Friday, October 31, 2014
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Driving. Another day of driving for 8 hours. I mean, it's not terrible, but it's not ideal. Of course, there were things I needed to do before the driving came. Such as aliens. I needed to see aliens!
The International Museum of UFOs (or something) was everything I knew it would be. Newspaper clippings, first hand accounts, pictures and admissions from govt. Officials after the fact. "They weren't human!"
There were hoaky displays of aliens landing, and a really cool designed door from a Mayan site in south America that they had on display (probably one of the cooler things they had). I Milled about the museum learning and snapping pictures and then looked through the end gift shop. About noon, I decided it was time to leave this place, so I snatched up my belongings, checked out, and I was on the road.
The breakfast at the Best Western was what you expect; sausage, ham, cereal, egg product. They had all the common stuff. I had a bit, grabbed boxes of cereal and some oranges and left. I figured I could stop on the way. I did eventually.
Stopping for gas, I realized I was about starved so I went into the store. Inside was a burger joint known as Laguna Burger. I had a good feeling about it so I sat myself down at the bar and ordered.
1/2 pound of meat, mustard, hatch chiles, onion, pickles (Xtra of course) and some hand cut fries and I was in business. An absolutely delicious butger, and locally sourced if you are into that! Lester and Thomas, the fellas working there did me right.
I got back on the road.
Out of all the places I have driven, New Mexico, I must say, made me feel the most adventurous. Crawling plains and steep plateaus in the distance. The tree ed, earthy colors and the low sitting flora. For me it had such mystery and beauty about it. I was driving through and all I was thinking is that I would be back. I wanted to get to the tops of the plateaus and explore around them. I'll be back New Mexico!
Driving driving, hunting for deer, driving. I didn't want to hit one of those deer or elk, but the last 200 miles were in the dark and I was on the edge of my seat.
Finally, I arrived at my KOA site and set up. 2 things.
First, using your car lights is a good idea to set up a tent in the dark UNLESS you don't have the car running. In the words of Forrest Gump, "I am not a smart man".
Second, no matter thetemperature, you are about to freeze your bollywogs off at night. Arctic fucking temperatures appearantly. I did not realize that, though it was cold, it would continue to drop down to the coldest shit you have ever tried to sleep in.
All that said, my battery dead, my phone dying and my nutskies frozen... it was all worth it to see those stars. Beautiful swaths of light striking every corner of that black nothing and I would sleep naked out here just to look at them. Insignificance noted universe, I get the message. Thanks for the view!
Monday, October 27, 2014
You wouldn't believe how easily your brain can occupy itself for 8 hours of driving by yourself. I got some weird stuff going on up in that noggin.
The drive was long but pleasurable. Texas going west turns into hills and valleys and winding roads and ranches. It was amazing to see so many ranches, and the fences went on for miles. People told me that Texas was boring mostly, but I disagree. I've lived a majority of my life traveling between Tennessee and Illinois. Seeing the rest of what this country has to offer is amaizjng.
I'm not talking about the cities. I'm talking about it all as a whole! The towns, the people, the food(especially the food), and the countryside. Look at a map and Texas is some arbitrarily chosen color connected to Mexico and the rest of the US. THAT is borong. Seeing that that shape for what it is and mapping that out in your head, that's incredible! Brush and trees and creek beds dried up. Rocks and marments(mostly dead, but still) and the biggest damn trucks you ever seen. That was what I wanted to see, and I did.
As I neared my destination and crossed that state border into New Mexico, I was growing tired of driving. Most of it had to do with the suns ceaseless shine which, as a whole, I love. However, when it is pulverizing your retinas with its cancerous rays and you blink and see its circle in you eyelids, you grow weary of its embrace.
I pulled into Roswell NM as the sun went down, kicking and screaming, and throwing some final suckerpunches through gaps in trees right into my eye holes. I snatched up my phone, parked in a McDonald parking lot. As I decided my destination for the night, I heard a small sound to my right. Looking up, I about dropped some mud at the sight of a pair of blue eyes, connected to a one legged man in a wheelchair, peered into my car from the driver side. I decided at that moment, I would get a hotel.
