February 27, 2010: Off to Austin

So my alarm went off at five forty five local time this morning.  Oops.  It was late when I went to bed and I forgot that my mobile is set to Eastern time rather than Central time and I set it an hour early.  Argh.  So I only got about four hours of sleep.

A major earthquake, 8.8, rocked Chile’s second largest city this morning killing seventy eight people and generating a tsunami that is traveling across the Pacific.  At this time Hawaii and many other Pacific islands as well as Australia are under warning.  No major population center has been hit yet although populated islands have reported the tsunami already.

I worked all morning getting everything done that I could before needing to travel today.  I ended up not being able to get on the road until after one in the afternoon so I was cutting it pretty close for getting to the airport on the southeast side of Austin.  At least I got a bit of time to visit with the family before leaving for a day.

I got onto the road without having eaten all day.  I took I35E south and stopped in Italy, Texas to get fuel and to eat at McDonald’s.  The weather was amazing today.  Mid sixties as I drove down with bright sun.  Gorgeous Texas day.  It is snowing back home, of course.

I made decent time until I reached Austin proper.  There were tons of cops around Italy up until Waco or so.  Once I hit Austin traffic slowed to ten to twenty miles per hours and I had to creep most of the way through the city.

I was able to drive the entire way to the Austin airport, to which I have only been once before, without using a map or GPS at all.  That was pretty cool.  I am learning my way around Texas.  I got to the airport just five minutes or less after Brian made it out to the curb so the timing was perfect.  No wasted time at all.

We drove around Austin for a little bit so that Brian could see the city.  He has never been to Austin before so this was his quick introduction.  We drove out east and the west into the city from the outer loop.  We drove right through some cool neighbourhoods and then through the UT campus.

We did a tour around downtown Austin and got a good look at the city north of the lake and then drove north of the city and stopped off to grab a couple of beers and fish tacos at a local bar and grill chain.

We got checked into the hotel, the Comfort Inn and Suites in Round Rock right on i35 where Dominica and I stayed the last time that we were in Round Rock the weekend after SpiceWorld in Austin back in October.  It is a great hotel although it was far more expensive this time than it was that last time.

We only had a little while in the hotel to relax before going out to get drinks with Jarrad at a bar called Twin Peaks not too far away.  We knew that we would be there for a while so Brian and I grabbed a taxi to take us down there.  We got there maybe an hour before Jarrad so had some drinks.  I was very happy to learn that Twin Peaks carried 512 from Austin – my local beer of choice.

We had a good time and ended up drinking till we closed the place down.  Then back to the hotel.  We are scheduled to meet again tomorrow morning at nine thirty.  We are going to walk over to Round Rock Donuts (and Lonestar Bakery.)  I am very excited to be getting Round Rock Donuts again.  I am delivering a load of them to the office on Monday as well.

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