Lago Vista, Austin, and Dripping Springs, Texas
After high school, way back in the 20th century, I matriculated (feebly) at the University of Texas at Austin off and on for five years or so. I had no sense of direction and managed to change majors four or five times, gaining lots of unconnected units. I ended up with a pretty decent well-rounded general education, but no degree - degrees and direction would come later for me. Was that a mistake? In some people's eyes, probably so - but I was not (then or now for that matter) very concerned about those people's expectations of me. Did I struggle? You bet, but sometimes a good, hard struggle is productive. Pressure makes diamonds.
Throughout those years, I had the good fortune to have friendships that helped me to grow - and to peel back the layers of what was real for the young me and what was mostly illusion. Austin has been thoroughly Dallased up over the years, but there are still pockets of cool people around, and three of my biggest influences from my time there continue to play important roles in my ongoing experience. I will never forget them.
Anyway, on with the tour...I crossed west Texas again and passed back into the Land of Enchantment.
Roswell, New Mexico
What can I say about Roswell? The whole town is a multi-dimensional color post card that makes YOU come to IT. There are little green aliens everywhere you look and terrific tourist draws within walking distance of each other downtown. After a few minutes, you start to feel guilty that you haven't been abducted or investigated by the government because in Roswell, everybody else has!
The International UFO Museum and Research Center was the highlight for me. I was a complete rookie on the subject of the 1947 "Roswell Incident" aside from watching the X-Files (television series) and Roswell, New Mexico (Netflix series) and a few random movies over the years. Walking through the exhibits and reading the literature was simultaneously alarming, fascinating, and hilarious. I came away from a day in Roswell with a giant smile on my face, eager for more. That town really does shine. I could have had a blast there with P. S. I Love You all day long.