Freedom from Fireworks!

There were a lot of crotchety Texans traipsing about this weekend, disappointed by Austin's (and much of the state's) lack of Independence Day fireworks. You know, because America isn't free until we start blowing shit up.

It was quite a stark contrast from the war-zone that is Chicago every July 3rd and 4th. The following video pretty much sums it up:

Pete and I celebrated America by celebrating each other; you know, since we only see each other on the weekends these days. Basically, we crammed as many date-like activities as possible into the crevices of time when I wasn't working.

We started at our favorite Sunday early-afternoon spot, Kung Fu Saloon. With over a dozen vintage arcade games, build-your-own Bloody Mary's and $1 mimosas, there's really not much to hate (until about 3pm when all the douchey people show up). 

Sunday's are free-play game days, so we don't have to feel guilty about playing Ms. Pacman for approximately an hour. Pete's a rock star at most of the shooting/driving games. I'm surprisingly stellar at ski ball (I pocket 100's like it's my day job; and I don't even have a day job!). 

Here I am with my balls:

Pete's jealous of my skillzz:

The Bloody Mary's are killer. We basically load our's with as many food items as possible in order to take care of breakfast:

Unfortunately, we had to rush outta there so I could go to work. But Monday proved to be an eventful day. First, we hit the lake for an afternoon of canoeing. I didn't take any pictures during our trip, but imagine the photo below with about a hundred more boats, blaring sunshine and thousands of dead fish flies in the water. 

It was lovely and relaxing and magical and sun burnt. 

Afterwards, we rested up for some Peter Pan Mini Golf. We biked; It was 101 degrees; The sun was still striking with all its force; And our only beverage choice: beer.

It was both fun and not fun at the same time. In retrospect, it was a hilarious time. But when my entire body was dripping sweat and I didn't have a place to set my beer or score card and I could not for the life of me get that damn ball in that damn whale's got a little frustrating. 

Pete, spending most of his time laughing at me and hitting hole-in-ones, had some excellent putter/beer coordination.

I preferred to hang out with the pirate...

Obviously, I'm not a golfer. Pete won fair and square. Somewhat mysteriously, however, I "lost" the score card in transit to our next stop and now Pete won't let me live it down. He won by a lot, in case you care. 

Sweaty as ever, we jump on our bikes and ride entirely uphill to Woodland for dinner. We may be trailer trash, but we sure do love a fancy meal from time to time. Especially on half-price-bottle-of-wine night. 

After stuffing ourselves on fried corn bread balls, stuffed tomato, salmon and pinot grigio, we embark on a much more pleasant downhill ride to the Congress Ave. bridge to catch the bats. Austin is home to America's largest urban bat colony: Each night at dusk, some 1.5 million bats emerge from the crevices below the bridge on a food feeding frenzy that blackens the sky.

Shockingly, we had never gone to see the bats before. We live only a mile down the street. And the hotel I work at is literally steps from the bridge. Yet we never went to check them out before. It was one of those, "I live here, I can go some other time" things.

And you know what: we were late! Yea, we still saw some bats underneath us. But the massive swarm was nowhere to be found. Oops. Another time, I suppose...

At least we caught a pretty sassy sunset. Now there's some freaking freedom, folks...