Eric visits from Des Moines

Elise’s brother, Eric came in from Des Moines to spend time with us last week. Elise picked Eric up from the airport Thursday afternoon. I came home from work around 6 and we had a round of black and tans. We treated Eric to a barbeque dinner at Rudy’s. After dinner we headed back to the house for a few games of cutthroat. Shortly after we all went to bed.

Our intentions were to take Eric tubing the Guadalupe River on Friday but had to settle for the Comal because the ‘lupe was too high. We had a blast floating the river. On the way back from New Braunfels, we stopped at HEB for a few things. We went back to the house and Eric cooked burgers and fries for everyone.

Elise had to work all day Saturday so Eric and I decided to install a new tape deck and speakers in my truck. That took the better part of the day. We drove all over Austin searching for the right combination of components. I finally settled on a pair of 4″ 100W Kenwood’s for the front and two 220W Pioneer 6×9’s in the back pushed by a 150W Rockbox amplifier. All pushed by a Sony XRCA350X cassette deck. I wanted a cassette deck so I can listen to the iPod in my truck. So I went from a
truck with one half-blown, barely audible 50W Blaupunkt 4″ speaker to a pretty nice setup that makes the commute to and from work more enjoyable and much, much louder. Eric and I spaced out the installation over the next day and a half with a few trips to the ol’ HoPot and Circuit City. We had to take the dash out of my truck twice because we screwed up the first time. It was a tedious job, but we got it done.

We stayed in on Saturday night. Elise and Eric stayed up until the wee hours of the morning on the back porch chatting it up.

On Sunday we went to the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival at Waterloo Park. We waited in line for an hour and a half to taste the hot sauce submissions. That was horrible. August. Austin. Outside. Hot Sauce. “Gee, I’ve been standing under the blaring August sun for almost two hours… I’m really craving something! Hmmm. A ha! Hot Sauce! That’ll quench my thirst!”

The majority of the red sauces were very good in flavor. Some were not so good (pureed Ancho chilies??) I made it to somewhere around 2/3 of the way down the tasting table. I hit a habanero sauce that knocked me on my ass. The top of my head began pouring with sweat and my eyes teared up like never before. It was rough. I bowed out. Eric and Elise sampled a few more sauces but didn’t make it to the end of the line. It was quite and experience but not worth the wait in the sun.

I picked up a string of peppers and we showed Eric the
on the way out. We hopped in the Jeep and I immediately drove us to the nearest convenience store to buy us all cokes to extinguish palate fires. Since we were in town, we drove Eric around Elise’s and my old stomping grounds. We showed him St. Edward’s and our old apartment.

We drove home to put the finishing touches on the truck’s new stereo. Victor came over and we later headed back into town for dinner at El Arroyo. What better way to start a friendship than a whiff of the pit.

After dinner, Victor headed home because he had to work in the morning. The rest of us took Monday off. When in Rome… take ’em to 6th Street. In my old age, I’ve avoided 6th Street for obvious reasons. 6th Street on a Sunday night isn’t that bad. We started out at some bar for a few games of pool. Along the way to Coyote Ugly, Eric ran into Tubbs. And then Slash! And then his sister. A couple locals. And the poster girl for Austin’s Coyote Ugly.

Next we headed over to Joe’s Generic Bar for a little live music and a sibling spat. On the way back to the Jeep, Eric had another photo op with a local body builder. That ended the night so we headed home.

On Monday we shopped for souvenirs for Kim, Eric’s girlfriend. Luckily our former governor was in the same store and was able to point out a couple of nice gifts for Eric to take back to Des Moines.

We went back to the house and Eric made a cilantro bruschetta and an alfredo prosciutto pizza. Both were excellent!

Tuesday morning came too soon and Elise had to take Eric to the airport. We had a blast while Eric was here and were bummed for the rest of the day as our visit had come to an end and we all had to go back to the daily grind.

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