Strip Down to Texas Tour - Day 6: Recovery Day

SXSW is effectively over. A few musical things are still going on, but Austin TX was noticeably quieter when we were out and about today.

If you recall, Vic hosted an after party at his house last night following the rocking performances at El Mercado by SUNSPOT, GLASS MANSIONS, and some other bands. Vic owns Music Madness ATX, the company that organized the El Mercado show, as well as the Brass Hall show of Friday night. That party reportedly went all night, though I succumbed to slumber at some point much earlier than dawn.

Everyone kind of got up at their own pace this morning, showering and drinking coffee and packing up. GLASS MANSIONS, the other band staying at Vic's house, had to hit the road in the late afternoon and Ben of SUNSPOT was flying home as well.

About 2 PM, a few of us walked the block down to El Mercado and had a nice brunch on their back patio. When we returned to the house about 4 PM, GLASS MANSIONS bid us farewell to continue their rock-n-roll road trip off to somewhere else and Vic took Ben to the airport. Wendy and I opted to take power naps on air mattresses on Vic's back porch. I don't know how long Wendy napped but I was out cold for about 2.5 hours and woke up groggy but highly rejuvenated.

I made myself some coffee-to-go and walked down to the so-called "Bat Bridge" downtown. Millions of bats live under this one particular bridge and at dusk they fly out in big swarms to feed, keeping Austin mosquito free (not really). My timing was impeccable. I arrived there about 7:30 PM, just as the sun was setting and the bats were starting to emerge in small swarms. I got some pics and video but I don't think they can do justice to the live experience. At the height of the bat exodus, there was a sound in the air something like the earie collective chirping sounds that cicadas make and I suspect that this was the aural effect on human ears of amplified bat sonar, or possibly it was just the sound of hundreds of bat wings flapping. But it was cool.

Mike and Vic arrived at the bridge soon after I did, and when the bat emergence had dwindled to a trickle, we walked down the street to Aussie's Pub for some appetizers. Afterwards, Vic drove us down to the State Capitol building and Governor's mansion, where Mike shot pictures for his and Wendy's upcoming paranormal podcast, focusing on haunted sites around Austin TX. I think they plan to tape the podcast tomorrow.

About 11 PM, Vic took me over to the grocery store near his house and I scored some frozen pizzas for a late night dinner for the remaining group, comprising me, Mike, Wendy, Stuart , Vic, and Norman (Vic's roommate). We cooked up the 'zzas and bantered on the back porch for a while. I eventually went inside to fall asleep on Vic's comfy couch, now available for sleeping on since GLASS MANSIONS had left.

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