Friday, December 16, 2016

Austin: Day 1

So, Austin!

Such a nice city. A man in the airport gave us a bag of Doritos (Barclay's favourite chips) for no good reason. The guy in the hotel shuttle was blasting Dragonforce when he pulled up to the airport (which, again, made Barclay happy, though the young couple in front of us looked...quizzical, at best). The hotel was right on Lady Bird Lake, and we were upgraded to a lakeview room upon our arrival. We kept looking at each other and nodding. Yes. This will do. This will be fine.

The first thing we did in Austin was sleep. Because it was night.

The second thing we did in Austin was eat. Because it was breakfast time.

The third thing we did in Austin was put Sullivan down for a nap. Because we slept in and took a long time to eat breakfast and it was nap time.

There: our first morning in Texas. I lamented to Barclay that we'd 'wasted' it, but he looked taken aback at this. "We slept in! We ate! We rested! Vacation!"


We made up for our laziness in the afternoon, though, by immediately setting off to find a good coffee shop. We sniffed one out downtown and, by sheer luck, found an incredible one: Houndstooth.

From there, we turned right onto Congress Street. I don't remember the order of what we did that afternoon, but I think the first thing was the weird art place.

There was a strange building that looked open, for some reason, and we went inside, for some reason, and there was a big yellow inflatable thing, for some reason. There was a guy, but he was on the phone, so he gave us some papers with stories on them and nodded that we could look around. He covered the mouthpiece of the phone and said, "You can go inside the inflatable thing, if you want. Take off your shoes." So I did.

Art people are weird and I love them.

We explored the rest of downtown the same way - aimless but open. We spent a billion years in a little art, gift and guitar gallery called Wild About Music, and I think Sullivan was ready to move right in.

And here's a curious thing: we kept running into the same guy. Over, and over, and over. Like he was running up ahead of us and doubling back on purpose.

Here's an even curiouser thing: the next day, we had the same experience with a different person who looked like it could've been the same person dressed up as a different person.

Isn't that wacky? Wacky. It is.

Really, really wacky.

We walked all the way to the capital building...

...and turned left, toward the Hope Wall (apparently this was supposed to be condominiums, but is now essentially a giant graffiti shrine. You can climb up to the top and get a killer view of the skyline. We liked it).

Then we got doughnuts at a place with newspaper obituaries for table cloths, and had our first food truck experience on Rainey Street (which was, fortunately, on the way back to and right beside our hotel): fried chicken and a jalapeño. And I shall never again eat fried chicken without a jalapeño. I promise.

And that was day one. As we were laying in bed that night, I clicked on a click-bait article with a title that said something about the 10 most insane doughnuts in America, and the doughnut Barclay had eaten that day was on the list. And if that doesn't mean we had a successful first day, I don't know what does.