I snagged up my room for a decent price. More than I wanted to pay, but cheaper than its usually $100+ rate.
Now, all I have to say about Roswell NM...
"I want to believe"
Sunday, October 26, 2014
I had met the owner of North By North West Brewing at Hopsfield and told him I would get him a Tennessee Brew Works Business card, and so I snagged some and headed for NXNW.
To my surprise, they were having their annual Oktoberfest! I got myself a mug and some tickets for beer and food, and I enjoyed a kielbasa with sour kraut and cabbage with my NXNW Oktoberfest beer.
Showing how small the world really is, I ran into a friend from UT Knoxville at the Oktoberfest.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
After snagging a bite to eat and all that, I headed out for the first stop of my day at Pinballz Arcade! It was a wonderland of old and new gaming towers encompassing a deep, 2 leveled gaming area. At the front you are greeted with pinball machines and the prize counter.
These are surrounded by games like Gauntlet Legends, XMen (Welcome... TO DIE!) and Ninja Turtles. On the opposite side sits one of my favorite machines, the Cyclone, as well as other ticket winning games.
Continue on back and you find the pinball area. Pinball machines eat the second level of the place, their 8bit sounds attacking your ears and their lights sparkling in your eyes, its hard not to walk around in amazement!
Tucked away in a nook up front you can find old atari titles as well as Tron and Off Road, two of my favorites. Rampage was also there, and I had a great time munching on soldiers and wrecking buildings. It was just a fun start to a fun day!
Afterwards, I drove on out towards Jester King. A brewery half an hour outside Austin.
Now, if you want to drink beer and get a feel for what I always thought Texas would be like, go to Jester King! Its out in bush country and its gorgeous! Connected to it is a Pizza place that, by all accounts, is delicious, but the feel of the place is just so... ranch. Its like a cowboy became a beer snob and made this brewery come to life by sheer cowboy will!
Steam Theory Brewing Company
so keep your eyes peeled for these guys.
It was nice being able to share stories and discussions related to homebrewing over the extensive list of sour beers that Jest King has to offer!
Again, that Texas feel was prominent as the sun set over the compound and the spindly, bendy trees and bushes that speckled the rocky ground around Jest King. I felt so cool being part of the scenery here, and being able to experience it for myself!
At Jester King, they didn't just have their beer, and I am always, Always, ALWAYS ready to try some pineapple drink of some caliber. Beer, wine, mead, I want to try it all. These were two of the pineapple pleasantries I was privy to enjoy.
Now, by all account, the Pizza out there by Jester King is absolutely delicious, and I believe them because the line was INSANE by the time I was getting hungry, so the boys from Steam Theory and myself all rode on into Austin again and ended up at the Pint House.
I didn't ask about the mermaid beer girl there, but I'm sure she had a reason. She looked cool at least!
After pizza, I said my farewell to my new friends.
Post pizza, Aaron, Tio, and I went to the movies to see John Wick. What a fun film that was! Violence, revenge, Keanu: everything you'd ever need to have a good time! After film, we all headed home and hit our respective pillows. It has been a long day! I'll have more to do tomorrow!
Friday, October 24, 2014
The day started with a wonderful breakfast, made by my gracious, caring, and omnivorous host!
Aaron wizard-ed around the kitchen to create delicious, veggie and meat filled tortillas that hit the spot called my empty stomach. I provided some homemade pico (Thanks Mrs. Butrum!) and some hotsauce from Louisianna, and then Tio, Aaron, and myself tucked into our food.
After that, I lazed around Aaron's apartment and looked up the breweries I had already seen bits about online. I wanted to make sure I knew exactly which ones I would visit if I could only choose a few.
Aaron and I parted was after this and he scooted off to work. Tio also needed to make some duckets so I was left to my own devices. I took a power nap and headed out for Austin Beerworks.
I did not choose wrong.
Austin Beerworks was absolutely a blast. The people were excited to be there, the staff was happy to be part of the scene, and the beer was quite tasty. The first introduction you have to some of the brewers is on a sign which I will place... here:
So that is what I saw first, and I new I had arrived.
