would say about the four days I spent in this Texas capital city with some girlfriends: "This weekend had everything:
half-buried ceramic babies, swingers, eating truck food sold by a George Clinton lookalike, poisoned margaritas, window shopping for taxidermy, and a personal introduction to Austin by a former sex therapist who convinced us to pose for topless photos."
The first night we were there, we ended up at a venue listening to some great music and talking to a couple of guys at the bar who suggested we see Austin City Limits while in town. And because we do everything random guys in bars tell us to do we headed to Austin City Limits
the next morning after breakfast at a cafe that was recommended by a drunk-seeming cowboy in full regalia that we ran into on the street. (We also do everything drunk-seeming cowboys on the street tell us to do.) And because breakfast and the tour were both spectacular...our bad judgement was both reinforced and rewarded.
|The bar at Hotel San Jose where we stayed.|
After the tour of Austin City Limits, we stopped by a bar for a margarita, which proved to be our first bad choice of the trip. (And by that, I mean the first bad choice with negative consequences...)
It was here that Kira drank half a margarita while commenting on how weird it tasted. She returned it for another drink, but by then, she had already set the wheels in motion for the "Austin Cleanse" that kept her holed up in the hotel room for the next two days. While she missed the shenanigans of the next 48 hours, she did return from vacation five pounds lighter, so I suggested partnering with this bar that sold her this for the next great quickie weight-loss program. (She'll laugh about this some day.)
|Kira and Carrie at Austin City Limits. Before we lost Kira to the Austin Cleanse.|
With one man down, Donna, Carrie and I took a break from all the pillow and tickle fighting* and headed out. And this is where the very After Hours
portion of the trip began...
|*Okay, fine. This is really more what it is like in the hotel|
room during our girls' weekends.
On our way out, we passed by the hotel bar where we saw a vision in a floor-length goat coat floating in...a tall woman with long blond hair and an aura of fabulousness. She glanced our way then ran over screaming, "Donna" and embracing our friend. (Donna had met this woman a few times before and knew she had a home in Austin but did not know she'd be in town.)
She told us to give her a few minutes to get her friends settled at the bar so she could take us on a tour of South Congress Street. And that she did...popping into every restaurant, shop and hidden music venue she deemed worthy of seeing, she breezed past patrons and management and had everyone's eyes on her everywhere we went. And we all followed along, enthralled.
|One of the shops on our tour -- a place called|
"Uncommon Objects" that featured skulls, home
decor, many doll parts and some very bad
During this tour, we saw her Austin home which was across the street from an artist who had planted ceramic babies in her yard. Our whirlwind tour ended at a live music place that was fairly crowded, so our tour guide went up to a woman sitting alone in a large booth to see if we could sit with her and the next thing we knew, they were hugging (foreshadowing) and we were being introduced to booth woman -- who invited all of us to sit in the booth with her and her boyfriend.
As the evening progressed, there was lots of good music, lots of margaritas, and some food from the truck out back where Carrie ordered a catfish sandwich, even though she does not like catfish because the George Clinton clone working there recommended it.
We are a suggestible bunch.
Also during the evening, we spoke to booth woman and her boyfriend, both of whom were very, very friendly. This did not strike us as weird, because everyone in Austin is very, very friendly. Although, I suppose there was more than the usual lifting of shirts to show us their body art, and perhaps less personal space than normal as they moved in closely to talk and share photos. And sure, they bought us lots of rounds of drinks and yes, at one point in the evening after dancing with the woman, our hostess simply disappeared.
| Disappointingly, I did not pack a travel fishbowl. |
When we woke up the next morning, I was half convinced that the entire evening was a dream. That is, until Donna realized that she had our hostess's credit card in her purse. When we met up to return it, we discovered that she had simply fled the previous night because the booth woman told her they were swingers and started getting handsy and she did not know how to handle it, so she left...conveniently, without warning any of us. Oh, well, it's not like I told the swingers my name or blog name or showed them photos of my husband and daughter. (Clarification: I did all
During breakfast, we had a visit from my old roommate, Chuck. We lived together for a year in Northern Virginia, and during that time there was a shotgun and a mounted deer head in my apartment.
|Me and Chuck. His mom is an NYT best-selling romance novelist.|
For the purpose of preserving his sanity, he does not read her stuff.
Later that day, we met up again with Michelle and boarded her party bus to a famous barbecue place. (Note: She simultaneously drove, DJed, refreshed people's drinks, held conversations and exercised with her resistance band while driving the party bus.)
|The group at Salt Lick Barbecue. |
|The party bus. |
When we got back to her house, this happened:
|My waist has never looked tinier. That's the first|
thing you noticed, right?
Later that evening, we caught up with some more friends...
|Dori (second from right) lives in NJ and was also visiting Austin|
at the same time. She did a college semester in London with
Carrie and me.
...then ended our evening checking out all the bars on Rainey street and coming home in a pedicab after we could not find a regular cab...
|Another sweet Austinite (Austinian?) -- Everyone in this|
city is so damn nice.
Kira rallied for breakfast at Guero's
the next morning, just in time to head to the airport.
And some of my other favorite pics from the trip: