Road trip. Day ?? Oklahoma City, OK to Sante Fe, NM

8 09 2011

Sorry to jump out of order, but today was a very important day of our trip. So important, that I had to write about it ASAP. Here we go.

Oklahoma City sucked. But last night while Brett and I were outside our hotel, a mooing truck drove by us.

No, that wasn’t was so important. Anyways, once we got out of Oklahoma and into Texas, our epic day began. We saw a B-22 Osprey (for the lamen like me, it’s one of those planes that transform into a helicopter) fly over us, and it was so badass. I felt like i was in a Michael Bay movie. We planned on Amarillo being just a pit stop for an oil change. My mom texted me and told me about Cadillac Ranch. I had heard of it before, but had no idea it was in Amarillo. We had to see it.

After we gave lil dizzy her spa treatment we headed towards Cadillac Ranch. I almost missed seeing them off the interstate, but we finally arrived. Parked in front of us was an old beaten up Datsun with suitcases strapped to the roof. Brett and I agreed that it was the ultimate road tripping vehicle. It’s seen a lot of road. We me a couple of guys named JP and Charles; they’re a father and son. I obviously took moustache pictures of them, wished them a fun trip and waved them off. Some other travelers gave us their spray cans so we could paint the cars too. we went with the obvious tag and gave a giant moustache to the first car in line. Thus leaving out mark in Texas forever! We even saw desert mouse.

While back on the road, we stopped at every gas station to try and find some lone star beer (exclusive to Texas). We were proven unsuccessful. Keep calm and carry on.

Now entering New Mexico we became time travelers and went back in time an hour. Hello from the future, bitches! The drive was gorgeous. We’ve been driving east most of the way, we hadn’t driven into a sunset the entire trip! Through all the storms and dark skies we’ve been in, we were rewarded with a partial cloudy panoramic sunset. It was better than any discovery channel show I’ve seen. With the iPod instantly playing Jonsi and about 3 hours of sunset, we watched the sun go sleep. Not to mention we hit our 4,000 mile mark of our trip while this was happening.

We noticed that about 1/4 mile ahead of us was an old, beat up Datsun. It was JP and charlie! We’d caught up to them! I was honking and we were waving and Brett took some photos of them and we asked them to hold their new moustache cards up for another picture. I was watching the road and when I looked over, I see them holding my cards up!! So I snap a picture and am totally stoked on life right now. That was the highlight of the entire drive for me.

We arrived at the Sandia Peak Inn and I buzzed the front desk a few times. After 10 minutes of waiting, I call the hotel from my cell. Kay, the owner, runs down the stairs apologizing. No big deal, keep calm carry on. We compliment her on the great reviews her place has on yelp and tripadvisor.com. She’s flattered, I’m sure. She was just a friendly person, I wasn’t schmoozing. Well, she upgraded us to the double queen bed suite. Sweet, thanks!

After putting our stuff in the room we went to grab tapas at a place called Gecko’s. there, we met a guy named Liam. He is a 16 year resident of New Mexico. We talked about traveling throughout the entire meal and finished with asking him what bar he goes to when he’s out. He told us to go to a Anodyne over on central and 4th.

Once we get to the bar, we walk up a flight of stairs and into an open pool hall with people reading, drinking, surfing the web and playing with their dogs. This place was the best possible recommendation we could’ve asked for. We play a couple of games of pool and chat with our server about things going on. We tell her we’re leaving tomorrow and she gives us “awww too bad” what? Why too bad? What cool thing are we missing?

“Zozobra.” she replied.

We looked it up and it looks like so much fun. It’s a mini burning man for Sante Fe where there’s a giant marionette sculpture that is lit on fire. You’re supposed to go to the marionette and cast any negative energy into the flames.

There’s no way we could miss this. This trip has been great because we don’t really have anything planned so we can stay another night in New Mexico if we wanted to. We can do what we want. This is OUR road trip.

Earlier in the night at Anodyne I got an email from JP asking if we could send him the pictures Brett took of him. When we met them, we and no idea they were father and son. We found out through their email. Brett took a really great shot of them in their car in New Mexico. These two are driving from St. Louis to LA for a Japanese car show. The ultimate road tripping vehicle became an icon for me. That car was probably driven with Charlie and his dad across the country. That car has so much sentimental value and this one picture captured that split second of a father and his son on a cross country trip bonding. You guys, we captured a moment in their lives that none of us would ever forget. It was too perfect. They are going to see a picture of themselves on a road trip in the Datsun that’s been with them for so long. Super cool. I wish I had an outside shot of us driving! They also invited us to the car show in LA because they had an extra ticket

It was such an amazing day.





