Blue People, Red State - Winter 2010 travel blog

a happy customer

nerdly assistance

totally immersed

store front


bike ride

swimming hole

capital building

If you are a normal person, you probably have been hearing a lot about the new Ipad (insert bad joke about the name here) for the last week or so. If you are a nerd, you have been salivating for months now over a device no one had seen. And so the campaign began. "What will it do that you can't already do with the devices you already have?" "Nothing, really." "Why do you want to have it?" "Because it's cool." What finally got to me was the fact that when we first bought an Ipod, I had no idea why I would want one and now I cannot live without one. The nerd bowled over the Luddite. And so he went online and registered to pick up an Ipad at the Apple store in Austin. We are so lucky that we happened to be near a big city at the right moment...

When we arrived, there were two lines - a short one for those with reservations like us, and an ever growing one for the more spontaneous buyers. Demand has been so great that Apple stopped taking reservations a few days ago and it was not clear how many of the non nerds would end up with an Ipad today. We just breezed right in like the Queen of England and the staff buzzed around us, answering questions, setting things up and providing an optimal buyer experience. And we were not the only people there with gray hair - just the only ones from 900 miles away. A swipe of the plastic and we were on our way, ever satisfied Apple customers once again.

As long as we were in Austin, it seemed like we should spend a little time there outside of a mall. A Colorado River (not THE Colorado River) flows through the city and has been dammed in places to create little lakes. Both shores of the river/lakes are green park area with a biking/hiking trail. On a beautiful holiday Saturday the area teemed with people. Many were in the water, enjoying the swimming hole and renting boats and canoes to drift down stream. The skyscrapers of the downtown loomed nearby. Austin is a college town, 54,000 students attend the University of Texas here and the city had a young, hip feel. It is an island of blueness in the red that is Texas. We were surprised to see an RV park right in the downtown area. Few cities give up precious downtown real estate to campers. Another surprise was that Whole Foods originated here. We may have to come downtown again after Easter when everyone has gone back to work.

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