- The Texas landscape is like nothing I've ever seen. You'll be driving along and it's all flat, but it's not farm land, it's just grass, with occasional lines of trees. There's land every where that appears to not being used for anything. Maybe cows graze there, but there aren't any crops. Then you get to Austin and suddenly there are huge hills with houses built into them. What the hell? Where the hills came from, I have no idea. Suddenly they were just there.
- Texas highways are similarly weird. You'll have a long stretch of interstate with nothing on both sides but the aforementioned crazy land. Then one or two lanes will appear, as if from nowhere, on both sides of the interstate, running parallel to the highway, populated with strip malls, restaurants and various big box stores. Then, just as quickly as they arrived, the lanes are gone. Most highways I've driven on, you can see the stores from the highway, but you still have to pull off of the highway and drive a little to get there. Not so in Texas.
- The County Line, of Austin BBQ fame, has good brisket, but my brisket is better. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. Their smoked sausage, on the other hand, single handedly provides a reason for pigs to live. It was the best smoked sausage I've ever had. Their pecan pie is a work of genius as well. It's a deep dish pie with just the right amount of sweetness to it and a crust so light and buttery you'd think it was made from buttered photons. Were I able to go back in time, I'd get the smoked sausage platter and two slices of pie.
- Texas pecans are wonderful. I couldn't eat enough of them. Texas pecans combined with caramel until they're the size of a baby's fist and then covered in chocolate cures all that ails you, unless what ails you is an allergy to chocolate and nuts, at which point they'll probably kill you.
- The Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa is a fantastic place to stay with beautiful grounds and impeccable service. Every person you come across at this place is super nice and very cheerful. Plus, the place has an adult only pool, so after spending some time lazily drifting down the "river" that cuts through the pools you can retire to the adult pool and get away from the kids that no doubt, annoyed the crap out of you while you were drifting. Plus, they have s'mores every night from 7 - 9 so after a day of walking around the trails and avoiding snakes and poison ivy, you can gorge yourself on more chocolate.
- San Antonio is kind of gross. The River Walk is nice, but once you've done it, there's no reason to stick around. Well, there wasn't any reason for us. Frankly, I was a little scared.
- Austin is nicer than San Antonio, but it seems that Austin is a better city at night, what with all of the clubs. The green space along the river is nice, but there's a lot of construction going on at the moment, so it kind of ruins the mood. The state capitol is nice, until you get to the huge statue celebrating those that died fighting for the Confederacy, I'm sorry for "state's rights". I'm all for state's rights, until it's the right to own another human being as a piece of property. Then I think you can shove your statue up your ass.
- There is an Irish pub in Austin called Fadó, which, unbeknownst to us, is a chain restaurant. Whatever. They poured a perfect Guinness and my fish and chips was off the chain. After walking in the hot Austin sun for a couple of hours, the Guinness went down smooth as silk.
- Forgetting Sarah Marshall is way funny.
- Central time is somewhat offputting. I don't know how people in that time zone watched TV prior to VCR's or DVR's. Getting everything done by 7 so that you can watch prime time is a bit of a pain in the ass. When do they play video games?
- If you eat so much over your trip so that you're never hungry, you tend to not appreciate your meals as much, however you appreciate your snacks more. Odd.
- If you've been driving with a GPS for the past year, you lose all ability to read a map. At this point, paying 50 bucks to get a GPS in the rental is better than continually getting lost, possibly leading to fights with your spouse. Just buck up, admit that you have no idea where you're going, and rent the damn GPS.
Monday, May 05, 2008
What I Learned on Summer Vacation
As I mentioned before, I was planning on writing this multi-day post talking all about our trip when I mentioned it to Linda and her response was to ask me if anyone cared that much. I'm thinking probably not, as if my own wife, who was there, doesn't care, then you probably won't either. Instead, I'll summarize our trip in today's post, bullet point style. Shazam! So, without further ado, here's what I learned on my summer vacation.