Wednesday, June 17, 2009

City girl in the country

Last week I visited Texas, where T's parents live (Austin), and where DS is studying at the Round Top orchestral festival/institute.

Apparently evolution is a hot issue in Texas. This graffiti was on a walking trail. (I think it was the Lady Bird Lake Trail.)

It was great to see DS. Here he is (second row) warming up. He seems to be thriving there, despite the 101 F heat. The festival was founded by pianist James Dick, and he performed with the orchestra in the evening concert. It was one of the best classical performances (pianist and orchestra) I've seen anywhere. (I might be a little biased.)

The grounds were also amazing. They have historic buildings from across the world, and very comprehensive herb gardens. Also shown below is the graveyard showing the time it takes for certain materials to decompose. The grounds are a funky mishmash of Roman ruins, historic US buildings, and whatever else seems to have struck their fancy.

We also visited the Blanton Museum of Art,, where T's stepmother is a docent. She is very passionate about the museum, and I can see why. Their contemporary collection was wonderful, and introduced us to some Latin American artists that we don't see up here in the "North."

The picture above is from inside an installation by Cildo Meireles, critiquing missions established in South America to convert indigenous peoples.

All in all, a wonderful trip, which had the added bonus of really making me appreciate the temperate Northeastern climate.

There was much more, and you can see pictures at my June 2009 Flickr set.

(As to how traveling across the country fits into sustainable living, I will simply say that we cut our usual vacation down, and we haven't visited T's parents in several years. And it's hard for me to turn down an affordable opportunity to see one of my kids perform with a world-class ensemble.)

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