Road trip. Day 8. New Orleans, LA

6 09 2011

Moustaches? Boy, you trying to trick us?

Waking up hung over and dragging ourselves out of bed, we finally made it to our car to get some food. Verin, the concierge, recommended we go to a place called Lil’ Dizzy’s. We took her recommendation seriously because she’s lived here a long time and goes to that place a lot. We pretty much had to try it or she would get mad at us, and we didn’t want that to happen.

Lil Dizzy’s is a small place, probably sat about 30 people. When we walked in, we were greeted with a smile from an older woman and a head nod from a jolly priest. The place smelled AMAZING! I had a quick look at the buffet to see what they had, and immediately had to have it in my belly. There was grits, fried chicken (light and dark meat) steamed veggies, potatoes, salad, rice, gumbo and bread pudding. You guys, the gumbo was THE BEST gumbo I’ve ever tasted. There was so much flavor packed into it. In the middle of our meal, the rain really started to come down a lot. It was an amazing feeling to be having authentic home cooked southern food in NOLA on a rainy day. It just felt authentic all around. Lucy and Rosalin were 2 of the nicest ladies I’ve met, ever. They were so warm and friendly, and are the definition of southern hospitality. We found out later that they were celebrities! George w. Bush ate there after Katrina hit.

Rosalin had a secret service agent assigned to her to keep en eye on her while preparing the food. She actually made him strain macaroni for her and prepare the food! He even took notes on How she was preparing the food because he wanted to make the food for himself too haha! That’s the type of place this was. It was a family, and I’m so appreciative to them for accepting us into their home and treating us not as tourists, but as guests. I was actually reminded a lot of my great grandma while I was there. If you’re even remotely near the south, you HAVE to swing by and say hello, you won’t regret it.

We took moustache pictures with them and they thought I was going to use the pictures for teasing them. Then they realized what I was doing with them and thought it was hilarious. They were so adorable and I will never forget those two wonderful ladies.

The rain picked up again and the coast guard cancelled all swamp tours in the area, so we thought it would be a good Idea to try and find some alligators on our own. We followed the Mississippi and then crossed it and drove through the nearest national park to try and find a spot where we could park and explore the bayous. The second the storm cleared we pulled over to snap some pictures. About 4 pictures in and a couple hundred feet from the car, the rain came down like a bucket of water. We made a mad dash to the car, soaked like we just came out of a pool.

We drove back to our hotel to get ready to catch a funk band at the iconic Maple Leaf Bar. But first, we grabbed dinner at a place called Jacques-imo’s next door. It was positively reviewed in yelp and it was our last dinner in NOLA. We ordered the Shrimp and alligator cheesecake, fried rabbit and sweet potatoes and deep fried drum, both dishes we’ve never had. Our waitress, Amber was super friendly and actually sat our table with us a few times to hang out. When she boxed up our food, she hooked us up with some coconut bread pudding! The food was so good, that we couldn’t waste it, so we decided to head back to the hotel to put it in our mini fridge.

While walking to our car, we saw a couple of hipster girls sitting on the hood of their red truck drinking a bottle of whiskey, heather and Hipster McGee. They were pretty much too cool for us. They made fun of hipsters, yet they had a painted keyboard and a cement block with the word “Lton” on it. W chatted for a bit, but then had to leave before I went crazy.

We went. Back to the hotel and saw that Verin was working and asked her if there was anything else to do that would be fun and closer. We met her fiancé and we all just ended up chatting about NOLA, bars and some spooky stories. That being said, we didn’t make it back to the maple leaf bar. Brian from Goorin Bros. Hat store invited us to a show at a place called the Saturn. His buddy was playing, Vox and the Hound and brian was dj’ing all night between sets. Brett and I thought that he was nice enough to invite us, so the least we could do is show up and check out a super local show.

This place was SUPER LOCALS ONLY. I also felt pretty old being there. But the band was great and brian had some rad songs on his list so it was worth checking it out. We were exhausted so we called it a night…oh, and I vomited. Good night!

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Road trip. Day 7. New Orleans, LA

6 09 2011

It’s wet outside! I apologize ahead of time, because we did a lot today so I’m trying not to make this boring.

