A Day in Austin, Texas

By Wednesday, July 13, 2016 15 Permalink 0

We decided to daytrip up to Austin while we were visiting my sister in San Antonio. None of us had been and we were all curious.
 






 
I’ve always heard that Austin is so much like Portland. I’ve always sneered at the thought. Portland is Portland, there is no substitute. But walking down South Congress and going down some of the residential streets coming off of it, I kept thinking This street literally could have been picked up out of Southeast Portland and set down here. Downtown didn’t give me any Portland vibes, but SoCo totally did.
 


 
After walking SoCo, our feet hurt and the heat was getting to us. My sister went to meet a friend so Cass and I drove over to see the Texas State Capitol. He parked and hung out with Lexi in the air conditioned car while I hopped out. I planned on taking a spin through the building, but I had bad timing and the security line was pretty long. I didn’t feel like hanging out in the heat so I walked around the grounds and hopped back into the car.
 

 
I really wanted to see the LBJ Presidential Library so we drove over to the University of Texas campus. Wow, that’s a gorgeous campus. And their sports complexes are insane! It blew my mind that they had whole fields, stadiums, and gyms dedicated to individual sports. Lucky athletes. Again, I went to check out the library while Cass stayed with Lexi. I asked one of the men at the front desk how long I needed to reasonably enjoy the museum and he said I needed at least an hour and a half. Unfortunately Lexi was acting up so I felt bad leaving her alone with Cass to deal with for that long.
 

 
If you can’t tell, I have some unfinished business in Austin. If the opportunity to return comes up again, we would definitely go back. But next time we’re either boarding Lexi here in New Mexico or we’re putting in day care in Austin so we can go into all the buildings and explore more of the city.

Fourth of July Weekend in San Antonio

By Monday, July 11, 2016 4 Permalink 0

My sister was in San Antonio for training (she’s in the Air Force too) so Cass, Lexi, and I road tripped out there to see her. I was in Tanzania when my sister graduated from basic and I didn’t meet Cass until he was at his first duty station so I’d never been to San Antonio. Like I mentioned on Instagram, the heat prevented us from doing as much as we planned. But we still had a lot of fun doing what we did and seeing what we saw.
 
San Fernando Cathedral light show
San Fernando Cathedral light show
San Fernando Cathedral light show
 
We got to San Antonio late in the afternoon so we mostly just hung out and caught up with my sister. One of the main things I wanted to see (other than the River Walk and The Alamo) was the light show at San Fernando Cathedral. It’s projected on to the face of the cathedral and shows the history of San Antonio and Texas.
 
River Walk
 
We took an indirect route back along the River Walk. There were a lot of drunk people wandering around down there so we went back up pretty quickly. We were all paranoid about getting nudged into the water.
 
Travis Park
The Alamo
The Alamo
 
We made our way to The Alamo and you should have seen the look on our faces when we saw the movie screen set up in front of it. No photo op that day. I took some pictures anyway just in case we didn’t make it back. I knew we would since we were staying a few blocks away, but you never know.
 
Alamo Plaza
Alamo Plaza
Alamo Plaza
The Alamo
Alamo Plaza
Alamo Plaza
 
The next night, I wasn’t ready for bed and ice cream sounded amazing so Cass and I walked to Alamo Plaza. We got some Häagen-Dazs and walked around the plaza. I finally got my pictures of The Alamo. =)
 
San Antonio
River Walk
San Antonio
River Walk
River Walk
River Walk
 
We spent our last full day wandering around. We didn’t do much of that because the heat and humidity were brutal. Cass and I picked up dinner while my sister watched Lexi in her hotel so I was able to see more of the River Walk. It’s so cool how it flows through buildings. We originally planned on doing a river boat tour at some point, but I read a review posted on Trip Advisor about how miserable it was crammed elbow to elbow in that heat. Instead we walked along the water for a bit and headed back with our dinner.
 

 
If you’re wondering how Lexi did, she was awesome! She got lots of lovings from strangers everywhere we went. We booked a room with two beds so she could have a bed to herself. The first night she was so worn out, she slept by herself. The other two nights Cass slept with her because she hated being separated from us and we hated being squished together on a double. She was also handled all the driving like a champ. She’s becoming quite the happy traveler.

June Reading Wrap Up

By Saturday, July 9, 2016 4 Permalink 0

There was a point I thought I’d get only two books read for the month. I didn’t really have a lot of time between my birthday, our road trip, and life. But toward the end of the month, I got some quiet time to myself and I was able to read a little. I didn’t realize how much I missed reading for those few weeks.
 
 
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – This is the second book in The Lunar Chronicles. I remember thinking this book was kind of…meh the first time I read it. This time? I enjoyed a lot more. I’m not sure what changed, but I was much more invested in Scarlet and Wolf.
 
Cress by Marissa Meyer – This is the third book in The Lunar Chronicles. I didn’t think I was going to like Cress as a character, but I actually didn’t mind her. Normally a naive character grates on my nerves, but she had some spunk and I liked that. I felt like this one lagged in the middle so it wasn’t my favorite of the series so far. But I’m still loving the series as a whole.
 
Ranma 1/2 (2-in-1 Edition), Vol. 1 by Rumiko Takahashi – This manga is hilarios and insane. Ranma went on a training mission in China with his father and they fall into the legendary cursed springs during a sparring match. Now whenever doused in cold water Ranma turns into a girl and his father turns into a panda. In order to turn back into their regular forms, they need to be doused in warm water. I’ve always loved this manga series and I decided recently to start collecting the 2 in 1 volumes.
 
Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden – Wow. This book was really an education. I didn’t know anything about North Korea going into it. Since it’s written like an investigative journal piece, the author educates as well as tells Shin’s story. As far as we know, Shin is the only person born in the North Korean work camps who has escaped. His story is one that needs to be heard. Like I said, the author educates so he also gave a crash course on North Korea’s history and politics. I have a few more thoughts if you’re interested in my review: Book Review: Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden
 
Ranma 1/2 (2-in-1 Edition), Vol. 2 by Rumiko Takahashi – This volume has more action and shows off more of Ranma’s fighting skills in both his male and female forms.