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When the alarm went off I really didn't want to leave. We got everything into the car, then met up with another friend from college for breakfast at Waffle House. Had fun chatting and ate a pretty big breakfast (waffles, no surprise), then it was off to the airport. I returned my car only to find out that Enterprise had failed me again and charged me for two extra days. Right then the lens fell out of my glasses, so I was too disoriented to deal with it. They told me I could call and talk to the place I actually rented from once I got home. Fine! Sounds good.

Wandering around the airport with no glasses is seriously befuddling, so I went through my luggage to see if I had a glasses repair kit. No, of course not. Sigh. I figured they'd probably have one in the shops past security, so after checking in I bid Brian farewell and headed off alone. Security theater was easy; no lines to speak of, and I was through in about 30 seconds. I managed to find a shop that sold repair kits, and then spent a few minutes squinting at my glasses trying to get the tiny screw into the tiny hole. Fun! But at last I had success and could see again. Found my gate, even!

My seatmate was a tiny spunky woman with a really big hat. When she realized that the emergency row in front of us was empty, she practically leaped over the seats to claim it. Which was fine with me, as then we both got our rows to ourselves. Very relaxing flight. I listened to spring training baseball (Yankees vs. Cincinnati, Yanks won, alas!), watched the flight progress map, and played lots of Sudoku. I can never nap on planes, alas. And then we were banking over Boston, and my heart skipped a beat. I do really love my city. And soon I was home with my cat, who didn't purr once for the first 24 hours back. He was so mad!


So. It was a great trip, and I had a most excellent time. This was almost entirely due to my host, [ profile] slipdragon, who made sure I was entertained and fed well and thought up great places to see and Austin things to experience. Thanks, Brian!! A++++, would visit again!
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Monday dawned. My last full day in Texas, and it's another perfect sunny day. Already I'm vaguely cranky, not wanting to leave. But it's finally San Antonio day, and my trip to the Alamo, so we head off. I'm sulky a bit. We eat lunch at El Pollo Loco (cheap and amusing) and get to the Alamo around 1. Suddenly I'm in a great mood! I was expecting something less impressive, I guess, but the grounds are lush and beautiful, with giant gnarled trees for shade, and lots of exotic shrubbery like cactus, palm trees, and interesting ferns. A sign on the door requests that men remove hats out of respect. Something you definitely wouldn't see in the north. There's two buildings left out of the original compound, the Long Barrack and the Church, and they were suitably impressive. They don't allow photography inside, which annoyed me a tiny bit; if you're not using flash, what's the harm? Usually that means to me that they want to control access to all imagery, which means they want to charge you a lot. But despite that, I still had a great time looking around.

pictures of The Alamo, flowers, and other stuff within )
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Another totally gorgeous day. We had plans to have brunch with [ profile] livingdeb and her guy R at Trudy's. Trudy's has a buffet for brunch, and after having a lot of single items all week for breakfast I was pretty obsessed with the idea of the buffet. A little bit of everything! Woke up at a reasonable time, spruced up, then headed off to meet up. They got there pretty much right when we did, and we spent the next hour + stuffing our faces and chatting away about everything under the sun. Very fun, and really good food. Thanks, Deb! The company made the morning.

We then had to stop by Brian's house, sit at Enterprise until they give us a new car, then decide what to do with the rest of the day. I recommend the "in your face" approach to getting what you want from customer service. Don't call, go there! They can't get rid of you as easily. Anyway, we got a new car, hooray!

Decided to save the Alamo for the next day, as by then it was already past 1pm, so instead we headed off to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Gorgeous! pretty flowers! )
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The second beautiful day, but still no replacement rental car. I really wanted to see the Alamo, but I didn't want to drive all the way to San Antonio with the cracked windshield, so instead we went for a shorter drive. We decided to eat lunch first at the Nutty Brown Cafe. Really good food, and apparently a happening live music place on the weekends.

pictures and text within! )
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Today my host had to work, so I took myself off to the local museums. Being an obsessive sort, I decided to see ALL of the museums that I could in one day. It was a beautiful sunny day, finally, but inside I went.

pix within, with stories! )
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This day was the day of eternal napping. It was rainy again ("You should come to Austin, Laurie! The weather is beautiful, with sun just about every day and temps in the 70s-80s!" Uh-huh.) so there seemed little point to going to scenic places. Instead, woke up late, went to eat breakfast at a Mexican place (mmm, huevos rancheros and migas! Excellent!), hung around doing not much but reading and napping, had dinner with [ profile] slipdragon and his roommate at Logan's Roadhouse, then watched a movie. Very relaxing! No pictures at all!

Day 4 to follow! You know you're excited now!
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Day two did not dawn very early. Stayed up pretty late Day 1. Tired! Also had a wickedly persistent cold, damn it. It was also rainy and dreary out, so taking photos was not going to really be exciting for me. Time for a drive!

I really wanted to see longhorn cows, buffalo, and anything else particularly Texas-y, so off we went on a quest for buffalo. The buffalo were shy, however, so instead we succeeded in seeing ostriches. Not pretty birds! And up close very scary, because, hey! BIG.

pix within )
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After the ridiculously early start to the day (4:45am! which I have only seen from the other side in recent memory), I was feeling a little frazzled as I got off the plane. Nice plane ride, but now I had to deal with a new airport and the checked baggage area and everything and it was hot and I was wearing a turtleneck and...there's [ profile] slipdragon, waiting to escort me around. Whew! Saved!

We get my luggage, get to the car rental place, and get my car. It's nice, but it's an automatic, so suddenly I feel like a new driver all over again! [ profile] slipdragon's an excellent navigator, though, so everything is good. We head out for lunch, which of course has to be Texas-style BBQ, at Rudy's.

pix within )


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