So we woke up super early to get out of the hotel - and away from the mouse. They were complete jerks at the front desk – which was disappointing since we really liked the guy that checked us in and the hotel itself. I had to haggle with the owner simply to receive compensation for our groceries (which you think would be the least he wanted to do!?). He wanted me to take him back up to the room to show him the ‘scene’ and explain how the mouse got into the room, which I had no intention of doing. Then he went through our groceries skeptically one by one as if we were lying about the whole thing. It was really awkward, and as I said, disappointing. Anyway, we got out of there just as a storm brewing outside too!! Dark sky and really strong winds. As soon as we got back on 10, we could see clear skies ahead, which was a relief.
The drive went a lot faster than we thought. We stopped along the way at a ‘fruit stand’ that we found on google maps, just off the highway in western Louisiana. Super rural. Father and maybe his son working the stand, cutting up watermelon. Very very christian. Had a sign that said “SOLD OUT TO JESUS”. The dad was very friendly - kept shaking Pat’s hand, and putting his hand on Pat’s back. He asked us to go to the ‘cooler’ to select some pears and sliced watermelon. It was a big walk-in and he pulled the door closed behind us which totally freaked Pat & I out. I swear for a second, I thought he was an axe murderer. But of course he wasn’t - just a nice trusting southern man. We helped slice up some watermelon and paid, then thanked him and wished him well. He asked us if we wanted to ‘pray together’ before we left, and we politely declined.
Slight spillage with the watermelon juice on the front seat and some traffic in Dallas but we made it safely the rest of the way. 71 was a really nice state highway, 4 lane, but felt like a 2 lane. Lots of neat ranches with big fancy gates and neat farms.
We cruised into Austin and right into our place for the night: Austin Motel on South Congress. It was super cute and homey, each room has a different theme. We were in 149 which had a big blue mural on one wall and blue dresser. It was clean and nice. Too bad they were sold out the following night (so we’re at the Homestead tonight, a chain a few blocks away). I think we were lucky to get rooms at either place on such short notice. Totally forgot it’s the weekend right now.
We had dinner at Kristin & Brad’s friend’s restaurant – The Woodland. It was really cute and tasty We had michelata beers - the spicy limey ones. Then we took a long walk north over the Congress bridge, stopping for an hour to wait for the famous Mexican bats to wake up and search for food. Then we kept walking north to 6th Street, but turned east instead of west and landed in a lively yet touristy part of town. Lots of big open bars, music, billiards, etc. So we took a pedicab back to South Congress and crashed.