Don’t Mess With Texas!

So it only took us five and a half weeks, but we finally made it west of the Mississippi River. Wahoo!!!! What better place to explore the West than the great state of Texas – where they constantly remind us that they are called the “Republic of Texas” and the “Lone Star State”. Sounds to us like they might be the independent one in the family (love you parents!) Instead of making a bunch of small trips from New Orleans, we decided to truck it to Austin all in one day. This was a great decision for me personally, as I was able to meet up with two of my best friends from Ann Arbor: Dan-man and Martinez. It felt like it had been forever since college, but I quickly fell right back into the lifestyle (no complaints here). Southern hospitality did not disappoint on this leg of the trip either, where Spencer, Jackie, and Dan were great new friends throughout our stay in Austin. The Texas weather was beautiful, but don’t underestimate that 104 degree heat. That will really make you appreciate your good ol’ air conditioning. One day we kept cool by floating down a river for four hours. The best part of this journey was the extra inner tube we took with us that held the cooler – perfect for our shotgunning breaks every hour or so. Elly and I explored Austin on foot another day to see what the city was all about. From the beautiful campus to the vintage shops to some of the familiar chains, we were constantly reminded of our past four years in Ann Arbor. One big difference though was the monster StateĀ Capitol building that is larger than the federal building in Texas. Although Congress was not in session while we were there, we still got a chance to explore the chambers by ourselves. While looking at the pictures of each year’s House of Representatives, we noticed that they put photos of their grandkids on the plaque along with their own (weird). What’s even more strange is that they proclaimed one of these grandkids king or queen over all the others. By looking at the last names, we weren’t surprised to find that these “chosen ones” were the heirs to the Speaker of the House. I honestly don’t even know what to say to that. As always, the nightlife in Austin did not disappoint. All the things we heard about 6th street were true – it contains blocks and blocks of bars and pubs that shut down the streets on the weekend. Because this past weekend was biker weekend, the sights were even more outrageous than usual. While I jumped from bar to bar with Danny and Martinez, Elly found a nice jazz club where she happened to meet the trumpet player from Sublime. Needless to say, I was quite jealous when she recounted this story to me later. Another highlight of our stay here was meeting up with Emily, one of Elly’s close friends from Thailand. On Saturday night, the three of us made our way down to 4th street to witness the Pride Parade. For the first time in the trip, I seemed to show Elly up with my sailor’s outfit. Although she may disagree, I definitely took the cake for getting checked-out the most. We ended up having an absolute blast with Emily – who I am so glad to have met and I know Elly was so glad to have gotten to see again. With a week in the books, it was time to move on and we made the short journey to San Antonio to see what this Alamo deal was all about.

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