the turvy topsy chronicles of turtle bag

What started out a smooth drive to Austin, TX to celebrate the engagement of a great friend soon flipped into the turviest topsiest (I mean, topsiest turviest) road trip known in all history of all the world. This level of mishap after mishap after mishap could only happen in a movie, and would be followed by the protagonist falling madly in love, saving the day, or discovering some deep, hidden strength within themselves. But alas, we live in the “real world” and none of those things happened; only the disheveled story which I am about to tell.

Saturday afternoon we, Katie, Trent, and I, began our journey to Austin on the open roads of Interstate 30… I think… I’m not all that great with directions and kind of forget what road we took but details, details. No biggie. Anyways, we began our journey, shinanigan-free, with about ten dresses too many, fully loaded Vera bags, two giant Dasani waters, and Twizzlers. A lot of luggage for just the one night but what do you expect, we’re girls (and Trent haha).

After making a quick pit-stop to pick up Tor, we were on our way to Austin, home of the original Chuy’s and all sorts of other awesome places (according to Lauren :)). Halfway down the road we hear a rumor that 35 is closed so we will have to take an alternate route. Not a problem, right? Wrong.

Besides making our arrival to the ever so classy Wyndham hotel extremely tardy, the road closure continually lengthened every trip we took to and from. At our hotel we were greeted by an assortment of hotel themes (cowboy, musical, beach, you name it, it was there) and an interesting group of kids who we soon learned were having prom there. Oy. Lugging our bags out to the room we see “Turtle Bag,” no, “Turtle Bay,” in wanna-be fancy print seared above our door. Classy. The room was acceptable though, and we were running late, so we got ready and headed out to the partaaaay!

The one light of the trip was the engagement party itself. It. Was. Incredible. Authentic Argentine cuisine, delicious wine, magical music, astonishingly beautiful home, breathtaking floral arrangements, warm, gracious hosts, fun people… it was amazing. That description doesn’t even begin to describe how awesome it was. After the food, fun, and festivities, we ended the evening watching a victory from our Dallas Mavs and then a hazelnut latte while we waited for our valet to fetch our vehicle.

Winding down the Austin hills to our far, far away hotel, our feet ached and our eyelids drooped. I, the grandma of the group, was ready to shirk that uncomfortable garb and put on my Nike shorts and t-shirt. Should we stay in and rest or take advantage of the opportunity being in Austin and continue our evening by going out on the town? Definitely the latter, we all decided.

Thirty minutes after calling the cab company and playing a failing round of “the curse word game,” we were summoned to the front desk where we found our trusty steed and coachman awaiting our arrival. Only, our trusty steed was actually a dirty, yellow taxi car and our coachman was a grumpy, tired cab driver. But still, we were excited, and ready to start the fun. Piling in, still all dolled up from the party, we were off to explore the entertainment that only Austin could provide: Sixth Street!

The cab drive out of the Wyndham parking lot, onto the I35 feeder road (our hotel was located directly on the closed part of the Interstate, lucky us).
“Uh oh,” said Torie. “I forgot my ID.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” grumped our driver. He took a round-about way getting back to the hotel ($10 later), Torie jumped out, key card in hand, and rushed to the room to get her license so the fun could begin. Seven minutes later we receive a call. “The room key doesn’t work.” We unpiled out of the car, paid, and headed back inside, nearly defeated. The cab driver’s mood was starting to rub off on us.

We asked the front desk guy for new keys. There’s no way we can get another cab at this hour. Maybe we could just close out the bar at the hotel. We sit down at the wooden table, tired yet hopeful. Trent goes to the bar to make a quick order for the whole table of grouchy girls and we hear a faint, chipper, “I’m sorry sir, we’re already closed.” This disaster was beginning to get a little comical. Not quite ready to give up on all attempts to leave Turtle Bag, we decided to find a midnight snack. To Kerbey Lane’s! Chips and queso were just the ticket and we all went to bed tired and full.

On Sunday, after an iffy night’s sleep with the extremely rowdy prom crowd hooting and hollering right outside our window, we woke up to, you guessed it, get ready to eat again! We enjoyed some delicious pizza at Austin’s Pizza then hit the road back to Waco, then home.

So, as I mentioned before, there isn’t really any moral, triumphant ending, or heroic savior finale to this story. But if I had to get all cheesy on you and find a moral, I would say that what did shine through in this whirlwind weekend that went almost nothing like we imagined, was friendship. Even if plans go all topsy-turvey on you, with good friends, you can always manage to find fun in the midst of the chaos. But maybe an even better moral is that I am ready for a do-over trip to Austin asap! 🙂

And they lived happily ever after.

And so on.

The end.

Katie

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