4/09/2010

Austin...

A few weekends ago I had the chance to travel to Austin, TX for an interview with a potential church (which is a whole story in and of itself). Now, I haven't spent any time in Texas (outside of layovers in airports) since the summer after my senior year in high school. So I was pretty excited to see what Austin had to offer. Also, I wanted to mess with Texas.

So how'd it go? What did I do? Is everything really bigger in Texas? Let's hit the highlights...

I landed on Friday at about 2:30pm. After getting picked up from the airport by one of the church's pastors, we met some more of the team back at the church, took a tour, and then headed out for an early dinner. The guys decided that I needed to experience real Texas barbeque, so they took me to a place called The Salt Lick. Here's what was put before me...

I came, I saw, I ate, I stayed in my bathroom for the rest of the night...

After heading back to the hotel and checking in, I went up to my room and was greeted by two things. First...

If a dog is made out of towels, does he still wipe his butt on the ground after he poops?

Second was something that bothered me for the whole weekend. A door. But not just any door. A door with no handle and locked with a deadbolt. Is it a passageway to Narnia? To the "other world" from Coraline? Is it where they keep the clones in case I die and need to be replaced?

Naw. It's probably just another, smaller room they rent out to traveler's on a budget...

I woke up the next morning and went downstairs to enjoy the complimentary Texfast (see what I did there?). I poured some batter into the wafflemaker, and was greeted when the tone went off by this...

Start in the middle square. Go over one and down one. I was there...

From there my friend, Cam picked me up to do a little seeing of the sights. First up was something called the Cathedral of Junk. It's basically a collection of junk in a guy's backyard. He's spent twenty something years collecting it and shaping it into a thirty something foot tall structure. Pictures...

What happens in Trash Vegas, stays in Trash Vegas. Except tetanus. That'll stay with you forever...

Here's the best shot I could get of the whole thing. I can't imagine what this guys neighbors think. But his grandkids must love to visit...

But mom, I hate getting all of my shots before every time we go visit grandpa!

There were tons of paths around the structure. But rather than being paved or lined with gravel or cedar chips, it was covered in shattered and broken glass. Seriously...

And I had on sandals...

Another view...

Same junk...

There was a surfboard in the yard that people signed their names to so that future generations would know who had come before them...

Kind of like the Declaration of Independence...

Oh, look who the John Hancock is...

Centuries from now, carbon dating will reveal that I was awesome and here on this day...

On the way out, I saw this. I guess other people can mail their junk in to be put up...

I've got a pair of old rollerblades with your name on them...

From there, we headed to the Texas State Capital. And, in the government's effort to stay true to the old saying that everything's bigger in Texas, it was bigger than... than... well, any other capital I've ever seen.

Well sure it's big. But think of the cost on plumbing bills...

So, we went in. We walked to the middle of the lobby and looked up into the inside of the dome. I actually laid down on my back in the center of the room to get a good shot. Turns out that's frowned upon in a fancy government building...

See those tiny marks around the outside of the star?Those are the letters that spell "Texas", not "Taxes" like I originally thought...

A look around led us to the portrait of George W. Bush...

Strategery...

Then, we saw some stairs. So we went up. Since both Cam and I are afraid of heights, I had to stretch my cameraphone out over the edge without looking to get a closer picture of the dome. Looking up...

More stairs? No thanks...

Looking down...

This one was really scary...

When we walked back outside, I found a statue honoring something or other about the Civil War. I'm not sure what. All I cared about was that South Carolina's name was on the front. Not Texas'. Boo Yah...

I thought that was President Lincoln with long hair and a goatee. You know, "college" Lincoln...

I also saw this sweet tree that I wanted to climb. Unfortunately, there was a sign up saying not too. And you know how Texas feels about being messed with...

It doesn't like it...

Our next stop was downtown Austin to scope out some of the nightlife. Cam and his wife told me this was some fancy, old hotel. So I took a picture...

I was in the Marriott. I'll bet this place didn't have state shaped waffles...

This place was so famous, I forgot the name of it ten minutes later. So we came back the next day to get another picture so I could remember...

It's The Driskell, Lisa...

We continued our adventure by finding a great pun...

With a name like that, you know it's got to be good... or bad...

And an actual haberdashery! Hatbox was one of the coolest stores I've ever been in...

Seriously...

I've been wanting a bowler hat forever! And I finally found one!

But once I saw the price tag, I knew it wasn't meant to be. If any of you want to donate $68 to the "cover Josh's head fund"...

I even went back the next day to try on a top hat...

Mr. Peanut's got nothing on me...

After an overnight nap, Cam took me down to the river to try to spy Sandra Bullock's house. (We couldn't.) And after that, we stopped in at a barbeque joint to frequent the facilities. But the best part of it was this machine that is used to wash your hands...

I was like, WHAT!?

It was basically a car wash for your hands. These little things rotated around them and sprayed out a mixture of warm water and soap. Then rinsed everything off. It was magical...

I could really develop a hand washing compulsion if I had one of these...

But what happened next was my absolute favorite part of the whole trip. For so long now, I've been a loyal reader of Ain't It Cool News. And they are huge fans of a local Austin group of movie theaters called The Alamo Drafthouse. Basically, the Drafthouse is a theater that is also a full service restaurant. It's locally owned and run, they throw crazy and weird events all the time (including their own film festival called "Butt-Numb-a-thon"), and you get to eat while you watch a movie. A year or so ago, I added "see a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse" to my Bucket List. And, on this day, I crossed it off...

Making my approach...

Getting closer...

Ooh... The anticipation...

Almost there...

Wow... I did NOT expect to wet my pants this soon...

The box office was a lot simpler than I had imagined. And get this! The tickets were only $6.75. That's cheaper than here in South Carolina. Awesome...

I'll have one ticket to Awesomeland please...

Here's a pic of the inside of the theater. Every row has a table in front of it. A server comes through before the movie starts (while awesome videos like this and this played) and explains how the food works. You browse a menu, decide on what you want, then write it on a slip of paper and place that on the table in front of you. He comes by, picks it up, and brings your food during the movie. Forty-five minutes from the end of the movie, he brings the check by. Then, at the end, he brings your receipt. Awesome...

I know it's dark. But that doesn't dilute the concentrated awesome that was all over this theater...

Finally, on my way home from the movie, I stopped at a 7-11 (we don't have them in SC). Not only was I able to grab my fave drink (vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper), but I was able to get it in a super sweet Iron Man 2 cup. (That's the 14th mention of Tony Stark's Goatee's new movie here on the blog. You know, just in case you're keeping count.)

This is the Fun Vee. You're looking for the Hum Drum Vee...

All in all, I had a great time in Austin! I'm definitely going to add it to a list of places I want to go back to...

1 comment:

Lisa Marie said...

A very fun travel post! The bowler hat is cooler than I originally imagined. You definitely need one!! :)