or - why I'm now known as the "crazy white girl" in Eagle Pass, Texas.
As posted earlier I went to Eagle Pass, Texas this weekend for a wedding. The cello and I headed out on Thursday afternoon and took Highway 79 as suggested by AZBuck. I only almost got decapitated once. Apparently oversized loads use this route a lot because there is nothing out there. I was shocked that there weren't cops tailing these guys. I met one of them on a narrow bridge and came within inches of the load taking off the top of my car. I won't repeat what I said, but let's just say my vow to clean up my language went right out the window.
I made it to Round Rock that night and got a room at the Comfort Suites. Oh my goodness - that was the largest room I have ever stayed in in my life. I swear the sucker was bigger than any of the rooms in my house. I was so tempted to just set up camp there. But I resisted the temptation and left around 7:30 the next morning.
I did a fair bit of wandering on Friday. I attempted to see the LBJ Presidential Library (my goal is to see as many of them as possible), but it didn't open until nine. Everything seems to open at 9 in Austin. So I didn't get to see anything there. I guess I'll just have to go back (what a shame).
But I did stop in and see The Wonder World Cave (formed by an earthquake) and The Natural Bridge Caverns just outside of San Antonio (one of the more beautiful caves I've seen). I didn't see the Alamo (darnit - another reason to go back). I had spent so much time underground that I had to book it to make it to Eagle Pass by 5:00 for the rehearsal dinner.
I was a little concerned about making it through the Border Patrol checkpoints with a cello. The only other time I've been stopped by border patrol resulted in a long interogation with a flashlight in my eyes and perusing the contents of my car (still not sure what he thought I was doing). But I didn't even get stopped on the way in. Big sigh of relief.
I had a spectacular time with my cousin's new family. The weekend started off with the Spanish sounding like absolute gibberish to my ears and ended with me actually being able to pick out individual words. Everyone spoke English and the redneck and Mexican jokes were flying with abandon. Most of them I can't even repeat. Let's just say that Margaritas loosen tongues.
I was surrounded by EMTs, Firemen and Border Patrol Agents there and heard lots of stories about the illegal aliens that jump from the bridges and how they have to chase them down or save them when they get into trouble. It was definitely an eye opening experience for me.
The wedding was beautiful and my cousin has found herself a wonderful new family that loves her dearly and tried to teach me how to "party like a Mexican". I didn't quite get it down but did become known as the crazy white girl and the crazy redneck. I'm going to have to take them up on the offer to come back. I would be sad to think that this was a one time experience.
Then, sadly, I had to come home yesterday. A 600 mile trip after having partied hard the night before. Luckily I did not have a hangover, so it wasn't too bad. I attempted to see John Wayne's Alamo in Brackettville, Texas, but somehow took a wrong turn in a town with only about three streets. By the time I figured it out I was a long way from the place and just kept on going. I did get stopped by Border Patrol on the way out and the agent only gave me a slightly odd look when he saw the cello in the back seat but didn't ask any questions.
I headed north towards Fredicksburg for a new way home. San Antonio had been under construction and I didn't feel like getting stuck in a traffic jam. It was so cool watching the scenery change from scrub brush and cows to the greener hill country and ultimately the big piney woods of East Texas and my home. I stumbled upon Camp Verde. Nothing left but the General Store - but still a very cool story. Then, as Bugs Bunny would say, "I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque!". I wound up here.
By this point it was around 1:00 and I was still a very long way from home. So with Willie Nelson and George Strait in my cd player I wound my way home through the Hill Country and the big Piney Woods and arrived home at 9:30 last night. I drove through LBJ's hometown and saw his ranch, saw signs for wineries and lavender farms and some gorgeous scenery.
I'm definitely going back. They can't get rid of me that easy. :)
Pictures will come soon.