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Entries in Texas Roadtrip (3)

Friday
May222009

Nothing like sunset at Oasis


Click Here to see pictures from this trip!Location: Austin, TX

I guess I really needed the sleep... Passed out hard at John's last night after Little Woodrow's. Didn't have much time to sleep in today, had to get up bright and early to get Jeff to the office for some meetings and whatnot.

Work has been slow and choppy today. I'm all over the place, which I hate and would much rather just be working on one or two things, but alas, this is how it usually goes. We did get to go to Madam Ma'ams for lunch today which was GLORIOUS!! Mike wanted Thai, so I suggested we make the extra half mile or so trek down to the main drag rather than go to the Thai place up on like 35th and Guad (yuck!).

After work, Jeff and I headed out to Mark's to go pick up David who was just sitting around watching ESPN as it turned out. Shortly after, Mark got home and we all piled in the truck and decided to take a little scenic drive. Mark lives down near 2222 and 360 and so we drove out down 2222 then up 620 pointing out great landmarks like Steiner Ranch, the Lake Travis Dam, some Dungeons and Dragon house and then this sweet little gated community Mark somehow knew the code to (I don't ask questions). We ended our city tour at the Oasis for a little sunset dinner... or sunset appetizers and drinks, I should say. We spent a good amount of time reminiscing and sipping on brew while discussing the big plans we had for the weekend. Of which we had a lot :)

After Oasis, we dropped Mark and Dave back at Mark's house, since Mark had to be up early in the morning they weren't up for a big night out. Jeff and I headed for Cain & Abels to grab another beer and plot our sleeping arrangements (which had yet to be determined). With the courage of a couple of beers, I texted pretty much everyone I knew in Austin to hit them up for a couch to crash on, and after admitting defeat finally, we went back to John's. I didn't want to overcrowd because the whole famdam was supposed to get in town the next day, but we had no other options unfortunately.

XOXO

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Now playing: Switchfoot - This is Your Life
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Thursday
May212009

Hit the border by the morning, let Texas fill my soul...


Click Here to see pictures from this trip!Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Last night was a VERY long night of nothingness.   We drove all the way across California, Arizona and New Mexico before the sun came up and there was NOT a lot going on.  However, as I am speeding along at approximately 95 mph on the beautiful Interstate 10 and blissfully singing along to a mellow tune on my Sirius, I am suddenly BLASTED by a series of blinding flashing of light.  Speed cameras.

I'm telling you, those things are NOT safe.  I screamed... Jeff thought we were being abducted by alients (thought crossed my mind as well) and John was convinced we were being shot or missiled.  No matter what was actually going on, the three of us sprial into a panic of death and it takes about 5 minutes before my heart stopped pounding.  I literally almost ran us off the road.  Disaster.

After the near death experience, we basically lull back into our daze until the sun started to come up just outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico.  It was a beautiful sunrise, and we pulled over in a small town just in time to watch it come over the Organ Mountains.  And in true mobile worker fashion, as soon as the sun came up, Jeff and my radar went off.  Realizing my e-mail hadn't sent to Greg the night before, I scrambled to find wifi in Messina (which is an adorable little historic adobe town just outside of Las Cruces).  We ended up bootlegging from some guys house while sitting in our car in the driveway.  Not creepy at all. But we got the job done and it was off to Texas.

El Paso/Juarez was beautiful in a sort of urban destruction, political invasion kind of way.  I was so amazed to see that while driving down I-10 for a stretch, we were literally the closest thing to Mexico besides a fence and a river.  And even more astonishing than that was the incredible contrast between the US and Mexico that was just as clear as a line in the sand.  Even the air was being discriminated against.  You could see a physical cloud of nasty hovering over Juarez while El Paso looked relatively fresh.  We didn't spend much time, just a quick drive-through and continued on for the long haul through West Texas.  About 30 minutes outside El Paso, I get pulled over.  The cop (who was very cute, btw) asks me for my information, tells me I was going over the speed limit and when I ask how much faster, he just winks and says "faster."  That's never a good sign!! But I escape with a warning encouraged with a little flirting and we continue on our trek. 

