Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Austin Halloween Weekend... Umm.. Not Quite

I planned to spend Halloween weekend in Austin to visit J & B & CJ and meet Miss M. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate, as heavy rain and storms and even tornadoes moved into the Austin area all day on Friday and caused major problems due to flooding in the control tower! An FAA statement later explained, "The radar room at the base of the Austin air traffic control tower flooded during last Friday’s record rainstorm, causing extensive damage throughout the one-story building."

So I got as far as San Diego only to discover that the next part of the flight to Austin had been cancelled. And since other travelers had already experienced delays and begun to re-book for the next morning, the earliest flight to Austin on Saturday would have been @ 4:30pm, meaning I wouldn't have arrived until 9:30pm. Given that I was due to return to Sac on Monday mid-day, it just didn't seem worth the trip at that point. Instead, I ended up flying back to Sac later that evening and unexpectedly spent Halloween weekend here in Sac with Mr. E and the kitties.

Luckily, I was able to reschedule for this past weekend and only had to pay the $5.60 security fee for the changed itinerary. I had a 6:15pm flight on Thursday evening that was due to arrive @ 1:50am on Friday morning. Prior to leaving Sac, I knew that the connecting flight in Las Vegas was slightly delayed, but while I enjoyed a glass of wine during my layover, that delay somehow went from 25 minutes to 2 hours. Yikes! The problem was that the Austin airport was still not operating at full capacity, so air traffic control was limiting the number and frequency of flights in and out of the airport. Oy.

The Las Vegas airport is one of my least favorite, as it's always crowded and loud and seems dirty. I did discover one perk, however -- you can purchase beer or wine in a plastic to-go cup and wander around the airport drinking as you wait for your flight! I definitely took advantage of that option as I waited out the delay.

I finally arrived in Austin just before 3am on Friday. J had arranged for a driver to pick me up, and I was in bed by 3:30am. I woke up and greeted everyone around 7:30am before heading back to bed for a couple more hours of rest. B went off to work, J took CJ to daycare and then went to yoga, and I worked out in the living room with Kodi and the kitties as an audience.

Once J got home, we hung out for a bit and then headed downtown to pick up B for an appointment. I waited with them for a little while and then decided to walk around downtown, look for some souvenirs, and get some lunch. There was a bit of light rain and lots of clouds, but I still enjoyed my stroll. I bought some magnets at The Old Bakery and then found Lavazza Espression for a lunch spot, where I enjoyed a grilled mozzarella & veggie panini and read for a bit.

When J & B were done, we dropped B back at work and did some grocery shopping on the way home to pick up dinner and other supplies for the weekend. The rest of the evening involved daycare pick-up, CJ's dinner, kid tubbies, and then some adult dinner.

On Saturday, I managed to fit in a 30-minute run before the rain started. Given the weather conditions, we decided to try a visit to The Thinkery (where CJ's first birthday party was held earlier this year) for some indoor fun and activities. Of course we weren't the only people with kids who had that idea!!! It was rather crowded, so we stayed for just over an hour and then returned home for lunch and naps. J and I then had some sister time by getting pedicures and picking up dinner at Whole Foods. B's mom stopped by for a bit later in the evening. After she left and CJ was in bed, J & B & I put dinner together and watched the Netflix original documentary, "The Battered Bastards of Baseball," a really interesting and fun film about the Portland Mavericks, an independent Single-A team that achieved great success over 5 seasons in the mid-70s. The owner and managed was Bing Russell, father of actor Kurt Russell, who was also part of the management group as well as the DH for the team.

Sunday morning brought cooler temperatures and bright sun, which was perfect for my longer run day. We took advantage of the beautiful weather to make a trip to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. CJ loves to play in the various gardens and outdoor areas scattered around the grounds, and the plan is to have his birthday party there next year. After a couple of hours, we all needed some lunch, and both boys went down for a nap while J did Pilates and I made some sewing repairs to Little Hippo. I then went out to the backyard to read and enjoy more of the lovely day, and J eventually joined me there as well. Once B & CJ woke up, the whole family (including Kodi) was in the yard for the sunny afternoon, up until I had to leave for my return flight.

What a lovely visit! And I'll be back again in about 6 weeks (this time with Mr. E) for Christmas with the family.


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