Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation.” 
Elizabeth Drew
I used to envy people who travelled for business regularly.  Travel is supposed to be broadening.Broadening is usually meant in the sense of "you learn new things" as opposed to "you gain weight", but typically when I am away from home for more than a day or so, both meanings apply.
Case in point. The Hub and I flew to Fort Lauderdale Florida recently, so he could attend a professional meeting.

Immediately we noticed airports and airplanes are all a lot emptier than we've ever seen before. Economic downturn becomes ever so much more a reality than a phrase when you are seeing firsthand the nearly empty corridors of what is more typically one of the busiest venues we ever purposefully visit (DFW airport).

Florida is a gorgeous state taken over all, even with its continued frenetic pace of development.Problem this trip, was the weather. Last week, Florida was significantly more wintry than central Texas.  That pretty much left us out in the cold. The weather for our visit in Florida was ironically unpleasant in ways that had folks unable to resist fatuous questions about where global warming was when you needed it. Both visitors and residents were donning extra layers and avoiding spending time out of doors.With gray windy skies and low temperatures the new rule, a trip to Florida becomes pretty much a waste of an otherwise perfectly good ocean and beach.
No red suits here. 
Even the local version of Baywatch were bundled up.
Or here. 
Good thing the lobby was scenic since it was the only comfortable place to hang.
I learned that while some resorts have gone to great lengths to create an ambiance of warmth and caring for your well being, sometimes room service will be only about getting food to your room, rather than doing anything to produce a good meal.

Mediocre food aside, I heart little jars. I have a weakness for anything small, but especially condiments when they appear in their own teensy single serving glass bottle. I know it is not environmentally groovy. I just adore the little bottles that show up on room service carts.   I think I'd bring them all home if I could.

I learned if you are bored enough, everything looks like it might make for an interesting photograph from 22 floors up...only to return home and be baffled by the multiple photographs of traffic islands.  I think I was thinking those shots could be tweaked in some way to become "artsy".

Traffic islands are not artsy. Not even shot from 22 stories up. Not even when the bright little red and yellow cars look like matchbox models.Or maybe, especially not then.

HVAC units for an entire resort complex. while impressive in scale, are probably not going to make for arty photos either, although these come close(r).I was reminded why it does not pay to park on the roof of a parking structure at dusk.
Cue Hitchcock
I determined those who are faint of heart ought not use that antique scale at home they also use to weigh themselves to first weigh a laden suitcase, and then stand where the precise scale at the airport for that packed bag will shine out the truth about how many pounds off that scale is reading.  It is better not to know.
Now the dust has settled, I am glad to have had the opportunity to travel with Hub. It reinforced for me how much I like where and how we live. I won't require slipping off ruby slippers at security checkpoints to understand.  There really is no place like home.
“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.”  
Paul Theroux


Flapjacks said...

that scale is off...

TexasDeb said...

That scale IS off but I was counting on that working to my advantage.. Didn't want to focus so much on the numbers per se as the direction they were headed, you know?

But. To find out precisely HOW off the scale was, and that it was most definitely giving me credit I did not deserve, that was a piss poor way to start a trip when I'd ordinarily relax the rules about how much to eat/drink.

I shoulda known not to look.

bee said...

the picture with the birds and the solitary car in the parking lot is fabulous. great capture.


TexasDeb said...

Thanks, Jai. I take that as quite a compliment knowing what a splendid eye you have. Glad you dropped by!