It was a whirlwind tour.
Day 1: Fly out, arrive in Austin 5pm. Proceed to parents house. Socialize. Watch excellent slide show prepared by my parents. Discover that even at 7 days I was a master face contortionist:
Which goes a long way toward explaining this infamous pic:
Then we ate a late (8pm) early (Tuesday) thanksgiving dinner with all the expected accouterments. It was delicious and incorporated a lot of good catching up with my parents. We headed out after dinner for drinks with friends at Trudy’s (a classic), and managed to rustle up most of the remaining people we knew in Austin. We stayed and talked ’til about 1, then threw in the towel.
Day 2: We woke and puttered while waiting for my mom to give us (very graciously) her car for the rest of the trip. When she did, we headed downtown. I left Les at Schlotzsky’s (also a classic; you’re sensing a trend perhaps?) and had lunch with an old friend at Ruby’s, because in Cali people’s idea of BBQ is anything that involves charcoal. Then I took Leslie down to Opal Divine’s on 6th and took myself on a self-guided tour of campus. It was weird–not the first time of done the walk-around-your-old-campus-reminiscing thing, but the last time I did it it was less than a year after I’d graduated, and I really felt sort of displaced then. I wanted to still belong, but didn’t. This time, I knew I didn’t belong, and felt like an outside observer. I went to see a few people at the place where I used to work, and chatted with an old professor, and realized that my time at UT had really passed into some former version of me, one that I’m not anymore. That was a bit sad but mostly encouraging; I want to know that I’m still not fully baked. So I stopped by the co-op (which has expanded so much that it took over the Barnes and Nobel next door) and unabashedly bought a couple of UT shirts. Now that it’s a closed chapter of my life, I can lord it over people like a real alum :).
I retreived Leslie and we hit the road. She was anxious to get on the way, and the traffic had settled down by 5 or so when we left. We made good headway, except for slowdowns in almost every town/city on the way to Dallas, and pulled in just under the wire (about 9:30) for dinner at Cisco, one of three restaurants that Les’s parents own. It was great, I got a cap and good beer, then we went home, collapsed.
Day 3: Turkey day! I slept in until 9 or so, woke up, scoffed grinch-like at the Macy’s parade, mellowed out with an excellent bloody mary courtesy of Marc, then enjoyed an absurdly good “dinner” around 1pm with Leslie’s family. After dodging all of the dishes by launching plastic leaves at each other around the table, we packed up and headed out to the ranchlet for some ping-pong, football, and bonfire. Oh, and leftovers.
Day 4: More leftovers. Climbing in the car, girding myself for some more driving (my back is calling out for some yoga at this point), we head down to Austin again. Some xmas shopping at the cool little strip that south congress has become (would you like a “keep austin weird” hat, bumper sticker, shirt, thong, or postcard? You’re in luck), chilled, exhausted, at a coffee shop on 4th that in another incarnation Leslie and I had our first date at, and finally headed down to Lisa and Eric’s place for fun with dogs and excellent alfredo. We went home, tired from our travels, and were about to hit the sack in preparation for our 6:30 flight the next morning when I got a call from a HS friend, so I headed down to a pub until about midnight, then home for a few hours of sleep.
Day 5: stumble out of bed at 4:30. Stuff happens. Home again around 9am. the end.
Be sure to check the gallery.