Blade Edge

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Good times in Austin

September 22nd, 2008 · No Comments · Personal

So I got back from Austin this past Friday evening, the flight out was uneventful, although the flight down to Austin was slightly inconvenient. I do want to make note though of an interesting fact: The flight down, which occurred at around 4pm, served us beverages but no meals. The flight back, which occurred at 12pm, served us beverages and meals. Both flights were Continental and both flights were direct. Dunno what’s up with that – maybe the time I flew? *shrugs*

Anyways if you want details on my trip during the conference, check out my GDNet journal Gaiiden’s Scroll. I made three updates per day from Mon-Wed. Since I accidentally booked my flight a day late, I got some free time on Thursday to explore the city. I spent breakfast and luch with developer friends who had yet to fly out until the afternoon. Breakfast was courtesy of the Embassy Suites hotel across the street from mine – they served up a nice continental breakfast and two of my friends were staying there and invited me and another friend from my hotel over. I will admit that I partook in the breakfast again Friday morning. Yea, I’m a bad boy. Lunch was had at a Freebird’s Burritos shop down the street – yummy steak burritos. I went back there for dinner even.

Food aside, I spent the afternoon kayaking out on Barton Creek and the Town Lake that runs by downtown Austin, you can click on the pic above for a full image gallery and some other photos of Austin that I took. The water on the creek was so clear that whenever I looked down I either saw schools of fish darting among the reeds or turtles paddling about. Lotsa turtles – big suckers too! I hit the lake and paddled west towards one of the dams that creates the lake, but didn’t make it before I had to turn back to return the kayak with enough time to walk to the nearest ATM and get some cash to pay for it. I wish I could have been out all day and explored the whole lake but, having forgotten to bring sunblock, it’s probably a good idea that I didn’t. All in all I paddled just over 3 miles round trip.

After turning in the kayak and paying the guy $15, I slung my camera over my neck and walked along the running/walking/biking trails that criss-crossed this park area. I have to admit, Austin is a great city for athletic people. The park where I was resided about 2 miles outside the city by car, yet you really didn’t need one. The trails led all the way back along the lake to downtown austin. Any bridge that crossed the lake could take pedestrians (cept a rail bridge of course). There was even one built just for pedestrians. There were so many people biking, jogging, running, power walking and even unicycling (with mountain bike tires) that I felt out of place strolling leisurely along. If I wasn’t wearing sandals and a camera I prob woulda jogged too just for the hell of it. if I could leave my apartment, run for about 30 minutes and be out of the city and on a nature trail that snakes for miles, that’s a pretty cool incentive. Let’s not forget the doggies! There were pooches everywhere you looked, running, playing, jumping into the lake…

So although I was dropped off by a friend after lunch, it was no problem to walk the roughly 2 mile trail back to my hotel, taking snapshots of the city and “countryside” as I went along. I did plan to hit downtown Austin, namely 6th Street, one more time with a friend, but by the time he called I was so exhausted from the day’s activities I had to cancel, and instead stayed in and watched movies on TV until I passed out. I woke up at ~4:30am with the TV still on (but muted), lights on and fully clothed – couldn’t get back to sleep so I got up and putzed around online until getting breakfast from the Embassy, coming back, packing my bags and heading to the airport.

I might just have to buffer in an extra day again next year (tho more likely the weekend before the conference rather than sacrifice a workday or two) to do some more extensive kayaking and maybe rent a mountain bike as well, hit the trails. Oh and I suppose I can thank Hurrican Ike for one thing at least – the weather was beautiful the whole time. Temperatures had dropped to the 80’s during the day and 60’s at night. Good times.


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