Jan 9, 2011


1,500 miles in eight days.

It was great traveling through Texas in a car. That way I got to see so much more than I would have had I used public transportation. Luckily, the weather was beautiful most of the time so I got to enjoy loads of sunshine before going back to winter in Maine. I got to eat a lot of delicious food and try some local beers. And I am really happy that I managed to update my blog on an almost daily basis. Not too shabby.
I'm back in Maine now but I'll definitely miss Texas.

There's three important lessons I learned on this trip:

1. Don't travel with your older brother.
2. Don't travel with your parents.
3. Always bring sunscreen.

These are of course very subjective and limited to my specific situation (except maybe the thing with the sunscreen).

Whatever. For now I'm happy to be back at UMaine and I am really curious to see what my second semester here has to offer.


Jan 4, 2011

Day 8: The last day

After a week of traveling through Texas, the last day of our road trip had come. As I mentioned in my last blog post, we spent the night in Waco and in the morning I offered to show my parents around Baylor University for a little bit since I wanted to show them an American university campus.

Then we grabbed all our stuff and headed back to Dallas. However, my dad was settled on making one more stop on the way back in Corsicana in a small Pioneer Village Museum. It was a small and very interesting museum and cost only $ 3 - exactly the way I like it.

And that was that. We got back to Dallas a little bit after noon, returned our rental car, and checked into a hotel for my parent's last night in Texas. For our last night together, we wanted to do something special, so we went to Gloria's Restaurant, where they have Mexican, Tex-Mex, and other Central American food. It. Was. Amazing. I haven't had really good Central American food in almost four years and the strawberry margarita for $ 5 wasn't too shabby, either.

I am here for another night until tomorrow morning when I'm heading back to Portland, Maine.

Day 7: Dinosaurs and old friends

I can't believe how fast that last week went by. On the one hand I'm kind of sad to be leaving Texas again soon, but on the other hand, with the family drama, I am also looking forward to my home in Maine.

The last whole day of our trip was partly spent in Glen Rose in the Dinosaur Valley State Park. It was yet another beautiful day and we just walked around the park and looked for dinosaur tracks - so cool! Dinosaurs are simply fascinating.

 After the park, we hit the road again.

We spent the last night of our trip in Waco, where I met a friend from Guatemala I hadn't seen in almost four years. He showed me the campus of Baylor University and I discovered some similarities between this university and UMaine - Black Bears! :)


Jan 2, 2011

Day 6: The capital and some sense of home

Howdy, y'all. After a way too quiet New Year's Eve (because of some family "feud" I prefer not to go into detail here), I ended up drinking half a bottle of champagne with my mom and going to bed way too early. But let's say another resolution, and personal mantra anyway, is to look at the bright side of things and take them as they come. So this is me being positive (and maybe a little crazy).

Too cool for school

Today, due to an early bedtime last night, I got up pretty early and after a nice, big breakfast my family and me left our hotel to conquer Austin. From what I can tell, Austin is a great city and I could definitely imagine living there for a while at some point. Most of the time we just strolled around and enjoyed the still quiet city before we headed to the State Capitol, which is actually taller than the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Neat, right?

Downtown Austin

State Capitol
We spent lunchtime at a small farmer's market in the Market District where I had delicious tamales for lunch and some actual good coffee. Another reason why I really like Austin. Today was yet another beautiful day and after walking around for quite a bit in Austin, we left the state capital and headed west to Hill Country.
Gas Station in Hill Country

Our final destination today was Fredericksburg, a town where loads of German settlers stayed. Hence the name, amazing, right? Along the way there one could definitely see that many Germans settled in this region because many roads, towns, and shops had German names. Almost felt like home (except maybe for the landscape with cacti etc.).  When we arrived it was still really sunny and I realized that may face was actually a little red because I spent the whole day outside and wasn't used to that much sunshine anymore.

Jan 1, 2011

Day 5: San Antonio

Time pressure is often an issue while traveling, and we have the same problem. That's also why we decided to start driving back north last night instead of spending one more night in the south. After a delicious dinner in an old-fashioned 1950s-style diner, we drove all the way to San Antonio to stay there for the night. That way we could start exploring the US's seventh largest city at a reasonable hour this morning.

The first stop was the Alamo.

After the Alamo, we spent the next couple of hours walking along the Riverwalk, enjoying the weather, having lunch and coffee, and doing some shopping.

And some more impressions from San Antonio.

Right now I'm in Austin where I'll spend a very, very (probably too) quiet New Year's Eve with my family.

Day 4: Some more time on the coast before heading back north

Since we traveled until late last night, I did not have time to write about our fourth day on the road, so I will write about day four and five today.

So yesterday I woke up to an ocean view and after a quick breakfast, I headed down to the beach to enjoy the rising sun and the silence.

It was such a nice day so we decided to drive to another beach about three hours southwest of Surfside Beach. After getting lost again (happens on a daily basis), we finally made it to Port Aransas. There we spent some quiet time, walking on the beach and reading. It was really nice for a change not to see anything new but just to enjoy the beautiful weather and the ocean.

After that, we spent some more time in the car. Here's what I saw on the way to Mustang Island.

Mustang Island.

 This was not the end of our travels that day yet, though. We decided to head to Corpus Christi to get dinner there before heading back north.