So... today was a long day. Told you this one would be late.
I slept for less than two hours and really only got up on time because I told a friend I needed to be up by then and had incentive to let him know I was. I managed to forget to bring my water bottle and a pillowcase in which to stealthily hide a quilt (more on that later), but nothing of importance was left behind.
There were practically no people on the road. It was awesome. It was 3:00 in the morning.
I got an agenda when I got there and my heart sank because it didn't look like there was going to be enough free time to do anything, and we were leaving at four in the afternoon. This felt stupid all day long. I had to text Ian and let him know that I couldn't go to dinner with him and the friend he'll be living with next school year, seriously disappointing all of us.
When I got on the bus I went straight to the back and ended up in the "multicultural cheer" section, somehow. Black, Hispanic, Arabic, and me the white girl. It was pretty cool. On the way back the Hispanic boy and I had our seats stolen by a couple of Asian girls, so the aggregate diversity went down in an amusing way. There are a lot of different people at my school, and I find this to be really awesome. Anyway, we chatted or slept for a few hours as the bus left at 4:00 AM and we stopped for breakfast at 6:20 AM. At some early time of the morning Ian called, and it's weird that my phone has no idea of either this call or the next call but it has the third one. Anyway, we figured out a plan for when he could come pick me up that would work as long as my professor didn't require that I stay on the capitol grounds (which he didn't, because he knows both of us and is a pretty chill guy).
Rallies are boring. Cheer cheer speech speech speech introduction cheer speech speech introduction cheer cheer speech speech speech cheer. Basically. It was really boring, and it was sprinkling, and my feet were unhappy from standing in my new shoes. When Ian arrived we were waiting in the school picture line, and he thoughtfully snapped one for me.
It's not very good, but that's the school group I went with. I'm a tiny red set of pixels on the right side middle row. Ian's standing pretty far out of the way holding my umbrella, and I wish I had a picture of this because he's a 6-foot ginger boy in a suit jacket holding a black umbrella with purple and blue flowery patterns on it. So adorable.
He lives within walking distance of the capital and doesn't have his car in the city anyway, so we had to walk. It was so painful I eventually took off the shoes and just carried them and walked in my tights (I need to wash them now). Not my favorite thing. His apartment is tiny and funny-shaped, but apparently bigger than most 4-person apartments (all I have to say is: yikes). I was cold the entire time I was there, which concerned him because the air was on as warm as it would go.
We grabbed lunch at the cafeteria, which is I think where this picture is from:
Apologies for the window glare and the serious frowny-face, but it's what he looked like. He had to run to a class, so gave me directions back to the capitol building and sent me on my way. I made it back just fine only to discover there was nothing for me to be doing. I sat on a bench in the rotunda (is that the word I mean?) and waited for something to happen for an hour. Then it was time to get back on the buses.
This was the stupidest thing, to be honest. We got on the buses at four and sat in traffic until five-thirty or something, barely moving. Most of us were annoyed that we were leaving in the afternoon only to be caught in rush hour traffic, when we could have scattered into the area for dinner at places of our choosing and left in the evening.
Eventually we got to Waco and the barbecue dinner location -- which they assured us this morning would have vegetarian options. Yes, if you want starch and fat there are vegetarian options. You want vegetables? Psh. Best they had was cole slaw. I ended up with potato chips and pie for dinner, and complained to Ian about the lack of veggies. "You are Ian's girl, aren't you," he texted affectionately.
We got back to the school at 9:45, when we were originally told it would be 11. We shouldn't have left Austin as early as we did. I should have been able to go out for dinner and have a nice evening. Ugh.
All told the trip was worth it. I fell in love with the city just from a few hours of being in it and a short walk through it. If I can figure out how to afford it I'd love to move there for college in the fall -- or spring, if getting in this fall proves to be too difficult. I wouldn't mind moving to an apartment in the area and sorting myself out for a semester. Austin would be a cool place to end up if that turned out to be an option.