Saturday, February 16, 2013

Five signs you've been on the road too long

5. You wake up and reach for the remote to catch the morning news.  You don't have a TV in your bedroom.

4. You wonder why the hotel room has painted walls instead of wallpaper.

3. You wake up in the middle of the night, use the bathroom, wash your hands, and while drying them observe that it's odd that the hotel uses the same type of towels you do.

2. You look for your suitcase to put away your dirty clothes and wonder (a) how you failed to notice you'd been upgraded to a room with a walk-in closet and (b) why you have a dirty clothes basket in that closet. 

1. You wake up hungry and look for the phone to order room service.  Yeah, that's not going to happen. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

On the road again: Austin, day 5

I'm home.  I enjoyed a Salt Lick barbecue lunch at the Austin airport.  I flew on two planes, worked every second I could, and wished I could afford to sleep.  I stayed up late working, in part because I wanted to fully unpack so I could enjoy this whole week at home.

I am very pleased to be home.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

On the road again: Austin, day 4

Work filled so much of today that dinner was take-out from a nearby Whataburger, a chain of my college days, with late dessert from Amy's.  All bad food all the time tonight.

A conversation with colleagues today turned briefly to bad movies and then to personal favorites and then to one of the movies I love, Grosse Point Blank. The Violent Femmes' song, "Blister in the Sun," was a key part of that soundtrack, so here it is, for your enjoyment.

From the same movie, the greatest few baby moments possibly ever on film.

The looks he and Cusack give each other are amazing. Staring into a baby's eyes can be as alien and yet as enlightening an experience as visiting another country, if you let it. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On the road again: Austin, day 3

The pace of innovation in the tech industry is wonderful, because it means that new and interesting products and technologies are always appearing.  I learn about a lot of them on these trips, but, alas, I cannot talk about them.

I can say that Austin was absolutely beautiful today, with blue skies and just a bit of chill in the air.

Dinner was as lovely as the weather, a fine meal a group of us enjoyed at Foreign & Domestic.  I'd never been before, but you can bet I will be back again.  Every dish we sampled was both interesting and delicious.  Executive Chef and co-owner Ned Elliott has created a fine menu.

We did not sample the dishes of Pastry Chef and co-owner Jodi Elliott because some of our group had to leave.  The rest of us headed to a nearby Amy's for some always delicious frozen goodness.

If you visit Austin and don't eat well, it's only because you're either broke, choosing to avoid good food, or too lazy to drop by any of the city's many excellent restaurants!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On the road again: Austin, day 2

Work dominated the day, so of course I cannot discuss most of what I did today.

Lunch was a treat:  family style with clients and colleagues at the The Salt Lick Round Rock.  I was too full from dinner to eat much, but the bits I tasted were, as always, excellent, and they kept the ice water coming. 

Dinner was also special:  a meal with friends at Barley Swine, a South Austin restaurant I first learned about in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations.  The food was creative and adventurous, and no dish was worse than tasty.  Quite a few of the small plates felt a bit over-thought, but I still enjoyed them.  It wasn't a top-drawer meal, but it was a good one, so I recommend it, though almost as much for its ambition as for its execution.

As luck would have it, in the building to the left of Barley Swine sat Lick, an organic, locally-sourced ice cream shop.  I tried a small with three tiny scoops:  dark chocolate, orange chocolate, and vanilla bean with strawberries.  All the flavors were rich, and the cream was light.  I recommend it to anyone  who loves ice cream. 

Tomorrow, more meetings!

Monday, February 11, 2013

On the road again: Austin, day 1

Another Monday, another city.  This week, work takes me to one of my favorites, Austin.

As usual, the day started too early and ended too late, but along the way it included one first-class upgrade, two late flights, and a delicious small cup of Red Mango vanilla bean frozen yogurt with strawberries and mango.  Yum.

Dinner tonight was my traditional, first-night-in-Austin meal:  the three-meat barbecue combo at The County Line On the Lake.  We started with something new on the menu: deviled eggs with jalapeno bits in the eggs and bits of jalapeno bacon all over them.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

Tasty and spicy, these are treats I recommend as long as you like a little kick in your food.

The main course was Texas health food, a platter with beef ribs, moist brisket, and sausage.

Ignore the sides; they're perfectly fine, but after the meat (which I could not finish), you're unlikely to have any room for them.

If, like me, you're going to head to the nearby Amy's Ice Creams for a small cup of frozen deliciousness, you're definitely not going to be able to eat that whole platter.  I tried dark chocolate on the bottom of the cup and maple walnut on the top; both were delicious.

The rest of the evening went to work, of course, but that was a delightful feast, a worthy Austin tradition.


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