Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend in Austin

On Friday, April 10, 2015, Kathi and I drove to Austin to see our oldest son, AJ. We opted to leave our RV in Dickinson and drive our Jeep to Austin. Diesel vs hotel is pretty much a wash. There was no room at the inn. Rooms with our needs were booked in Austin, so we stayed at the Best Western Hotel on I-35 in Round Rock. This Best Western was well maintained and I recommend it for anyone who needs a clean accommodation while visiting the area.

We left Dickinson about 10 am with heavy fog which turned to misting rain, then heavier rain. We took I-45 to downtown Houston and I-10 to Loop 610 north, then west on US 290. Traffic was heavy all the way to 290 and really bad on the little stretch of the Loop where I had to move over five lanes in the stretch of a mile. The rain was slow and steady until we got to Brenham, then it rained hard on us until we got to Elgin. After that it stayed clear for a few hours, but still overcast. We stopped in Giddings for coffee and peanuts.

Even with the fog and rain causing limited visibility, we saw a lot of beautiful wild flowers along the way. Thank you Lady Bird. We saw bluebonnets, Indian paint brush, buttercups, some little yellow flowers and several patches of orange flowers with yellow tips on the petals. The flowers made a pleasant diversion from the road views.

We spent our last twenty minutes at home unloading our freezer with all the food Kathi made especially for AJ. It took all three of us to take the food up to his apartment and the food filled his freezer and refrigerator. AJ looked great. He does not drive, so we took him on a few errands, including the grocery store and for a haircut. He was wearing a black fedora when we picked him up and after the haircut the hat was too big. He said he had a red fedora at home that was smaller, so no problem.

Friday afternoon we ate at Rudy’s Barbecue. AJ and I ate moist brisket sandwiches and Kathi prefers the lean brisket. As usual, Rudy’s was fun again. I got to take the leftover with me this time.

AJ at his apartment with guitar

AJ at Mari Gras in Austin a few years ago

AJ in cool white

Caricature of AJ done by street artist in Austin
Saturday we picked AJ up at 8 am and spent a full day together. We ran a few more errands and picked up some insulation at Home Depot to cover a heater vent he has no control over. I think it may be central steam heat, but we cannot tell, because everything is caged up. We had lunch at Pappasitos for Mexican food. He and I had quesadillas and Kathi had shrimp diablo. We were all stuffed and ready for a nap when we left lunch.

We started back to Dickinson early Sunday morning with the skies still overcast. I noticed mostly Indian paint brush on the return trip, although I did see one field of mixed flowers containing all they kinds I mention above, plus some I do not remember. We wanted to get back to the Pasadena area so we could take Kathi’s brother, Larry Clark for one of his twice weekly blood tests on Monday morning. It has been a good week for Larry as he nears time for the bone marrow transplant for his Leukemia. He found he is still in remission, had a heart stress test, a pulmonary test and scheduled a meeting with the transplant doctor. Everything feels good.

Recent picture of Larry at Casa Marias in La Porte

Larry at Thanksgiving 2014.


  1. It was great seeing you and Mom. I know how important it is for you both to be there for Andrea and Larry. I did not expect you to be able to take a couple of days for a visit right now but I am really glad you made the time. I Love you Mom and Pop. AJ

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  3. It was fun for us, also. We'll be back as soon as we can.