NOTE to readers – SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM of the page and work your way up if you are the type of person that likes chronological order. The first post is “The Backstory”. ALSO –forgive any grammar, spelling, or whatever other writing mistakes you will find in my posts. Yes I love to use dashes and dots – I write how I would speak! Since I am writing from the road my first focus is enjoying the sights and trying to record them as best I can. Therefore, in regards to proof reading – Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!
I woke up in the motel room feeling AWESOME. NOT. I woke up super early and was in and out of sleep all morning. I’ve recently developed this habit of waking up at the ass crack of dawn and then not really being able to really fall back asleep. And Miss LaRoo itchy pants was up to her usual antics of scratching like a crazy woman. I’ve resolved that I most likely won’t be getting much sleep on this trip and its time to soldier on.
I packed my bag, grabbed more free motel coffee, and sat in my car in a daze as I decided what I was going to do that day. I asked around in regards to “things to do” and had some ideas. I wanted to spend the day outside so I decided on Barton Springs. I mapped it and was on my way. As I approached Zilker Park I noticed people were paying at the gate so I decided to find alternative parking and save myself the $10. A block away I found a dirt parking lot for free. SCORE! I packed my backpack and headed toward the trail… I had no idea where I was going.
Walking down the path I saw a kayak rental place on the other side of the river. SOUNNNNDS good to me! I had to walk down the path, cross a foot bridge, then walk back up to the rental place. GRRRRR I saw a sign that said “CASH ONLY”…ME AND SIGNS ON THIS TRIP!!!!!! I only had a few bucks on me. FAIL. At this point I was already dripping sweat but I still wanted the experience none-the-less.
Back to the car I went and schlepped it all over town to find a bank. With cash in hand, I headed back down to the free parking lot. Time to head back to the kayak place. However, THIS time around I brainstormed… and thought it was a good idea to find a spot to cross the river so I wouldn’t have to walk the 15 minutes in the heat to get back to the kayak rental place (while carrying my sweaty dog of course because she refuses to walk when she gets too hot).
I looked around to see which direction people were walking and discovered that if I went left… there was an area where some people were in the water. I figured I could figure out a way to cross it. SHORT CUT TIME!
This is when I accidentally discovered the Barton Springs pool. But I was on the over spill area where dogs are allowed. There was quite a few people frolicking about and splashing in the cool water. I took off my shoes and dress (I had a bathing suit on — which I’ve discovered is probably the most suitable undergarments to wear in Austin given how much sweating occurs… you literally swim in your own sweat!). Placing my stuff in my backpack, I looked around for a suitable path.
I watched several people slip and fall walking down the slope to the water. After a moment I took a few steps and slowly ascended into the water. GEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ hello rocks! The bottom of this spillover area was uneven and super rocky. With LaRoo all tense in my arms, I took another step and found myself waste deep in water (from having been knee deep). My backpack started lifting up off my shoulders and floating on the water and I was like OH SHIT my I-Phone. Perfect. Awesome decision making.
Anyone who had to witness me cross that waterway that day probably got a good chuckle. It was most likely the least graceful thing I’ve done so far this year. HOWEVER, I did it. Mission accomplished. I was on the other side. I could have just walked around but then that would be too easy and there would be no story to tell.
I quickly checked on my I-Phone and all was well in technology land. I headed to the kayak place and before I knew it I was cruising along in the water. LaRoo wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do. Sit? Stand? Sit? Stand? – she couldn’t really make up her mind. We had a lovely hour of kayaking with awesome views of the Austin skyline.
After kayaking I headed back to the Barton Spring spillover area to relax in the sun for a bit. This time I was a bit wiser and left my sandals on when crossing the river. My towel on the other hand was soaking wet from kayaking but given it was all I had it had to work. Within minutes the hot Texan sun was burning my skin off so I decided to go for a swim.
In the past LaRoo had been dipped into the ocean but never really participated in the full on doggy paddle. I figured it was about time she learned! I let her go and she would swim about looking like her eyes were going to pop out of her head. When I picked up her she would pull her paws up as high as she could as if to be as far away from the water as possible. People around me were cracking up because she just looked ridiculous!! If i could put words to her look it would be “me no like swimming! me no like swimming!”. Oh that dog…
So being the single person that I am, I naturally have participated in online dating. I have a current profile but given my travels it has been a bit inactive. When I was out last night my phone pinged that I had a new message from the site. When I clicked on the message it brought me to a page where at the top is said “Set your Broadcast. Meet people nearby.” Say whaaaaaaat? Now now now… before you go thinking that I’m going to get murdered please understand I DO have common sense and this was not the way I was expecting to meet people. Obviously I’m not looking to date anyone since this journey is about me and what I want… but I figured HMMMM this could be a way to meet some cool people and get some suggestions of what to do! So I wrote something saying I was visiting Austin and looking for cool shit to do.
PING PING PING PING PING PING PING. Holy crapola I had loads of messages within minutes. Given I already had plans for the night (Friday) I ignored them for the most part aside from a few that I quickly responded to that were dudes who seemed “normal” <—now for anyone who is familiar with online dating — you know its a shot in the dark but you just have to give it a chance.
I had exchanged numbers with a guy who was 34 years old, had a 10 year old autistic son, and his profile seemed like he was a down to earth dude. We had texted throughout the day and he invited me to come hang out with him and his roommate. He offered that I can either come meet them at their apartment or a coffee shop. Given I had not eaten anything yet and it was 4pm we opted to meet at a coffee and sandwich place.
