There is not a lot to say about Day 5, which began in Kyle and ended in Bastrop. But I’ve been feeling guilty this whole trip for not giving a cosmic shout-out to Jan Hooks, who died on October 9, with a clip of her tour of the Alamo in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. We’ve been close to San Antonio for most of the trip, and Big Adventure is, after all, about the love of a bicycle. So here we are:
I also want to give a shout-out to Tim, who has been writing out directions for me every morning. They were especially handy on day 3 (Bandera to Blanco) and day 5.
The ride was fairly short, and I figured the riders would want lunch when they were done, so when I got to Bastrop I stopped at a Schlotzsky’s Deli for turkey sandwiches.
The guy behind the Schlotzsky’s register was like a charm robot. He was tanned, muscled, and buzz-cutted, and he talked quickly, clearly priding himself on his ability to work efficiently and make people smile at the same time. Snippet: “What’s that name again? You can tell me your name six times and I’ll forget it but I never forget the face of anyone I’ve met. Now are you gonna share that with a friend, should we upgrade to medium for a dollar?” He was training another cashier as she looked up at him with a dreamy smile and stars in her eyes. “Anything over $24.99, they use a credit card, they have to sign. $24.99 and under, no need to sign.” Swoon. As I was walking out, he said, “Thanks again ma’am hope to see you again real soon,” and I thought, “You really won’t, you won’t see me ever again in your life.” And now my face is seared into your memory. Sorry!
After I checked in to the Hampton Inn in Bastrop, I promptly locked myself out by leaving my key cards in my room for the third time this trip. I’m not sure whether that has to do with being more distracted or more relaxed. Whatever the cause, people were always nice about it.
The guys arrived a little after two and spent a long time in the hot tub ribbing each other and telling family stories. I’ve probably already said this, but family stories are one of the best things about these trips for me. This was the day that they were officially halfway done with the journey across the country. They had definitely earned their marathon hot tub session.
We drove into quaint downtown Bastrop (pronounced with a short “a”) and had a very nice dinner there. I wish there’d been more time to explore this place.
Sorry for the glare once again. I do my best, I really do.
Hotel Art Score
4/10. What you unfortunately can’t tell from the photo is that the off-white slips of paper appear to be stock market listings from a newspaper. Why? Why not, I guess. But seriously, why. We’ve got starbursts and circles and dots, all indicators of playfulness, and we’re going to overlay them on the stocks page. Maybe it’s to indicate that when in La Quinta, work is fun. The stock market? Just a game! Splash blop bloop. Wait, but it is a game, isn’t it? Everything is, when you get down to it. So I guess actually this is pretty existential.
It’s interesting to note, too, that all of the art in the rooms features open circles, which correspond to the bedspread design. So this piece was commissioned specifically for La Quinta. That’s more branding unification than I’m used to. Nice job, La Quinta?
Art Art Score