West Texas was... West Texas.  The same thing for about 10 hours.  It really wasn't too bad.  There was a lot to look at.  Lots of fields, oil rigs, strange rocks, small towns and strange people on the road.  It was actually quite entertaining.  The only thing i was disappointed about was that I spent a good 20 minutes looking for the darn football stadium when we were in Odessa and nothing.  Couldn't find it.  After passing about a million more oil rigs and a million more wind turbines, we arrive at DFW airport to drop John off. 

After parting ways and wishing him luck on his attempt to get to Chicago, we turn southbound 35 and head on down the road (sorry, I couldn't help it). It was amazing how quickly this drive went by.  Pulling up and seeing the Austin City Lights was just like I remembered it and I am so excited to be here.  As soon as we got into town, we headed straight to John's to pick him up and grab a bite a Kerby Lane (queso, pancakes and beer - gotta love this place) before making another pit stop at Little Woodrow's (just ONE more beer) and heading back over to John's to pass out.

I'm actually not that tired, although I'm sure as soon as my head hits the pillow, i will be out.  Tomorrow will be fun, I'm excited to see the new digs at the Austin office and to get some actual solid work time in before things REALLY get crazy!

XOXO

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Now playing: Simon & Garfunkel - America
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Tuesday
May192009

Texas, Texas, Yee-haw!!


Click Here to see pictures from this trip!Location: Indio, California, USA

I'm pretty sure I've started many a blog post out that way. But I really am pumped to see her, every time I do. The conservative California... the Southern giant... the state I love to hate and hate to love, but do it all the same.

This innocent trip started simple enough. While in Chicago, it seemed natural for me and Dave to plan our next adventure (the traveler's curse, always looking ahead). Dave had never been to Austin and Mark was living down there with his brother about to start law school so it seemed like the obvious choice. When Dave decided on Memorial weekend, it was definitely the perfect time for another roadtrip. This time, I was desperate for some Saguaro cactus's and to see the big lights of a Friday night showdown in Odessa. But who am I going to convince to drive across the country with me for a week and a half to see some rocks, cacti and country?

Jeff.... duh.

Jeff's a geologist and a good friend from work (due to our close proximity as outliers in the age spectrum of our company as well as an incurable love of a certain beverage formerly known as cerveza). I knew he'd be on board for a trip to the desert so last night (while simultaneously scouring the craigslist rideshare section) I pressured him into throwing in the towel and coming along.

After a brief, but busy, stint at work this morning (plagued with "what time were you leaving again"... uhhh... NOW!!!) and well into the afternoon, we finally got on the road about 4. I had Jeff start the journey in command so I could pull together some last minute reports for Greg (sounds familiar, Canada) and we raced to pick up John of craigslist, who would be venturing with us as far as DFW.

John was an exceptionally interesting travel companion and definitely rounded out the extremely wide range of viewpoints already lingering in the van. John also brought along the most lovely pooch who made me miss having puppies around oh so much (no offense Tins) and who I contemplated kidnapping on numerous occasions. We quickly lost track of our modesty and jumped right into some deep and rich conversations about... what else... relationships, God, politics... you name it.

Somewhere just after sunset, we ran into Indio. A quaint (and hot) little town I remember only from horse shows, this place is relatively deserted. But I only needed one thing... wifi (strangely became the theme for the trip). So we drove up and down looking for cafes and finding nothing. Finally, I spotted it.

A Washateria!!!! Well... an off-brand... but still!! A nice laundromat with (drum roll please...) wifi!! So we found some exterior outlets (oober-sketch) and plopped down on the sidewalk to partake in a little late evening work overload. I finished my reports, shot them off to Greg and even wrote this blog entry all in the time it's taking Jeff to... do whatever it is he's doing.

So now it's off to the Rite-Aid next door to grab some grub (aka cheddar goldfish and Swedish fish - no one remembered them on this trip B Lee) and then off I go driving until... well... until tomorrow night.

XOXO

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Now playing: Carolina Liar - Show Me What I'm Looking for
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