Well, would you believe that I bought a book in the airport about a reporter who travels by herself and writes about her learning experiences. (Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman by Alice Steinbach.)
And, would you believe that I didn't even get to read half of it, because I was too busy enjoying Austin?
The exam prep part was mostly rather boring.
But I also:
* sat in the airplane next to Jay, drummer for the Fabulous Thunderbirds
* ran into a college friend I hadn't seen for over fifteen years
* found a wonderful French brasserie where I ate three different evenings with three different sets of companions
* had lunch at Las Manitas, recommended by Jay, an authentic Mexican restaurant threatened with being shutting down--I assume it has to do with the fact that you have to walk through the middle of the kitch to get to the patio, which is covered with a platic "roof"--a petition was in progress to protest the shutting down--quite an eating adventure, and I hope it doesn't get shut down
* met the lone psychiatric intern who had also come alone and thought she would spend five days shunned by family therapists (who have a history of major disagreements with the medical model used by psychiatrists)--and she was even considering Memphis as a residency option--who'd've thought it?
* watched thousands of bats fly from the Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset
* watched the sunrise during my morning prayer time
* found a wonderful bakery that made everything from scratch and had the cutest Halloween cookies I've ever seen
* accidentally walked into a Catholic church at mass (I thought the church was empty!)
* watched hawks flying over the river
* ate fettucine and funghi sitting at a bar because the tables were all reserved
* got to have breakfast with Jackie Halstead, a woman I'd admired from afar based on her writings
* generally had a wonderful time walking around Austin when I wasn't with old and new friends
* talked most of the flight back with a 79 year old woman from Vienna who had actually been to Zagreb and other Croatian cities and gave me advice about being married to a European man
You just never know what's in store, do you?