Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On the road, currently in San Antonio

We are now several days into very fruitful hitchhiking and couchsurfing ventures. We bid farewell to New Orleans on Monday morning, after a fun Sunday evening of one last game session, and playing with the color settings on the camera.

I don't think he knows I took this picture.

Our friend Aaron dropped us off at an I-10 west entrance and our wait there was our longest wait so far. After about an hour and twenty minutes we got picked up by a man going to Hammond, Louisiana. Hammond is north of New Orleans, but our ride said that lots of people headed towards Houston from the east will take the route that passes through Hammond in order to avoid the New Orleans city traffic. Along the way, he and Brendan got into a rousing politics discussion. Our ride said Brendan is the first left-wing nutjob he's ever met. I think he really enjoyed the conversation because he invited us to come over for barbeque when we are near New Orleans again.

At the gas station where he left us, a family traveling in a motor home was filling up. We approached the dad and asked if they were heading west, and if so, could we have a ride? He said he would check with his wife. We waited outside the station and when he came to pay, he told us sorry, but she didn't feel comfortable with it. We said thanks anyway, and gave him our card. We walked to the highway entrance, and a few minutes later, the motor home family stopped for us! I think we seemed a little more legit after giving them our card. We rode with them the rest of the way to Houston, and had a delightful time playing pictionary and hangman and telling stories to their kids. That is the first time we got to sit on a couch in a fairly comfortable living room while hitchhiking.

We stayed with the sweetest couchsurfing family ever in Houston. They picked us up where the motor home family dropped us, fed us dinner, gave us a private bedroom to sleep in and our own bathroom to use, provided towels and a trip the museum district and drove us around the city to see weird stuff like massive presidential busts, plus the Beatles.

They are everything I aspire to be in a couchsurfing host. They made us feel so welcome, just like we were part of the family. We stayed there two nights, and this morning our friend Mike and his visiting friend Mike picked us up. We drove around the Rice University campus and neighborhood and then went back to his apartment and learned how to play a fun game called Arkham or something like that.

After the game, Mike dropped us off near another I-10 west entrance and we started hitching for a ride outside of Reliant Stadium, where they were having a rodeo that we hypothesized was a disabled rodeo because so many people with cowboy hats on and with disabled tags on their cars kept pulling into the parking lot. But then we also figured that a lot of rodeo riders end up disabled, so that could explain it. We got a ride from a super nice man who went about 30 miles out of his way just to drop us off at a gas station rather than a shopping center. He also gave us his phone number so we could contact him whenever we do plan to go to Mexico, because he is from there.

Our next ride was short, just to the next exit, but it put us in the right place to get picked up by a man going all the way to San Antonio, and to see this:
They spelled it right!

I don't think I've even mentioned yet that we were headed to San Antonio to see the Alamo. Based on the advice from a wide cross-section of people, we decided that now is not the best time to visit northern Mexico, so we figured we should see some historical Texas stuff instead. The man who picked us up has a wife and kids in San Antonio, but works in Lafayette, Louisiana, so he drives back and forth a lot. He was very nice, and dropped us off outside a bank, where our next couchsurfing host picked us up.

Now we are in San Antonio! Our host is very kind and made dinner for us when we arrived, and we shared some Wisconsin cheese with her. Tomorrow she is going to give us a ride into downtown, as she lives about ten minutes or maybe more to the north of downtown. We will visit the Alamo and walk around downtown a bit, and then we're off to Austin! We found out Brendan's uncle is there on business until Friday, so we want to get there quick so we can see him. We're going to Waco after that, and then hopefully Plano (if you're reading this, Michael and Danielle, sorry we haven't called yet and I hope we can stay with you!).

Enjoy the funny looking ducks we saw at Hermann Park in Houston:


Anim Cara said...

Happy to hear of your positive encounters! Please blog what the change means to your itinerary?
Do you head towards L.A. and Melina now or San Diego?

Brendina Pederhold said...

We will head to San Diego first, and then continue on to LA and Melina. The biggest difference in our itinerary is more time spent in Texas and the southwest.

cassie said...

Where in Waco did you do your busking?