Day one in new Orleans and time to take to the streets. With nowhere to really go but around, we stumbled upon Goorin Bros. Hat shop to check out some cool headwear. Met a couple of cool kids, Sigourney and Brian. He gave us each a shot of Jameson, what a pal.

While walking around, we met a dude named Stoker. He was leaning on his bike playing some blues music on his guitar and harmonica. He seemed like he’s seen and experienced some things while on the road. Super cool dude with super groovy blues jams.

We were a little hungry so we walked over to cafe du monde where we met Dan, our giddy Asian server. We ordered beignets. They’re the bulby doughy parts of a funnel cake, but bigger and more delicious. Basically, the best part of a funnel cake is what a beignet is in my opinion.

We really had no big plans now that the coast guard cancelled our swamp tour, thanks a lot tropical storm Lee! That’s all right though, we walked around the French Quarter for a good chunk of time. Beknownst to us, It was pride weekend in New Orleans. We wanted to check out the blacksmith bar, the oldest bar in North America apparently. As we walked towards it, there was a line of topless men and leather daddies flooding the street and boy town club music bumping from the bar. We turned down the next block immediately haha. The looks we got were pretty hilarious, especially Brett 😉 yowzas!!!

We found a random voodoo shop down the street we turned in. It was run by a voodoo priest named Dr. John Gris Gris. He was an older man, on the heavy side with a snake in hand. He was pretty creepily soft spoken and lived on the 3rd floor above his shop. He owned a 10 foot lizard 5 pythons all over 5 feet long. He said they weren’t caged because they’re not pets, they’re his extended family. Thanks voodoo priest for the wonderful time!

We made our way to a bar called the Abbey. We had passed it earlier and I was inclined to take picture of the sign for some reason, because I felt I had to go back there. It was a cool sign, and there was something about it that made me want to go back, so we did. This bar was dark. There were 3 people in there, including the bartender. We grabbed a couple seats and the bar and started chatting with Jessica the bartender. She’s been to every state except Alaska. She was friendly very warm. A girl named Bob was there too. She works as a server at Coop’s place and I think she was between shifts so was killing time and hanging out at the bar. She had some crazy stories about New Orleans culture and about things that I don’t feel like should be mentioned on here.

She walked outside for a second and then came in with a mirror, “if it’s on the street, it’s yours.” sweet! I took a couple of moustache pictures and if you notice, there were giant circles blocking them in the camera. I took multiple pics and they had them. I asked Jessica if the bar was haunted because of the orbs. Bob, in the corner yelled out “do you know where you are, honey?” I did, that’s why I wanted to confirm. Duh, Bob. 😉 I was also honored to hear that Bob called us travelers, not tourists. That was very flattering coming from the über local, Bob. She also invited us to come to a funeral with her. I would’ve loved to check it out, but felt weird because we’re not from there, plus we had to head out that morning.

Jessica told me to look behind her and above the register. I asked if those were what I though they were…they were. Urns. About 5 or 6 of them, each containing remnants of old regulars and the original owner. It was a good bar to be in for sure. One thing I also found out is that there a lot of 24 hour bars. I also saw a dude run in soaked from the rain. He took his shirt off and opened his bag and pulled out a less soaked shirt and put it on. I struck up conversation with the dude named Sebastian. He was a rad guy. He’s an organic farmer who’s been going around from farm to farm gaining experience and perfecting his craft and making a little bit of money here and there. He wants to run for president one day. He has a good head on his shoulder. His dream is to open up an organic art farm and also be a blacksmith. He likes to build things and ultimately wants to build a canon and put it out in front of his farm. I told him every time a visitor comes by, he has to greet them by sitting atop his canon and firing it at them, but for me he has to do it with a giant ball of confetti. Agreed!

We walked over to Coop’s with Bob and had some amazing blackened shrimp pesto and and shrimp oyster fetuccini. The food was delicious and really rich. It was the best blackened shrimp pasta I’ve ever had!

I forgot to mention that we were at the Abbey for a couple hours drinking so by the time we got to Coops, we were feeling pretty good.

After dinner we decided to go back to the hotel to nap and sober up for another crazy night. We napped for about 2 hours and woke up with hangovers, it was about 10:00. ::sigh::

We got dressed and walked back down bourbon street towards Marginy which is kind of the hipster ward outside of the French Quarter. We ate at a place called 13 and met a hippie named Jenna. She was a pot farmer for a bit in SF and she gave me a leaf from her lemon tree. Sounds like a hippie to me! But don’t tell her that because she’ll probably kill you.

