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Archive for January 7th, 2008

After making it to my gate at the Charlotte airport about 20 minutes before boarding (even though I only got there one hour before my flight) and arriving ahead of schedule at Dallas, it was off to Austin, TX where I’ll be for a week hanging out with my Uncle Chris and going to the American Astronomers Society (AAS) meeting as a part of my NC Space Grant scholarship.

After a bad sinus infection about 2 weeks ago, I still have the remnants of it in my head. Coming down to the ground in Dallas my ears wouldn’t pop to adjust for pressure and I heard echos the whole time on the ground. Going to Austin wasn’t as bad as my ear canals had slowly started to clear of mucus, but the whole process forced intense amounts of gunk into my sinus cavities which would be a problem later.

Chris met me at the airport and we had a great time heading to my hotel in downtown Austin, hanging out around the downtown area, having a few beers at a local bar and then sitting down to eat at El Camino for the biggest burger ever. By this point my head had starting hurting so bad with my ears acting up I felt like the whole world was spinning ever so slightly and I had no appetite. Inner ear problems are the worst. I lost all my appetite. We boxed up my food and headed up to my room and I took some headache medicine and then passed out at 9:10. I woke up at 11 feeling a helluva lot better and hungry like a madman. I scarfed down the leftover burger and thought about my trip so far.

My first impressions of Austin is that it is a great college town environment. Small enough to not be congested like Dallas or San Antonio but big enough to have a lot of fun people… similar to Charlotte. However, while Charlotte is just starting to find its culture, personality and quirkiness, Austin is full of that. Even though I was walking around on a Sunday night I could clearly see how much fun everything would be on a weekend night and downtown Austin is full of cool shops, restaurants and most of all… music venues. There is even an unloading lane specifically for musicians on one of the streets. Austin is a cool city with a ton of personality. I am glad I have the opportunity to stay here for the week while attending AAS and even more thankful for the opportunity to hang out with Chris. Tomorrow morning I have a chance to check out the Capitol building be fore I’ll be heading into the AAS meeting at 3pm tomorrow for the first round of Astrophysics action.


The view from my hotel room

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