Long week on the road this week, which began with a 5:45 a.m. flight out of Des Moines on Monday. Was on site with client in San Antonio Monday through Wednesday morning, then made the drive down to Laredo for more meetings Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday. Finished up about 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.
Redemption for the long week of business travel began on Thursday night about 10:30 p.m. when Wendy arrived. Last summer our friends Kevin and Becky informed us that, for Becky’s birthday, Kevin had given her tickets to see Counting Crows at Austin City Limits in Austin, TX this past Wednesday. Looking at the calendar we realized that I was going to be in San Antonio and Laredo that week. So, we conspired to have Wendy fly down and for the four of us to meet in Austin for the weekend.
Wendy and I headed north from Laredo about 10:00 a.m. on Friday, arriving at our hotel in Austin about 2:00. We grabbed a shuttle into downtown Austin where Kevin and Becky met us to being what amounted to our 24 hour Austin blitzkrieg.
We were starving so we Uber’d to South Congress for some Home Slice pizza and dessert at the Cupcake truck across the street. We then did a little shopping before Ubering it back downtown. We did Happy Hour at Malverde’s where I was introduced to El Cubico, a cocktail made with tobacco leaf infused tequila, vanilla infused brandy, grilled pineapple juice and volcanic saffron-infused salt on the rim. It was like drinking a fine cigar. Wow!
We made our way to Stay Gold, a bar with live music, a nice courtyard, and a food truck (Toaster’s) that made a mean grilled cheese. We ended up spending the rest of our evening there and were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves enjoying some foot-stomping old-timey southern gospel from the McMercy Family Band:
By the time McMercy Family ended and Meatloaf Spaceship began, we were into our third band of the night. It was late, so we called it a night and took Uber to our hotel.
Kev and Beck picked us up at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning and we high-tailed it over to Gordough’s Doughnuts, a food truck that makes speciality doughnuts. I had the Sin-a-Bomb doughnut which was topped with cream-cheese frosting and a liquid cinnamon and sugar glaze poured over the top. Wendy got the Naughty-and-Nice which was coated in sugar and cinnamon and then came with honey butter for dipping. I’ve gone entire weeks without that many calories!
We stopped by Hope Gallery Park after breakfast. It’s the shell of an old building terraced in the side of a hill. Graffiti artists have continually transformed it with their work (as well as random visitors with spray paint). It was a fascinating place. We got to watch and talk to one of the artists who’d been painting there for a short period of time after moving from California.
For lunch we’d decided on visiting a place called Bangers Sausage House and Beer Garden. The menu is nothing but different kinds of unique and gourmet sausages (they even have a Turducken sausage). What was really impressive, however, was the more than 100 beers on tap. Kevin and I each did a flight of four different beers. I did the dark and roasty stouts while Kevin did the IPAs. Of course, we all shared and enjoyed the variety. Wendy even got herself a pint of Funnel Cake Beer (I’m not kidding) which actually smells like and leaves a hint of funnel cake on the palate. Quite amazing, really. We had a good, long lunch together and really enjoyed ourselves.
Despite the fact that we were stuffed, we decided that we might as well go over the top by stopping at Amy’s Ice Cream where Wendy and I enjoyed a salted caramel fudge sundae over dark chocolate ice cream.
That’s when my stomach exploded.
Not really, but it was touch-and-go. Time had slipped away, and it was time for Kev and Beck to catch their flight home. They dropped us off at our hotel where our car was waiting. Wendy and scooted down south to San Marcos and met my brother Tim and his girlfriend, Kumi, at Kent Black’s for a drink and a chat. Wendy and I then drove the rest of the way to San Antonio where we were scheduled to fly out on Sunday.
All of our socializing had the two of us relatively pooped, so by the time we got to the hotel we were ready for some relaxation and quiet. We watched the Cubs beat the Cardinals in game 2 of the NLDS and then got some take-out to bring back to our hotel room for supper. We had the Mets-Dodgers game on as we ate. Then I laid down on the bed and remembered no more.
We took our time getting ready this morning. Made a quick trip to Wal-Mart for a few items and got Wendy a treat from McDonalds. We checked out of the hotel and went to the McNay Art Museum. When Wendy and I honeymooned in San Antonio 10 years ago we’d made our first trip to the McNay. It’s become a special place to us and we enjoyed a gorgeous Sunday afternoon walking the grounds, sitting in the courtyard, and touring the collection.
All good things must come to an end, and after our time at the McNay we headed to the airport for our flight home. It’s been a really fun weekend, but we’re looking forward to being in our own bed tonight!