First things first. We FINALLY sent off our visa application!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I know that is a lot of exclamation marks (James tells me I am free and easy with them at the best of times) but it is definitely warranted. It has taken us 4 weeks since arriving to sort out what we needed and then collate all the relevant information. For a good few months even before we got here I was researching and pulling stuff together too. Honestly it felt never ending and I can’t quite believe it is now out of our hands. We decided to pay the hefty fee for ‘Premium Processing’ which means we should get a response within 15 days. That response will either be a flat no, a request for further information or a yes. We’re trying not to feel too anxious about it but I think it will feel like a long wait. For the rest of our time here we will be researching relevant stores and making contacts / introducing the Santorus collection to people. Basically seeing what kind of interest and response we can get!
Anyway, other stuff we have been up to over the past week has been a bit more interesting so enough about that.
We have signed up to meetup.com which sounds like a dating site but isn’t as that would be weird. It is kind of a networking site – groups of people getting together to do different things in the city. You pick what kind of stuff you like to do and then you can see people that are arranging get togethers or meet ups nearby. Undeterred by the idea this could potentially be used by sociable serial killers, James found an event called ‘5k Beer Run’ which I guess spoke to him on many levels.
I went along for ‘moral support’ – I am all for exercising but there is no way I am ready to do a 5k run in 35ºC heat. Anyway we arrived at the bar where it started and there were about 80 eager beavers all out ready to get their sweat on. Nutters. We strolled up to the outdoor bar and were told you pre-order your beer before the start so that it is ready to hand over as soon as you get back. Genius! James enjoyed himself anyway, it was pretty run through the park and around the lake. I am working my way up to joining him on one in the future – just need to feel a bit more confident that I won’t collapse from heat stroke after 5mins before I give it a go.
On Thursday evening last week we went bat watching!! Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America. Bet you didn’t know that, eh!? Around 1.5 MILLION(!) of them live under the Congress Avenue bridge, and every evening during ‘bat season’ they emerge east on their nightly hunt for food, flying around for about an hour creating a dancing cloud of battyness across the (almost dark) sky . No one knows the exact time the bats emerge so we got there about 45mins before sunset and picked a spot on the bridge. We could hear them squeaking and shuffling underneath for a while as we waited, not really sure what was going to happen, half expecting Bruce Wayne to sidle up next to me and start a conversation.
Sure enough as soon as the sun went down they emerged in their THOUSANDS and at what seemed like a million miles an hour. Sadly a blizzard of bats in the dark doesn’t make for particularly good photos or video so I have no actual proof but it was amazing, trust me. Below is a photo I found in google which kind of gives an idea of what it looked like…
It is fascinating how every single night the bridge and river bank below is heaving with people waiting to see this. A few kids around who were snap chatting the whole time were apparently quite unimpressed with the overall display but I really have no idea what they were expecting. I thought it was cool.
Last weekend we did some typical Austin-y things. We went to a place called Eastside Tavern, it had a rooftop terrace so we sat up there and ate burgers and drank margaritas. In my case a single margarita because the one I had was huge and pretty much hit my alcohol limit for the entire weekend! I have always been a cheap date.
During this month there is a festival on called ACL Live which is essentially a celebration of live music across the city with various events going on. We went to a venue called 3ten downtown which was free and listened to a local band called The Belle Sounds who had a bit of a Country-Fleetwood-Mac vibe. They sang a song which was inspired by Dexter the serial killer which I thought was fun.
On Sunday we attempted to go for brunch and learned a valuable lesson. Don’t. On a Sunday apparently you should expect to wait at least an hour to get in anywhere that serves breakfast. So what else could we do except go for breakfast tacos? WE HAD NO CHOICE!! Then we headed out to The Domain which is about 20mins north from us – it is a huge outdoor mall complex and we just mooched around a bit.
On Monday we drove to Dallas for the day, as the Total Home & Gift Market was on and it was worth visiting for some work research. It is about 3 hours to get there so we hired a car as James didn’t fancy putting ours under too much pressure(!) Also our car radio doesn’t work so he was probably more worried about me singing all the way there.
So the usual roundup…
• Completed and posted our visa application. Woo!!!
• Visited our first US trade show
• Booked our Austin City Limits tickets (the ‘Glastonbury’ of Texas)
• Saw bats but can’t prove it
• It is getting WARM
• We are halfway through our 3 months already
• James’ football team have lost their last 3 games
• Visa application getting denied!
Until next time folks! J&T x