Six months gone in a flash. Luckily I have the pictures and blog entries to prove I did something worthwhile :-)
This visit to Austin has been fantastic. I got re-acquainted with friends and family and co-workers. I met new ones (of each type). I remembered what it's like to live and work in Austin. I got a tan. I went to Barton Springs. I went to Hamilton Pool. I went downtown. I played trivia. I shot pool. I saw a movie at the Drafthouse. I watched a baseball game. I ate Mexican, Tex-Mex, and BBQ. I ate a sandwich, for gosh sakes. A ham sandwich on buttered toast with bacon, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Ohhh. I bought a ton of books at BookPeople. I read the Chronicle. I drank non-Starbucks coffee.
I. Saw. The. Sky. That's probably the biggest thing I noticed. My vision isn't hemmed in by towering skyscrapers everywhere. I can see miles into the distance in any direction. Acres of green trees replace the constructs of metal and glass. And, who'd have guessed, the sky is actually blue, not sheet-metal gray. And it's got clouds, nice fluffy clouds, that make shapes and change colors and provide such a nice contrast and focal point when you look ... up.
I took the pictures to prove it.
On the 4th I was walking around downtown, taking some pictures of the Capitol, when I chanced to overhear "Yi, Er, San ..." that is "One, Two, Three" in Chinese! I turned around and sure enough, some Chinese people were taking pictures on the lawn. One "Nimen shi Zhongguoren ma?" later and we were talking a bit in Chinese. That was very fun :-)
All in all, a fantastic, amazing, wonderful, and sure-to-be-missed trip.