Sunday, September 03, 2006

A bit more relaxed now

We have got most of the major shopping done that we needed in order to start our new home. Yesterday, we only went to Pottery Barn to buy some glasses and a rug for the living room. Well, we didn't set out to buy a rug, but they had one we liked a lot and it was on sale - $480 reduced to about $120, you can't argue with that!

We walked over to the nearby Chipotle for lunch; it's a couple of blocks from the apartment. They sell very tasty burritos. We watched a chap outside with his tiny black labrador puppy, it was very cute.

Later on we caught a bus downtown. The princely sum of one whole dollar gets you 24 hours of travel on any bus in Austin. I think the UK has something to learn here. We went down to Congress Bridge which had been closed off for Batfest, in which they put a stage at each end and loads of craft and food stalls in between. There is music the whole weekend.

We met Peggy and Lloyd there, friends from Austin Life #1, it was really good to see them again. We caught up, walked around the bridge for a while, then strolled up to the Cedar Door on Second for some drinks. Ended up staying there for quite a while as we chatted about life, the universe, aeroplanes, and everything. The bus took us home again as efficiently as it had brought us downtown, where we had a light supper and thence to bed.

Alan met one of our neighbours at 3am this morning after their monster thumping bass woke us up again. *@*&^£&^!!! The chap apologised and turned it off straight away. He didn't realise anyone had moved in next door so fair enough I suppose.

This morning, therefore, was a bit slow to start. We forced ourselves out for a run. It's so nice when you get encouragement from passing motorists - a biker gave us the Longhorns sign as we slogged along. Might have been my Longhorns-orange coloured shorts, however. In the UK, you'd be more likely to have people yelling derisory abuse at runners than encouraging them. This is one reason Alan wanted to come back here. Americans raise people up rather than running them down. There's even billboards here encouraging people to think positive!

After we got back and showered, we were a little late for a prearranged Skype call with some friends, but we hooked up OK. It was very cool to talk to them all in realtime video. Hi chaps and chapesses - you know who you are!

We went out again after that. Alan drove down to Rudy's Barbeque on 360 so we could have some breakfast tacos. The food of Kings! I had a sausage and egg one, and a potato and egg. Top them off with salsa and cheese. Yum.

Then I got in the driver's seat for some about-time-too driving practise. Drove down Mopac for a quick stop in Best Buy to have a nosey at some electronic gear, just to see what they had. Drove back up to the Barton Creek Mall. A nosey round there; found a kitchen shop. Bought a storage jar to keep our coffee fresh in. Drove to Whole Foods Market on 6th and Lamar for some shopping. It's Labor Day tomorrow so we don't think much will be open. Stocked up on tasty things. Drove home again and negotiated the multi-storey parking garage. Seems I do remember how to drive an automatic after all! We do need to read our Texas Driving Manual, however. And remember, what you observe people doing is not necessarily what it says in the book. Much the same as the UK there, then ;-)

We are off to a classical concert tonight; a present bought for Alan from Bryan and Marie. Thanks, guys. We are looking forward to it.

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