July 15, 2013 3:01 PM





We headed to Austin that next morning, stopping for traditional Kolaches at Weikel's in La Grange along the way, and then got to catch the last day of SXSW. My dad took us to see Hanna Turi, a really talented Swedish pianist and singer, and drove us there in his 1973 bright orange VW Thing convertible! Later that day at a huge outdoor auditorium we saw great performances by Steve Earl and Robert Randolph with my younger brother, who is 8 years younger than me but 6 inches taller (so far). My cousin won a lottery to get into a small private show by Justin Timberlake and I was super jealous! It was okay though because on our last night in Austin we got to see Eric Clapton perform which was really amazing! I think Zeus started to get accustomed to life on the road in Austin, because I came home one night and he was sleeping in my suitcase! It was the perfect fit for him, and he continued to sleep there throughout the rest of the trip as well.

From Austin we drove about 12 hours west to Albuquerque, stopping for some great BBQ at Coopers in Llano, TX on the way. I hadn't been to New Mexico for a few years, so it was nice to go back and see Derek's family. The landscape is also completely different from Houston, with mountains and lots of open spaces. We went on a hike up the mountain one evening and sat on a big rock to watch the sunset, which was really pretty and serene. Derek always makes sure to get Mexican food from his favorite places when home, as he thinks New Mexican-Mexican food is far superior to the Tex-Mex we have in Texas. We got super lucky in Albuquerque, because Derek's grandmother had just moved into a smaller apartment and told us we could go to her old house and take anything we wanted back with us! We got some really great stuff, including a cool old record player console with all his grandpa's old records, a marble table, a gold chair, and several nice kitchen items. I really loved her old silver jewelry box, and these vintage tin flour and sugar containers that I'll use for baking.

We had planned to make the 32-hour drive back to NYC together, but at the last minute I got a job in Germany that meant I had to fly from Albuquerque. I felt kind of bad making him and Zeus do the whole drive alone, but I was also secretly happy that I got to skip that part. I'm not used to that much driving anymore after living in NYC! It was also probably for the better as our car was now packed to the brim. He dropped me off at the airport early one morning, and they began their drive back to the Northeast. I made sure he was loaded with lots of Red Bull and snacks, and told him to just take it easy and stop whenever he felt tired.

Now I'm on the plane flying from Albuquerque to Washington DC to NYC to Brussels to Berlin, to work there one day, then take the train to Hamburg for a day, then fly from there to Munich and back to NYC. So I'm not sure my traveling schedule is much better than his to be honest... It was such a fun but relaxed trip, and something that we rarely get the opportunity to do together, so for that I am very thankful. Lots of great people, delicious food, amazing music, beautiful sunsets... Here's to hoping for another adventure sometime soon! 





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