Walking down the street, we heard a band covering the Black Keys really well so we walked in a grabbed a drink. These kids were great. Rally talented. One of the dudes was on the banjo too. They also played Poison by bell biv devoe and moneygrabber but Fitz and the tantrums, really fun and great energy.

Stepped outside for a bit to check out the storm and stand in the rain in New Orleans and was approached by a couple of travelers from Australia. Al and Alice were actually going on the road trip that we had just taken and making their way over to Los Angeles! So you bet your ass I’m going to to my best to kick it with them. We ended up hanging out with them the rest of the night and later on were approached by a young woman by the name of Alicia or Aleesha or uhleeshuh, not sure how to spell her name.

But she was 28 years old with a 12 year old son, you can do the math. She asked if we were in a band and when we told her what we were doing, her eyes lit up and we started talking about astrology and Hurricane Katrina. She yelled down the street to her friend, Walicia or Wahleeshuh or wall•esha, who was our age and had 4 kids! The two of them together were quite the comedic duo, I had a lot of fun meeting them.

Well, it was about 3 am so we decided to head back towards the hotel. Keep in mind that we walked about 2 or 3 miles there, so we had to make it back. We found another bar that was open and had some video games, so of course we went in to see it. There was a laudromat, foosball, pool and zombie t-shirts. This place was fine by me. After I DESTROYED Brett at foosball, we took our half full cans of PBR and walked back into the storm. From there, we walked to the Mississippi River. We wanted to be able to say that at one point in our lives, we were in New Orleans during a tropical storm standing at the Mississippi. Check that off the list!

As we walked through the lobby of the hotel, water squished out of my shoes with every step. If you were a serial killer and I didn’t tip you well, you could’ve found me very very easily.

I don’t recall what I did when I got back to the hotel, but I know I went to bed around 5/5:30 am. Good times NOLA!

Jason

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Road trip. Day 6. Houston, TX to New Orleans, LA

3 09 2011

Good bye Houston. Hello New Orleans. We’ve made it!

Good morning crazy hangover. After regaining control of my body and getting ready, we hobbled over to a bar called Rudyards. I was under the impression we were going to a coffee shop. Ivanne the bartender asks what I want to drink. Coffee please. After finally convinging me that I’m no fun, it turns into an whiskey irish coffee…and then 2 shots. She was sweet and bought the shots for us. See the check she gave us? Rad! I was pretty buzzed by the time we got BBQ with Kristen and Casey.

At Hickory Hollow, we ordered a sample platter. That food came out on a 16″ plate. Finally, Texas BBQ. Ribs, chicken fried steak, sausage, brisket, coleslaw and fried okra. We also got a baked potato and tater tots. It was a lot and we almost finished it.

After lunch, we did one of those things that was just 100% meant to be. The Star Wars exhibit was in town! I missed it by a week when I was in Seattle, but in Houston, we made it by 2 weeks! Destiny.

Super nerdy geek out time. There was a life size replica of the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit. We were flipping switches like we’ve nrver turned a light on before. We all just sat, laughing about how awesome it was. Doesn’t get much cooler than that. But wait, the guy workingsaid,”are you ready?” ready for what? C-3PO starts talking and flying us around the galaxy and shit! Thanks 3PO! You rule.

We light speeded ahead about 5 times. Every kid’s dream

We said our byes and headed out to New orleans. The drive was nice. 8 -9 hours driving is nothing to us now. We drove over some marshy spots and towards our next storm. in louisiana, I hear that if you speed, you get arrested. Not even a ticket. Pretty nuts. On the interstates, you HAVE to drive on the right lane, unless passing. It’s a state law. I wasn’t used to that.

We decided to park and walk a bit in Baton Rouge. It was nice, for the time we spent there. We leisurely strolled for about 30 minutes before making our way to the closest spot to grab a drink. We went to the bar at hotel indigo and met Stephen the bar tender and Tom the simonize wax dude. We talked about work and places to check out in town. Pretty average bar experienece. Onward to New Orleans!

We arrived to the hotel around midnight or so and was greeted by Verin who was studying to be a chemist. School started this week I guess. She gave us some recommendations for things to do and try. She called us hipsters and sent us to places over in Marigny pass the French quarter.

