Okay, well this story doesn’t begin in Texas. But Texas was kind of a landmark for us. We have officially driven over 2000miles (more like 2300), Molly had never been to Texas, and it is the first state we hit that I hadn’t driven into before. Texas just feels like hey, you are actually getting somewhere.
So Sunday we hung out in Nashville. We went to brunch at the Tavern with Alex and my Senior year roommate (also Alex…confusing sometimes). I caught up with them and Molly heard some of her first stories about “Amelia in College”and we had 2 for 1 mimosas. Then we got in JJ and headed for the Country Music Hall of fame. Three years in Nashville and I hadn’t been. JJs check engine light came on while we were driving down Broadway….great…so I checked the fluids/gas cap to see if it was something obvious, then we went into the museum. It turned out to be really quite interesting. I was especially fascinated by the earliest years of country music because the development of it is closely intertwined with American history. And there were a lot of really outrageous costumes and fancy guitars on display.
We were pretty tired afterwards so we went to Bongo Java near Belmont to get some coffee and enjoyed “hipster-watching”, an activity much like people watching but at places where hipsters hang out and I called my father about the car. We decided to take it into a shop in Nashville before hitting the road the next day. Molly and I bought some groceries for dinner and breakfast and spent the evening hanging out at Alex’s apartment watching bad tv.
We got up at 7 to get going and took JJ into a shop I had used before. They were super nice. They checked it out and told us that JJ’s light turned on because the engine was running cold at the time. Only time in my life a car mechanic has advised me NOT to fix a problem. I called my father (since JJ is his car) and decided that was the thing to do. Diesels are fine if they run a bit cold they just get worse gas milage. And it would be easier to fix it later if it continued to be a problem. Five days later and the light hasn’t come back on so hopefully it will be okay.
After that we drove south to New Orleans. We got to Gootee’s at like 5. She took us out for happy hour at some place called Monkey Hill, then we picked up her friend Ferf before going to the High Hat for dinner. We both had red beans and rice with fried chicken and both were kind of perfect. We went out for another beer before heading home kind of early. The next day Emily showed us around a bit taking us to a place called Yo Mamma’s for lunch where we had epic hamburgers. Then Molly had never had a Hurricane so we took some touristy photos and went to Pat O’Briens for drinks on the patio. I had a rainstorm instead and we headed back to Gootee’s so we could get on the road to Mobile.
When we got to Terica’s she took us on a tour of Mobile, showing us all of her favorite places and updating us on her life. We went back to her place to get ready for her birthday dinner then drove over to an oyster shack called Wentzel’s where I met more of her friends and her sister. I had shrimp and grits for dinner and Molly had a sausage Po boy. Then we went to her favorite hang out spot “OK Bicycle Shop” which also had a lot of beer on tap and hand made margaritas where we had another drink before returning to her house to meet some more friends of hers. Molly and I excused ourselves and went to bed around 1am even though they were still up chatting. We got up at 7 again to face our longest day of driving yet, through Louisiana and into Texas for 11 hours. Woo driving.
We drove all the way to Austin by about 7 where we met up with my cousins Reid and Kalyn and a couple of Reid’s friends. We met Max the puppy, who was solidly one of the cutest puppies ever. Molly started plotting to steal him but decided against it because she liked the owners. We had beers and pizza at a place called the Hangar lounge where we tried a bunch of local beers and Molly learned that she really likes Shiner Blonde. Convenient because it is available all over Texas. Next we went to the Ginger Man and had a few more beers including Pyramid Apricot which was very delicious.
On Thursday my cousin Reid (whom we were staying with) sent me a long list of good things to do in Austin and we picked what looked most agreeable. We had breakfast tacos at Torchy’s tacos and the best queso of my life. Seriously though, breakfast tacos are kind of my favorite. Then we went to Mayfield Park to spend some time outside for the first time in like a week. They had really cool peacocks, but we decided against trying to make them fluff their tails. Apparently they only do that when they feel threatened (?) or trying to mate. No such luck. We walked around the nature trails for about an hour. Next we went to the Bob Bullock Texas State Museum which wasn’t entirely what we expected. We expected it to be more ridiculous and like TEXAS HELL YEAH but it was mostly a history museum. Still really interesting though because Molly and I are well educated on Colonial history, but early Texas history is something entirely different. Around 4 we hopped in the car to head down to the coast for the Johnson family reunion. So far so good, but I am going to leave that experience for a later post.