The morning after the wedding we decided to head out for breakfast. My husband did a search of the top ten places to eat breakfast in Austin. Our first choice, the Magnolia Cafe, had a ridiculous wait, so we headed to number two on the list:
We still had to wait 45 minutes, but the food was really good. Bubba had olives for the first time:
He was a fan. Isn't it funny how little kids instinctively know to put the olives on their fingers?
After breakfast we had to take my father in law to the airport. Afterwards we decided to drive around and check out the city. Of course, my husband wanted to check out the stadium.
Then we drove around so I could admire the houses. I loved all of the lovely bungalows, and I really really really want to live on a street like this someday:
SO freaking pretty! Of course, since I live in the stupid desert, the odds of that are slim to none. Ah well.
Everyone I talked to about going to Austin said that we HAD to go see the bats come out from the Congress Bridge. Apparently there are about 4.5 MILLION bats under there, and when they come out at sundown it's quite a sight to behold. So, we joined several hundred other people on the bridge and waited.
There were some people on the grass below, but if you ask me, that's prime real estate for being pooped on by a bat. My vacation did NOT need any guano to be complete, thank you very much! It ended up not mattering anyway, because the stupid things decided not to show. We could definitely smell that they were there. GROSS. We were saying that was the only way we knew that this wasn't just a huge joke the locals play on the tourists.
I realized when I saw the next photo (of my son who is a tech junkie at age 19 months) that I didn't take a single one of the place we stayed!
This guy has two guest houses on his property in Travis Heights, under a mile from South Congress. He rents them out as vacation properties. They're very artsy, and very different from staying in a motel, that's for certain. They were cool, but the humidity and the bugs that found their way in made me kind of grumpy. I do NOT like showering with critters. Also, the shower itself was way too small. I ended up having to hang my leg outside the shower in order to shave because standing up, I could have my front end in the water and my behind up against the curtain. Speaking of curtains, the bathroom door WAS a curtain. Not cool in any circumstance, but especially not cool when your father in law is staying with you.
I would have been okay with it if the weather was cooler, so there wouldn't have been as many bugs, if the shower had been bigger, and if there had been a door on the bathroom. I tried to think of it as just camping in a fun cabin with full electricity and cable, but you know what? I really don't like camping!
The next morning we headed home after breakfast with my mother in law, some of her side of the family, and the newlyweds. We decided to swing through San Antonio so I could see the Alamo.
First off - I was really surprised that it was in the center of downtown. Second - it was WAY smaller than I expected it to be. We didn't get out because the baby was asleep. That, along with the humidity and the lack of desire to find and pay for parking, killed any tentative plans we may have had to check out the Riverwalk. It was after one by that point, so we decided it was best to just hit the road.
After a bit of discussion, we decided to throw caution to the wind and leave the interstate. It was time for some back roads, baby! Can I tell you how freaking AWESOME the map/GPS feature on the iPhone is? That is the only thing we used and we didn't get lost once. There were a couple of times when we were truly in the boonies that we lost service, but for the most part, we always knew where we were.
As a result, we got to drive through a bunch of little old towns that were all decked out for Memorial day. They had the cutest shops!
We were on this little Farm to Market road when we came upon this random cow on the side of the road. Thankfully I wanted to take a picture so we slowed down because as soon as we got close the stupid thing decided to run out in front of the car. I thought it was traumatic to hit a rabbit - I don't even want to imagine how bad a cow would have been!!!
We finally rolled into New Mexico...
And shortly after rolled through another border patrol checkpoint. After the mocking I gave him at the last one, my husband left his ID in his wallet. I'm so mean.
I saw this in a teeny town that was probably a mile long, and liked it so much that I turned around to get a picture. Gotta love creative graffiti.
We drove by these freaky things on another back road. My husband says they're for radio astronomy. I guess there are just some geeks out there that are too cool for telescopes.
I gave my husband the camera when we were getting close to the Arizona border and instructed him to take a picture of the sign. This is what I got. Now you know why I am the photographer in the family.
We drove home from New Mexico on the US 60, which ends up not far from where we live. At first, it was a beautiful drive. I've driven the I-40 to Albuquerque before, and it's UGLY. I kept saying, I don't get why anyone would do that when this is SO PRETTY! Then we crossed the Arizona border and I found out why.
First, you drive on a very winding twisty road along a canyon. It's not the Grand Canyon, but it's pretty decent on the scary scale considering it's RIGHT next to the road. Then, you continue on extremely winding roads along mountains. The speed limits were only 25-35 mph, if that gives you some idea of how winding they were. There were also a bunch of scary bridges. I hate hate hate bridges with a passion! Add to that the fact that the sun was setting, and so now it was DARK on top of that, and you couldn't see more than a few yards in front of you. It just seemed to go on forever!
I'd like to add that I have a very special hatred in my heart for people who do not turn off their high beams when a car is approaching, so that they end up BLINDING you. Common courtesy, people. By the time we made it to Globe, I was so tense, and my fingers were so sore from gripping the wheel so tightly that I could not drive anymore. I let my husband drive the rest of the way home, and even then I was freaking out that he was going too fast on those two lane mountain roads! I probably would have pooped my pants if he had been driving on the really bad ones.
Luckily, we made it home in one piece and I'm here to tell the tale. I'll also NEVER take that road again if I can help it. I'd rather be bored and safe/alive, thank you very much!