Day 5 – Austin, August 7th

NOTE to readers – SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM (if you are on the main blog 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!

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I was woken up by New Yorker coming down the stairs to head out the door for work. I totally apologized for being a wimpy bug catcher and waking him up the night before and he just smirked about it and said it was OK. He opened the front door to go to work and right out in front of the door was the bug from last night…. AND THAT MOTHERF’ER was still alive!!!! I’m telling you… these bugs had super powers. Its legs were still twitching after being smacked by a shoe TWICE! New Yorker kicked it over the ledge and that was that.

Guy made his away down not too long after and mentioned something about “New Yorker and you seemed to have hit it off” – I’m like “Yeaaa” – but wanted to make it clear it was just platonic – I think it was our east coast sarcasm and personalities that made it easy for us to get along right away.

I stayed in the boys apartment for a while to write. As I was writing, New Yorker texted me saying his motorcycle was giving him troubles and he had to ditch it in some neighborhood and asked if I would go check on it. It was a few minutes away so I swooped on by, made sure the bike was still there, grabbed some coffee from 7-11 (which I think is soooo much better than Starbucks because I like Vanilla or hazelnut coffee with those flavored creamers in it – and its under $2 for a large – WIN-WIN for me!). Once back at the place I was back to writing.

Before I knew it it was almost 1pm!! Ah ok I have to do SOME sort of adventure today. I asked a few people what I should do and someone told me to check out Secret Beach. When I googled it I found a tubing place and thought that would be a leisurely thing to do. I found the place, paid for my tube, and the adventure was about to begin. There was a sign on the way down to the river that said “If you come back with more trash than you bring you get $5”. Really? Cha-ching $ – CHALLENGE accepted! I can spend that $5 on another adventure – heck yea!

I made my way down the hill to the river and moments later was drifting down the Colorado River in my tube. My first pit stop was Secret Beach which is a tucked away, undeveloped beach area. There were several groups hanging out, drinking beer, and relaxing. I pulled my tube over and decided to sit in the water to relax a bit. Little minnows were swimming around and I perused the river bed for cool rocks. I STILL have a fascination with rocks! I collected them when I was a kid and my mom tells me that I used to put rocks in my diaper to save them when I was a baby. I loved me some rocks! Give me a burnt down house with a rock driveway and I’m SET for the day J. I’m sad to share that when my dad sold the house I grew up in he threw my rock and doll collections away without even asking me if I wanted them. MAJOR MAJOR fail. Meh.

I found some cool turquoise shells which I was clutching in my hand when I felt a little nibble at my toes. I looked down and saw a swarm of minnows gathering around my legs! They were nibbling on me! I giggled because it reminded me of the Keeping up With The Kardashians episode where Kim and Kourtney go to get this pedicure where the fish eat the dead skin off your feet. If you aren’t familiar here is the clip — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXyGSXmPw_4 . I just googled how much that costs and it’s around $35. NOT FOR ME!!!! I got that shit for FREE J. Anyone wanting one just go to secret beach in Austin and sit down on the edge of the river for your free fish pedicure!

I felt a few nibbles then when one of the minnows nibbled on my bug bite…it stung a bit sooo I was over it STAT. I gathered my tube and continued my float. At this point I hadn’t really seen any trash until I noticed a bottle over in the swampy gross marsh looking area. I contemplated for a few moments if I should just leave it but the environmentalist in me couldn’t leave it. I WISH I took a picture of where I retrieved this bottle from. Pure grossness and I almost chickened out. I saw that bottle as a $5 bill and just went for it. Once back to cleaner, clearer waters I emptied out the bottle which was a Magic Soap Box something or another bottle. There must of still been some soap in it because as I dumped it out I created a white murky cloud which reeked of peppermint. WHOOPS! Either this going to give some fishies a shower or it was going to poison them. Atleast the soap was organic! Ahhh my intentions were to help the environment – eeeeesh.

I pulled over at another embankment to collect more trash which I placed in my waterproof bag that was housing my dress and cell phone. In this moment I thought of my Pop Pop and how he must be smiling down on me as I walk around this rocky shore picking up trash. He was always so kind and caring to the environment.  I continued my float and when I rounded the next bend I saw a few people up on the shore.

