Woke up in San Angelo and felt about 150% better!! Felt more than ready to do the easy 220 miles to Austin. Had a good brekker, then hit the road.
Short, uneventful ride into Austin. Got there around the 4PM rush hour, and spent an hour trying to find the motel that I had booked from the scary truck-stop "discount-coupons-for-motels" magazine.
Got the the Plaza Austin North hotel and suites finally. For thirty-five buxx a night, it was actually a really nice place (save for the "Internet throughout the entire hotel" as advertised........it doesn't exist......but still) but the Central/East Texas heat and humidity began to take its toll on me. So I actually hopped into the pool.....this was thee first time I had ever jumped into a lodging establishment's pool on this entire trip. A 30 minutes soaking in cold, soothing bliss was all that I needed.......
I love Austin. Been here a few times in the past, and I could easily spend a week here!!! Thing that sucks is, I'm a touch behind as is, so I really hadta hit the road. Sad, too....the nice aforementioned North Austin Plaza had weekly rates at $189/wk. THAT almost pushed me over the edge and I ALMOST said "screw it!!" and hung here forra week. Logic persevered, though, and I have a schedule I have to follow (to some extent).....
I struck out on South Congress. South Congress is a really cool, hipster, Bohemian sort of street in Austin (SE Hawthorne in Portlandia is about as close as I can describe the South Congress District......Little Five Points in Atlanta is somewhat similar, and Elmwood and Allentown in Buffalo would be slightly similar. Denver has nothing resembling South Congress Street District at all, except for MAYBE South Broadway), and one of my personal favourite places to hang.
The Austin Motel, is a place I had stayed in back in '97 and easily one of the coolest, wildest, and hippest motels in the entire U.S.
And Thursday Night......it had zero vacancy and sadly, The Continental Club, across the street from the Austin Motel, was open, but they had a band that night and even THAT was sold out and they weren't allowing people entry without a ticket!! So I had gone to a bar on 6th Street (Austin's bar and club strip) that is owned by an acquaintance of mine I used to know from my Buffalo days, had a couple Labatt Bleues (that were actually priced at Buffalo prices - $2.75 a bottle) and headed back to my hotel.
Woke up the next morning, headed off to Houston, and swung by a Waffle House for Brekker.
It's true......Waffle House is my addiction. A secret one, but an addiction nonetheless. Factoring in good food, cheap prices, and people who genuinely look and act like they're happy to be working there, and are very talkative.......it's an E place.
Ended my Austin tenure a lot sooner than I had wished....but still....again - I have something kinda resembling a schedule, sooo.....and took off late Friday Morning towards Houston. Made my cousin's house in an area of far outer ex-urban Houston called Katy, Texas, around mid-afternoon.
The sprawl in this region is amazing!! I'd never seen anything like it before in my life....
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Feeling veeeerrrrry dodgy about my front tyre. NOT YET showing steel cables.....but definitely showing wear.
Problem being that the REAR tyre is all over then Internet and I can have that in my possession in about 45 seconds.
The front tyre???
Try four days shipping time to a Honda dealer!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't have the luxury of being able to spend four days anywhere except Buffalo on this ride....
....that front tyre will NOT make it to Buffalo......
.....so I gotta order from any out of a number of places off of the Internet that carry that specific front tyre (and there are several), order it seven days before I arrive inside a certain city, have it shipped to a FRIEND'S house in that specific city, and then find a skooter-specific or a Honda repair shop in that specific town, and bring both, new tyre and The Helix there!!
I can only shake my head in disbelief.......
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As many people as there are from the other 49 that regularly ridicule Texans, I offer these three quik factoids -
- I've made the statement after living here in 1998, and ten years later, I WILL reiterate it: Texans are thee best drivers in The United States. They drive fast, intelligently, very politely, and yet, almost literally 99% of drivers in Texas know what a turn indicator is and they regularly USE IT!!!!!!!
- Windmill farms are sprouting up all over West Central Texas. THIS is ironic, since wind power is not in the best interests of the wealthy Texas oil barons......
- The state refuses to institute an ignorant, ill-informed smoking ban in bars.
Errrmm........"Austria - Proud Home of Chancellor Adolph Hitler!"
BUT......I really did think the old-style gaz pumps in rural West Texas were too cool.....
I'm vegging with all my cousins here in Greater Houston for the next couple days........but before flee.....I gotta show ya this weird shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I mean, I woke up, asked my cousins where the kettle was forra cup, and they pull out some shit that's straight outta the Woody Allen film Sleeper.....
I'm taking it easy.....enjoying time with my cousins.....see ya on Tuesday!!!