Preparation      Grand Canyon     Austin    New Orleans    Nashville     Home

We drove between 500 and 600 miles each day, eight to ten hours.  Between the Grand Canyon and Austin were two days of driving.  Halfway between Winslow and Austin was Lubbock Texas.  A nice small city that we stopped in for the night.  We booked a room in an Embassy Suites hotel, which if you've ever stayed there you know it is a nice place.  We got comfortable there, had a nice meal and watched the games in the bar.  Then it was off to Austin.  It is amazing to see the differences in the terrain from Cali, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.  
  We stopped for lunch in a casino called Route 66 Casino which actually was pretty big and nice compared to what we'd been seeing out there.  They had some big acts coming this summer including George Thoroughgood and CSN.  The buffet however sucked. 
  The famous 6th Street in downtown Austin is one of the most rockingest streets in the US.  For five blocks its nothing but bars and each one has a great band.  On this particular night they were having the annual "Rot Rally" in which a few thousand motorcycle riders wheel into town for some hard core partying.  Ava had school but promised to meet up with us on the strip. 
  The first place we wen into was a bar called "Friends" and they had the hottest jam band, the Eric Tessermer Band.  They had two whaling guitarists who jumped off the stage while jamming and made their way through the crowd, doing shots along the way.  It was some introduction to Austin music.   We walked down the street stopping into the bars with the best bands for example The Thirsty Nickel and The Chuggin Monkey.  Ava called us and told us to meet her at the Flamingo Cantina, which we avoided earlier because they had a cover charge.  She met us outside and took us around the back and showed us how to sneak in using the back door.  It was okay though, since one of her best friends, Natalia, step mother owned the place.   We went up to a rooftop bar and caught up with her, since we haven't seen her in a while.  She is doing great and has really grown up.
My God daughters together.   
The next day we all slept a little late after such a wild night.  We were staying in Ava's friend Zeb's place.  Zeb is a great guy who we met in the fall when Ava and Zeb met us in Dallas for the Cowboy game.  Zeb let us use his place for the weekend and he stayed with a friend.  Anyway Ava picked us up and took us to the San Marcos River for a two hour toob ride.  We got an extra toob for the cooler and joined thousands of Texas students as we slowly made our way down the river.  It was awesome.  the river moves at all points so there is never any paddling, except when you want to avoid low branches or other partiers.  When we ran out of beers 2/3 the way through we bartered with our cigarette lighter, exchanging a light for a lite.   
  Afterwards we showered up, and went out to the restaurant that Ava, Natalia and Zeb work at which is called Plate by DZintra.  The food was out of this world, the best we've had all trip and probably all year.  Overall Austin was the highlight of the trip and it was great to see Ava and meet her friends.