EVERYTHING Is Bigger In Texas

Trip Start Jan 15, 2009
Trip End May 2009

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Where I stayed
Suburban Extended Stay Of Austin South

Flag of United States  , Texas
Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Texas was a state that from the beginning of our journey, was decided to avoid entirely.
Everytime I open the newspaper, something bad is going down in Houston or any other hot, condensed and redneck-ridden city in Texas.

I was strongly opposed on my views for this from several people, especially in New Orleans, and after MUCH debate, we caved in and decided to prove ourselves right by going to Texas. PLUS it worked in perfectly for our plans to Colorado.

So fine.

I do not know a single person in the state of Texas, neither does Jen or Caitlin, but a thought came to mind when I heard the word Austin. Sohrab.

You will never meet anyone in your life who is more pround of his school (University of Texas at Austin) than Sohrab, my housemate on the island.

I called Sohrab and asked him if he might know of anyone whose floor we could crash on for a couple of nights on our way through to Colorado. He explained to me that he had severed ties with most people he once knew in Austin, and although there were a couple of options, it might be better to avoid them altogether.

Discouraged, I began to thank him and give up on the idea of us traveling to our most loathed state, but he wasn't letting up that easy. He proposed that he put us up in a hotel for a couple of nights in Austin to shower (as he is aware of how infrequently that happens on this trip or in general) and get some food at his favorite tex-mex restaraunt, "Chuy's." We tried to politely decline but he insisted that we must visit Austin, and in this manner.

The possibility that we to turn up real life beds, warm showers and any food containing cheese, guacamole and beans was absolutely absurd so, with great appreciation we accepted and began mentally preparing for the biggest state known to man.

When the day came, we found that half of our hostel was venturing to Austin as well for music gigs and whatnot (At least the Italian Men and Connor Guitar Boy) and that reassured us somewhat that Austin couldn't be that bad.

Oh, and we forgot to mention that we had ALMOST recruited Leah on this trip as well until we realized she would have to pay $200 to change her ticket to sit in the squished car with us for over 10 hours and her suitcase WOULD NOT fit in any square inch of this live-in Ford Taurus situation.

We said our farewells to our beloved and most dear friend Leah and sadly headed on our way to beds that were not bunked and some serious LOST catch-ups.

TEXAS IS BEYOND HUGE. It is by far the most ridiculous waste of space in my life and we drove through this valley of depression for HOURS AND HOURS without speaking because we were all so miserable. The highlights: the biggest collection of busses we have ever seen for sale (apparently the entire country dumps there busses right before Houston in one huge field), we prospectively looked for land that we could buy for our nudist retreat one day (it would probably cost about 50 cents an acre because there is so damn much of it) and we saw a tree burning down in Houston and I thought it was a house and debated calling 911 until I realized Texas wasn't worth it.

We got some gas and got chatted up by some cashier for about 9 hours while Jen made cup of soup, Caitlin got Corn Nuts and I ate peanuts and Gatorade.

Caitlin took over after Jen had been driving for about 6 hours and off we went. For another four hour stretch of useless Texas.

By the time we FINALLY reached our hotel we missed it. And of course to turn around you have to go back on the road, over a bridge, on another road, merge onto the highway, merge off of the highway onto the opposite highway, and then off at the next exit and then onto the road and then try it again. For a 25 foot mistake. Seriously. Then we parked in the wrong parking lot that GUARANTEED towing. So we checked in smoothly enough, got to our Extended Stay Room complete with Kitchenette, bounced on the beds momentarily, and then had to move the car again.

We called and thanked Sohrab again for putting our poor selves up and returned to our hotel and scary Texans and Mexicans that stared us down in the Hallways.

Cait FINALLY showered and we snuggled up to about 30 minutes of LOST before we were out for the count.

We woke up, and although Sohrab had provided us with a detailed list of things to do in the area, one thing had to be done: TRAVEL BLOGS. Now you know. We sat in the Starbucks across the street (Jen abandoned Caitlin and I on the corner because we were too scared to cross without a signal) for about 4 hours and wrote all that we possibly could.

Several overpriced yogurts and coffees later, we returned to the hotel, Jen went for a run (although we strongly advised her against it) and I accidentally made the really scary six Mexican men next door aware of our existence by poking out my head after her.

Soon enough it was CHUY'S TIME!!!!

We had been counting down the minutes.

I drove the whole crazy way there on stupid confusing Austin streets and after some confusion, parked and hauled ourselves into the restaraunt for some serious grubbing with the gift card that Sohrab had waiting for us at the hostess stand.

We sat down and literally within seconds had managed to eat through 2 baskets of chips and salsa, then the appetizer sampler, then the tex-mex salad, then more pico, and although advised against such a large platter, Caitlin and I started on the steak fajitas (huge and Sohrab recommended) and Jen on her Chuychanga ridiculousness. Overall we had about 6 lbs of cheese, 9 lbs of guacamole and 7 lbs of tomato going at our table and we were beyond full by the time the appetizers even arrived. People looked alarmed when they walked by our table and realized that 3 people were consuming an amount of food fit for a table of 8 and we STILL ordered flan and tres leches to go, which we finished promptly at the hotel room when we finally could roll ourselves out of the restaraunt. The giftcard was meant to provide us with lunch as well, but with nothing left on it, we managed to finish our 3 boxes of leftovers by noon the next day while driving through the most ridiculous stretch of Texas to date.

Texas offered us not much more than a comfy, yet sketchy place to sleep, an abundance of mexican food and some terrible terrible terrible drives that took a total of about 18 hours to complete border to border.
A lot of mirages, a LOT of traffic, a LOT of FLAT fields, a LOT of HILLY overcrowded cities and A LOT of much needed blogging time and hothot weather.

Thanks Sohrab for attempting to change our views of Texas, but we still hold the same feelings besides the good mexican food and some cool mountatin/deserts.

Thats all for now.
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