Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Surprise Pineapple!

Who thinks it's a good idea to drive for nine hours on a Tuesday, then drive those nine hours back home on Wednesday?
Apparently, we do, 'cause we did that.
It's not like it's the first time we've done something that blatantly silly; sometimes, I don't talk about the whirlwind excursions we go on simply because there isn't always that much to tell. This trip to Austin, however, proved quite entertaining.
Do you want to hear about it?
Oh, come on, there's a slideshow at the end!
Well, it'll be over soon enough.
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

*It has been several years since we went to the capitol building, and even longer since we had walked the beautiful grounds. Camera in hand, we strolled the several-acre park at leisure, taking in the remains of fall in the hill country, and the peculiar wildlife.
Yes, that squirrel was blonde. I named him Fabio.

All was going well, until...

...buses of school children -- ranging in age from "Miss-Dunwell-I-hafta-gota-tha-baathrooom" to "lyke-ohmigawd-Justin-Bieber-just-tweeted" -- were lining up on the far end of the lawn. We took refuge in the visitor center, hoping the little buggers would go to the capitol itself before stopping by the museum and gift shop.
We were pleasantly surprised by the beautiful archetectural detailing in the visitor center, which was built in the 1850s: intricate wrought iron staircases; elaborate window designs; a fascinating back spiral staircase; and the views of the capitol and garden could be seen from the best angles possible. All too soon, the nippers infested the building like swarms of locusts, screaming, shoving, and sighing their way through the entire building, their lazy footprints and unbroken voices echoing violently from the stones in the floor and plaster on the walls.
It was nice while it lasted, anyway.

*We got a small taste of a hill country Christmas. There were elaborate lighting displays on homesteads lining the highway, while some of the small towns decorated their decaying town squares. Fredericksburg, as usual, wins the award for best dressed; greenery hung from every lamppost, while strings of garland draped over the street, flanking a giant glittering "MERRY CHRISTMAS" greeting. Even the shops looked festive with their twinkling window displays.

*The biggest thrill of the trip, though, was that it happened to fall on the one day only screening of "A Christmas Story" in movie theaters. It's one of my favorite films of all time, as briefly explained previously on this blog, and I had to see it on the big screen; the picture was released eight years before I was born, so I knew this might be my only opportunity to ever see it in a theater. The experience was simply magical. There are so many small details that cannot be seen on a television, but have to be experienced in the cinema: patterns in curtains, wallpaper, costuming; writing on newspapers; actors performing in the background that otherwise go unnoticed. It was like watching the film for the first time, but coupled with a lifetime's worth of nostalgia -- completely new, yet totally familiar.
As a side note, how did we not know about the Cinemark Classic Series before this? It certainly made us want to see the rest of the season's programming; we may have missed "Miracle on 34th Street", but we can still see "Home Alone" (side-side-note: someone please tell Jack Barakat about this, as I am too chicken to do so myself), and "It's A Wonderful Life"!

Are you ready for a super-awsome slideshow now?
But, look! It's pretty!

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