Susan just made the commitment to go to ROT again this year. This time she'll be spending two nights with me (not just one night like last year). It will be nice to have my best friend with me down there—we always have lots of fun together, and there are a few things in Austin that I want to introduce to her. We couldn't do this without the great support of our friends Kat and Cheryl. They know Susan and I need a weekend out alone every once in a blue-moon. This will be a special weekend now.
Getting ready for the Rally is like getting ready for Jazzfest. In many ways, you're scoping out the food, music and entertainment taking place within the Event Center, but you're also looking at what is taking place around the city as well. Ironically, this year seems to be full of “New Orleans” food vendors. Not that they will be any good, but I find it interesting. Also, there will be a “street-car” roaming the Event grounds from Community Coffee. They'll be handing out free coffee (so they say) and THAT will make my mornings even better. Of course, you can always find free coffee at the Motorcycle Church area....
The checklist includes things to make the camping experience a bit more enjoyable. Ear-plugs are necessary, since I'll be drinking and thus that means I'll be snoring loudly. They will also help for the noise generated near the campground by the bikers riding the parade route into the wee-hours of the morning. We also have our gel-filled neck wraps. They are essential for this hot weather. Basically, you let them sit in water overnight and they fill up into an all-day cool neck wrap. I've survived many a Jazzfest with these things. I had to get Susan an inflatable mattress, though I can sleep on the ground just fine (even with my bad back). Tent, tarp, chairs, and ice chest, and we're ready to go. Imagine all of this, and our clothes for three days, on one Harley. I'll take pictures of the packed bike once I hit the road :)
Friday is the only evening we'll be heading out of the Event area to Austin. Not only will we see the largest bike parade in the world—but I'll be taking Susan to her first East Austin experience. Two bars are my favorites—and they are right next door to each other. The Volstead, and the Gypsy are on East 6th Street between Onion and Comal. I hear the Volstead is hosting music these days, as is the Gypsy. I'm looking forward to spending a few hours and having a few Abitas here with Susan on Friday.
On Saturday, there are a few things that caught my eye: The Working Man's Motorcycle and Art Show is taking place at the Mexitas Event Center. This looks very interesting. And later in the evening, there are two events that might be worth going to. The first is something at the Gypsy called "Arabian Nights" that looks pretty cool. The other is a CD release party at ND 501 Studios that begins at 8. All in all, lots to do on Saturday, and we still need to be back at the ROT rally before midnight for the final midnight toast.
It will be nice to rumble into Austin this weekend with thousands of other bikers. It's all looking good :)