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In the heart of Texas: day 1

Hey y'all! 
{I'm working on my Texas-isms and southern drawl so I can fit in once we get to Texas}

Wow, talk about a whirlwind trip. Texas is a big state, and even though I spent 4 hours in a car, 3 days in a row, I barely saw any of it. Not that I was on a road trip to see the state or anything, but that's sort of how it worked out.

How did we decide to go to Texas for a short trip? Grab a drink and kick your feet up, I've got a long recap for you.

At the beginning of August, I said to Billy, "Hey, B, we should really check out this state you keep applying to, since we have never been there, and you are proposing we move there indefinitely should you get one of these jobs."  And just like that, I got  the OK to proceed with "vacation" planning. I quote vacation, because it definitely wasn't my idea of a vacation. No, vacation in my mind is Las Vegas, or a tropical island where I can sip fruity drinks on the beach. Texas somehow doesn't fit into that category for me. 

Originally, I had planned to spend the trip in Dallas, as there was an existing warehouse store in Plano that B had applied to, so I figured we could visit and see what the store was like. About a week later, when no one could give me any suggestions for things to do while in Dallas, I decided to book a night in Austin, and spend part of our trip there. I totally did what any small business owner does when wanting to be able to write off traveling expenses, and booked a makeup business and marketing class in Dallas for Wednesday night, so I couldn't turn the whole trip into an Austin destination. Well, B had his interview a week before we were to leave, and that Friday, we heard that he got the job. Que me freaking out for 1) realizing that meant we had to pack up and move, and I was inundated with the limitless logistics that made my head swim, and 2) our trip now had to serve as a house hunting trip, rather than any sort of vacation. 

I did what I could, but being a couple of days out from our travels, there was no cheap way to change our flights or hotels. I did book a second night in Austin, and changed our plans so we would fly into Dallas and immediately drive the 3-4 hours to Austin to check into our hotel, then drive back to Dallas on Wednesday. It was funny knowing we had two hotels booked for both Monday and Tuesday evenings. Funny as in I cried a little knowing we were wasting money. 

Monday morning came too early, and at the airport I was pissed to see our flight, the one that would have cost me far too much money to change to Austin, was actually stopping in Austin before continuing on to Dallas.  You mean to tell me, that it would cost more money to get off your plane earlier? Yeah, I felt the sting of that one, Southwest. However, I did make a new friend in Ann, a lovely San Jose resident who actually lives close to me, who was going to visit her daughter in Buda, a southern suburb of Austin, and an Austin native. Ann had so much to  say to me about the area, and I really enjoyed the few hours we chatted. She got off in Austin, and I felt way better about this trip, and the eventual move, since she was so nice. We finally made it to Dallas, where we picked up our ride for the week, a Chevy Camaro SS. I proceeded to commandeer the keys, and didn't give them back to B until we were returning the car on Thursday.  Yes,  I very much enjoyed driving the 400 horsepower, burly, tank of a car. It was way too easy to reach and exceed the speed limits, which ranged from 55-85 mph. The drive to Austin was pretty flat, and rather boring as it was through rural countryside for the most part. Something I noticed while driving was how green Texas is! I live in California, with super temperate weather that doesn't get too hot, and yet it is far more gold and brown than Texas which regularly has months of 90+ degree weather and droughts. I couldn't believe it. We also saw a huge double rainbow as we drove through Waco, and a gorgeous sunset.

We reached Austin after dark, and the Google Maps app on my phone ended up taking us out of the way when we asked to find a Salt Lick Barbecue joint, which we had heard was fantastic. We were pissed when we reached the Austin airport, as we couldn't exactly get into the terminal to find the restaurant there. We decided right there that we had to name the GPS, as yelling at each other for the fault of the map wasn't making us feel any better. Google Maps became Gail, and holy hell is that the way to save your marriage while traveling. So many times over the trip we yelled "DAMN IT GAIL!!" or simply "GAIL!!" when we were rerouted when she couldn't figure out if we were on a frontage road or the highway, or she took us out of the way, or the phone slid off the center console, again. It actually made us laugh when we were super unhappy, so trust me, name your inanimate objects and get mad at them, instead of each other. We finally found the Salt Lick we had originally wanted to go to, but we got there an hour after closing. Whomp whomp. We immediately settled on Whataburger, a hugely popular fast food burger place, and were happily surprised by the food. Although, since we hadn't eaten since that AM before the flight, anything would have tasted like the BEST THING EVER at that point. We met some very friendly employees, who insisted on talking to us while we inhaled our burgers, fries and shakes, so again, we were impressed by the nice people of Texas. I definitely felt my Californian tendencies to want to ignore strangers and keep people out of my space bubble rise up, especially because I was tired, hungry, and just wanting to be left alone. No dice, I had to accept their friendly chatter and just deal with it. Such a hardship, accepting friendliness from strangers haha

We checked into our hotel sometime around 11pm, and crashed. If you want a nice, relatively inexpensive hotel in downtown Austin, I highly recommend the Hampton Inn on San Jacinto. The hotel is super updated, really cute, and offers free breakfast that we never got to experience, and is very close to a lot of fun things. I didn't think the beds were all that comfortable though, but that's because I need a super cushy, soft mattress, as everything else feels like a rock and has my back hurting.

Look for Day 2 recap tomorrow!

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