I could tell this one couple was looking at me and when we made eye contact they said it was the last stopping point before the end so “Come on Over!”. They were enjoying some beers on the shore so I went over to join them. We chatted about where we were from, jobs, families etc… They had two young kids and he was a merchant marine person I believe who had traveled the world! Naturally I asked about his favorite places. They offered me their last cold beer and I gladly accepted given it was over 100 degrees and I had already guzzled my water. You know you have new friends when they give you their last cold one! Thanks again!

Here I was sitting in the Colorado River, talking to some nice new people I met, sipping on a cold beer. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. I looked around and had another moment where I just felt so connected with this beautiful earth.

The shuttle was set to pick us up in 15 minutes so we paddled out of there… a minute into our float my new friends shared that there was a weed plant growing on the shores. A man swimming not too far away confirmed that there were many weed plants growing wild in the area. Now… I am a bit naïve when it comes to drugs and weed and knowing what they look like. So I would have probably just floated right on past it had it not been pointed out to me. I had to get up close and see what it was all about.

Little did I know I would be picking weed on the Colorado River that day. I was told to pick the part that had these ball looking things… which is good because little ol’ me would have probably grabbed some leaves. I got a weedacation that day! I pulled off a few pieces, placed them in a Styrofoam cup I had picked up in my trash hunting, and rolled it up in my dress. I figured I could give it to the boys. UPDATE: I’m pretty sure it was weed. New Yorker said yes, Guy said no… still don’t know if it was usable or not but given 4 people (New Yorker, guy swimming, and 2 new friends) said it was weed I’m going with it! LoL!

I got back to the tubing place and excitedly claimed “Guess who brought back trash” – the worker showed minimal enthusiasm but I was still pleased with my trash results – Mission accomplished. Here I thought I would be getting a $5 bill back but they handed me over a voucher for $5 off my next tubing trip. MEH. Well at least I can pay it forward so I gifted it to the boys… which I’m pretty sure they will never use but OH WELL. Perhaps it will end up with someone who will use it!

I headed back to the boys apartment where I was excited to share my weed pickings. New Yorker and I were going to Blues on the Green that night so I quickly showered and we headed out the door. We parked a bit far away which was a major fail given I was wearing jeans and a tank top. I had run out of clean dresses to wear because I hadn’t done any laundry yet.

We made our way over to a wine bar (where apparently New Yorker’s ex used to work but luckily there were no awkward run ins).  We sat outside on the patio to enjoy our wine because New Yorker thought it best to just get used to the heat since we would be sitting outside at the concert. We continued our walk to Zilker park, picked up a bottle of wine to enjoy at the concert, and followed the crowd to the stage. TONS AND TONS AND TONS of people were setting up blankets and strolling about. For a free concert this was LEGIT!

We found a spot and continued enjoying some cold, white wine – ahh perfect! We enjoyed the music for a bit before deciding to walk around. New Yorker walked to the back of the VIP gated area and proceeded to sneak in. I totally wimped out and walked away – sometimes I’m a rule breaker, sometimes not ;-).

As we were walking I ran into the guy from the pizza shop – with thousands of people there I was quite impressed that our paths crossed. I’m pretty sure he was drunk but we said a quick hello before going our separate ways… New Yorker had wandered over to some lovely females to chat it up so I watched the band. Once we made our way back to our blanket we decided to head out early to beat some of the traffic. Our walk back took us through a golf course where we discovered this huge SUV parked at one of the holes. New Yorker said something to this group of young guys and they claimed they were just trying to golf and had “permission”…. Hmmm something was fishy but we just left them to it and continued walking.

At this point I was about to pee my pants so I decided to walk behind a bush given there were no bathrooms around. Being on the road I’ve learned to just bust a squat from time to time – not the most lady like thing to do but when nature calls…. I was pretty hidden away until I heard a ruckus up on the hole above. Apparently the rowdy group was bailing out on their golf course driving adventure. New Yorker told me they were coming my way and I was about to be in their headlights!!! REALLY? REALLY?? LoL. I jumped up as to not want to be caught in headlights and in the process wet my pants a little bit. AWESOME. I rock at life. It was the first time I was wearing these pants my friend gave me and apparently they were a really expensive brand. THIS IS WHY I don’t have super nice things LoL.

I shared with New Yorker what had happened and he totally just laughed at me. Once back at the car I grabbed this long black dress and promptly changed into it.

We made our way back to the apartment and it was time for my last night of sleep in Austin (for real this time). My friend had confirmed that she would be meeting me in Miami Saturday so I had quite the journey ahead of me….

Goodnight Austin!

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