The 6-week journey will be across the “southern transcontinental route”, covering southern sections of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and northern Florida. Arrival at the finish line in St. Augustine, FL is projected for April 10, 2010.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Austin, capital of Texas

Hi Everyone,
Well we managed to fill up this day with a lot of things that were not all having to do with cycling.  I think that a ride in a fire engine was the most unusual occurrence along with a surprise visit from Gary Chezem, a member of our church, who just happened to be visiting an uncle in Dallas and rented a car and came to see us as well as take a trip to Houston to see the space station.

Our niece was finishing up a 24 hour shift at the fire station and so we got a tour of the station and a ride around the block in the engine.  She is the driver for the shift and it is amazing to be inside and see all the equipment, computers, uniforms, and instruments that are included in the small area of the cab.  They also have a small truck that is used especially for brush fires and a new boat for water rescue.  Lisa said that they all had to get checked out in the boat and that it gets up some real speed with a 90 horsepower motor.  

After her shift ended we drove to her house which is near the downtown area of Austin.  We passed the beautiful capitol and the University of Texas, home of the Longhorns.  Lisa lives near the downtown area in an older part of Austin.  It is a really charming neighborhood of old homes.  Her house is small but really cute and she has lots of plans for remodeling.  She has already made big changes in the yard and redecorated the interior.    We walked a few blocks to a huge Whole Foods Market where we had lunch .  This is where Whole Foods started and it is enormously popular  so there was a big crowd .  It was a huge place and the food displays were outstanding.  From there we walked across the street to an REI store to look for bike tubes and a few additional clothing items for the remainder of the trip.  
A friend of Katy's who had recently moved to Austin joined us for lunch.  

After walking around and window shopping in several interesting  shops, we walked back to Lisa's .  Dean and Betty decided to head back to Houston and Dave, Katy and Lisa went on to another bike shop and then out to the RV park to pick up Mike and Paula  and bring them back to Lisa's  so that we could go out to supper.  We walked to a great Mexican place called Z Tejas ,  a favorite of Lisa's.  She had taken Katy there on Friday and it had delicious food.  

We got back to the RV about 9.  Katy will stay with Lisa tonight and Lisa will bring her back in the morning.  Our nephew Paul, Lisa's brother, called to see how everything was going .

It has been wonderful to have a day with no cycling and all new experiences.  Thanks to all the Millmans and Gary for distracting us and feeding us so well.

Love and blessings,

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