After dinner - which is fine but nothing worth specifically mentioning here - the rain has let up a little. This does nothing to help me find the hotel. The GPS takes me to the address on my confirmation, no hotel. I read the instructions on the confirmation which tell me to use a specific exit as I drive south on I-35. I circle back to try this but that exit number doesn't even exist. I call Candlewood.
The lady at the desk clearly thinks I am an idiot based on her tone. She gives me new directions, including a different exit number and the helpful instructions that the hotel isn't visible from the road because it is directly behind another hotel. If I find the Holiday Inn Express (which incidentally owns Candlewood), I will find them.
I am only mildly soaked when I finally arrive. And because I like you, I didn't take a photo of this but there are about a million dead crickets in the parking lot. It is like something out of The Bible.
The plan for Monday is to see my customer and then drive to San Antonio when we are done.
This customer also a full day scheduled for me. She is brand new and is ready to maximize this one day we have while still taking me out for lunch. You know what they say about the best laid plans, right?
When I arrive the network is down. There is no estimate on when it will be up. We talk a little, go over some things we can cover without her computer and finally resort to using my laptop. It isn't her software (we are using my generic data) but it is better than nothing. By 11 am, still no word so we decide to go to an early lunch and hope things are back up and running when we return.
Lunch is at the Monmument Cafe. This restaurant was featured on The Food Network's Diners, Drive-inns and Dives or D3 as host Guy Fieri sometimes calls it.
I don't usually watch The Food Network but I am familiar with this show because of a trip to Gulfport, MS where I ate at Darwell's which had also been featured on that show. So this will be my second experience with a D3 establishment.
Unlike Darwell's this restaurant doesn't have it plastered everywhere that they were featured on the show. Like Darwell's the food is good. I have the special that day which is talipia with some fried zucchini, both excellent. The zucchini reminded me of when my mom & dad fried it right out of our own garden when I was a kid.
After the main course, we agree to split a fried cherry pie. My great-grandmother made the best fried pies ever. They were so good my uncle once became sick from eating too many. These are almost as good. The cherry filling is perfect, not too sweet, and the crust obviously homemade with a light dusting of powdered sugar on top. I am starting to wish I had my own...
They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and also offer recipes on their website. If you are ever in Georgetown or Austin (a short drive away), it is worth stopping by.
The Garden is a "A Traditional Texas Biergarten" that is open evenings featuring dinner and live music.
Down the walk past The Garden, behind the restaurant, is a market. They sell produce, meats and a variety of other items here.
For me, this outing by itself counts as a productive day. Back at the office, the network is up and we finish strong even though I am fantasizing about another cherry pie.
Time to head south to San Antonio, a 106 mile drive. I hope to get there in time to do something before bed.
But traffic is always terrible in Austin. Add a wreck and there will be slow progress for a while. Luckily the car I rented has satellite radio. I turn on the 80's station and prepare to sit a while.