Later that evening we celebrated at a local Thai restaurant. Spring rolls and Thai delicacies abounded. Josh had to drive up to Nashville early the following morning, so he said goodbye to me that night. A bittersweet parting.
The next morning we returned to Austin. For lunch Jessica and I headed to Kerbey Lane Cafe, a vegan-friendly place with lots of good vibes. Afterward we visited the famed Cathedral of Junk . How fabulous it was to sit on the throne and enjoy the work of this talented yardist! Exploring various colored rooms was especially intriguing. We then drove back to her parents’ house where I met her Mom, swam, and hung out in their hot tub for two hours while Mac urged me to keep throwing his ruined ball over and over. We enjoyed Chinese takeout and a rented movie before retiring to bed. As I drifted off to sleep, I wondered about whether I would have the energy to see half the sights we hoped to see on the morrow.
I shouldn’t have worried.
The next day my ticket to ride continued as Jessica and I explored shops and savored lunch at FoodHeads Cafe and Catering with a friend of a friend. Then of course we had to visit Amy’s Ice Cream shop, a standout in local Austin culture. Completely full, we headed out to Red Bud Isle , a park where pet owners take their treasured animals off the leash to wander the paths and splash in the water. This spit of land extends into Lake Austin, providing a scenic backdrop to the whole park. Afterward we shared an iced chai at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters on the lake as we read our books on the decking overlooking the marina.
Next stop? The world headquarters of Whole Foods in downtown Austin. We secured our takeout of sushi, grapes, soup and sandwiches and headed up to Mt. Bonnell , Austin’s highest point. An empty picnic table beckoned us at the summit so we could sit and eat while taking in the skyscape that is downtown Austin. Jessica was amazed that I could climb and descend the steps without any trouble and at how much energy I had in reserve. It was truly remarkable–a miracle, in fact. Afterward, we came back to the house, happy and ready to lounge around.
Jan at Mt. Bonnell
The next day I flew out to go back for treatment, which is at a facility about a four-hour drive from my home. I couldn’t miss the treatment, but I did miss the hospitality of that magical capitol of Texas. How is it one can feel the empty-nest syndrome even away from home? The therapy completed, I drove myself to my empty nest in the suburbs, knowing that I will plan a return visit, at least for the wedding.
This was a ticket to ride to remember. And unlike the Beatles’ lyrics, I DO care. I really do.