East Austin

I’m back in Austin for a length of time, and I finally went around taking pictures of the graffiti and murals painted on the walls of the East Side. I like the character it gives to this part of town.

Narita Temple

Start of the fire ceremony

I didn’t pay attention to some of the itinerary changes to my flights, so I ended up with a 7 hour layover in Narita. When I called American Airlines to change it, the agent couldn’t change the flights due to capacity. She did recommend a tour of the Narita Temple to pass the time. I sent a few emails to Narita Rainbow Tours¬†and arranged the tour. (If you have a 4-5 hour layover, you can still do the tour.)

The Narita temple is one of the most popular Buddhist temples in Japan, and many Japanese continue to visit the temple today.

Main entrance. Rightmost one is for snakes. Recently constructed, built of a rare wood.
Water dragons protect the temple from lightning
Hot Dog plaque was donated by a Tokyo business a century ago
Previous main temple. Was moved 40 years ago as it did not meet fire code (replaced with concrete temple with ventilation)
Shinto shrine within temple complex. Named after landowner who donated the land.

Do’s Wedding in Seoul

With a 10 hour layover in Austin, I went from Dublin to Korea (DUB-LHR-DFW-AUS-DFW-NRT-ICN). I had a bit of time at London Heathrow, so my coworkers came to the airport for breakfast and pod riding.

The crazy flights weren’t intentional. When my high school/college friend Do called and asked me to attend his wedding in Seoul, the only possible answer was, “Of course.” In the end, it was a small high school and college reunion with folks I haven’t seen in a while.

I never adjusted to the Korean time zone, so my trip consisted of going out, crashing during the day, attending the wedding and going out some more. We made it out sightseeing for just one day.

Dusty. I’ve been to a lot of club nights, but this is the first one sponsored by an automaker. That’s a Lambo to the right of the photobomber.
Regan clubbing the night we landed in Seoul.
Regan waiting for waffles and ice cream.
Avram on the way back from the wedding. We took the subway since it’s much faster than a cab.
The crew at JJ’s/Grand Hyatt after the wedding. Sharon, Regan, Sarah, Do, Sarah’s brother, Dusty.
Avram in a cool neighborhood by the castle
Same cool neighborhood
Dusty and Avram in the castle

Halloween Weekend in Dublin

Dublin tourist center
Samuel Beckett bridge over the River Liffey

Vegas, Roman and I flew to Dublin for Halloween, and I spent most of the time hanging out with my friend Vjera. The locals were all immigrants to Dublin, and it was a good time. Vegas and I ran the full marathon in costume (cowgirls). Every few hundred meters, I heard, “Well done” or “Go cowgirl.”

After a summer of traveling and bailing on long runs, I still managed a 16-minute marathon PR at 4:22:58. Now, I’m convinced that I respond to intense workouts better than volume and that races should be done in costume when possible.

Hat swap at club in city center

Grounded

Sometimes, it’s good to be grounded. I’ve taken the copy of my passport out of my wallet, and I’ve put my luggage away. I have no plans on TripIt. It’s been a brutal year of traveling, and I think I’m done for a while.