Friday, July 06, 2007

Wait? You're in Austin?

It's 9:50pm, and I am blogging in the Austin, Texas youth hostel. Yes, it's true. From Switzerland to Austin. I lead such an exciting life :).

I'm in Austin for a training in youth hostel training. For those of you who don't know, I've been volunteering as a World Travel 101 presenter. I basically talk to groups about traveling abroad and cultural sensitivity. I haven't done that many, but I do enjoy them. I have a feeling I'll be doing a lot more.

So, Austin. Today was my vacation day. I spent the warm afternoon walking all about town. How strange to not have eleven other people with me, nine of them being teenagers! In true Maureen fashion, I played the museum tourist today: the O. Henry Museum, the Austin Museum of Art, and the Texas State History Museum. I got a personal tour from the docent at the O. Henry museum, I felt my photography inspired at the Museum of Art, and I educated myself on all the intricacies/battles/complications of Texas History. At the History Museum, which was free from 6-9pm, a band played outside. Lovely. Free AND music!

Then there was the Capitol building. Warning! Bush Criticism Alert!

First, the building really is lovely. Huge dome ceiling with a single star at the top of the dome. Then, I turn around and Bush's portrait is there. I wanted to do two things: flick off the photo and ask the guard, "Does anybody miss him or are you all glad he's gone?" But, I did neither. It's still the respectful, responsible citizen in me that doesn't want to get arrested :)

That being said, I did converse with one of the protests standing outside the Capitol. He saw me taking photographs and asked if I wanted to take one of him. His signs were professionally made and contained quite a lot of information. Some with bible verses, some with the words Bush-Cheney-devil, etc. I ran into him after the photography exhibit, so I did it for my art :)

Photos coming from both trips soon!