What better way to walk around Austin than in a mini heat wave (for us anyway!). First up on our walking tour, the Texas State Capitol Building. It’s the biggest State Capitol Building in the whole of America. We’d seen a few on our travels. They all looked the same. They all looked Governmenty and had a big-golden dome in the middle. As everything in Texas is bigger, surely this would be amazing.
We parked up and walked to the building. It may have been the biggest but it didn’t have the gold dome! I was not impressed. This state capitol building was open to the public, so after going through the metal detectors, we headed in. It looked very old. All wood and marble. But it was very well maintained and although it looked old, it looked new. After taking a few photos and walking around, it was time to step back into the Texan heat.
We walked for a while and made it to Baylor Street Graffiti Park. It was supposed to be the site for some condos but after the foundations were built building was stopped and they were never completed. Artists soon moved in and worked their magic. They did such a great job that they let it be and it still stands. The place was filled with painting and tags. It was very colourful and gives the artists a place to express themselves. We didn’t see any graffiti anywhere else in the city so I guess it works. I took some photos while Stef sat on a nearby bench and got bitten by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes in a city? Now I’ve seen everything.
The next place was for my benefit. It was once again, the office of the website The Chive (it’s a site with hilarious photos on which are safe for work). We visited their office in California back in June, but a week before we did, the majority of them moved here to Austin. Austin is now the place where the magic, drunkenness and fun happens. As we got close, I saw one of the “stars” of the site, a bloke called Mac Faulkner. He had obviously just left the office and was on his way home but I quickly stopped him for a photo. Nice fella. We can add that to the list of celeb spots!
We carried on to the Chive Office and were greeted with the huge Chive sign behind the glass doors. We went in and there was a bloke called Nicky (sorry if I got that wrong but it feels like ages ago – but feel free to email us). He was ever so nice and gave us a personal tour of the office. To start with, he gave us an ice cold KCCO beer which he got from the office bar. When I say bar, I mean bar. Right in the middle of the office was a full size bar, lined with all sorts of booze! As we walked around the office chugging at our bottles, we chatted and he showed us more familiar items such as the bookshelf and pool table that is seen on many of the drunken party photos they have on their site.
Not only did they give us a free beer, but also upon leaving, they gave us both a free t-shirt. They raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for good causes AND they look after their fans. It must be so much fun to work there. Models walking around in all sorts of lingerie, big screen TVs playing the newest consoles, surfing the web all day and having access to the bar whenever. Where do I sign up?? So if you like funny photos or pictures of attractive ladies then head to The Chive (or for buff male model photos, head to the woman’s alternative, The Berry).
Just down the road was Congress Avenue Bridge, AKA the Bat Bridge, and it was where we ended our night.
When the sun sets, up to 1.5 MILLION Mexican Free-tailed bats fly out from underneath the bridge. For those alcoholics amongst you, they are the bat that is displayed on the Bacardi rum bottle label! As the sun set, true to form, these creatures poured out. We’ve never seen so many bats in one place. It felt like they were going forever! We were there for a good 30 minutes and the flow continued.
God knows where they went, but after learning that they eat Stef’s arch nemesis, the Mosquito, they are now her new favourite mammals!