Thursday, March 27, 2008


Barbara had her last fellowship interview in Austin and I thought I'd tag along to visit one of my friends. Boy, was she going to be sorry. We caught a 6am flight out of LAX on the Monday after Easter. Even though we got about four hours of sleep the night before, we hit San Antonio running.

Barbara in front of...I can't remember

We headed over to the riverwalk and although we didn't hit the nice part, we still enjoyed it. Of course, no trip to the area would be complete without visiting the Alamo, which was actually cooler than other people had made it out to be. There was a lot of informative exhibits and friendly guides to share a lot of inside stories. You could tell that Texans have a lot of pride in that place and treat it like a religious shrine.

Mike and I after coordinating wardrobes

We then headed over to Mike's place. Now this wasn't a normally planned trip. Barbara didn't really have a choice on what date we were to come out, so of course, it was going to coincide with Liz's due date. Fortunately for us, she went into labor two days before during the UCLA-Texas A&M game. By the time we pulled up that afternoon, they had only been home an hour. Little Tyler was lying there bundled up and on display like a picture frame. Sam wandered in and was trying to make friends with his "bro". Impressively, at two and half years ago, Sam already is speaking three languages, which is three more than I have mastered.

"Hi Five, Sam"

We made it out to Austin that night and after a quick drive around, we gave it a quick thumbs up. It's full of a lot of unique restaurants, bars and museums without many of the generic starbucks, gap, pinkberry, etc. We ate at a restaurant called Trulock's, where Barbara got the trout and I had a sampler of steak, chicken and shrimp which both were exemplary. Amazingly, we refrained on a dessert that was a hard chocolate shell the size of a women's shoebox filled with ice cream, chocolate and fruit. The three girls sitting next to us each got one. They should have split just one between them. Everything is bigger in Texas.

I dropped Barb off to her interview the next morning and once I got myself together, I headed out to explore more. I headed over to the capitol first, which was real impressive in size and design. Strangely, having been heavily security checked going into LA City Hall a couple weeks earlier, I was surprised to just be able to walk right in. That's southern hospitality for you.

Video Highlights & Lowlights

I then headed over to the University of Texas campus to see what the state's finest had to offer. First, I headed to the football stadium which was already huge and was adding at least another 15,000 seats. It also had three gift shops built in which were all open four months away from football season! The rest of the campus is very dense, and it's hard to have enough space to tell if the buildings are nice or not. I also tried to go up the clock tower, but surprisingly it's been closed for forty years since the shooting and just opened for the weekends two years ago. I then wandered over to the local campus digs and it's actually very similar to Berkeley, except less transients and no "for lease" signs up.

U of Texas Clock Tower

I picked Barbara up from her interview around six and since traffic was so bad, we decided to eat into before heading back to San Antonio. One of the doctor's recommended a seafood place called Eddie V's. I'd say my salmon was just good next to Barbara's lobster which was amazing. Another thing I have to add is that all the local beer I tried was exceptional.

The trip ended on a bad note as the hotel we were staying in San Antonio(rhymes with "milton") was full and threw us in a handicapped room which had a broken shower head unsuccessfully kept together by a rubber band and a twin sized bed which forced me to sleep on the floor. After getting about two hours of sleep we headed out to the airport which went without a snag unless you count me accidentally throwing away my driver's license. In summary, we were very impressed with this part of Texas, especially since we've had bad experiences in other parts of the state. If Barbara does end up getting her fellowship here, at least I know she'll be in good hands.

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