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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJun 4th 2007
     
    Next week, I'll be travelling to sunny Austin, TX for the UPA conference. Any recommendations for fun stuff to do while in Austin?

    The following week, I'll be going to Boston, MA for another conference. This time, I'll be going with two other folks, and they're both fun to hang out with. That conference isn't anywhere near as interesting as the first, but it'll be more fun because of the people I'm going with (and a former coworker who now lives in Boston will be joining us as well).

    Cool stuff, though it means I'll be mostly swamped during that time and when I return, I'm sure to have a huge mound of work to plow through. And my boss wonders why I have trouble taking vacations... I can't deal with work related absenses, let alone personal days... But take them I must. I have over 200 hours of vacation time, and I need to whittle that down to 160 by the end of september. The problem? I can't take vacation in August or most of September. Crap.

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorSpencer
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2007
     
    From the weather forecast it looks like you will be welcomed by 90+ degree temps and high humidity. Yeehaw! You'll actually have more shade in downtown, as long as you walk on the right side of the street according to the time of day. (And I'm assuming you'll be staying in downtown because that's where most of the conferences are.)

    So, keeping that in mind, your best bet is pubs/bars and restaurants on or around Sixth Street at night. You could try a Live Oak beer (on tap only) and let me know how it compares to your local brews. My husband and I really like Live Oak; he prefers Live Oak Big Bark, and I prefer their pale ale.

    I'm not all that familiar with downtown restaurants. I like The Iron Cactus, but I haven't been to their downtown location. I've heard great things about Sandra Bullock's restaurant, Bess Bistro on Pecan. My husband and his coworkers like Mother Egan's pub.

    Alamo Drafthouse is fun. There's a location at Colorado St and 4th St. It's a cinema where you can eat at your seat. They show funny clips before the movie; the clips I've seen are of crazy stuff from the 50s. But my husband said he was once present for a Little Mermaid sing-along. They also show off-the-wall movies that warrant much MST3King. Warning though: the volume is always freakishly loud. You could wear cheap earplugs or headphones and still hear the feature just fine.

    I know lots of great places to eat, but they're not in downtown. I'll throw them out there for ya though: Hao Hao (Chinese/Vietnamese), Hai Ky (Thai/Vietnamese), Kim Phung (Vietnamese), North by Northwest (interesting American), Jardin Corona (Tex-Mex), Madras Pavilion (Indian).

    Antone's is probably best for live music.

    For outdoors, you'd probably end up at Zilker Park, which is great. Barton Springs pool (at about 68 degrees) would be awesome this time of year. The University of Texas campus makes for an enjoyable walk.


    Could you take lots of half-days? That's certainly not as preferable as taking a whole chunk of time off. Still, if it's a choice between losing vacation hours altogether and using small amounts of time...
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2007
     
    Awesome, thanks Spence! The Alamo Drafthouse sounds like a blast:)

    I might end up taking a few half days, but as you mention, that's not as preferable as a full day (or a long weekend or something). I should be fine, provided that July isn't that bad. I've got a couple more days in June that I'm taking, and when I combine that with several days in July, I should be good... Next year I really need to plan out some vacation time in advance. This year was bad because my company is going through a lot of huge changes that require loads and loads of extra work, and it all has to launch in September (i.e. before busy season). Ironically, busy season will hopefully be a distinct step down in work:)

    Anyway, glad to hear from you. I hope everything is going well:)

    ~tallman