She changed our room one time, our keys didn’t work for the second room. Third times the charm, our room was upgraded to a suite with a kitchen and super comfy beds with a great view of Canal street. The new Orleans motto, keep calm and carry on. I believe patience worked out in our favor. Off to a pretty good start in new Orleans!

Jason

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Road trip. Day 5. Austin,TX to Houston, TX

2 09 2011

Good eats, great drinks, amazing new/old friends

After a night of drinking about town, it’s about time to head out to our buddies in Houston! But first, we needed some coffee and some breakfast tacos! While checking out of the Hotel San Jose, the young gentleman behind the front desk complimented my tattoo, “I love your bounty hunter tattoo!” (O_o) I immediately replied with a friendly, “you are my people and you have put the cherry on top of my Austin experience, I MUST take a picture of you with my moustache card!”

It was pretty great, Elizabeth, who had given us some tips about places to check out the day before was there too. She tried to hide in the office, but I shouted, “don’t think you’re getting away THAT easy!” then we talked about a mustache and beard festival that is going to happen soon.

Brett also saw a really beautiful screen print framed behind the front desk and was told that their sister hotel, St. Cecilia had them across the street. We bid farewell and went to grab Brett’s print. You guys, St. Cecilia is a super hip and fancy joint, if you have the money to spend, I suggest you check it out.

Next stop, Houston!

Averaging about 7-8 hours of driving between places, 3 hours is a cake walk. One thing to note, Texas doesn’t really care about speed limits. 90-100 mph avg. BLAMO!

While waiting for our friends to free up and meet up with us, Brett and I went to Freebirds to get some burritos. If you’ve been to freebirds in Santa Barbara, it’s the same idea but bigger and similar to Chipotle. I was greeted by a young lady with a monotone,”Suuuuuuuuup man”

“oh not much, just cruising around your town”
“ohhhhhhhh, sweeeeeeeet. where you from, man?”
“LA”
“what do ya do, maaaaan?”
“movie trailers and art”
“oh shit, man! That’s what I wanna do. Shit. That’s rad.”

We chatted a bit more as we side stepped down the line while she was making my burrito. I could tell her manager was kind of annoyed b our conversation, because we were holding up the line. Whatever, making friends is so much better than eating a burrito! I took a picture of Vivian with a moustache card and said good bye to my first new friend from houston.

Killing some time, we went for a drink at the Royal Oak. That place was rad. Brett’s friend Dave was working and made us a couple of tasty Manhattons before heading out to meet up with some new/old friends, Casey, Rex, Brandie and Kristen.

What better way to welcome a couple of travelers than by helping move into a new apartment! Brett and I were more than happy to help move in the 90+ degree weather! 😉 we caught up for a bit while moving couches and furniture and then went back to the Royal Oak to kick off the night with dinner and drinks. We hung out there for a couple hours, chatted about the trip over a few drinks on the patio.

Next, we went to a really terrific bar called Anvil. Anvil is another one of those places where it takes about 5-10 minutes to make a cocktail. There, cocktail mixology is a fine art, much like a chef prepares his food and plates to perfection at a high end restaurant. Kristen entrusted the bartender with making her a drink with gin. I forgot what it was called, but it was delicious. It was spicy and refreshing at the same time. Brett had their rendition of an old fashioned and loved it. I had a dry called the alibi. It had honey, fig jam, whiskey and other things I can’t recall. That drink was so refreshing, it was like angels cried tears of joy down an ice luge of tropical rain forests and into my mouth. Yes, it was that good. new friend Rachel met up with us too. It was her first night out after being sick and bedridden for 7 days (glad you’re better, Bob!!!)

Across the street was the next bar called Boondocks. It’s a super fun dive bar that everyone’s buddy owned. Kristen took the night off there to take us out (what a sweetheart) Unfortunately Rex was working so he couldn’t hang out with us. But fortunately he was bar tending there so he hooked us up with drinks. It was $1 well drinks all night, so most of the town was there and it was a great vibe.

We had a couple shots and drinks then made our way to the poison girl a couple blocks down the street. I met a dude named Nick and we talked about my trip and some of his travels. Then his friend Galena came over and the 3 of us kept with the conversation. She actually texted her friend in New Orleans telling her that we were heading over there and to hit me up if she was free. No idea who she is, but she does something with burlesque and that’s all I needed to know.

2 am stumbled around and we went back to Boondocks to hang out after hours while Rex and everyone was closing up shop. We kept drinking for another hour or 2 with some pals. Majority of the time was spent drinking and arguing about which street fighter character was the best (obviously Ken) and shitty horror movie trivia. It was very very loud and intense, but super fun. Around 3:30-4:00 hit, Rex was good and ready to leave, so we headed out.

