Thursday, July 24, 2008

Report from San Antonio I

First, all you burglars reading this: we have a house sitter, and he knows where the gun is.

We're in the Alamo City tonight, having driven down from Commerce through the insane traffic in Austin and the torrential rains of Hurricane Dolly's periphery. I have to say that the Prius proved its mettle in Austin's stop-and-go Interstate traffic. We got over 48 miles to the gallon, with some five-minute stretches tallying 100 miles to a gallon (according to the car's computerized energy monitoring system) because we were running mostly on batteries.

But Dolly brought us more than downpours and traffic. The cheap motel I booked for us here is also occupied by scores of evacuees from Brownsville and other hard hit areas of the lower Rio Grande Valley. Many of them are badly behaved, unsupervised children, but then some of the adults aren't exactly Miss Manners either. The stairwell smells like the dumpster behind a KFC franchise, and empty cigarrette packs and crushed styrofoam drink cups litter the halls.

And the TV is broken.

Note to self: look out for evacuees. They aren't especially invested in their temporary digs. But these are easy complaints for me to make. Brownsville got hit with a category 2 storm that messed it up pretty badly. Large portions of the Valley are without power and significantly damaged tonight. Still I sure wish the guy who just knocked on my door by mistake hadn't done that. My gun is back in Commerce with the house sitter.

On the upside, we had a good meal at the Blue Star Brewing Co. just down the road from motel hell, and tomorrow I'm going to hit a few art spots in the same business-cum-art complex. Not all will be stellar, but perhaps a few won't suck. I really don't know what to expect. It's been a long time since I was last in San Antonio.

We've decided that our day will begin with biscuits at the Pioneer Flour mill's restaurant, however, and I know that'll be very good indeed. Those guys have been working on their biscuit recipe for almost 150 years. Crap, they may not be open for breakfast.

My hopes are pinned on brunch.

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