Monday, August 25, 2008

traipsing across the continent

Two weeks ago, I went to Austin, Texas for a conference. For three days, we avoided the 105*F (41*C) temperatures by spending our time in very much overly-air conditioned conference rooms.

The University of Texas at Austin campus was really pretty. All the buildings are in the traditional, slightly Spanish-influenced style of pale sandstone (or was it limestone) buildings, with tall, arched windows, and intricately carved decorations on the underside of the overhanging roofs. If you look closely at the roof lines of these two buildings, you can see how the older building at the back has much more elaborate decoration than the newer one. I very much appreciated how they're attempting to maintain the same styles of buildings, instead of plunking down the more traditionally modern style of campus structure.... like this monolith of a dorm tower, where several of us were staying:
But at least we had a nice view from the 25th floor! :)

Our main conference outing was a tour of the city on the Duck Bus:

during which we had to 'quack' at various people on the streets(trust me, there is nothing funnier than seeing distinguished Professors quacking at each other! but alas, what happens on the duck bus, stays on the duck bus!)

We first drove around downtown Austin, and then headed out to a local lake for a 'swim'. This is Austin's Capitol Building:
and this is one of several fancy homes that overlook the lake:
For those who can't afford lake-front property, you can always hire a floating Tiki-Bar on which host your summer parties...
After the tour, we went to a restaurant on the river for dinner.

The conference was great - can't wait for the next one, especially since they're holding in it Paris!
(which gives us all 4 years to perfect our academic french!) :)

1 comment:

The Knit Nurse said...

The duck bus sounds fun. I once went to a conference in Finland where there was a conference sauna. There's something very wrong with seeing eminent professors running naked into a lake. Shudder