We did Thanksgiving in Austin this year. We usually travel on the Thursday itself, to save a few dollars on the flight, but this year we threw caution to the wind and flew down on Wednesday. Which meant that we were in town in time to spend Thanksgiving morning running four-a-half miles* through downtown Austin for the Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot. (If I lived there, I probably wouldn't use the full sponsorship name, but to my ears it sounds delightful. Similarly, the race shirts have a big Thunderbolt on the back that in Austin probably makes you look like a corporate shill, but elsewhere is just a cool image.) The weather was great, holding off on some threatened rains, and Erica and I had a great run.
It was great to see everyone. There's quite a few of us—even without Jeanne and Jeff and James there were eleven Gerdeses and Gollubs. But it was nice this trip that we were there long enough that we got to have different times with different sub-sets—just my parents, each of the kids, and so on. One night we went down into Austin with just Erica and my siblings. The plan was to try and see Esther's Follies—I've performed on that stage, years ago at the Big Stinkin' Improv Fest, but I've never seen their show. Perhaps fortunately, the show was sold out and so we just hung out, getting some dessert at the fancy Driskill Hotel, talking about life, and then doing a photoshoot in the lobby.
We also went downtown on Sunday with Heidi and her two oldest to see some improv-for-kids at the Hideout Theater. Because, of course, I know people everywhere, the cast included Jessica Arjet, who I had roped into our Neutrino Project we did down in New Orleans a year ago.
After the show, Heidi took us to see one of Austin's weird sights—the Cathedral of Junk. It's an art installation, composed entirely of junk, in a guy's backyard. From what Heidi tells us, it was shut down for a while on neighbor complaints, but was greatly reduced in size and some changes made for safety and is now open again. I'm almost glad that it's smaller than it was, because even at the size it is, it's somewhat overwhelming. Everywhere you there are layers and layers of junk and you could go mad trying to discern the structure of it all. Mad I tell you! I took a bajillion photos.
* The course was supposed to be five miles, but was mis-routed on the fly by the fastest runners!