Sunday, August 8th - Day 36 - Some Sorrow, Some Joy

Houston Travel Blog

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Well, it's been a while since my last blog post. The Texas-Based cult, Soul Chasers who used an attractive young thing in a nightclub to drug me and kidnap me for indoctrination, mating, and later, sacrifice, is worried that my mother who emailed me in concern last night and texted me this morning because of the absence in blogging, will soon have the RCMP and the FBI working on a joint operation to find my whereabouts. That obviously does not coincide with their plans for introducing new genetic material into the clan's bloodline, or for the sacrifice schedule for Hallow's Eve of this year. 


So, here I am being coerced into writing another blog entry.


Thursday I rode the to Dallas, Plano to be precise. Plano is a gorgeous, and wealthy, suburb of Dallas where a great many corporate companies have moved, and let me tell you, the neighborhood is swanky! A friend of mine from all the way back in Timberlea Public School has infiltrated corporate America, and finds herself living in that very area. And has done very well for herself, may I add! It might sound silly to say so about a fellow grown adult, but I'm quite proud of her. Definitely, 'some joy'


We met up at a bookstore down in Legacy Square I think it was called, where I was enjoying the AC after a grueling day on the bike! Down here in the south where it's not just hot but HUMID, I'm having to wash my riding under-garments daily! The leather's I hang every night of course and fortunately are not quite funk-tacular.


After a bit of "laying out" (a phrase we Canadians don't know due to lack of exposure...) which is simply sunning by a pool, often with drink in hand (we called it "lying by the pool with a drink", something usually only enjoyed while on vacation to a tropical resort!), we headed off to La Hacienda for some Tex-Mex! Real authentic stuff! The hearty, comforting, food, that fills the belly and leaves a smile on one's face! It WAS really good. So were the margaritas. Wasn't there some story about the margarita history there? Don't quite remember. I also had a Papa's Margarita... Bit strong for my sensative pallete, but my company thought it was great. Musta been I'm a wimp. More 'joy'


We then headed back to the Legacy area to have frozen marg's at Mi Cocina, a really nice place where the drinks are top notch. The area is heavily populated with wildlife.. namely Cougars and Silver Foxes, lol! I was a bit dissapointed. Not many cougars were cougar-licious, and most silver foxes weren't silver, and weren't in the best of shape. But one dude made me look like the pilsburry doughboy! His wingman although probably 15 years his junior, was killing him! lol 'Joy'


Before that though we stumbled upon a Ginger Man pub, so I had my chance to get SHINER BOCK a day early! Meh, was alright, not really for me. I've realized now I am a diehard wheat ale drinker, forever and ever.. except for Nut Brown Ale from Brown Creek Brewing Co... 'Joy'


Then back to her place, where I was able to slumber in her guest room (I think I was the first?) Most comfortable bed ever... Not a sealy, not a simmons.. it was... Drats, I forget! But that'll be my next matress purchase! Definitely 'joy'


Thanks Nick for the recco on the Shiner B... I'll never turn down a challenge, hehe


The next morning before leaving town I went to The Sixth Floor Museum as recommended by my guest during the previous evenings dinner. It's a museum for the presidency of JFK as well as the assassination which prematurely ended his presidency. As she had said, it was extremely well done. I found it profoundly moving. I'd always known of the assassination or moreso of the conspiracy theories and talk surrounding it but to learn of a life ended in such a way, when so many people had seen hope in him, seems like such a tragedy. Some may consider it to be a possibly fabricated story akin to that represented in The Manchurion Candidate, but John Kennedy, while in the Navy saved some of his fellow sailors when their vessel capsized. I read of this many years ago and can not recall all the details, but anyone who questions his character (read: Marylon Monroe), can not deny that had he truly only been a selfish individual, albeit one with stamina, and willpower, he would have saved only himself from the ocean. I think of it as comendable. This was definitely a moment where I experienced sorrow in the past few days.  


I forgot that I did not blog Oklahoma City. The Wednesday night I rode into Oklahoma City and some one had asked if I would see the memorial, the infamous memorial which marks the bombing exercised by Timothy McVeigh. To see it had totally slipped my mind. I'm glad I was reminded. I didn't know exactly what I was looking for as I'd only seen pictures of the ruined building, but as I rode down the street towards it, and the large, prominent, and artful, unnatural walls loomed before me, I knew I had found the memorial. I parked my bike, and walked towards it, noticing a white statue and black pillars on an adjacent corner. It was a monument telling of the damage done to the church across the street that day.


