Day 1- Hattiesburg- Houston
One hour before Blake is coming to get me to head to Texas, I finally go to the doctors to get the results from Monday’s blood test. The doctor sees me before I’ve even made it to the front desk and she approaches me immediately, saying “I’ve been trying to get in touch with you about your lab work.” That’s code for something is wrong. You know that when you had to visit the kids ward every six months or when requested with your mum throughout your childhood. It’s quiet in the clinic today so I’m not sat waiting any longer than three minutes. My favourite nurse does my regular weight and blood pressure check ups and ask me the same questions, joking “you’d think I’d remember these things about you by now!” This woman has the kindest face and she told me before how funny I am and how much she loves my accent. There’s no better feeling than being looked after. Anyway the doctor and I also get on well and she comes in shortly after. The test result was not good, basically. She asks if I’m taking them and I say “yes everyday hence why I thought it was too high cause I haven’t been feeling good.” She even turns the screen to show me what my thyroid should be and what it actually is- they don’t do that very often. She asks me some personal questions about any symptoms I may be having, she’d already checked my glands on Monday. She says “your body isn’t absorbing the medication, I want to change it but I know you’re going to California and what not so I don’t want to trial something new when you’ll have to switch again in England. You don’t feel really awful right now do you?” I say “my stomach is still really hurting but I’m not dying.” She responds saying “okay well if you don’t feel awful I’m keeping your dose the same then and printing these results out for you and upon return to England you MUST go to the doctor for immediately, I think your thyroid is inflamed.” Another health problem to deal with in England on my to do list. It’s not really something I want to hear before going on a road trip but as Madison said “you’re not going to die, you’re going to sort it.” I can’t imagine how terrifying it must have been for my mum having a child with a lifelong illness that your other children don’t have.
I tell Blake about it but I’m not overly worried. It’s just another reason that leaves me longing for home. I’ve loved America and I’m devastated to leave, but I’m tired mentally and I just want to be healthy and safe. Staying here seemed like a good idea when the weather was good but its been awful so I’ve been cooped up inside all day everyday living with no real purpose. The one thing I like about myself is although I may be unnecessarily sensitive at times, I can usually find humour in everything. Facebook and Instagram would be quiet without me; although there is probably a lifetime of photos and statuses already invested in both apps. Plus if I did pop my clogs soon, I’ve told my all friends, wrote letters, bought gifts and made videos in the past and present what they mean to me. I definitely lived with no regrets. I’ve written somewhere between 20-200 hundred letters telling people how sorry I was for ever putting tears on their faces and scars on their hearts… You can’t waste every breath chasing clouds though! I’m only human although at times I really do forget that and beat myself up about things. Anyhow, I’ve lived most of my biggest dreams already now, at twenty years old (travel wise).There is a moment in each of our lives when you question/ evaluate the meaning of our lives. Blake and I finally set out around 4pm and he gives me an education in music I missed out on by being massively into pop in my childhood years. I’ll be putting all of these onto my iPod soon, our taste is surprisingly similar. We stop briefly at Burger King for dinner and eventually arrive in Houston at midnight and check in at the hotel.
Day 2 Houston-Austin
We leave the hotel around 10am and arrive in Austin around noon. We park the car and google restaurants from the GPS. There is a lot of interesting wall art around the City which I excitedly catch on camera. We go to a Mexican place called Iron Cactus for lunch and are seated on the balcony, meaning we have a nice view of Austin as we eat. After this we walk around Austin, absorbing the sites and taking photos. It begins to rain hard and typically, we’d left our umbrellas in the car. We continue to walk in the rain and eventually take shelter under a canopy of a wine bar. We get talking to a group of people there, one of whom works for Apple. He tells us a story of how once customer legitimately came into the store complaining that the calculator app is broken because they typed in 4-2 and it said 2. This was the last number they put it so therefore it must be broken. It’s really hard to believe people can quite so stupid. Eventually we decide to brave the rain and find the car as the rain isn’t about to let up anytime soon. We drive to a coffee shop on the GPS, parking at a closed down Burger King. I’m so happy at my discovery- free parking it a blissful entity! We take our umbrellas and walk to the coffee shop. I get a hazelnut latte and Blake gets non-caffeinated African hazelnut tea. It’s a cute little place, both the female baristas have green in their hair. Similar to New Orleans, or Camden for my English readers, there are many quirky characters strolling around Austin. A lot of homeless people too. Homosexuality seems to be embraced here too, I can’t help but think that this is what the South will be like in the future- equal.