When we got to his place, Brandie had already made ready our bed so we could pass out ASAP. It was super cool! We hung out outside for a bit, since we couldn’t really hang out with Rex while he was working.

I fell into my pillow like a redwood tree falling in slow motion and passed out seconds later.

Thanks so much to you all for making our night in Houston, one I won’t soon forget.

Jason

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Road trip. Day 4. Austin, TX

2 09 2011

Motto for this road trip: “I’m up for anything”

Austin never ceases to amaze me. After our cup of coffee in the 100 degree weather, we took a leisurely stroll down South Congress to check out some local shops. One in particular was a vontage shop called Leighlani’s (I think that’s how it’s spelled) we met a friendly young lady named Emily who was in the back of the store behind a sewing machine stitching some clothes to put back on the store floor.

Brett did a profile interview on the blonde with dreadlocks and she was pretty excited to talk to us and give us some local recommendations. We told her we were going to check out Barton Springs, natural springs near downtown that costs $3 to go and swim in like a natural public pool. Booze isn’t allowed in the springs, so she recommended we check out a dog park a little further along the springs which some of the locals called “Barkin’ Springs.” it’s on the other side of the fence of Barton Springs but it was filled with dogs fetching tennis balls, beautiful girls and trees to hide behind and drink our tall cans of Lonestar.

The water is 68 degrees year round, so it was perfect to kick it in the water. Especially since it was about 107 degrees all day long! After about an hour or so, we made our way over to Mondo Tees’s only store to check out their screen printing collection. I was able to score 2 posters that I wasn’t able to get online so I was pretty happy.

While browsing the little shop of heaven, I saw my buddy Jason Edmiston’s commissioned Planet of the Apes painting. It was pretty gorgeous. I took a pic and sent it to him cause I was so stoked and I wasn’t sure if he’d seen it on the wall there. So as I was geeking out on the store and the art and toys, I saw dude walk in with a shirt that my other buddy, Scott Derby had designed, so yes, I took another picture and sent it to Scott. As you can tell I was excited to see artists I know and respect have their work in a store that I’ve wanted to go to for a long time at the Alamo Drafthouse.

Not even minutes later, a guy walked in who happened to be filming an event that was taking place at the Alamo. His name was Rod, and he was from Los Angeles! We got chatting and found out that he films a wrestling show for television at a theatre down the street from my apartment on La Brea! He invited us to a party/filming of the showy Esau we get back home! Guess how we end our road trip???

Also, while in the store, a dude asked me if we were with expresso beans.com, an online community for screen print art collectors. I told him I was a member of the community and have a couple pieces on there. Turns out that since the Mondo Mystery Movie was the following day and since people were flying in from across the country to be part of it, there was an expressobeans.com meet up here in austin! He gave me the address to the party and extended the invite to myself and anyone else I had with me. After parting ways, we headed over to the Highball bowling alley (theCOOLEST bowling alley i’ve ever been to) to grab afternoon drink. There was a gentleman sitting next to us who had a friendly face and an exciting and positive energy. We exchanged a few words and found out he was there for a fundraiser for his show called “been there yet?” his name was Lance and he’d only been living there for a 3 months. I think he figured out that we were kinda nerdy folk and recommended we go out to grab a drink at a barcade called Kung Fu Saloon. He was excited to hear about our adventure and all the people we had met and where we were off to next. He was definitely good people and had great stories of drunken VIP parties with will.I.am and a random encounter rev. Jesse Jackson in the streets of New York.

We bid adieu and went back to the hotel to get ready for a night on the town with my friend Sara. I’ve known of Sara since elementary school but never actually talked or hung out with her. We have mutual, like minded friends, so I knew we would get along great. and we did, at least I think we did. She could totally hate me for all I know. 😉

First stop of the night was a place called Frank. Sara had played a couple shows there in the past and loved it. It was great, I have a bacon wrapped hot dog with sauerkraut and chili cheese waffle fries. Brett had the veggie dog and stuffed jalapeños.

Second stop of the night was Kung Fu Saloon which Lance had recommended earlier. It was such a nerdy hip barcade. It was great! Free skee-ball and 80s and 90s video games. Out on the back patio, we found giant Jenga blocks that built a tower about 3 feet high. We had to play it. It was probably the most stressed I had felt in a long time. With every brick I pulled and gust of wind that swept across, my heart was beating 100 mph. Brett had to stand on the brick stoop to place the last piece before it toppled and disrupted every conversation outside. It was an epic battle and an epic kickoff to the night of bar hopping.

