Austin is another city I had heard many good things about. I was nervous about the eleven hour drive from Sante Fe, especially since there were some complicated stretches of the journey. I stopped on numerous occasions to check if I was on the right path- a McDonald’s in Santa Rosa, a gas station in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, which is also where Billy the Kid was killed, though his actual burial place is a mystery. In Santa Ana, Texas, I was truly off track, but a gas station clerk set me in the direction of Brady and another attendant in Brady wrote out a map where to catch 35N in Llano. In Llano, I called my friend Crystal in Austin and had to call her several more times and stop at a McDonald’s to get some WiFi before I got to her house. She had gone to the McDonald’s to look for me but returned right as I was getting out of my car. A neighbor black and white kitty came to say hi before we entered Crystal’s creatively decorated dwelling.
We stayed up talking, ate a yummy salad, and then slept in until after 9am, which felt good! Crystal made me a delicious breakfast sandwich with egg and peppers, cheese, and avocado. Later, we cruised around Austin, checking out 6th Avenue, where all the bars are, Barton Springs Pool, which was closed but we were able to put our feet in the water just beyond the gate, and Baylor Street Art Wall, where grafitti artists showcase their art. After we bought some crystals, we stood in line at Franklin Barbecue, which is only opened for lunch until they were sold out. Crystal grabbed us some shaved ice from a cart next door. This took the heat off until we got the official word the BBQ had run out. We headed over to Rudy’s for some moist brisket and tender turkey as well as creamed corn, coleslaw, and chocolate pudding for dessert
After dark, we put on some dresses and went to South Congress, where Austin weirdness lives. I had a Michael Jackson cupcake from Hey Cupcake (that’s cream cheese frosting with chocolate cake) and New York style pizza from Home Slice, which was a close approximation of the real deal. Then we went across the street to the Austin Motel lounge, with sixties decor and sat at the bar. We struck up a conversation with Justin, who reminded me of Stanley Tucci and a native New Yorker but he. claimed he was California born. He paid for our beer and I gave him a hug before we returned home in Crystal’s zany, vintage truck. Some pre-sleep chatter, then morning arrived too soon. Time for me to head off to Louisiana. The next door kitty magically reappeared in time for a goodbye pet. I turned the car around and off I went.