Austin, Texas, Day 1 — Wednesday, September 25, 2019

It was a lovely fall day in Connecticut, with a temperature of about 75 degrees. Getting to JFK Airport is often stressful because of traffic conditions, but this afternoon, even with lots of construction, our driver knew some short cuts.  The drive took about an hour and a half.  We had no problems at the gate and looked forward to a quick and quiet flight.

Years ago, we had many flights during which we sat in front of noisy children. That ended when children began to travel with electronic devices, so we weren’t worried when a couple with two young children sat behind us.  And anyway, I taught preschoolers for twenty-six years, so a little noise  made by children wouldn’t bother me, or so I thought. I wasn’t ready for  three  hours of the loudest  continuous shrieking and howling that I had ever heard, and I was wearing  noise canceling earphones! For the final hour of the flight, the children added kicking the backs of our seats to their screams. The parents talked to their children very lovingly and patiently, to no avail. Then the mother gave one of the children a tablet. He found his favorite game and began to shoot aliens, loudly screaming with each successful murder. I do not approve of such games for children, but  this was not the time or  place for me to share my parenting philosophy.  As we left the plane, I told Nick that I hoped this family wasn’t in the room next to us at our hotel!

The first thing we noticed when we left the airport was the heat. The temperature was 97 degrees! Our Uber driver  told us that Austin had heavy traffic and high humidity. Obviously, he had never lived in New York.

Nicholas was in the lobby awaiting our arrival. He had spent the afternoon exploring the city on one of the many electric scooters that are scattered around the town. Not having seen him since Christmas, I was very happy!

(Click on a photo to see a larger image.)

He was ready for dinner as were we.  Austin is famous for barbecue, but the barbecue restaurants we  passed already had long lines. We settled on a  nearby Tex-Mex restaurant, Pelons, and the three of us enjoyed our meals and conversation. I seldom eat Tex-Mex food, and I had never eaten refried beans before, but they were delicious. I’m wearing my Twitter shirt behind this photo of my refried beans.

We had a corner room in our hotel that had two large windows. Nicholas’ room was one floor above ours. Although we were near a highway, we heard no traffic sounds. Unfortunately, we did hear very loud music coming from a club across the street. We settled in with our books and before too long, the music stopped. I fell asleep and Nick stayed up to greet Carla after she arrived a few hours later.

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