Stop number 3 was the Violet Crown over on East 6th to meet up with Sara’s buddy Jay who is a graphic designer and an Austin transplant from San Diego. The bar was a dive, but it was great. ghostbusters was on the flatscreen and 4 shots of Bulleit bourbon to kick off the drinking for the night.

Stop number 4 was a really really great bar called the Eastside Showroom. There was a trio of musicians on stage which Sara described as “gypsy jazz” I asked the bar tender to make me her favorite gin drink and she made me a creation of one of the bartenders there called “something waltz”. It was delicious. I was stoked to be able to get a sneak peek of a drink that won’t even make it onto the menu till next month. Reading the cocktail menu at this place was like reading another language. Maybe because the sprites were hand picked and imported from all over the world. I loved this place. The bartender really took her time crafting my drink and I tasted it. I’d never had a drink like that before and I’m curious now to start trying drinks other than whiskey ginger and gin and tonics.

Stop number 5 was Volstead lounge. We walked in and it was empty. We were thinking if we should stay or go to a different bar when we scanned the room and saw they had Jenga there! They instantly got our business as we began round 2 of our epic Jenga challenge, we even adjusted the 3rd round to a more extreme Jenga challenge.

Stop number 6 was at Jay’s place. We just hung out in his backyard and talked shop for an hour or so. It was a great way to end our night in Austin. I will miss this place, but I know I’ll be back again. Next stop, Houston for a couple days and the off to NEW ORLEANS!!

Jason

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Road trip. Day 3. Carlsbad, NM to Austin, Tx

30 08 2011

This trip just keeps getting better and better!!

As I posted earlier, we went cave spelunking and it was beautiful! I fell asleep for about an hour today while Brett took the wheel and woke up in the middle of Texas. After switching, we drove through a town called Hendricksonburg. I had an old Texas saloon feel to it and everything about it was charming. We were on a tight deadline so we couldn’t stop to smell the sasparella. (sp?)

As we continued to drive we passed some small roadside ranches. We saw some longhorn bulls, deer, antelope and even an ostrich! The drive through east Texas wasn’t as bad as people made it out to be. There was some beautiful nature surrounding us. We even drove through a pretty powerful thunder storm. The clouds were daunting and the rain was fat and hard. I can finally say I’ve driven through a storm in Texas at 100 mph, quite the adrenaline rush.
On of the managers of the Alamo Drafthouse suggested we arrive at 9:00 pm for the movie, we got there at about 9:10.

Brett and I have been wanting to check the theater out for a long time and we finally made it! The theater was everything I’d hoped it would be, and more! Each row had a chest high counter top. We got a bucket of beer and a burger and pizza. The food was a lot better than some of the places I’ve had back home!

We watched the Big Lebowski quote-along and upon walking in, we received a pink blow up giant baseball bat and a glowstick. Why, you ask? Because there’s a scene in the movie then John goodman’s charter beats a corvette with a crowbar. When that scene happened, everyone started beating each other up with the bats! It was just fun.

From the Alamo, we checked in to the Hotel San Jose. This hotel is fantastic! Instead of rooms, they have little bungalows scattered throughout their grounds. Then we found out there’s a bar across the street called the Continental Club. Which was exactly the bar/club I wanted to be at in austin. All the tables were pushed to the back of the room and girls were pulling their significant others off their stools and onto the “dance floor” Everyone knew how to swing dance and was having the best time ever. The band was a swing/rockabilly band with a singer who looked like he’d lived an interesting life. People knew his songs and were requesting his songs by name, definitely a local favorite.

As recommended by Kate the bartender, we went to the bar next door that had another live band, but we just missed them. We kicked it with the bartender who gave us some pointers about making drinks with bitters and how bitters tastes like butthole. He was a cool cat.

Drunk and stoked on life, we took a nice leisurely stroll towards the Capitol building and walked to the S. Congress bridge (a couple of miles from the bar and about 2:30 am at this point). We looked over the bridge to soak everything in and we looked down to the water and saw hundreds of bats. this was THE bridge I wanted to see but was worried I would miss it!! I couldn’t believe I was watching bats flying below me and the Capitol was right there. It was a great feeling!

Jason