Saturday, October 01, 2011

VE goes to Texas...well, Austin that is

The wifey-poo and I went to Austin, TX back in May to get some sunshine. I  know, after all the rest of the country is coming out of a blistering summer, that concept is a little hard to get your head around.  But let's look at the rain stats for Portland this last Spring:  March - 30 days of rain.  April - 30 days of rain.  May 25 days of rain. And so on and so forth until mid July.

So mid May seemed like a good time to go to Austin.  First of all, their temperatures were only high 80s during that time, not the endless 100 degree days they get in the summer.  Second of all, kids weren't out of school anywhere so we didn't have to deal with a lot of tourists.  While it is fun to hand out candy to strange kids just to see their parents freak out like you're a predator, one can only go to jail so many times before they think you really are a predator.  So...it was a no mischievous kid prank vacation.
Some interesting observations about Austin:

We have a slogan in Portland called "keep Portland weird".  So do they (well, not Portland, but Austin)...and they had it first.  I guess we're the copy cats.


There is a LOT of eclectic businesses and hippy type mentality there.  I liked it.  Where else can I go to an organic juice shop and get a $16 juice that replaces a meal and that more than 50% of its ingredients are things I have no idea what they are other than a feeling they are good for me?

Everyone in Austin is a musician.  Well, pretty close.  We asked about music festivals and they just rolled their eyes because there's at least one major one every weekend.  You can catch good music any night of the week.  We even sat two tables away from Dennis Quaid at one place.  I yelled "Hey, rookie..."  He didn't get the joke...damn those gnomes for making me do that.


They have this bridge that has bats living in the cement seams underneath it and every night they fly out to eat bugs.  We're not talking about a couple of bats either.  We're talking around a million of them.  It takes them about 20 minutes to all leave and fly off; the sky filling with a long winding black thread of bats extending for miles.  Talk about a traffic jam!


The event is watched by tourists and locals nightly from the top of the bridge.  I secretly wanted to show up later in the week wearing a Batman costume but the wifey-poo would have nothing of it.  Damn.
We tried a couple of new things while we were there.  No, not brain transplants or time warp short cuts or anything cutting edge like that.  We went paddle boarding on the river (which is damned in so many places it is really more like a lake with a small current).  Paddle boarding is basically just standing on a really, really big surf board and rowing with a paddle.  They're pretty stable except beginners get sore feet from cramping or they go numb from lack of movement while you panic trying to stay balanced.  After getting the hang of it, playing around with it, testing the speed of it I realized that I'm just standing in the middle of the water and that in reality, it gets boring pretty fast.  Time to move on...

The other thing we tried were those nerdy Segway machines.  We took a city tour on them that turned out to be a private tour as nobody else showed up.  These machines are pretty easy to handle once you understand how they work.  They go pretty damn fast when you are on them too.  They are, however, a lot more expensive than simply getting a T-Shirt that says "Yes, I am a f..king tourist!" and wearing that around for awhile.  Same result too.



One of the more eclectic neighborhoods had an interesting landmark motel and I don't know...I guess it was just me but I found the sign to be quite the phallic symbol.  And their modern business building that was visible just downtown?  We'll that one had a vagina top.  Definitely a feminine building.  Am I the only one that sees these things?  I did a Google search and with 6 billion people on the planet, no one else that has been to Austin has pointed this out.


But hey, keep Austin weird!


14 comments:

Beth said...

Cavorting with the weird, huh? Sounds about right. ;)
Admit it – you fell off that paddle board, didn’t you?
(Bats – yuck.)

VE said...

beth - Weird is as weird does...but yeah, that's me. And I DID NOT fall off the paddle board. Of course, you only thought so because of the time I slipped on the ice with my ski boots and broke three ribs on the corner of a wooden bench...

Brian Miller said...

VE...its been far too long since i was over here...weird, hey these are my people...ha...havent been to Texas in a few years either...dont know if i could paddle board...

ReformingGeek said...

Austin is a fun place. It's definitely weird. It feels like you've walked into the Twilight Zone!

I love your photos.

Yes, my blog is often abused by our new cat. He's a smart cookie. Hee Hee.

Roy said...

What did you do, stay down there all Summer? You've been gone an awful long time!

Monkey Man said...

I guess if one has to go to Texas, Austin is the spot to go. Good to hear from you.

Baino said...

Haha looks like my kind of weird though. I have couches I can surf in Austin if I ever get there.

Janna said...

Thoughts:

1. $16.00 juice? Really? Here, let me sell you this stale cracker I've had laying around since last year. It's yours for the bargain price of $12.50. Act now and I'll throw in a cat who just peed on the rug.

2. I LOVE bats. As long as they're all down there in Texas and I'm up here in Michigan.

3. Hey, don't knock it; I love nerds. Especially ones who ride Segways. I have yet to actually meet a Segway-riding nerd in person, but wherever he is, I'm sure he's dreamy.

The Incredible Woody said...

The same reason I was the only one that thought the fact that the football announcer said "he laid the wood to the opponent" was absolutely hilarious!

nursemyra said...

I can see the penis but calling that a vagina is a bit of a stretch ;-)

Mrsupole said...

Not sure where my comment went but I swear I made one last night.

It was about bats and not having rain down here. But guess what, that big storm that you might already be experiencing up there is actually coming down here. We're supposed to get rain on Wed. Yippee, first rainy day since early spring.

Oh and glad you had fun in Texas. Your looking sharp with that paddle, I'd be in the water.

God bless.

nonamedufus said...

I see that store has just expanded it's raw food selections. Yum, yum.

Quirkyloon said...

I dunno the "penis" building looks more like a plunger to me.

No pun intended.

heh heh heh

VE said...

brian - Paddleboarding in Texas just doesn't sound right...

reforminggeek - I'm right at home in the Twilight Zone

roy - I have been gone awhile but only virtually. The gnomes limit my computer time these days

monkey man - Yeah, it's a lot like Portland...well, except the weather

baino - My kind of weird too

janna - The market for stale crackers has dramatically fallen in the last 3 months...I could only offer $8 for those...

incredible woody - Glad somebody else out there appreciates the double-meanings...

nursemyra - Ha! Yeah, I guess a building-size vagina is a bit much...but that is definitely an "inny" building, not an "outy"

mrsupole - Of course, that wasn't actually me on that paddle board...I stole that off the net. BUt now that I look at it, it almost could have been me...

nonamedufus - They had serious raw food choices there. I wish Portland had one...

quirkyloon - Ha! Well then again, looking at the age of the motel, perhaps each room needs a plunger!