Ok, back to Austin.
After watching the steaming turd that was Tideland, we all went over to The Elephant Room, over by Congress and 5th, under the street. I love this place; it's a dark little jazz bar. But because there were so many of us, we had to use the large table in the back and subsequently I neither saw nor heard too much of the band onstage. But it was still lots of fun and I can go to the Elephant Room any old time (well, almost). It was here that Canadian Nell brought along Washington, D.C. Matt, with whom she'd hooked up with the previous night. Other than peppering his speech with British-isms, he was quite a nice fellow. We also met Lonnie's girlfriend Erica, and they seemed incredibly well suited.
Went home shortly thereafter, I'm getting old.
Now we're both pretty sure Tuesday was our favorite day. It's exactly the sort of day you should have on vacation (which is why I think "vacations" to new places are actually usually a little stressful). Up early to hit Mt. Bonnell. We walked around the area, ogling not just the houses down by the river but the entire surrounding neighborhood. It's all very drool-worthy. And it was a gorgeous day. We piddled around, driving across the 360 bridge near mine and Emily's old picnic spot and came upon my personal favorite BBQ place, The County Line. Everyone and their dog will swear up and down to you that there is no better BBQ in the entire world than what The Salt Lick has to offer. It's great, don't get me wrong, but I've only been once. I seem to have a soft spot for this place on 2222. We walked in a little after they opened at 11:30, greeted by a staff fully costumed (much to the hostess's chagrin, as she muttered and mumbled about not being able to breathe under her mummy costume).
Five minutes later we had a "bucket 'o beer." Again, it wasn't even noon but this is honeymoon time, which is like international travel and therefore does not count. The food was just as damn good as I remember. This place is a waterfront property, so we took the rest of our bucket out to the deck after lunch and polished off the remainder while watching the fattest duck I've ever seen and a little turtle family. Seriously. Best afternoon ever.
Did a little more shopping and hit the motel for a brief nap. Since Tuesday was Halloween, we planned on hitting Sixth Street in the evening, but first...dinner. We met up with my friend Don at Eastside Cafe, a place no one seems to know about! But damn is it fine. Emily and I secretly go just for the buttermilk pie, but the food itself is also quite yummy (a tad on the pricey side for what it is, but eh, who's keeping track?). And because I am always insanely early when I meet people, we had a little time to kill across the street at Clementine, polishing off a couple beers first.
I should mention that my guzzling beers may also have been related to the fact that Don is an ex (weeeeell, not really, I mean, three months? Does it count? And we've been friends for five years, so...and of course D knows all this). But the best part is that unbeknownst to me, D had switched "Drew" and "Don" in his head and therefore thought this guy was my gay Tokyo roommate. And Don really does have the misfortune of always being mistaken for gay; he's even frequently hit upon by other gay men. But I can only imagine the momentary awkwardness when D, as I was off in the bathroom, asks Don, "So, how did you and EllenAim meet?" Now, we did meet through work, so it's really not a big deal, but still. Had our places been switched I probably would have been momentarily unsure of myself...but it's funny to me in any case, so moving on...
Dinner was divine and then we all headed over downtown, pretty scary for Halloween. Went to a place called The Side Bar, had a couple beers and promptly tired the hell out. D and I retired at a fairly decent hour after making our way back to the car (no easy feat with no sense of direction, and let's all forget just for this story that I used to live there). I like to think our early rising hour had more to do with my lameness than just old age, so that's how it shall be told.
And since it is now the next day I'll finish the final leg of the Austin honeymoon next time. Or rather, later today.