blue map of TexasDay eight started with sleep. I didn’t realize that I was so tired until I went to bed a few minutes after Day 7. My ticket was punched for the land of nod the moment my head hit the pillow.

To say it was a power snooze would be sorely understating how hard I slept. The Vagabond Novelist was ready for another day of adventure.

If you read Day 7 you’ll know that a seven-year-old named Jessi trained me to do her bidding. The Texas school systems insisted on her presence so her mother and I had some time to get caught up.

We went down to an area that might have been called the Brewery district (though I’m not 100% sure). It was on the river and we did what is expected: we walked.

For two miles and well into lunch the stroll down memory lane was wonderful. All the years I’d missed out on were filled in, good and bad.

Tracy and her husband have been married for seventeen years and dated for five years before that. They’re really wonderful, which probably explains how they’ve raised such delightful children.

For lunch we chose the Boiler House. Ordering was tough, but aftDay 8 Lunch with Tracyer Tracy ordered a spinach salad with grilled shrimp, my decision was made. I love shrimp so I had the same thing. I made a good choice (copying Tracy’s choice).

Before I started my Vagabond Novelist life I would eat three to five Caesar salads with grilled shrimp per week. I hadn’t had one in almost three weeks and the moment I heard her order my mouth literally started watering.

I don’t typically get dessert. Tracy declined dessert but I made sure there was a second spoon because I intended to shame her into giving it a try. Damn her girlish figure!

Let’s be honest, there are a lot of people from the Ames High Class of 1985 who would say Tracy hasn’t done her FAIR share of aging.Day 8 Lunch Dessert

The walk and lunch were only half of the Day 8 fun.

Tracy dropped me off at her house and went to retrieve children from their schools. I did a little bit of work and watched ESPN.

The evening plans were to go to the Tower of the Americas. It was built for the 1968 World’s Fair. The best part was that Jessi and Tommy hadn’t been there yet and it had been 23 years for Tracy.

The tower, which has 952 steps (not an option on most days), is 750 feet high, has an observation deck, and a rotating restaurant.

The morning had been overcast and misty but by the time we arrived it was blue skies as far as the eye could see. From the tower that’s a long ways.

The food at the Chart House was delicious, though it is a pricy meal. I had the flounder, which I’ve never had before, but it was good. Since arriving in Austin my adventurous spirit has mandated I try new things every chance I get.

Day 8 Texas TowerJessi had chicken. She let me have a bite and I shared my fries with her. It was a fair trade. Her chicken was yummy, too.

The lava cake alone is worth the trip.

The Vagabond Novelist gives The Tower of the America’s Chart House a solid 32 on a scale of 1 to 37. I would imagine that at night the view might be worth an extra point or two, but it’s definitely better with friends.