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City Zoom [Apr. 21st, 2009|03:13 pm]
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

Zipped off to the city (somewhat later than planned, no surprise) but did meet a friend for lunch at Threadgill's on North Lamar, one of our favorite lunch spots.   After a hearty meal (eat *before* clothes shopping--ensures the clothes will be comfortable after other meals), I headed on down Lamar to the Chico's at Lamar & 6th, where I indulged in a new pair of black knit travel pants (my old pair, after some years of heavy service, were looking a bit worn...ok, more than a 'bit") and ended up with more...as you'd expect.  I have not only the Nebulas this weekend, but other trips this summer (to Clemson University) and fall, and my travel wardrobe has, over time, gotten shabby.

From there I went on south, under the tracks, and found the Amtrak station, so I could convert my email confirmation printout to real tickets ahead of time (not, for instance, at 4 am).  Had a nice chat with the man at the station--there were three there altogether, two in uniform and one not, and I was the only customer.   I was wearing my Weta Workshop cap, and he asked what that insect was--turns out he's become an insect enthusiast, so we talked insects a bit--and then I found out that--o boy!--the Austin station may be staffed through weekends come September and thus I may be able to check luggage from Austin (and possibly even Temple)  on the fall trip.

I had never been to the Amtrak station in Austin, and it turns out to be easy--and easy to get to Cesar Chavez afterwards (thus *not* being forced over the Lamar Blvd bridge to the south side of the river), and thence to MoPac and home.  I was home very shortly after 3, which meant I missed the school traffic and so on.   I still have a lot to do, but I'm definitely well ahead of this morning. 


[User Picture]From: javacatz
2009-04-22 01:34 am (UTC)
We just went to Dallas and back on Amtrak, and overall, it was very nice. I usually can't go back to sleep once I'm up, and naps are impossible. However, I was able to nap several times on the train. The rocking motion just put me right to sleep.

My bit of advice: I don't know if they operate the same on Sunset Limited as on the Texas Eagle, but if they do, bring cash for the commissary. That was cash only, while the dining car took credit cards. And the snack prices were a bit steep. But the selection was decent. Not overly healthy, but decent. :-) There was a variety of soft drinks & sodas, plus juices, coffee and something else I can't recall. Do bring veggies and other snacks and bottled water. Water is available in every car, but it didn't taste great after being circulated in the system.

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[User Picture]From: gunhilda
2009-04-22 02:33 am (UTC)
I had to look up what a weta was. Something to look forward to seeing in NZ! :) (If I ever make it there...)
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-04-22 02:40 am (UTC)
I hope you do. It's incredibly beautiful, the people are great, etc. Though the trains are now mostly excursion trains, they're well worth taking, every one of them (I haven't taken them all, though) and the bus service is also good (no, I don't drive in other countries. I want to SEE it, not white-knuckle it.) Getting there from anywhere else is expensive and exhausting, so if you do make it--stay at least two weeks.
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[User Picture]From: gunhilda
2009-04-22 03:26 am (UTC)
Yeah, my brother did a post doc there, and the pictures he took were amazing.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-04-22 02:17 pm (UTC)
It's definitely changed...we lived there for a couple of years in the early '70s and loved it, but when we came back to Central Texas, it was in hopes of having a solid corridor of non-development between us and Austin. It isn't working out that way, alas. Fifty miles was not enough.

OTOH, being that close means I can sing with the St. David's choir, so there's compensation. (Not always enough, when I see the beautiful land being torn up and burnt to put ugly development on.)
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