Texas Forever...

That's right, y'all... I'm moving back down south to AUSTIN, TEXAS!

After seven long years up north, I'm finally returning to my southern roots. Already I'm looking forward to getting some of my southern twang back, slowing my roll (I've adopted the horrible northerner tendency to speedwalk everywhere), living in CST and pulling my cowboy boots out of storage. I've marked my calendar with the dates of ACL and SXSW and since I'm in driving distance of home, Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest got tossed in too.

I've planned runs around Lady Bird Lake and have been researching quarries to swim in and roads to explore all across Texas Hill Country. I'm getting excited that gloves, snow boots and toe covers will no longer be a part of my vocabulary and that outdoor pools will be open outside of the memorial day to labor day window. I'm getting giddy researching apartments and finding that two-story townhouses are just as affordable as the 300-ft2 studio above a slightly-sketchy gas station that I lived in last year: life is looking up.

But then I realize that I signed up for an August Ironman where the bulk of my training will be in a 95-degree oven. what doesn't kill you... right?

To back up some, I'm originally from New Orleans but was first christened as an honorary "Texan" with my first pair of pink cowboy boots from my grandfather at the age of three. After going to college in the North and starting a job in DC two-and-a-half years ago, I finally convinced my boss that a move to our Austin hub was feasible, both for me and for the business (to be honest, I came to DC for a job offer, never saw myself here long term and couldn't be happier to leave). I'm going apartment hunting over christmas and will make the move in early February, so unfortunately that means I'm still in for one last brutally cold winter.

Thankfully I have plenty of time to pack and get my life in order before the move, but reading some of Katie's thoughts have helped me come to peace with the craziness that presumably comes with a move half-way across the country. Come february, my life is going into a uhaul, my car is getting towed behind said uhaul and i'll be driving the 1,659 miles from DC to Austin.

But strangely, a weight has been lifted. DC was always a sort of purgatory for me, where it wasn't quite hell, but I was 100% sure I didn't want to be there forever. Breaking the news to my DC friends was hard but, hey, now they'll have a couch to crash if they ever want to visit for Austin City Limits.

So even though Texas already feels like a second home, I basically know no one and am clueless to the area. So far recommendations include the Barton Springs/Zilker area (for the sporty types) or Hyde Park. If anyone has any other recommendations, I would love to hear them!