Back from Austin! My neck is delighted to be back...that much driving never used to bother me, but ever since I drove to Vermont my neck has never really been the same on trips...would have been ok had I not driven there and back within two days. (Just a good future excuse for longer trips, if you ask me).
We got to Austin and drove off along 2222, which is incredibly hilly and gorgeous.
A very drastic change from North Texas. Hit The County Line and sat by the lake with a bucket of Negro Modelo watching an obscene number of turtles paddling around. Had a nice early BBQ dinner a little while later and went in search of the hotel.
My usual Austin spot, the Austin Motel, had already been fully booked (apparently not unusual) so I had booked the La Quinta on 11th...it's almost exactly next to the Capitol. It was a decent rate considering the location and the fact it was the weekend. However, I was extremely unimpressed with the valet-only parking, for which it is $6 daily or $12 overnight. Fuck you and your downtown location. If you're paying over a $100 for a room and it's a goddamn La Quinta? Come the fuck on. Anyhoo, paid it like a little bitch (read: silently irritated) and then we walked downtown.
We hit The Ginger Man, and yes, I believe there is one in Dallas but I had never been and each one would (presumably) have local its own local beer and microbreweries. (It's a beer place, over 250+, etc.)
Played a little pool until another couple asked to join us and there was no way my pride could take playing pool with total strangers. I suck quite enough without needing to have others watch. We relinquished the table and finished our beers outside before departing for The Alamo Drafthouse, at what was presumably my last-ever screening there.
They are shutting down the downtown location and moving it over to the old Ritz (just on 6th, so it's still going to be downtown, it just won't have that historic little place in my heart). The very last night is on my birthday, a triple feature, and they are selling the tickets in batches of three. The first batch of tickets includes a wrench, which you are to use to take your seat home with you. Nice.
The next day we walked around the government buildings (Sunday morning, deserted) and over to the UT area, had a nice leisurely lunch at the new (huge) Mangia location with stuffed pizzas and a bottle of wine. Piddled around for a bit. (I showed Drew my old video rental house, I Luv Video. That may sound weird to you, but once inside you'd understand. The staff leave comments on some of the boxes, ranging from passionate praise to openly obscene berating. Often hysterical. Plus, it's mostly organized by director, cult categories, and is brimming with obscure titles).
Also went to Spider House, which I become a little more addicted to each time. It has a giant garden with oddly mismatched iron furniture, swings and fountains, and they serve food, snackies, coffee, beer and hard liquor. (We had coffee and tea, thank you). I try not to think about how I used to live a twenty minute walk away from this place and very seldom went.
And then it was home time. Hit Addison for a good yuppie vibe, where D met up with us at the Flying Saucer. Tired and achy, headed back to Arlington for some spa time.
Today is Relaxation Day, with nothing but films, margaritas and two 3-lb pork butts slowly cooking in the oven for 7 hours. Pulled pork BBQ, roasted corn and rosemary potatoes for dinner!
In the meantime, snackies...