There’s a smile

I’ve been a bit down on Austin lately. I’m always a bit down on Austin in the summer, something about trying to entertain a child for three straight months when it’s 100 degrees outside. I will never understand why Texas schools give a summer break. Why not spring or fall?

Also, I become grumpy when I have to wait 45 minutes for a table at a restaurant so that I can get the pancakes that I obviously desperately need. And I don’t like having to plan my travels around those three-hour chunks of time in the morning and evening that are so inaccurately called “rush hour.”

I keep mentioning to Greg that we should pack up and move to a little town where we can walk and bike everyplace. Greg tries to talk me down. What about the great restaurants? And all of the parks and trails? We both know that I’ll come around when we reach autumn and the temperature drops.

I was out with some friends last week, and we passed an old furniture store that had long been empty. There was a sign up. Austin Aquarium. Hmm.

Eleanor loves the aquarium, so I got online to investigate. Austin is getting an aquarium. And not any old aquarium. Are you ready for this? I know you think you are, but you can’t truly be. We’re getting an aquarium with the world’s largest collection of Asian small-clawed otters!

Have you recovered? I’ll give you another minute.

That made my day and, possibly, my month. It was the perfect reminder of why I love this place. We’re not the biggest or the most impressive city, but we’re always striving. We have quirk, and now, otters.