Boiling Water

As we jet off to Mexico City, I sit here in the exit row with plenty of legroom.  This makes blogging a much easier task as I have plenty of room to spread out all my electronics.   And there is no eating of knees.

The last couple of days have flown by.  After leaving the Visellii’s Texas castle, we rented a car from Enterprise and it was so smokey in the car, we had the attendant spray the car.  And then we headed south toward Austin, TX to meet up with Rayman’s brother of the step kind.  They have know each since about 1950.   Johnny and his wife, Dianne, met up with us at a lovely resort where I cheaped out and reserved the “courtyard view” which was really a parking lot view.  They were smarter.  They got a lake view of Travis Lake. QkE2gq17RJacs9gXBVSxcg

There was wine tasting in the lobby.  Met some fine folks one of which knew the winemaker at Robert Hall.  The Viognier was quite good…and free.  As we were exiting the lobby on our way to dinner, someone asked us if the car in front of the door was ours.  Actually, yes it was.  Seems when we drove up the bellhop grabbed us, Rayman threw the keys on the front seat and off we went in search of our room.  Forgot all about the car, the claim check etc.  So, our car sat in front of the from door for about an hour and everyone going in and coming out apparently was asked if the car was theirs.  There was a sign in the middle of the driveway…No   Parking.  And there was no valet.  We howled.  And then Rayman moved the car.

Johnnie and Dianne were fabulous.  They drove us all over the place starting the first night they  escorted us to the Oasis Restaurant on Lake Travis.  A multi-story restaurant that featured a dinner bell that rang at sunset.  Fun time was had by all catching up on all our mistakes, mishaps, and the like!!  It had been 2003 the last time we saw them.   Here they are with the Rayman.

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The next day we were treated to a wonderful tour of Austin, home of the Texas Longhorns.  Thank goodness they weren’t playing at home on Saturday.  As it was the roads were jammed in downtown Austin.  The Japanese Gardens was our first stop.  We walked the property which was delightful.  That was after Dianne, Rayman and moi charged from the car to the entrance and managed to lose Johnnie who does not have a cell phone.  The search was on.  After 10 frantic minutes, he was located by Dianne and then we were lost.  Once found, we roamed the gardensIMG_5264 and as we were about to leave, a woman sauntered by and told s there was going to be a butterfly release in another part of the park.  So we followed her there and witnessed a butterfly release with a group of about 50 people.  Timing is everything.  It was great fun too.   Johnnie and the Rayman above.

Leaving the gardens, we headed over the Barton Springs.  It is a huge natural swimming hole fed by springs usually. H5iPQyT5SaCLRBzw3eEGMQ Because this was the only the second sunny day Austin had had following 2 weeks of rain, the Springs were higher than usual because of the river that was at flood level washing down the ravine.  Quite a sight.  On a somber note, there are signs all over certain neighborhoods of Austin telling residents to boil their water before drinking it.  Yikes.

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Then we drove through downtown which was having a book fair and caught a glimpse of the state Capital building.  Beautiful.  Lots of shenanigans go on there and it reminded me how much I missed Molly Ivans, the intrepid reporter for the daily newspaper.  Texas politics is a hoot and she captured it in all it’s quirkiness. 

On to the LBJ Library.  When whipping out his wallet to get the credit card, Rayman discovered that he didn’t have it.  Panic ensued.  A full blown search was embarked upon.  He called the restaurant from the night before.  Nada.  So, we put it aside, Johnny bought the tickets and we took the tour.   That was the highlight of Austin for moi.  I have read 3 of Robert Caro’s books on LBJ so it was great fun for me.  Not as fun for the ex-Vietnam vets I was with…Rayman and Johnnie.  Rayman is still pissed at LBJ about that war.  But his Great Society was such a success that it has endured until the Republicans got control of all branches of government and they are busy trying to dismantle the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Civil Rights Act.  The juxtaposition of Johnson and Trump is instructive.  This was my first visit to a Presidential Library and it was fascinating. 

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After the tour, we went to the Muddy River for lunch where Rayman managed to get stung on the neck by a bee which activated his arthritis in his knuckles.  Really.  The bees ignore me but the mosquitos didn’t.  I look like I have chicken poxs.  Just saying.   Even have a bite or two on my fuselage.   

We returned to the Lakeway Resort and rested (I washed undies).  After an hour or so, we went up to their room and sat outside enjoying the view.  And we started talking about old family stories.  Johnny had the funniest one.  He lived in Laguna Beach in his 20s and one Thanksgiving he went to dinner at Ray’s mom’s house, his stepmom’s house.  Before entering he threw his white clothes into the washing machine with soap and clorox.   When it was time to cook the turkey, it was discovered that the bird with in the washtub which the washing machine drained into.  How was he to know the turkey was there?  The very bleached bird was discarded.  A friend had an extra bird defrosted and it saved the day.  He’ll never forget it.  And neither will we!!

Always something to learn.  Always something going on.  Great visit. 

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