Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Austin, Texas with My Sister

Anytime I can get together with my sister is a bonus. As children, we fought like bitter rivals. The only time we made a truce was an allied defense against our brother, Jimmy. As noted in my story, The Thornbuds, which Barbour included in "Heavenly Humor for the Mother's Soul," Jimmy's sole purpose in life was to torment us. But as we grew to maturity, Kathy and I became better than best friends, and Jimmy became our protector. When the wedding invitation came from our cousin Robert's daughter, Stephanie, I e-mailed Kathy.
"Are you going?" I asked.
"Yes! But David's staying home." Her reply was a hint this would be a sisters-only trip. Besides, weddings are for chicks; not for macho-disco, gun-toting guys like our husbands.
A chance to spend a weekend with my sister! And we had the added blessings of visiting beloved relatives we'd only recently seen at funerals. Now, we could come together for a happy occasion.
We shared a room at the Austin Motel, an eclectic, multi-level motel on S. Congress Avenue. Built in the 1930s, this quaint inn has old cars and metal artwork for decor. And we identified our room by the bullet hole in the window. The desk clerk explained it was the result of a band that stayed there in the 60s. Really? They never replaced the glass? We covered the tiny hole (just big enough for a mosquito to slip through) with scotch tape Kathy had in her purse. The staff includes Troy, the front office cat, and Rocky, the grounds custodial cat. Rocky was a bit camera-shy. But Kathy was able to get his picture in...the back of a pickup truck.

The wedding was lovely. Patrick Taylor and Stephanie Rollen were married in Hyde Park Presbyterian Church. The building is at least a hundred years old and was originally constructed as a Baptist church.

The reception was held on a paddle-wheel boat, which cruised the length of Lake Austin. The food was delicious (Tex-Mex fare - yum!). We spent two days walking S. Congress, checking out the trailers that offered take-out food (had great crepes at one!), looking at costumes in Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds, and a quaint antique store.
We found a few decorated bulls on the city streets, too. Here I am with my new Chia Pet!
Kathy and I trekked several miles in the triple-digit heat to another lake near downtown. She found her calling as Dona Kathy Quixote, the Woman of Lamanche!
Neither of us wore a hat and thought we'd have sun-stroke for sure. But a dip in the icy pool (and I do mean icy!) at the motel helped cool us down. The trip ended too quickly, and we headed for home on Monday. Kathy got to fly to Tampa with me before changing planes to return to her home in Birmingham. The only downside of the whole trip was the nasty flu bug I caught (probably on my flight to Austin from Tampa). I recovered after a week...well, almost recovered. These viruses are getting stronger every day!

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