Austin, Texas, Day 0 — September 2019

Earlier this year, in celebration of their 50th anniversary, my brother Joe and sister-in-law  Linda enjoyed a  wonderful trip with their children, their children’s spouses, and their grandson. I loved that idea! However, rather than waiting for our 50th anniversary,  I thought Nick and I should get together somewhere fun with Nicholas and Carla this year. Nicholas lives in California, while Carla lives in New York. Could we find someplace that we would all enjoy that was midway between them? They agreed on Austin. Nicholas had been there  on a business trip and wanted to see more of it, and  Carla has a friend who relocated there.  So, Austin it was!

Complications, complications. A week before our trip, I was awakened by a horrible pain in my ear. My doctor was not available, but I was able to see the PA in his practice. She confirmed that I had an ear infection. I left her office with a prescription for an antibiotic, as well as a list of  decongestants and pain relievers and these words: if I was still in pain a week later, I would not be able to fly. Fortunately, the pain ended quickly. Also, I had some very helpful suggestions from my friend Mari. She told me to use nasal spray an hour before the flight and to get ear plugs that are specific for use on airplanes. I endorse both suggestions wholeheartedly!