It’s Pronounced “Byuda”

I made it to Buda, Texas, yesterday afternoon after wandering on back roads because my car’s gps and I had an argument. It wanted to take me on toll roads and I wanted to avoid them, so we compromised. As a result I was an hour later arriving in Buda than I’d planned. Oh, and Siri on my iPhone doesn’t do well with the name “Buda” and kept telling me there was no town called Butor in Texas. I might have yelled at her a time or two. Yes, the war between woman and machines has begun.

I hadn’t slept much on Tuesday night, so I tried to take a nap when I got into my hotel room. No luck. I think in spite of being super tired I was too excited about seeing my niece and her kids. We went to dinner last night, and I enjoyed talking with them so much. It’s hard to fathom that they’re both high schoolers. When I get tired, I get a little weird, so I’m sure I talked way too much. Today I vow to do better. It helps that I slept last night.

Today my niece and I are just going to hang out, then we’ll drive into Austin for our evening with Michelle Obama. Of course my fantasies involve her pointing us out in the crowd and having us come to the stage for a quick hug. I’ll settle for a wave, though.

I’d better hit publish so I can get this day started. Can’t keep Michelle waiting.

Peace, people.

Fasten Your Seatbelts

Lately it seems as though all I’ve done is travel with brief periods of rest at Doright Manor between trips. On Friday I flew on Southwest Airlines from Panama City Beach, FL, with a brief layover in Houston before reaching my final destination in Austin. I’m meeting up with two of Studly’s sisters and my niece for a girls’ weekend. It promises to be way more fun than I’m accustomed to. But first I had to survive my flight!

The first leg of the flight was routine. The pilot found a smooth route and we cruised without incident to Houston Hobby Airport. The flight, though, from Houston to Austin was a bit of a nail biter.

We hit turbulence upon takeoff and it was constant the entire flight. Thank goodness the ordeal only lasted 32 minutes. But the flight attendants were never instructed to take a seat and they served passengers as the plane bucked like an untamed bronco until the very last seconds. I was reading and in the back of my mind wondering when the attendants would announce that our tray tables and seatbelts needed to be secured and our seats in the upright and locked position.

The message to secure the cabin never came, though, and the plane landed jarringly, resulting in cups and cans from the back of the plane becoming airborne. I’ve flown thousands of miles and never experienced anything quite like this landing. The flight attendants were visibly shaken, but there was never a word from the cockpit. Weirdest landing I’ve ever encountered.

But I’m here! Our niece, CB picked me up at the airport and then we rendezvoused with her mom (Studly’s eldest sibling) and her aunt (Studly’s middle sister) at CB’s home in Buda, Texas outside of Austin.

So far I’ve had terrific Mexican food at Garcia’s, a family owned restaurant in Buda, played a fun strategy game called Ticket to Ride, at which I thoroughly sucked, enjoyed some good red wine, and laughed so hard I cried. CB’s family joined us for the fun and games last night adding to the hilarity.

I never could remember which color my train was!

{In Ticket to Ride (above) I never could remember which color our train was! I thought we were blue, but midway through my sister-in-law informed me we were red. Needless to say, we didn’t win.}

We’re staying in a lovely “vacation rental by owner” place, with plenty of room to spread out, and today (Saturday) we’re going on a tour of weird homes in Austin. I have no idea what we’ll see, but it should be a hoot. Austin is famous for its weirdness.

On Sunday we’re seeing a production of The Book of Mormon, and I’ll fly home on Monday. Unless, that is, I get a look at my pilot and recognize him from the flight on Friday. I might be looking for the nearest Greyhound bus station if that’s the case.

Peace, people.