Saturday, September 15, 2007

Austin, Tx - Day 1

My first day in Austin was a little bit of a letdown. True, I started out the day by waking up at 5 am in order to catch the cab to LGA at 5:30, but that's irrelevant! ;-). The flight was remarkably smooth and event free. I got into Dallas on time, caught my connection to Austin and was at the hotel by 12:30 local time. I had been able to catch some Z's on the plane so I didn't feel I had to nap when I got there. So I unpacked and went out on the town to check things out.

The downtown of Austin is only about a mile square so it's big but walkable. The hotel is perfectly situated on the Colorado river on the south end of downtown. The first thing I wanted to see was the famous 6th street of Austin. 6th street is kind of like the Texas answer to Bourbon street in New Orleans. It's about half a mile long and populated with nothing but very cool bars and tshirt shops. Oh, and a Segway rental shop at the very end. But I was there at about 1PM and the whole town was...dead. Empty. Nobody around. So I wandered aimlessly, feeling like a reject from a zombie movie. I had a crappy slice of pizza. Some advice for pizza parlors: don't call it 'New York Style', people will just be disappointed. Then I walked up Congress Avenue to the magnificent Texas State Capitol building. The place is a pleasure to visit, and Emily the tour guide gave a wonderful presentation.

The Texas heat was getting to me, so I walked back to the hotel to nap. I was woken up at 6:30 by a phone call. Some of the guys, including Lee, the reason we were all there (it's his bachelor party), had arrived. After a quick cleanup, we all walked to the Iron Works BBQ grill. It was a no nonsense kind of place. You walk up to the counter to order and they give you a tray with your order on it. Then you seat yourself and eat. But, no joke, it was the best BBQ beef ribs I've ever had. It might have been the best $12 meal in recorded history. I made sure not to eat too much because I knew we'd be out drinking later. It was 8:15 and I wanted to go back to the hotel to see the famous Austin Bats take off from their nesting place, about 500 yards from our hotel. But I was outvoted and we went out drinking instead. We invaded 6th street en masse, but it was pretty early and the bars were just opening up. Still, we got round after round of Lone Star beer ($2 for a 16 oz. can!) and the crowd eventually came. So we went bar hopping and eventually ended up at this great outdoor place a few blocks north. EVERY bar we went to had live music bands. This place is crawling with live music of every type. We heard jazz, country, bluegrass, punk and straight ahead rock. We also spent some time at a place with a talented band who sounded jkust like The Killers. Could be worse. One down side, the bars all close at 2 AM. But that just means that the girls are drunk by 1 instead of 3.

A joke I heard last night (slightly redacted for decency, but you get the idea):

"True story: So I'm doing this girl from behind, and she's digging it. So I decide I'm gonna slip it in her ***. She turns her head and says, 'Isn't that a bit presumptuous?'. And I say, 'Presumptuous? Isn't that a big word for a 12 year old?"

Yeah, it's been a boys weekend all right.

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