Tag Archives: Austin Texas

Austin Texas Part One

Janet and I noticed, last year, that Jesse had a weird five day weekend in celebration of President’s Day and decided to take advantage by heading over to Austin. What a brilliant idea. I can’t remember enjoying myself that much on another trip in recent memory. It was all about the food. Oh…and we saw friends too, but it was mostly about the food.

It’s quite startling to get on a plane in Seattle and step out into Austin weather. It’s brutal in August but really lovely in February. We landed during the perfect Austin weather weekend: clear skies and highs in the low 80s. I can’t remember when I felt 80 in Seattle. August, maybe?

We dropped Jesse off with her BFF and immediately went to dinner. What can I say about our favorite barbeque place, Rudy’s? DELICIOUS! I swear I want to open up a Rudy’s in the Seattle area but I would not be as small as I am now. Janet ordered her usual moist brisket and I ordered the dry (I have issues with fatty meat). There was a long line and I love the fact they have bottles of beer and sodas lining the Disneyland like barriers.

We sat down like little kids and dug into our brisket, coleslaw, white squishy bread and delicious bbq sause. I hope the noises we were making didn’t go far beyond our table. You try and be discreet but sometimes, especially if it’s been a while, you just can’t contain the noises of joy. We had ordered enough for leftovers and rolled out to our rental Jeep, the sweet smell of brisket leaving a trail of delicious behind.

The next morning, fueled by a breakfast of brisket, we met a group of friends for a hike. We went to one of the gems of Austin: McKinney Falls State Park. I used to live just to the west of McKinney Falls, on William Cannon, and would go there to hike around and relax. I just love it there. The trail we hiked, the Homestead trail, hadn’t been too damaged during the October floods but parts of the park are still closed.

The women we went with, members of TOWN (Texas Outdoor Womens Network), were a joy to be around. I miss these women and their group immensely. I have never met a group of women who were as nice, caring, accepting and full of life as TOWN women. I miss them mostly because they made me realize how important friends can be in life. That’s what life’s all about, friendship; and brisket, of course.

jenn

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Portland and Our Slightly Wacky Clocks

I seem to surround myself with unique and interesting things and people. Some are downright wacky. I think that’s why I love Portland, Oregon so much. It’s a pretty wacky place. Austin needs a sticker to point out how weird it is (Keep Austin Weird)…Portland just is weird; a sticker would be redundant.

Janet is spending a few days working down the road in Portland and she decided Roxy and I should drive down and visit. Since I love to travel, and Roxy just wants to be with her pack, we said sure! Road trip! Roxy was a little nervous at first, when I was packing the car, but once she realized she was coming too she relaxed and snored the whole trip down (did I mention most Boston Terriers snore a little? Roxy, on the other hand, snores a lot).

I drive pretty close to the speed limit but we still made great time to Portland; seems like a lot of people do work during the week. Traffic was light and I made it to the halfway potty pit stop in about an hour. I wasn’t there very long because when I opened the back door for Roxy, she took one look at the cold, wet weather and said, ‘no, thanks, I’m good right here in bed tucked in with my own personal leopard printed blankie.’ Life is hard for little Roxy now.

When Roxy and I finally arrived at the Aloft (very pet friendly and an all around great place to stay), I went to check in and was informed my name wasn’t on the reservation. When the very nice lady at the front desk asked what my dog’s name was I said ‘Roxy’. The even friendlier guy said, ‘oh, Roxy’s name is on the reservation.’

Really? Janet made sure to mention Roxy and didn’t bother to put her human companion’s name in the computer?  (Insert by Janet: I did put Jenn’s name on the reservation; they must have lost it somehow.) Hmmm…that sounds a little wacky to me. Roxy has a free pass…I have to get my own room. Wait a minute…my own room.

After calling Janet to confirm I wasn’t a thief with an adorable dog in tow, I was allowed access to the room to drop off all my things. As you can imagine, since I drove, I brought just about everything with me. I brought enough books and magazines for a month because you just never know what you’ll be in the mood to read, I believe. My mood changes from moment to moment.

Yesterday, when I reminded Jessie about my upcoming trip to Portland she was upset she couldn’t go. I had to explain about the importance of school and responsibilities and she replied, “Mom, school is really holding me back. Imagine how much I could learn out in the real world.” To which I replied, “Be quiet and get ready for school. Don’t try tricking me with your logic.”

We went upstairs and Jessie said, “Mom, I thought you said it was 8:20.”

“It is 8:20.”

“Then why does our bathroom clock say 8:29?”

For the past few months, our ‘precise’ satellite clocks have occasionally malfunctioned a tiny bit. We have two: one downstairs above the fireplace, for all to see, and one in the upstairs shared bath for Jessie to watch in the mornings while she’s getting ready for that life stunting thing we call school.

They won’t be off by much, and it usually only lasts for a day, but it’s enough to throw you off if you’re not careful.  Take this morning, for example. It was running nine minutes fast and it insisted it was Sunday instead of Thursday. I’m glad Jessie didn’t notice it said Sunday! Instead of annoying me, I find it endearing and quirky.  I have days like that too, those days where I’m feeling not quite right but a good night sleep usually does the trick.

“Mom, are you having a conversation with yourself?”

“Oh! Sorry! What was your question?”

“Why is the clock off?”

“I don’t know. It’s just something it does now, every once in a while, so just know you have an extra ten minutes.”

“That’s weird.”

“Yes, it is.”

Jessie shook her head and focused her attention back to the mirror with ten more minutes to vogue. I turned to go and she said, “I guess the clock fits in with this family, right, Mom?”

“Yes. Yes it does.”

jenn

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