First, I must say that Austin is way too young & cool for me. Dallas is much too rich & pretty for me, but that's why I live in the suburbs, right?
So, I went to The Blathering, met lots and lots of women, most of whom I read the blogs that they write. I ate an enormous amount of good food and talked and laughed until my voice went all wonky. The organizers did a ton of work and took really good care of us. It was basically like hanging out with my twitter feed in real life, which is just as awesome as it sounds. I think I managed to at least say hello to everyone, but with 50 women running about, it's hard to really get to talk to everyone. I forgot lots of people's names and introduced myself multiple times. I put my foot in my mouth no fewer than 5 times, but we all expected that, right? I got turned around at least twice, but thanks to the handy-dandy GPS/Google Maps on my phone, I was never really lost. I stayed up way past my bedtime and wore make-up and heels. I bought a new top and walked around the crazy dust bowl that was the Gypsy Food Trailer Picnic and had pizza at Home Slice. I came home with a new cd full of music by Canadians. Really, I just ate and talked my way through the weekend.
Somewhere along I-35 there is a gas station that you should avoid. Unfortunately, I don't remember where it is, other than somewhere between Waco & Round Rock. We stopped because I needed to use the bathroom. It's a gas station, so I wasn't expecting an attendant and fresh white linens. It wasn't like "the worst toilet in Scotland" or anything, but it definitely earns the title of "worst bathroom I've ever had to use." The men's bathroom didn't look to be very tempting while I was waiting for the ladies' room to be free, but in retrospect, it may have been the better choice.
The lady in front of me came out smiling, which I didn't really think much about. Obviously, it was a warning. A subtle warning that I didn't heed. And honestly, my need was great enough that driving down to the next exit on the road wasn't really an option anymore. The smell in the hallway was strong, but not overwhelming, and surprisingly, it smelled better in the bathroom than the hallway. Maybe that should have been a warning too?
The most... obvious problem was the seat. It was... dirty & not attached. If ever there were a time to hover, this was definitely it. Then I discovered that it took a fair amount of jiggling and holding your tongue in the right spot to get the darn thing to flush. And the faucets took a tremendous amount of force to turn on and off.
I mean, all told, I escaped relatively unscathed, but... it was a bit nerve wracking. I did wish the next lady in line "good luck" and she laughed. At least she understood my warning, unlike the cryptic smile from the lady before me.
Thankfully, the drive back to the airport from Austin was much less full of adventure.