Josiah and I traveled to Austin, Texas to celebrate the marriage of Cooper and Kaitlyn Flatoff, our friends from Glorieta Summer Camps, right after New Years. A classy reception was held in their honor complete with a jazz band, coffee barista, and dancing. In addition to participating in the wedding celebration, we stayed with Kaitlyn’s family for a few days enjoying the sights of the city.
It was very strange being in longhorn country as a graduate from the University of Oklahoma. I must now say BOOMER! The whole time we drove around the city all I could think was, “so this is where the other kids went to school.” Fortunately for me, UT pride doesn’t run as deep throughout the entire city of Austin, as does OU pride in Norman. No one can visit Norman without feeling the influence of the crimson and cream. In Austin, the artsy hipster scene was much more prominent than the university. That I didn’t mind at all. It actually reminded me somewhat of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Austin is definitely filled with diversity and uniqueness. I’m sure my friends grew tired of me saying, “that would never fly in Oklahoma.” There exists such freedom in societies that encourage individualism. No two people were the same. The atmosphere was quite opposite from the usual pursuing popularity and desiring to fit in. And because of this restaurants full of junk turned art exist; people sell crepes out of their travel trailers on the side of the road; and warehouses are filled with random and unnecessary new and vintage toys for purchase. One thing’s for sure – it makes for fantastic photographs.
Come to think of it, the city of Austin is much like Cooper and Kaitlyn, one-of-a-kind treasures that provide unforgettable experiences. Our visit was so much like being back at camp – minus Daniel Rogers, and so much like being in Chicago at Judson – minus terrible cafeteria food. As always, we enjoyed deep theological conversations, working on projects together, laughing until we cried, and encouraging one another to pursue our dreams. We now have one more city to add to our list of places spent together. Maybe next time it will be overseas.