Walking across the street to the large steel plated wall, the fence which quarantined the site remains, as do the many pieces of memorabilia and mementos to lost loved ones. I was moved greatly at this sight. Even now, typing this, I can feel my heart well up.


Walking into the memorial, the calmness, the quiet, the serenity, matches the mood, as you are now cohabitating a place where 197 people perished (I THINK that's the number of victims who died). Each one has a pillar of light erected to remember them, as well as the location their lives ended, or so I believe due to the pillars being placed in no real sequential order.


This was another very sorrowful but important thing for me to see and feel during my travels.
Such a good memorial and such a good museum. 


Also, the Cafe across the street called The Sixth Floor Museum + Cafe, where you can buy all the Kennedy paraphenalia served awesome breakfast snacks. I forget what they were called. Sausage somethings... and they grilled them for you. Also had a Nutella cupcake not bad, not bad. Well presented, but I had even BETTER cupcakes later.. More on that in a bit.


I should also say that OK City definitely has an OK nightlife. A little smaller, but even on a Wednesday night, in Bricktown District focusing around the Bricktown baseball park, there's an urban waterworks and park for walking, as well as many nightclubs, trendy lounges, and great dining establishments! I ate at Mickey Mantle 7, for a steak, "cowboy cut" with Zuccini. Fantastic steak, worth the cost.


For dessert I went back to a place I'd seen before called Nonna's, an Italian place. The entree menu looked incredible, and the desserts-to-go downstairs looked worth going back to, but I needed steak, and wanted to try two venues. I went upstairs to the lounge which had psychadelic lamps and lights everywhere that changed color, altering the mood moment by moment. I loved it. Definitely a place to bring a date. There I had an apple dumpling filled with walnuts, and wrapped in warm dough, topped with whipped cream and vanilla bean ice cream. Damn Skippy!


I unfortunately missed the County Line BBQ where amazing BBQ is served because I had ridden all the way from my motel (which although cheap was not the nicest one yet.. dead bugs on floor, as well as stains, bed gave me crabs, whoops, not sposed to have told that!) down to the memorial near bricktown, and would have had to go all the way back. I forget who recommended that, but thanks, I wanted to get there but I didn't have time. The night was getting late, and I wanted to eat and be in bricktown for any potential nightlife. And I went to a place called.. Shit I Forget.. lol, no that's not it, across from Mickey Mantle 7 I think, very cool lounge. A DJ was having his 40th birthday so it was full of his friends, and fun people! Oh, wifi is working at the hostel, so I googled... Sapphire. That's the lounge, cool place. A local artist hangs their work there, acrylics on canvas, massive, very cool, modern. Need more money to travel and buy local art!


Ah yes, I also missed the Cowboy Museum which I really wanted to see, especially after seeing a documentary on the life and acheivements of Clint Eastwood. As well, seeing and reading The Assassination of Jessie James by the Coward Robert Ford, I really wanted to go. But the servicing at BMW took 4 hours, and they never offered me a cab or a shuttle or anything. In fact getting the wifi password sounded like it'd be a tough one as they claimed to not be sure what it could be. When they realized I was adamant, they happend upon it nearly instantly. 


While there I met a fellow from Ottawa, Ontario, a fellow Canadian, but only by immigration from the UK, or so the accent lead me to believe. Now I realize some of you think the world of what I'm doing, and I do deeply appreciate it... but this guy, same bike... 1000 km's a day, 17 days around the US from Ottawa!!! Insane!!! I asked if his knees got sore, but he's got his pegs lowered... and his handle bars raised.. Crazy. The dude even has 'The Dragon' tattooed on his arm... that's the name given to an 11 mile stretch starting in North Carolina that has 318 turns in it! He's ridden it! Go get 'em Dave!


