Slapdash Road Trip Book Tour, Day 8: Durant, OK –> Austin, TX

Big food day, and not much else. We crossed over into the Lone Star State, and after we had finished repeatedly saying “LOOONE STAAAAR” in the Dark Helmet Spaceballs voice (a couple of hours, give or take), Lisa and I decided to embark on a little sampling of the Texan fast food restaurants that we don’t have back home. Out of Whataburger, Jack in the Box, and Taco Cabana, we liked Taco Cabana the best–but that’s possibly just because they gave us free chips. Or because the queso was really good. Or because it had a salsa bar, which I now plan to install a replica of in my kitchen.

Oh, and the free chips thing reminds me: everyone in Texas is really nice. Then again, as they’re all descended from Eric and Tami Taylor, I’d expect nothing less.

After signing some books in preparation for the Austin Teen Book Festival tomorrow (yay!), we headed off to Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart, BBQ capital of Texas.

“Phil, why don’t you ever look at me anymore?”

And holy brisket, it was amazing. The beef, the sausage, the mashed potatoes, the potato salad, THE BANANA PUDDING. I want to marry that banana pudding. You’re all invited. It will be a magical ceremony.

Also, we got cow ribs, which are massive.

Warning: may cause ridiculous faces.

I don’t know why this surprised me so. Every time I go to a state fair–and I go to state fairs fairly often, heh heh–I barge into the cow building and start pointing and yelling “LAND MONSTERS!” at the things, because they are just so much bigger in person than they seem in their little pastures as you drive by. So it stands to reason their ribs would be just as large. Really honkin’ large.

And really, really cause the stupid expressions. Why does it look like I have a lazy eye? WHAT IS THIS FACE?

We ate so much that when we got back to the hotel, we forgot our room number. After surreptitiously trying to sneak the key into some random doors around our floor, we finally admitted defeat and went back to the front desk to sheepishly ask, and it was all very embarrassing because we’d even had the floor wrong, and I had previously been randomly selected as the hotel’s Guest of the Day, a title that I fear they have already revoked.

Quick plug: If you live in the greater Austin, Texas area, come to the Austin Teen Book Festival today! There will be a ton of YA authors, panels aplenty, and a huge room of books for signings afterwards. And I mean huge, like cow ribs. I seen it.

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