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Long, tall Texas

January 22, 2009

We just braved another roadtrip with Jack in our second foray into full-fledged baby-on-boardom: five days, four nights, two adults, one 9-month-old  and 1,250 miles.  (In case you didn’t know, Texas covers a lot of territory.) Late last week, we left a windy, snowy, 20-degree  morning…

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…destined for the far milder Austin, to see a cousin I hadn’t seen in 10 years get married and to celebrate with 15 more long-lost loved ones. This part of our family is from upstate New York, and all but two still live on the east coast, which means it’s really rare that so many travel within a day’s drive from our neck of the woods.

We enjoyed our stay at the quirky, pleasantly retro Austin Motel, which came recommended by the bride for its low prices, generous cancellation policy and hip situation on South Congress.

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Armed with a guidebook tailored for us by bestie A, formerly of Austin, and aided by my relatives/tour guides, we managed to take in much of the city and some of the surrounding countryside.  Highlights of the tour included getting completely overwhelmed in the flagship Wholefoods; browsing for two hours in Uncommon Objects, a fabulous color-categorized  junk shop; visiting a very colorful hill country B&B that my cousin Deb manages for a few weeks each year (Lost Parrot Cabins also come highly recommended, if a stay in/near Austin is in your future); and generally eating, drinking and chatting it up with some fabulous folks (none of whom have much changed in the last decade, regardless of generation. I hope I got those genes.) Jack loved meeting his new fam; I just love ’em, period.

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The wedding was a small, lovely, family-centered ceremony in a beautiful chapel in the hills south of the city. Kyle and Israel were married before a tiny crowd, where they officially became wed to each other and to Israel’s daughter Abigail, who made a perfect flower girl. Most of the onlookers were moved to happy tears. Luckily, Jack was moved to silence.

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Then, back to Austin and Zilker Park, where there were a lot more people, Texas BBQ, a great view of the skyline and, our favorite, a mariachi band.

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We left Austin for the downright balmy Houston, where J & A (A appeared earlier as our favorite Texas tourguide, even recommending a rest stop for the second leg of the trip! If you’re in the neighborhood of Ellinger, Texas, Hruska’s kolaches do not disappoint.) treated us to swank, baby-friendly accommodations and a gourmet meal (They aren’t hosts for hire, but if you’re nice I bet they’d take you to the Rodeo).

Because she is singularly responsible for my introductions to Sex and the City  – and, as if that isn’t enough, HGTV, The Bachelor, Justin Timberlake, countless favorite books and flicks, and Jack’s best stuffed bear – I sort of owed A my firstborn. She’s such a good friend that she let me keep him, but not before she and J entertained him for hours. Jack was so comfortable and thrilled with the arrangement that when I picked him up, I felt I was interrupting. (He’s clearly an excellent judge of character.)

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The 25 or so hours we’ve spent in the car in the past week were well worth it to see so many of our favorite people. Arkansas is always open, y’all! And if you wait ten months or so to visit, we can all sleep under one roof.

Edited to add: We’re lucky to have a baby who enjoys a good road trip, but we’re all lucky that the heyday of the slide+projector has come and gone. Can you imagine the damage I would have done with those?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2009 11:53 pm

    Nice post! You took some amazing pictures! Hayden does not do too well on car rides… I envy you. See you Saturday at Hayden’s party and see you next Saturday for dinner at the 36 Club!!!

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