Yes, I know... I haven't updated the blog in nearly a month. Sorry about that, Chief!
My trip to Iowa was wonderfully successful. I wanted to spend time with my parents ("There's no place like home!"), take care of some business, see friends, pick up some Queen Anne's Lace pottery, and take pictures of Iowa for my students back home. I accomplished all this and more!
However, it wasn't all fun and games. My Louisiana driver's license had expired in January, and there was no way to renew it since my address had changed. So we had to figure out how I could get licensed in Iowa. First I had to register to vote. Then I had to wait for the card to come in the mail. And because I was transferring from Louisiana, I had to take the written driver's test! It turned out o.k. (I scored better than 90%!), but I got to drive all of 48 hours. The rest of the time I felt like I was still in junior high school: "Dad, will you drive me to the mall?" "Dad, can you take me to visit my friends?"
The same day I got my license, I got my taxes done. Let's hear it for e-filing! I even got a refund, first time in five years. Woo hoo!
On our daytrip to southeast Iowa (which you can see on my student blog at http://www.usta-jks.blogspot.com/), we also stopped in Bentonsport at Iron and Lace to pick up some Queen Anne's Lace pottery. I wanted to give pieces as gifts to people in Austria, since the only place it is made is Bentonsport.
I also got to see friends in Iowa City, including Rich and my mentor from the University of Iowa.
But all good things must come to an end. And my trip back to Austria was not a joyous occasion. Especially since I had to change modes of transportation 12 (count 'em -- TWELVE) times in 36 hours: car, plane, shuttle bus, plane, shuttle bus, plane, train, train, train, train, bus, train, car. I'd already seen the movies on the way over, slept maybe three hours on the plane from Atlanta to Munich. Irene had dinner for me when I got home, and I stayed up til midnight. The next morning I woke up at NOON... I thought I forgot to reset my watch to Austrian time. So I wandered into the kitchen and asked Rob, "is it really noon?" and he said, "yeah, welcome to my world."
Hang on for the next installment...