Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Austin Trip and Thoughts of the Future

Last weekend I and three of my best friends from high school met up in Austin for a belated birthday celebration and a little bit of a farewell get together. Since my older sister, Heather’s birthday is only two days after mine we made it a joint thing. So Friday after work me and Heather pile into our explorer, affectionately named “Bertha,” (which by the way totally suites her) and drove to Austin. Since it was Labor Day weekend we decided to take the back road route and although added to time, it was much prettier, and we didn’t have to deal with traffic. So off we went with our Tom Tom, Bertha, and a romance novel audio book (our favorite). The drive was gorgeous; I called it a cultural exploration of small town Texas. All the old main streets and worn down buildings had so much charm and character. It is easy to feel sad when seeing these building falling into disuse but all it takes is a closer look and you will see that the stores still hold little treasures and smiling faces. Four hours later, about an hour and a half long then necessary, we arrived at my friends Jenna’s house, and not soon after so did my friends Adam and Nate. It was a great reunion and we even got to meet Nate's lovely girlfriend Amanda. We spent our days rummaging around on Constitution and our evenings hitting Sixth Street. It was a blast. Being a Sooner it is tough to admit, but I really enjoyed the city. There was so much going on, the stores were so unique and different, and the food was amazing…not a chain restaurant in sight. It really made me realize that I want to do grad school in a city. I benefitted so much from the small town feel of Norman but I think I’m ready to do a city next. I have been looking into the Peace Corp fellow program a lot and I think after service I might take advantage of it. That way I will be able to continue serving here in the states, get a grad degree, and explore a new big city.

Enough talk about the future, the exciting thing is now! It is officially less than a month before I leave. I can’t believe time is flying so quickly but am glad that it’s getting closer. I know that with my jam packed schedules it’s only going to speed up. This weekend some friends are coming into to say goodbye, next weekend off to San Antonio to say good bye to Trent, then the weekend after that to Dallas to say goodbye to my colleague roomies, then the last weekend before I leave my sister is flying down to say goodbye. Somewhere in all of that I still have shopping to do. I have gotten all my skirts and shirts, which was quite a challenge but found that the “mature lady” section of Macys was a total gold mine for long skirts and blouses. Now I still have to do my electronics shopping; speakers and rechargeable batteries, my athletic store shop; board shorts, sport watch, exc., then my camping store shop; sleeping bag liner and nalgenes, then last but not least army surplus store as I have decided I want my travel side bag to be an old army bag. Don’t ask me why I just got it into my head how cool that would be and how I’m going to sow badges on it. So lots to do! I have been contacted by another girl so now we are up to nine and Nancy (another woman found out there will be twenty of us total! Can’t wait to meet more and wish me luck with all the shopping!

Cupcakes from the cupcaketruck before we had a large messy cupcake war

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