Not only was that fun, their deal of $10 for 3 fills and an Austin Beerworks glass and I knew I had made the right decision of coming here first (Also, it was down the road from my place of residence, but that was that good 'ol convenient factor)
I drank my fill of Black Thunder, a German style Schwarz beer and the beer I was most excited about, as well as an experimental IPA and the Golden Fist, a Belgian style with a power 9% punch. I met some fun people who worked and played there, namely Olivia and Ryan (respectively). We had fun chatting about the beer scene, Austin in general, and laughing about my outfit choice which was IDENTICAL to another patrons. From the Henley and the shorts down to the TOMS shoes on our feet, we snagged a picture (sadly I did not get a copy) and laughed about it.
|That dude is Rysan!|
Post Beerworks, I hopped in my car (sobered up of course) and headed south towards the Violet Crown, a swanky movie theatre in Austin where you can sit in recliners and eat proper food while enjoying the film on screen.
I snuck into an early view of "Birdman" with Tio and we watched a great and strange film unfold on the intimate screening experience.
Finally, having my fill of food, beer, and art, I left for Aaron and Tio's apartment once more, hell bent on getting some decent sleep and waking up refreshed and ready for tomorrow!
Thursday, October 23, 2014
After this, I filled up the gas tank and split for Austin. The original plan was to head half way to Austin and camp somewhere along the way, preferably the beach. I scrapped that plan when I couldn't find any good places that stuck out as beach camping. Kept on moving.
Just outside of Batonrouge I met my first hiccup. Car problems! A few calls, a lot of driving, 2 hours later and some duct tape, I was backon the road.
|Looks like it was bright outside. It weren't.|
Another side note, Texans drive fast. Like, super fast. Mega hella fast. Speed limit through Houstin (A preposterously large city) is 75mph at some points. I was going 75mph. People were passing me and had to be going at least 90mph, weaving in and out of traffic.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Also, I was getting sick. So I slept away most of the day. Snuggled and wrapped in lots of blankets, I pounded water down myself and made sure I sweat a lot. My joints were starting ti get achy.
When I woke up around noon I was feeling a bit better so I hopped in the shower for the steam and knocked all the gunk in my nose out. Then, the only thing I was feeling was starvation. I hadn't eaten for quite some time and I was feeling it.
But, I waited. Food was important, but it was also important as to what kind of food. Upon internetting, I found that a place called "Luke" existed, only with some fancy shit over the U. I found they had what I sought, but at 3pm. So I waited.
I was there for what they had, but I needed to wait till 3, so I ordered that days special. Seafood gumbo as my side and a White Gulf Shrimp Cuccuza Stew with smoked Pork Jowls on Jasmine Rice... Majestic to say the least. The gumbo was meaty and a blast of flavor, and the stew was magnificent as well. When I was finished with my meal, it was almost time. I ordered a beer and waited.
|Oysters are so damn good!|
I did so by ordering a second dozen.
Twenty four oysters for $12 was something you can't pass up, and I would have ordered more had I had a "wooden leg" as people often ask. What a wonderful thing to eat. I'm glad I'm on this planet to do it.
After this, I came back to Faith's and took a power nap. Shortly after, we were off to "The Spotted Cat". A live jazz joint. It was so great to hear more Jazz music, and particularly funny to me as I realized... all the dancers from last Sunday were here. It was great to hear the Jazz, and Faith, Anderson (Faith's friend) and I listened on intently to the music.
Water water and more water, then off to bed. I suppose it's time I get to rambling on, but I'm going to miss this here silly town. Its been fun New Orleans, but if I stay any longer I might stay for good.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
After tossing the majority of the Daiquiri into a to go cup, I snagged my keys, said my farewells to Faith who went back to work, and I tooled around New Orleans. I drove by the lake in all its monstrosity. The breeze coming of the thing was quite relaxing, but the construction I was driving through didn't make for a perfect event of driving.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Vasti Jackson rocked the crowds blues soul with his majestic guitar licks, even working his way through the crowd with all of us. I filmed quite a bit with my GoPro before I decided to give him my undivided attention, and not a moment to late as a security guy came through looking for me and my gopro. "NO FILMING" he glared at the man next to me. I chose that moment to slink back into the crowd.