We had a couple of travel days after my last update, and there wasn't much to report, so I waited until after today's Texas meetup in Austin to bring you the latest from the HotPockets2008 Tour.
We left Louisiana in the rain, effectively 100% humidity :-) Leaving after the show is actually a bit difficult in cities, as the central time zone puts us squarely in the middle of rush hour. Over an hour just to get out onto I-10 with Houston on our minds for Thursday evening.
Ms Micky doesn't do too well in the dark (driving that is) so I took us as far as I safely could, arriving at a really dingy Comfort In (& suites!) about 30 miles outside of Houston. We opted for the $60 room, just to be able to use a decent shower. We were out as soon as our heads hit the pillows. BTW, it's a good idea to carry a bottle of Fabreeze on a trip like this. Although it does absolutely nothing to actually clean the air in a dingy room, it does trick your senses into believeing everything is nice and fresh. Ahhhh, the miracle of big pharma...
Up early, anxious to finish the remaining 5 hours to Austin, where my lifelong friend Greg has been living for the past 3 years and the promise of another cool room and shower with CSPAN, we opened the door to an absolute downpour. Tropical Storm Don was already letting his precense be known. I got soaked gearing up the Dutchess (the rig's new name) for departure. So much for the nice job I had just done on my coiffure.
Before heading out west again on I-10 we grabbed a quick breakfast at 'Wafflehouse', where Micky asked the legendary question why you can't get pancakes at Waffle house. Staff was speechless, har.
I-10 turned into Texas route 72, the absolute best road we've driven on so far during the trip. Smooth and very empty. Nice. But we didn't reach that beauty until we spent an hour in a jam smack in the middle of Houston. The radio informed us it was a fuel spill. The CB radio and my 'good buddies' provided the unfortunate news that there was no alternative route around the jam. Still fun to have the truckers tweeter for company.
We arrived at Greg's home a little after four. And fuck me if the bastard hasn't got himself a 7000 square foot home half an hour outside of Austin. Would we like to stay in the west wing? Duh!
I've known and worked with Greg in the radio bizz for a long time, and we always seem to pick up right were we left off, even if we hadn't spoken for almost 6 years this time around. Drinks, food and hillarious war stories of our year touring on the road with a variety of dubious top 40 actes in the 80's and 90's. This is the life!
He took us out to an amazing SteakHouse "Oasis', the overlooks Lake Travis, great food and a beautiful sunset to match.
Today, after a recuperating swim with his son Zachary and the rest of 'Big Daddy's Family (a long story for another time) we set out for our meetup with No Agenda producers from Austin and as it turned out, as far away as Dallas and Houston who had all gathered at a nice eatery downtown. Producer Chris drove us down and we were greeted by an 'In The Morning' from, get this, exactly 33 producers all gathered at three long tables.
I'll talk more about the meetup on tomorrow's show, but Micky and I both had such a wonderful time meeting everyone, hearing all about life in the great state of Texas and fielding non stop inqueries about why we don't move here.
I have to say, it's now very high on the list. With 5% unemployment, no personal in come tax and very happy and NOT distracted Human Resources, this place is great! Very active film, music and media industries, great weather, lots of culture and fun. Also, everyone here is so pretty and healthy looking. Must be something here that we have to explore more :-)
It finally rained a bit when we got back to the house, a welcome ocurrence as this is about the worst time of year to be here. 100+ degrees every day and 40 days of drought until just now. I hope I brought this good karma to more places in town than just Lake Travis.
I'm trying to convince Micky to stay one more night and leave Monday morning early instead of after tomorrow's show, I just want to soak up a little more of this great atmosphere before we move on to our next adventure...Missssippi!!!
As always, full photo albums available on the FaceBook page!