Friday, December 30, 2005

Day and Night in Austin

Friday morning Rich drove us out for breakfast tacos at a Mexican Bakery nearby and then on to the banks of the Colorado River for a stroll along some of the jogging/cycling tracks there. We got involved in a lively discussion about the use of discretion in the application of law as we walked and, I fear, missed enjoying most of the scenery as a result (although I did manage to capture this shot of Austin’s downtown skyline!)

From there we drove on to a restaurant overlooking Lake Travis for lunch and had more Tex-Mex. Austin is certainly a more attractive city than Dallas; the area is hillier and more wooded and generally seems less uniform than the larger city. I can see why its residents are so fond of it. It is suffering from the remarkably warm weather of late though (I had to cover my neck as we lunched as it was burning in the sunshine!) as you can see from this shot, taken from the restaurant terrace, the water level of the lake is very low.

We headed back to Rich’s house from there as a lingering headache I’d had all morning was beginning to tire me out. I took a nap while Rich & Brett played a PS2 Star Wars game.

Early evening, we drove into downtown Austin and had a walk along 6th Street which is the main ‘evening’ street in Austin, although it was still early so wasn’t too busy. Dined at a very pleasant seafood restaurant (which is a converted motor-repair shop. Brett observed the last time he was there it had repaired his car for him) and then went on to a bar on 4th Street (the ‘gay’ street) to meet up with Michael, Rich’s new boyfriend. Michael is involved in fundraising to build a new theatre for a local arts group and so he, Rich and Brett know a lot of the same people and spent some time comparing notes. Later we went on to a nightclub further along the strip and enjoyed some people watching (and Rich & Michael mingling.) There’s a rather grainy shot of the them here. Brett, Rich & Michael eventually headed onto the dancefloor while I looked on. (Club dancing is not my thing at the best of times!)

Unfortunately I was feeling increasingly under the weather and left them to it at around 1:30am to take a cab home. A bit of a trial when I arrived though; the electronic key I had for the door of the house worked (I could hear the lock opening) but then I couldn’t open the door and surmised that there was a second lock to which I didn’t have the key… Realising I didn’t have Rich’s mobile number and that Brett had left his phone in the house I ended up trying the windows and doors (expecting at any moment for a patrol car to pull-up and ask me what I was up to!) In the end I was saved by the fact that Brian (Rich’s lodger) was already home. He was very gracious about being woken up in the small hours to let me in though. (I later learned he was worried that it was his ex-boyfriend ringing the bell, as he has been expected to make some such scene, so finding me there was actually a relief for him!)

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