact that there was a really good bookstore another block down, where the employees were having an extended debate about the eternal question: Britney or Jessica? (Eventual answer: Shakira) There was also a Whole Foods, which made for an odd, out-of-Berkeley experience.
I didn't get anything at Whole Foods the first time, but I did go back to pick up some dinner on my way to see the bats. I was drawn inexorably to the sushi bar, because anyone who eats chinese in Carlsbad is going to eat raw fish in Austin. It just can't be helped. It (tuna and salmon nigiri and rolls) was, in fact, good, and I haven't died yet or anything, so maybe it was okay.
The bats are 'the world's largest urban bat colony' (Please make rap jokes now. Thank you.) and they live under a bridge during the spring and summer. And every night people come out around sundown and sit around for a really long time waiting for them to come out. When they do, it really is pretty impressive, but very hard to photograph.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jamba juice, Whole Foods, and a good bookstore! It sounds as if a Californian could almost survive in Austin.
Mom

Dad said...

A Berkeleyan, that is. An Angeleno would need a Virgin Records superstore.

I talked to Zach this morning in Goteborg. He asked how the car was doing (you too, of course, Daisy). I told him that Mom had had it checked out thoroughly before you drove off in it, and it needed only two new rear tires. He was concerned about how that reflected on his care for proper tire inflation. I told him that almost nobody does what Click and Clack recommend, which is check the pressure in the tires every two weeks and top them off with air. But maybe you'd better check the tires just the same. He worries.

Daisy said...

You can take the girl out of California, but she's still going to want raw fish and a smoothie.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Daisy! Your Dad gave me this link last night and I have totally enjoyed reading your comments and about your experiences. You are so funny and so candid about your travels. Perhaps this is the first adventure in your travel book? Aunt Janis tells me that Uncle Gary plans on trying to get his observations on living in Ireland published. Maybe you could do the same?! Keep up the good, entertaining work. Drive carefully and enjoy the journey!

Love, Aunt Judy

David Williams said...

Whole Foods actually started in Austin. :)

Daisy said...

Well, no wonder the sushi was good.
And what the heck are you doing way back here?