I'm back, but I do not come barring pictures. I'm a dork who brought my camera, but left the battery sitting in its charger back at home.
I'll fast forward through the drive that involved a lot of Taylor Swift and Johnas Brothers, but also included some Joni Mitchell after Alex fell asleep, and get right to the part where we had gone through Austin and Dripping Springs and Johnson City and turned off the main highway. You know when you are in the middle of nowhere when your directions include the phrase... "Turn off the dirt road." That's right folks. We not only turned onto a dirt road that took us up a hill at a seventy degree angle, but once we reached the gate to the property (marked by a large Texas flag) and turned off the road and onto a path. A path our friends have made by way of old chunks of brick and rock arranged in such a way that allows you to drive a vehicle across them in dry weather. From there it was less than a mile to the main "house".
Its an unfinished house. My friend is building it himself. It has walls and a roof and most importantly a flushing toilet behind a screen, but the civilized amenities stop there. We were not going to be sleeping here. This is where we were to park our car, meet up with the rest of the gang and load up the four wheelers that would take us to our sleeping quarters. This is also where Alex locked the car keys in my trunk. Yeah.
Keys in trunk. I have a new respect for car thief's. There is definitely an art to breaking into a car without just smashing a window. An art that none of my friends have mastered apparently. We had to call in a professional. One willing to drive out to the middle of nowhere at 11:30 at night on July 3. We were lucky to find at wrecker driver out of Marble Falls who did the job for a cool $100.
We were off to a great start having just completely drained my bank account before the weekend had begun. Did I mention I had to buy four new tires before we left home? No? Another time then.
I'll fast forward through the rest of the night that included a luxurious barn apartment that felt like we were sleeping in the cover of Architectural Digest, complete with soft beds and air conditioning, and get right to the wineries we visited the next day.
Oh, I'm also skipping over the next morning when the six of us sat around in the great outdoors reading. Camping with us nerds would probably drive any real outdoors man crazy. Around 1:00 we decided to close our books and make the most of our time at camp by piling into a truck and hitting the local wine tasting rooms. Some vineyards left much to be desired, but there were a couple that were quite good. One had a nearby restaurant that served the best handmade pasta I have ever eaten.
By the time darkness fell on July 4, Alex was ready to do something camp like so we made a fire and roasted marshmallows while we tried to remember scary stories of our youth. Most of them went something like this...
Remember the one about the hook?
Yes.. the couple driving and then they find the hook on the handle?
Yeah, that one.
Remember the one about the golden arm?
Yes... how does it go again?
I don't really remember...
Okay that just looks pathetic now that I see it in writing, but if you drink a bottle of wine and sit around a campfire... its really funny.... I promise.
At the end of the trip I can honestly say that a good time was had by all. Even though I'm left with only $16 to my name (and I did not pay for any food or wine), I would still do it all again. (That's a lie. I would totally skip the $100 set of keys).