AUSTIN TX
(2)

..Bruce Kliewe, 2010...ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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Chariots and Roman ruins??...or First Methodist Church
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There's a multi-story garage across the street.  Its roof looks accessible.
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Yeah, I'm on the 8th floor rooftop.  There's no one else around.
Other than this view there's not much to see.  But this was worth it.  I love the two types of domes
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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxMemorial to builders of the Capitol Building
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...................................................x......Memorial to fallen fire personnel..................................................Time to step inside
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But not for me today.  I'll be exploring the inside tomorrow when I come down for the walking tour.  The group is to meet in front of the Capitol.  After the tour I'll go inside...unless I get here early enough.
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I continue to walk...down to 6th which is supposed to be the happenin' street.  The Bourbon Street of Austin (minus the blaring music, thank goodness)
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...........         ... Wow, that must be called the Gingerbread House ..........xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx...xxOr Hotel Driskill
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It's not as wild as Bourbon St., but then, this is the middle of the afternoon
I wonder if this woman is trying to drum up business or twirling a hula hoop is her job
I guess she'd be called a hooper
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XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXAre the days numbered for this 1874 building??
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Interesting juxtapositions
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I have walked all the way down to 4th St. to the Metro store for my senior pass.  The clerk hands me a form to fill out.  Name, address, etc.  I hand it back to her.  Oh, you're not a resident, she exclaims.  Well, we give seniors a free 7 day pass.  No kidding  Hey, now I totally love this town  I walk to 2nd St. to catch the bus.  I'll ride it to the end of the line then --call Kelly
Reflection time...out the bus window.  Note the bus' steering wheel
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It's commute time.  The bus goes on the freeway for about 2 miles.  I had originally planned to leave Austin on a weekday --on an 8 a.m flight.  Well, Dave told me, it depends on the traffic.  I then was able to get a flight at 8 on a Sunday morning (on JetBlue)...at the same price  I had thought Sunday flights were always more expensive?
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Hmm.  Somewhere between the first and second bus reflection photo we passed this cemetery.  I can't remember doing so
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The last stop for the bus is not where I boarded when Dave dropped me off this morning.  This is the turn-around terminal.  This morning the stop seemed not to be that far from their house.  Anyway, I call Kelly and she comes in about 10 minutes.  It's a little more distance from the house than need be.  Next time, she tells me, get off at the Arboretum stop.
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I discover that we're going out to eat, then down to the Congress St. bridge to watch what Austin has become famous for...hundreds of bats that emerge every night from their habitat under the bridge to forage on the plethora of insects.  It's said they devour literally thousands of pounds every night.  Yea, this is what I was hoping to see.  But it doesn't happen til dusk, so if I was down there by myself, I'd have to find my way home in the dark.  That didn't seem too appealing.  Being a long time Austin resident, Kelly has seen the bats hundreds of times.
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Dave has some school photo project to attend to (he'll be photographing graduation night activities) so he'll meet us at the restaurant.  He won't be accompanying Kelly and me to watch the bats.
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The restaurant is ranch style.  We look at the menu.  I make the mistake, as I realized afterwards, of asking the waitress for separate checks.  I meant to indicate to Dave and Kelly that --of course-- I didn't expect them to pay for my meal.  But I e-mailed Dave when I got back home that I should have paid for all of us.  They had fed me the first night, so I should have reciprocated.  And besides, here was Kelly driving all the way back downtown --where I had just come from earlier, so I could see this winged display.  Oh, no problem, she assured me.  Besides, the commute traffic was over, so the freeway was now a breeze.  Then she would drive me again tomorrow morning down to the Capitol for my walking tour.  However, I think she said she had an errand or two to do downtown
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The crowd starts gathering to witness the big event.  Some opt to be on the bridge itself
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Now something else is going on, as we direct our gaze to the Hyatt Hotel in the background.  A guy seems to be rapelling down the wall...hmm
..                Think I saw those buildings earlier.  Now the couple completes the shot
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Looks like people are making themselves at home
Then again, some people.have their routines to maintain
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More people gather on the bridge...now there are two rapellers
Music from the hotel is starting to waft over the crowd
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.........................................................I think she's dancing to the music..............................Everyone's looking...are the bats coming??
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It's actually much darker than this.  I ask Kelly exactly where the bats emerge from and fly towards, as there seems to be but a narrow opening between the trees where we can see them.  So why don't we join the crowd on the bridge?  Kelly tells me she has never watched the spectacle from there.  I'm astounded, considering the hundreds of times she says she's come to this.  Seemingly, it would be a better view looking down on not up at the bats.  So we go up onto the bridge
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....................................................Ah, now we're talkin'...............................................................................................Oops, traffic jam ahead
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.Looks like they're either jockeying for  position...or just trying to keep from drifting
........................Like moths to a flame
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..........................................A boat of some kind has joined the kayakers
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Now the big boys are starting to join in the fun
It's getting darker and darker, and still no bats
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AND NOW WE WAIT
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