saturday: More cleaning. More homework. And then walking in the afternoon heat and snacks at the bar of their posh hotel. Then it's time for bats! Our boat captain/tour guide was not terribly informative, but we remembered enough from the first trip to fill Nancy in. The bats were beautiful and eerie, their high pitched noises and guano smell aren't a deterrent.
sunday: Wine tasting in the hill country... which means George is driving, and occasionally not looking at the road - enough to set Neil on edge, Nancy on edge, and make me laugh like a giddy fool when the teasing begins. We found the world's cleanest rest stop, complete with beautiful gardens, humming birds, and see-saws. But we're on a mission to taste the fruits of Texas' labor, so we hop back into the driving machine and make our way to the first place. It's down a country road that seems like it's deteriorating as we drive across it. There are cows along the way, and the winery looks half finished, but the pours are large, the steward is knowledgeable and sweet, and it's rather fun wine to drink (even if it is too sweet for our dry tastes). Bolstered by a bit of alcohol, we drive back into Fredricksburg to munch on german sausages for lunch and shudder at the foul brown stuff that's masquerading as wine in the town tasting room. We meander out of town and find something taste-worthy a few more miles down the road, and then give up on the wine mission all together and drive back to the Peach tasting room and pick up scads of yummy peach things: spiced peaches (with cloves and cinnamon - scrumptious!), peach preserves, peach cider and peach butter (cinnamony and yummy on toast). Absolutely worth it. Back in Austin we get a custom slide show of the Alaska cruz the senior Tigners took, and find that it's too late to dine anywhere in Austin because we're looking to eat around 10 pm. So we venture forth again, to the eclectic and silly diner/cafe/comfort food place that's open all night and fills up after we sit down. Once back at home I worry about waking up for class, but figure I can make it, somehow.
monday: school, school, school. I completely bombed the question in Japanese II, asking someone to "please read it" instead of asking "can you give me good directions to the place" because I'm sleepy. Swimming kicked my ass (but it's supposed to). And the Professor in the subaltern class suggests that I take the "difficult theory" presentation, because I need to practice since I'm going to grad school soon. It's a sweet thought and more work. Is my head going to explode or am I excited? I'm not sure if I can tell.
But then there's enough time to get home and get ready for dinner... and what a dinner it was! We started with champagne, and managed to drink it even though Nancy put Neil on the spot for a toast, which startled him a bit, I think. I started with the fois gras (that happened to come with spiced peaches) and it was so succulent and rich I about died right there. The pecan-chevre-black olive salad was yummy and fresh. And even Neil's cold corn chowder was good, although a spoonful was enough for me. They bring the venison for three of us (Nancy was the only one who didn't want to eat bambi), and while the veggies were less than desirable, the meat itself was the beautiful deep pink of perfectly done, and delicious. But what dinner's complete without chocolate for dessert? Not ours! So the chocolate mousse with gold dusted blueberries and raspberry vanilla ice cream went down quite well. The only drawbacks? NOt the food! But the service - the meal itself felt a bit rushed, with the next course appearing a few minutes after they'd cleared the plates from the first one (I like a little bit more time between the two). And other little persnickity things that no one but veteran diners would really notice that I won't bother with here.
Then we hopped in the car and landed at the hotel bar for a final nightcap ... and boy what a night!
Trust me when I say after that much indulgence, there's no way to concentrate on *homework*.
tuesday: Ah, tuesday, how I love thee. Japanese class includes the drama of a friend, told between snatches of Nihongo. Then the hour break where I finish up the reading and make some decisions about the text, catch up with friends and finally, once class hits, find out I got a 10 out of 10 on my paper, but that my casual paper writing skills have a long way to go. I can only imagine the other papers were atrocious if mine got perfect points. Still, I privately preened. Especially since it got the grade without my Neil-beta read. And then it was a hop, skip, and jump from French Film to watching a French Film to American art, from 3 straight on until 10. PHEW. At least it's all interesting. At least it's all over, this week.
And with that I bid you good night.