From Austin to Sarasota - time to catch up

Trip Start Mar 04, 2007
Trip End Jun 16, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

After having to change my plans due to Brenda bailing on me in N.O. (it's okay - I understand), I wound up in Austin to meet up with Matt H. and visit Lisa V. I was supposed to go to San Antonio (sorry Sandy) but it seems the change of plans was fortuitous as the night before I was supposed to be in San Antonio, there was horrendous flooding - well it made national news anyway.

Driving from west Texas to the Hill country of Austin - the scenery changes dramatically. From dry desert to green rolling hills and agriculture. I stopped in Fredericksgburg, TX outside of Austin about 30 miles. It's been restored to it's pioneer "splendour" with lots of shops - yes, it's a tourist trap but a really cute one.

If anyone thinks SD has the terrible traffic - visit Ausin - we are not alone.

I arrived at Lisa's and Rob's a hour late but in time for dinner! It was great to see Lisa - seven months pregnant and meet Rob. Thanks guys for putting me up and letting me get my self and car re-organized.

I've uploaded a lot of pictures - it's been a week afterall - however, I don't know why they don't upload in the same order that I put them in. Sorry, about that.

I picked Matt up at the airport and squeezed him into the car with his roll-on sitting on his lap. Dinner at Stubb's where "Laptop Boggie" was the free band - they couldn't have been more than 19. The main act was Aqualung which we could hear from the dining area. We met up with Brian at the Flamingo Cantina where with persistence/patience from Matt we got in. The line-up:

The Panthers - from Brooklyn - heavy (also in girth) metal type band.
The Black Lips - "the Monkees gone punk" - from Matt - but pretty good after their first song
Chromeo - Can't describe but Brian can -"new wave of disco where Daft Punk left off when they decided to go back to techno" whatever that means.

The people watching was the best part - all types from everywhere! Tons of Brits.

I had to leave early Friday to get to Orange, TX so that I could make it to N.O. by Friday evening.

I pulled up to the lovely Motel 6 in Orange, to find 5 amigos and their good ole boy boss hanging out fixing a car in front of my door. I took them up on their offer of a chicken taco - naturally - me turn down free food - never. A knock on my door an hour later, and the good ole boy told me they fixed my car - remember the injury I told you about - they screwed it up, literally. So, for now, all is good.

I got lost for the first time trying to find Troy's place (I crossed the Mississippi 4 times in the effort). After following his instructions, crossing the Huey Long Bridge - which felt wrong and going through N.O. and into a very dark part of town both in number of street lights and color, I pulled over and called Troy. I told him what street I was on and his reply was "Are your windows rolled up and your doors locked? Now, get out of there - turn around and get on any interstate." I was apparently in the 9th ward and the most dangerous part of N.O. But I did right according to Troy - stayed on the main street and didn't go down into any neighborhoods - so don't worry.

Troy took me to Jacamo's in "Up Town" - the food was great. The owner was a riot and out of his mind. New Orleaneans know how to party!

Louisianna is really beautiful but wet - by taking the smaller state and parish roads - I saw some beautiful country. I was pleasantly surprised.

The trip from N.O. to here, Sarasota was non-eventful as my main mission was to get here. 6 hours driving per day a bit delirious - books on cd definiately help. I cheated and took 10 to Tallahassee from Pensacola. Hopefully, I'll be well soon.

I know I'm leaving stuff out but that's all I can think of right now.
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