Travel to Austington Bostewyorkamonica

Trip Start Oct 11, 2007
1
Trip End Dec 08, 2007


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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Sunday, December 9, 2007

Well, I ran into some computer issues that kept me from posting anything for a while, so quite a bit has happened since the last entry two months ago. I've been told by some of you that I don't put many pictures of myself in the blogs, so I'll put some more this time around. The last two months would best be characterized by "a lot of travel"... at one point, I was in New York City, Boston, Chicago (short stop), and LA all within 48 hours . I'm often asked where I live and since I never really know how to answer that question, I've begun answering "In an Airplane."

 

I've had two great trips back to Austin. It was still warm on the first trip back, and I was able to go out to a small private lake with some of my old UT Diving teammates. We had a nice wakeboarding boat and I was finally able to attempt surfing on the wake behind the boat. It was a little hard to stay on the "wave" and you couldn't maneuver much without holding the rope, so I and the others trying it mostly just held the rope so we could do more. We all had plenty of fun wakeboarding as well, though my body hurt for days after I had the genius idea of attempting to do flips... as if I were still a decent athlete. It was great to see my old friends and make new ones as well. And as always, I was able to get in some quality time with my Mom, have a fun night out downtown, and squeeze in a few good belly rubs for my dog.

 

It was then back to DC where Fall was setting in nicely, and gave this Texan a better idea of what actual season changes are like. My touristy event in DC this time around was a visit to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Very cool exhibits, but the highlight for me was an IMAX film on skydiving. Awesome! I was also able to hang out with some of my wonderful DC friends before a short trip to NYC.

 

Though the trip was short, I had a lot of fun in the Big Apple (as usual). I went to the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they currently have a nice Egyptian Art exhibit. (FYI if you ever go... the admission prices are suggested donations, ie. You can give as little or as much as you want for entry). Like the last time I went to the Met, I spent the majority of my time in the Asian art collections. I also really enjoyed the Modern Art Section which now (though temporarily) has Damien Hirst's "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damien_Hirst   I didn't know it was forbidden to photograph till after I snapped a quick one.

 

  It was the weekend before Halloween and I was able to go to a fun costume party with some friends. I usually get pretty creative with my costumes but I had to quickly get a store-bought one this year. However, it actually got a pretty good response at this party as well as the one I went to in Boston. The only problem was that it was too wide for crowded areas, and by the end of the night, Frankenstein was always bitching about me needing to lose weight. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera for the first party but I took it to the party in Boston.

 

I'd never been to Boston and didn't really know what to expect. I think even if I went there with high hopes, it would have exceeded my expectations. I wasn't there long but I was really impressed with what I saw. The areas I explored were clean with nice architecture, and a sense of history that you don't get in most US Cities. I stayed at a nice hotel across from a beautiful park called "Public Garden." I also happened to be there when there was a large anti-war march going on in Boston and many other major US cities. That night, I met up with a friend who took me to a costume party near Harvard. It was a good party but we ended up following the urge to go to a club as well. The club was lively and I continued to meet very nice and interesting people all night long.

 

The next morning I had my first experience on a private jet... very cool! We dropped off Mrs Smith in NYC, went to Chicago for a few hours, and then on to LA. Mr. Smith and I stayed in Malibu again near where the huge wild fires had finally been put out less than a week before. I was able to surf a couple days, though the better swell meant much more surfers in the water. Even if the waves are great, the constant battle for position in the water takes a lot of the fun out of it. But even so, it was great fun and I always cherish the time I have in the ocean. During this trip, I also went to Universal Studios with a friend. It was fun and entertaining, but I would have to advise against it unless you can get a big discount on the admission.
 

It was then back to NYC for a week which included a couple fun events. One was an awesome night of salsa dancing with one of my friends there. And another friend who works at Carnegie Hall took me to an open rehersal of the Berlin Symphony, which was incredibly beautiful... Not to mention the beauty of Carnegie Hall itself.

 

Thanksgiving week was upon us and I headed back to Austin again. My Buddhist Teacher, Lama Ole Nydahl, came to Austin for a night and gave a wonderful lecture at a local University. http://www.lama-ole-nydahl.org/  It was great to see him, and I was also very happy that many of my old friends in Austin came to the lecture. My Mom and I ate Thanksgiving dinner with a past college teammate and his family. The food was awesome and we all played some music afterwards which reminded me of the good ol' days in college. The Smith's changed their plans right before I was to leave, so instead of leaving the day after Thanksgiving, I was able to stay till the next Wednesday. It was really nice to relax in one place for a while, and I was able to get a few things done around my Mom's house. As always, leaving Austin was very hard and makes me wonder how long I'm willing to stay with this job. Of course on this blog I only discuss my non-work life which is filled with really cool travel and experiences. On a professional level, I don't feel that I'm progressing the way I should, given that I just earned my doctorate two years ago.
 

Shit this is getting long. Better wrap it up...

 

After Thanksgiving, I met the Smith's in New York where we spent about a week. The highlight of the week was being surprised by an old friend from Europe whom I hadn't seen in years. I've traveled with her and her husband through parts of Europe twice, and it was so great to see her again. I had a little time open up one day, and we were able to go to a really nice Himalayan Art exhibit at the Rubin Museum of Art.

 

I then went back to DC for a couple days, before returning to LA. This time around, we stayed in a hotel in Santa Monica and were there a less than a week. We arrived right as a really big swell hit the California coast from the crazy storms going on in Washington and Oregon. Unfortunately, it was so large and powerful that a rental surf board just wasn't gonna cut it. Surfing these waves with a rental board would have been similar to strapping 2x4's to your feet and trying to ski a black diamond. So I had to settle for watching from the beach and doing a little body surfing in the beach break.

 

I returned to the east coast to find DC blanketed in snow... seems like we almost skipped fall and went straight to winter here. It looks like we'll be here and possibly in New York till I go back to Austin for Christmas. Happy Holidays everybody!
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