Upon meeting him my gut feeling right away was that he was a nice guy (I’ll refer to him as Guy). I briefly met his roommate but he left shortly after I arrived. I ordered an avocado sandwich as recommended by the person who worked there and as I went to pay for it Guy said it was his treat and he handed over his card. THANKS! **Guy if you are reading this Thanks Again… that was so super nice of you!**
We sat outside on the patio (since I had Laroo) and chatted for a bit. There apartment was a few blocks away so we decided to go back and figure out the game plan for the rest of the night. I was in desperate need of a shower given I had been swimming in questionable water all day (just had some weird plant crap floating around – other people were all up in it so I figured it was safe enough).
At the apartment Guy & his roomie (who is a fellow east coaster from Long Island, New York) and I just hung out. Laroo made a new friend with New Yorker’s dog Winnie. I was still a bit antsy to GO GO GO and see things but they convinced me to relax claiming, “This is the REAL Austin, just chill!”
We walked across the street to a gas station grocery place to grab some beverages and this is when I feel like I died and went to beer heaven! This place has 200+ to choose from! You can buy them individually or in 6 packs/cases. I wanted something “Texas” so we grabbed a few things and headed back.
At this point it had been only a few hours since I ate the sandwich but what I had NOT eaten was Texas BBQ! The three of us (Guy, New Yorker, & I) went to a local place called the pit (close to where they live in the Hyde Park section of the city). We got there just about at closing time and I ordered the Saturday Special…. brisket, sausage, beans, slaw, and cobbler. Just reading that description makes me gain 5 pounds… but WHEN IN TEXAS!!
Upon returning back to their place my stinky ass finally got a shower and we were all relaxing and chatting. New Yorker was quite the entertaining one… a bit of an eccentric personality… he’s one of those people that you have a tough time knowing if what they are saying is complete BS or not. I’ve been known to be a bit naive and gullible when it comes to people telling stories but in my ripe age of almost 30 I’ve learned to discern a bit better. But New Yorker still had me guessing…
He proceeded to try on multiple ridiculous looking outfits and we all got a bit of a laugh. 11pm rolled around and we were out the door headed to east 6th street (a more artsy, hipster part of town). We walked into The Volstead and headed out to their patio area (which is also connected to Hotel Vegas). The drinks were stiff, the crowd was mixed…and better yet there were food trucks you could just walk up to and order if you got hungry — Austin definitely know a thing or two about drinking and eating!
The food truck we sat near had “Siracha slaw” and a sign declaring “Ask us about our cum sauce”. After a little while the siracha slaw was calling my name. As I ordered of COURSE I had to ask about the cum sauce (his grandma’s recipe for thousand island dressing). I’m proud to report that the siracha slaw was the BEST $1 i’ve spend on food in a looooooooooong time. Freaking nom nom nom to my face! Take THAT McDonald’s dollar menu — you’re doing it wrong.
Some girls had caught New Yorker’s eye so he had Guy go and fetch them for him. In my mind I’m like there ain’t no way these girls are going to come over — especially since New Yorker’s instructions for Guy were to tell the girls “That his friend is the most interesting guy in the world” <– or something like that.
Low and behold a few minutes later and these girls show up!!! They had just graduated from Texas A & M and moved to Austin days before. They were super sweet and we all had some drinks and laughs. Guy also ran into some people he knew and hadn’t seen in a while so we all ended up in one melting pot of a group.
As the night went on New Yorker ended up wandering off so Guy and I headed back to the car. Guy was on the phone trying to track New Yorker down and we picked him up a few blocks away. Once home I was ready to enjoy the left over BBQ (I was quite buzzed at this point and didn’t want to wake up feeling like poo). I think LaRoo ended up eating more of it than I did but don’t worry — Guy was ON IT and within minutes was grilling up a sandwich for me. Daaaaamn am I in couch surfing heaven here? haha!
Guy was heading back out to meet the people he had run in to for an after party. I was donezo at this point so New Yorker (who was upstairs) and I stayed behind. Guy was a bit drunk so before he left he wanted to know (for his mandhood or something) that had I lived in Austin would I date him. Ummmmmmm awkward! I said some niceties and that was it.
Once Guy was out the door I was downstairs eating my sandwich attempting to watch Orange is the New Black on Netflix since several people told me how good it was. New Yorker was upstairs sleeping (or so I thought)…until he came meandering down the stairs. I’m not sure of the details of our conversation but I know it was something that required a response of, “Nope, nope… I’m good down here thanks”. Guy had offered his bed since he wasn’t going to be home but I just get weirded out sleeping in other peoples beds…not just dudes… anyone. The whole month I lived with Tina I just stayed on the couch even when she wasn’t there. Just my quirk – i’m working on it!
I managed to fall asleep on the couch but was woken up at 6am when Guy stumbled on in. I totally forget the convo we had (but I think it involved me going upstairs and he would sleep on the couch) but I politely declined and he scooted upstairs. Ahhh back to sleepy time.
In straight up Lindsay fashion I was up early. Where had my ability to sleep in gone? DAMN. Both dogs were downstairs cuddled with me so I took them out, fed them, cleaned up the place, did the dishes (which the sink backed up and I was so freaked out that I broke something… but luckily it drained slowly. PHEW), took out the trash, packed up my things, wrote the boys a note thanking them for their hospitality…and I was out the door and on my way to my next adventure by 9am.
Time to start Day 2 in Austin…