After coffee we check out Paramount theatre briefly and then go to an art museum called The Contemporary Austin. It’s basically a huge table and chair and we take good photos. There’s a visitors creative section so I cheekily put my blog site in the book, doodle my Lace tattoo and write “everybody wants a slice of Berrie pie” and video myself doing it. Joy comes from the smallest things. We just walked around Austin for a good hour or so after this, taking photos and talking non-stop. Eventually Blake and I decide to head back to the car which is another 40 minute walk because we’ve walked so far from it. We see a lot of Austin on foot including suburbia. It’s in this moment I realise how comfortable I am in Blake’s presence and we literally talk about everything and anything. I’m glad we took this trip together, our friendship has reached a new milestone and I know I can trust him completely. When we eventually make it back to the car we decide to look for a hotel to stay in. Most places are booked up as it’s Memorial Day weekend so we eventually head out to Georgetown for a room. The rain is really bad now, thunder and lightning being a regular occurrence. When we check in we chill out in the room and make funny videos. We’re such an adorable pair; especially in our unintentional matching orange t-shirts! I made Blake order the room in an English accent so he has to keep it until we leave the next day. He’s really good at it and keeps it up consistently for hours. We get subway at 10pm. Our server at Subway rants about Mississippi believing we are BOTH British as asks us how long we’ve been in the USA. He even gives us a discount! We stay up for hours talking for a long time, Blake learning completely who I am via some of my infamous stories and accepting me completely for it. He offers me useful insight, and by the time we go to sleep, it’s 3am. I said to him earlier “I have a confession, don’t be offended, but I call you Blakey in my head.” He responds with “that’s okay I call you Lise.” I say “that’s fine as you don’t shorten it Lee/Li or call me Lacey instead of Lace.” You’re not really a true friend of mine until I’ve given you a nickname or called you by a nickname you already have/had. So we sign off the conversation at 3am as “goodnight Lise,” “goodnight Blakey.”
Day 3 Austin- Lafayette
We head out around 11am back to Austin, take a selfie at the top level of the car park and go to a place called tenOak bar for brunch. After this we go to a Mexican art museum which is really interesting. We walk around for a while after this and eventually decide to head towards Lafayette as Blake said he wanted to go through it on our way to Hattiesburg as he wanted to take me to a certain restaurant. In the car I continue to educate him in my music taste such as Busted, Olly Murs, Nickelback, The Script, Maroon 5, The Saturdays and Labrinth before focusing solely on British pop music. Blake is super cool and easy to talk to. We go to Olive Garden for lunch in Lafayette and then get a hotel room. We watch comedy central and relax after a long day of driving. I pass out in front of the TV not long after we arrived, still tired from the night before.
Day 4- Lafayette- Hattiesburg
We head to the downtown area of Lafayette at 11am, hoping to go to some local museums. However literally everything is closed due to it being Memorial Day weekend so we walk for a while and take photos. The restaurant we wanted to go to is also closed so after this we decide to head back to Hattiesburg because Blake also wanted to take me to a sandwich shop called Which Wich. We get there just before 3pm and its the best sandwich I’ve ever had! We also get brownies which are also amazing. Not really surprising since we are in America of all places! Blake introduces me to his friends Adam and Holly over lunch, who are not surprisingly older than me, but then again who isn’t here in the USA? We head to Books-A-Million after lunch, Blake was the first person to take me there a few months ago and he was shocked that nobody had taken me there before. I buy some little sentimental gifts to add to my “goodbye goodie bags” for certain friends before finally getting back to my apartment at 4pm.