Friday I rode into Austin and stayed at a Radisson. Sweet deal! A couchhost I stayed with works for them and was gracious enough to offer a night at one sometime. Actually, "anytime" was the word, but I don't like to overdo it. Anyway, I checked in under my own name and stated they would arrive later by plane, Muhahahah! What a great night, great location! Right near Sixth street where the scene is!


Went to dinner at La Traviatta, an Italian place nearby. The salad was great, so was the penne, and the three cheese ravioli, and the desserts.. shoot what were they called. I don't remember! I gotta write this stuff down!!


That reminds me. My school friend in Dallas said I should start tweeting... because the exposure would be good for my business idea, which she believes sounds like a viable business. So, we'll see. I probably will start. I mean I've already made the account.


However, I received my last email billing notification from Rogers Wireless... I knew it'd be bigger than the usual $109 because I'm roaming, etc.. but $600 seemed a little uncalled for. Fortunately my MotoGP buddy, Jumkie in Cali told me about Boost Mobile. $50 unlimited txt, calling, and data, every month.. but you gotta buy the phone. They range from $50-350... With the money I gave to Rogers I could have just bought the best phone and 3 months of unlimited. It bothers me that Rogers gladly sold me my $170 travel package of 100 texts and 100 minute roaming calling... which I ran through like a hotknife through butter. They should have said "Hey listen.. just get with Boost Mobile, seriously...". Assholes.


Gotta hurry, battery is dieing! on my laptop! Oh and the Soul Chasers need me up at the altar for something they say the dark overlord thinks is important. Psh, whatev.


So after italian food, it was on to Antone's for some blue's rock. Paid the $30 cover and didn't even see Jimmy Vaughan, but the openers were good! Thanks again Nick for that recco.


Also went to The Cedar Door where apparently the margarita was invented? Not quite true.. it's where the Mexican Martini was invented. Naturally I ordered one. Which is more like 3... because they give you the shaker to keep refilling foryourself. Not too shabby!


The next morning I took 2222 to 2769 to Lovente to Lime Creek road in Creek Oak, or something like that, a subarb of Austin. Pretty damn good road, thanks again to Nick from RideonTwo.com. That it's in a residential makes it not my fave, but it's still really good for the area and was a very welcome break from all the flat flat. Then it was back south towards Houston


I had to skip Lockhart to eat at Kreuz Market.. Someone reccomended that but I was to be in Houston for the afternoon. Which I didn't do, lol. Apologies to my couchhost there! They were hella busy with White Linen Night in the Studemont area of Houston. Great neighborhood, great scene! They own a Baking company called Frosted Betty and sell among other things, amazing cupcakes! The icing is so light and just melts in your mouth! So good! I admit, I had 3 large cupcakes and 6 small taste-size cupcakes that night! They have a shop but also sell out of Oolala, a really chic boutique in the area. They're also in the running to be on Cupcake Wars on The Food Network! Stay tuned! It's incredible who you meet when travelling, couchsurfing.com is such a great site. hell, the whole internet is what I have to thank for this amazing trip so far. When Jumkie was telling me about the celphone deal, he was also offering VIP passes to Indy for $350! I bought my passes for $300, and it's not VIP. It's who you know I guess!


On the way to Austin I stopped at Hruska's grocery in Ellinger and had the Pan Sausage and Saurkraut.. thingie.. just ask for that and they'll know. fucking awesome! And the lemon.. thinkg.. starts with a 'p'... basically a white dough bun with lemon filling.. really good! The caramel pecans cookie thing wasn't for me though. None of it was as good as Frosted Betty Cupcakes though honestly.


Oh I should mention I also negated going to Maria's Taco X-press for breakfast and a margarita because again.. time was of the essence! (this is leaving Austin and going to Houston).


So in Houston at the end of White Linen Nights, my couchhost took me out to a nice club with a public house kind of feel called Nouveau for her friends' birthday and going away party. Their family was extremely hospitable, kind, and inviting, and even made scrambled eggs, toast, and costa rican coffee for me this morning. Great people, great couchsurfing experience.


Today I've made my way to Lafayette, Louisianna. Dodged a few more speeding tickets, praise jeebus, and now at 10:30pm am going to make my way out on the town to find some Cajun. Oh yeah, it's Sunday night, everything is closing, and this is all ficticious and made up at the urging of my captors.


Take care, Ride safe.

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photo by: vances