Houston – this is Austin. We’ve solved your problem.

We’ve made our way through National and State Parks from Ohio to Texas for the past two months. As we were preparing to leave Buescher State Park in Smithville, Texas yesterday we decided we needed to have our own bathroom for a couple of nights and so we drove to Austin where we were lucky enough to get the last room in the awesome Austin Motel and here we are staying for two glorious nights.

The state of the bathrooms/bathhouses/restrooms/washrooms in the Halloween month of October have been frightful. It wasn’t that the bathhouses at Buescher were dirty it was that the ant population outnumbered any other living organism by 10,000. There were just SO many ants! It wasn’t that the bathhouse at Sam Houston Jones State Park in Lake Charles, Louisiana was THAT dirty….it was that you had to press the water activator every one and a half seconds to keep the water flowing from the showerhead. This sounds easier than it is while you are trying to wash your hair or soap yourself. The view from the Lafayette KOA was lovely and serene but it was right beside the every so noisy Interstate 10. The French Quarter RV Resort, though essentially a parking lot beside the Interstate 10, was resortish in that it had a pool, hot tub, exercise room, bar, laundry room with kitchen sink and fancyish bathrooms. The fact that you couldn’t control the temperature of the shower was a tad frustrating – choices included scalding or freezing. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Florida was beautiful and we made some great friends there. It was hailed as a 5 star state park where the rangers probably wear white gloves. Actual experience: bathhouses weren’t cleaned for the 5 days we were there. These are but a few of our bathroom experiences.  And so… we decided it was time for a wee break… two nights with our very own bathroom. Travelling this way makes you appreciate a little attention to details and value privacy. Safe to say we miss having our own bathroom. You probably think we miss sleeping in a real bed but the funny thing is that we sleep really well in the van. Neither of us slept that well last night as we aren’t used to air conditioning so it was cold and loud and the windows don’t open. Maybe it will be different tonight! Fingers crossed.

Yesterday we pulled into the motel 3 hours prior to check in so we wandered around South Congress Street here in Austin and decided to have a little lunch at Guero’s Tacos. No sooner had we been seated at a table when a couple we met a few days earlier at the Backstreet Cultural Museum in New Orleans tapped us on the shoulder. We hadn’t even exchanged names that day but liked them right away. Since running into each other again here in Austin we continue to meet up by accident or by plan. Last night we met Ted and Julie at the Continental Club across the street to hear the Jitterbug Vipers play. This morning the four of us walked to the Magnolia Café down the street for breakfast and then met by chance at the Whole Foods downtown. They are continuing towards El Paso before returning to Baltimore and so we are hoping to meet them in Marfa or San Antonio.

We received a Facebook message from a fellow Ontarian who saw our van and licence plate in the motel parking lot yesterday. Michael Laderoute, it turns out, is from our neighbourhood in Toronto and we have friends in common back home. He was passing through Austin on his way to Mexico for the winter. We ended up meeting up with him too at the Continental Club last night. Boy we are meeting some great people and making new friends as we travel.