After my friends had talked about moving to the Austin, Texas area for a few years, talk became reality last week and I helped them with the drive. In four days we drove more than 1,795 miles (according to Google Maps, actually more when you count getting off the highway for hotels, rest stops, food, etc). Day one was Lincoln, CA to Palm Desert, CA. Day two took us to Las Cruces, NM. By day three we had made it to Fort Stockton, TX and we wrapped up the trip at their new house in Leander, TX, just outside of Austin, TX. I drove their pickup and the oldest four of the 10 kids (another family made the drive with us) who made the trip, plus the dog. Thanks to the invention of the iPod and iTouch the kids in my car happily made the drive (I helped by supplying additional battery life), we also had plenty of food stops, where I tried to eat healthy, but I caved and had quite a few milkshakes along the way too.
When we finally made it into Texas we stopped at Rudy's for our first official Texas BBQ meal, after the meal, I went to a Holiday Inn Express to use their wifi and get some work done (the staff there was very nice to allow me to hang out in their breakfast area for a few hours).
Once at their house, we unloaded the pick-up, 26-foot Penske moving truck and 12-foot U-Haul trailer. After the unpacking, I was able to stay with the family for an extra few days. Since they didn't have wifi at their house yet, I ended up spending my workdays at McDonald's, home of free wifi, large tables and, if you know what you're doing, healthy food choices.
When Saturday rolled around we headed to San Antonio, just under two hours away, to Remember the Alamo and check out the River Walk. Both were very cool to see and it was interesting to re-learn the history of the Alamo and see it in person for the first time. The River Walk was amazing, I'll have to go back and explore more in the future, but it reminded me a little bit of Chicago (which has the architectural boat tour) and of Disney, with its restaurants (we ate at The Republic of Texas) and hotel lined shores in a very picturesque setting, you would never know you were in the middle of a large city.
Sunday we took it easy, ate lunch at Mighty Fine Burgers and then on the way to the airport took a driving tour of downtown Austin and ate at Piranha Killer Sushi.
Overall, it was a great trip and I'm looking forward to heading back sometime in September for a client conference and to see more of the area. Once home though it was nice to enjoy a few home cooked meals, I like eating out, but there's nothing quite like a home cooked meal after eight days of eating at restaurants.
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