Day 8: Shipwrecked in Austin

1 May


Day 8

The day we were shipwrecked in Austin, forced to go with the flow and stayed at a haunted hotel.

When I woke up in Austin, I rolled over to my new bed-mate (Rachel) and saw a very troubled look on her face. I knew in that moment our day was headed in a bad direction. She looked at me with fear in her yes and said, “Something is very wrong with my computer”. Considering all our photos from the first 7 days of the road trip lived on her hard drive, this was very very very bad news. I didn’t want to show my concern though, because I knew if both of us had a melt down we would get nowhere. So instead, I put on a happy face and assured her that everything was going to be just fine.

We made an appointment at the Austin Mac store to get it looked over. At this point the screen had gone blue and was unresponsive. Not good. She googled it and learned it was called the “blue screen of death”. Even after hearing this, I was managing a ridiculously positive attitude, even though our itinerary had us leaving Austin at noon to get to New Orleans by 7pm that day. We had to keep moving!

We arrived at the Austin Mac store, which was located in a horrible mall. I dropped Rachel off to look for parking and told her I would meet her inside.  After circling for a bit, I found a spot and went inside to locate Rachel. When I walked into the mac store I spotted Rachel from across the room- her head was on the counter and she was crying. No bueno. No bueno. No bueno. I knew where this afternoon was going and it was bad. I walked up (still smiling) to the kind man helping her (who seemed very confused about the woman crying on his counter) and asked him what was wrong with the computer. He explained that her hard drive had crashed and everything had been lost.

My mouth fell open. I glanced from his frightened face (I get it- women crying can be frightening) to Rachel sobbing on the counter and wondered what I should do next. Rachel excused herself to call her insurance company and I sat there making small talk about blue screens with everyone around me.

And then it happened! Her computer came alive and the Mac guy ran over to me and yelled..find her! I felt like I was in a scene from ER and it all felt so life and death! I took my job very seriously and went dashing through the store in search of Rachel.

When I found her I screamed, “It woke up!!!”

The Mac guy plugged in a million wires and started the process of pulling all her content off her computer and on to a new hard drive.

The estimated time for this…6 hours.

6 hours?!?

I started to feel very claustrophobic. We would be stuck in this store, in this mall, for 6 hours? But we are supposed to leave for New Orleans at noon! We have 8pm dinner reservations at Brennan’s!

But what else could we do but wait.

I would have to make the best of this situation. I would have to go with the flow. I would have to make peace with the fact I would not be making it to New Orleans by 7pm.

I decided to make the best of the next 6 hours and try to get some writing done. But I found it impossible to focus in the busy Mac store so I told Rachel that I was going to find another spot in the mall with WiFi and a plug for my computer. This spot ended up being located in the Nordstrom’s women’s lounge, located right off the bathroom and filled with kids and mothers (mostly nursing mothers) taking a break from shopping.

Hey, at least there was a comfy couch.

After a glorious afternoon spent at the Austin mall, Rachel and I finally set off for New Orleans…6 hours late but with all her footage and a new hard drive.

The 7 hour drive to NOLA was long and dark. We spent most of the time listening to loud rap music to keep ourselves awake and reading about Hotel Provincial, the next hotel we would be staying in New Orleans. Supposedly it is haunted- actually it’s considered the MOST haunted hotel in America. Scary right??

When we finally made it to our hotel at 1:30 in the morning, I was so ready for bed at that point, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the damn ghost stories! I wondered if I would be able to actually fall asleep. The bellman led us to our room and when he opened the door everything became immediately better because the room was gorgeous! Wood paneled walls, 2 big beds, velvet curtains, a huge bathroom and a fancy sitting area.

I was in love with the room and decided that I could make peace with a few ghosts if it meant staying in this room.

My first day in New Orleans next…

To read Rachel’s take go here!


24 Responses to “Day 8: Shipwrecked in Austin”

  1. gregorychankins May 1, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    Dang, girl, you’re such a good writer. Thanks for another fun read!

  2. HolleyBrooke May 1, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    I loved the dream catcher photo!

    • katemcclafferty May 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

      I love that dream catcher too!! I bought it during our stop in New Mexico:)

      • HolleyBrooke May 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

        I also want to say that I am so excited to find your blog and be able to follow your 365 journey!

  3. M. M May 1, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    I ain’t afraid of no ghost!!!!!!!!!!

  4. cravesadventure May 1, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    What an ADVENTURE! Have a Great Day and Eat a Beignet while there:)

  5. Mind Margins May 1, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Oh no! So glad it came back to life. My laptop crashed once in Fort Collins, CO, on a road trip to Yellowstone. I lost everything. It was so stressful!

    • katemcclafferty May 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

      You lost everything? So stressful…especially when you are on the road. That’s a major bummer

  6. Rebecca Koo May 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Being a mother who has had three children, I am well acquainted with the Nordstrom women’s lounge. A welcome respite for the weary. Hope no nursing mom flashed you (a horrific event for one without children)! Way to make the best of it!

    • katemcclafferty May 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      Haha! I had no idea such a place existed! It’s brilliant

  7. photos4thepeeps May 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Oh man! I’m glad you got it all back. Thanks for the reciprocated follow on my blog 🙂

  8. free penny press May 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    See that happened as a precursor to your going to NOLA.. I love NOLA, just got back from there and am moving there. In NOLA, no one operates on a time schedule.. Have a wonderful time there and back up your pics:-)

  9. fivereflections May 1, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    6 hours late wasn’t so bad after all ! it is fun following your adventures…


  10. WalkingwithBullu May 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    Love It. I am sure living it must have been not the best but I love your take on it 🙂

  11. Richard McCargar May 2, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Another good read, and thank you for the follow. Please don’t be disappointed, I’m posting my guitar licks/solos and songs for beginners and intermediates ‘after’ having a couple of strokes that were supposed to kill me, so my playing isn’t all it once was. But I enjoy using it to help with the recovery.

    Only the good die young, right?!?

    • katemcclafferty May 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

      Thank you so much Richard for your kind words! I find your story inspiring and I am VERY excited to be following you back:)

  12. Erin Haslag (@WELLinLA) May 2, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Wow!! My heart sank with the computer story – you painted it like a trauma scene in the ER – so much drama! I fully believe your optimism helped the situation at hand.

    And that hotel! GORGEOUS! I understand why the ghosts refuse to leave. I might do the same if I were a member of the dearly departed mob in NOLA.

    • katemcclafferty May 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

      Thank you sweet Erin! I agree if I was a ghost I would never leave either…EVER.

  13. Texas Rambler May 2, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    A disk crash… That is the worst feeling… You do everything right (you think) and the disk crashes… All sorts of what if’s fill you mind… and all it makes you sick… Been there done that too… I’m glad it was raised from the dead… Maybe you should name the computer Lazarus…

  14. meddelande lån September 11, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    Hi there to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit of this website; this blog contains amazing and
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