Notes from the States – Day 2: History, beer 'n' boobs!

I couldn’t sleep. As much as I tried I eventually awoke at 06:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep, even thought I didn’t go to sleep until after 00:30 the night before.

So, I eventually got up, showered, shaved, and made my way out to the lobby to settle my bill (zero, all paid via earlier).

After a short ride by a really nice man driving the Hilton courtesy bus back, went back to the airport to pick up a Super Shuttle into Austin to the Omni hotel and dropped off my bags as I was a little too early to check in.

I then took a nice stroll around town, getting completely lost. It’s real strange seeing street names sign-posted across the entrances to totally other streets when you’re used to streets being sign-posted on the side of buildings actually on the street!

I eventually found (with the help of a nice gentleman outside a bar) the Visitors Information centre. From there I worked my way up to the Capitol building and had a look around. Impressive building, it’s strange how open it is for people to just wander around (obviously you can’t go into the private offices).

I then followed a self-guided walking tour, looking at all the buildings and stuff. Part way through I stopped off at a deli and had a sandwich and coffee. It was a fantastic sandwich, Pastrami and Swiss on Jalapeño Cheese bread, probably the tastiest sandwich I’ve ever had. Yum.

It started to drizzle mid afternoon so I headed back to the hotel and checked in, where I was warned that it’s Mardi Gras weekend, so if things get a little too loud to give them a call.

Once into my (nice) room checked my mail and posted my previous entry via the (free but slow) wireless internet. When I first got into the room though, the phone rang, I thought it might of been Dr Gerard Hammond whom I had planned to meet up with later, but it was someone very different and totally unexpected, Mandy my wife!

She was a little worried as she hadn’t heard from me in two days! For me of course it was only a day and a half, it was only mid afternoon but for Mandy it was late night. Anyway we had lovely chat (I guess it probably cost a fortune), it was great to be able to talk to Mandy.

Met up with Gerard in the hotel’s atrium bar, where we had a few beers and a good chat about REALbasic, the community surrounding it and some other stuff, then decided to go out and get something to eat and check out some of the live music.

When we came out of the hotel and turned the corner to go down to 6th street where all the action is, I was surprised to see that the police had closed the road to all traffic. There were police everywhere! All the streets leading to 6th were blocked off by police cars, and all up and down the street were little groups of police with some very long batons hanging off their belts. Serious stuff, I guess things can get a little out of hand on Mardi Gras weekend then, or do they do this every Saturday night?

We checked out a few restaurants and then headed into one that first took our fancy. Good food, I enjoyed my Chicken Chipotle, but Gerard had a bit of a shock when he opened the napkin in the bread basket, cockroaches on the bread! Eeewwww! The waitress was also a little shocked too, and very embarrassed and apologetic, we got a free sweet as compensation.

So off to check out the music and get one last drink (we had already had 5 or six beers so far).

It kind of looked as though things were getting set up for a parade, but when Gerard asked a girl selling beads about it she said no, “just beer ‘n’ boobs”!

It was just before 9pm, and things were only just starting to come alive, eventually we came across “Bourbon Rocks” which seemed to be bouncing with life, a band in full swing knocking out some great rock. “All beers $2 until 9″ the guy on the door said, so we got in there quick as it was 5 to 9 and got our cheep beers.

The band was excellent, great music and the lead singer was putting on a great show, so we stayed for “just one more” beer. And then another, another, another, another and then a few more!

I must apologize to Gerard at this point, I think I encouraged him to stay for “just one more” a little more than I should, but in all fairness he did surprise me a couple of times by saying “lets have just one more” himself.

The band even played some Led Zeppelin at my request too, they really knew how to play, the lead guitarist got a nice little workout with that request!

And of course, with this being Mardi Gras, the band got the occasional flash of boobs!

Eventually we came to our senses and wandered back to the hotel, although I got a bit confused and headed off in the wrong direction at first, convinced we had to cross the street. It didn’t look right, but I was convinced I was going in the right direction. Eventually we asked a police man what direction the Omni was, and he just pointed up at the huge tower with Omni written on it, a block or so behind him! I still thought it was the wrong direction but decided to give it a go! I think maybe I was a little drunk. :-)

Now I’m paying the price for all those beers. It’s looking like a really nice day outside, but I’m not looking forward to the bright light!

I won’t be drinking like that again this week, I want to enjoy and get the most out of the conference and therefore can’t afford to have a hang-over spoiling it. But I had a blast last night, it was a great time to be out and about in Austin.

No comments.

  1. Oh what a bleary set of eyes I peered through this morning…
    Thomas Tempelmann is demoing his version control for RB projects.

    He says to meet at 8:30pm on sunday in the lobby of the Omni.

  2. Cool, see you there.

  3. Welcome to Austin!

    Just started reading your blog. Interesting ’cause I live here…

    BTW, where did you get the Pastrami? Schlotzsky’s?
    I’m always looking for a new sandwich place. ;-)


    Austin, TX

  4. Thanks Drew, I’m really liking Austin, seems a very friendly city!

    Yep, Schlotzky’s. I’ll have to try their “original” next time I think, I’ve already been back and had a smoked turkey sandwich, thought it would help settle my alcohol induced dodgy tummy, seemed to do the trick OK!