Monday, January 24, 2011

El Paso, Day 2

Early Morning Breakfast (24/365)
"Early Morning Breakfast"
Olympus E-P2 with M.Zuiko 17mm
1/8s, f/2.8, ISO 200, 

Day one of the conference. I'm still on eastern-standard time. Woke up and showered by 5:30am El Paso time. Packed up my bags, checked out of the Wyndahm. Walking out in the parking lot, it's still night-time. There's a brilliant half moon glowing in the western sky. It takes your breath away.

Drove down to a local Village Inn and had one of their ultimate skillets for breakfast. I had an iPad with me (a loaner from work), and the Village Inn had a working hotspot (like they do in Tallahassee). Sitting alone I ate my breakfast in silence while I cruised the news sites on the iPad. Paid for my breakfast and headed out the door, back to the airport and the conference.

The dawn was just beginning to break, and the mountains behind El Paso were bathed in the most beautiful pink light I think I've ever seen. I didn't know where to stop, so I slowed down, the better to enjoy the sight as much as possible before it was cut off by the Wyndham. Now that I know what's coming, I intend to try and capture something of that morning light tomorrow morning.

The Rental
"Rental"
Olympus E-P2 with M.Zuiko 17mm
1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 200

Today's proceedings ran from 8am to 5pm, with a 20 minute break around noon. Not enough time to eat lunch, and I didn't feel like eating at the Wyndham's restaurant. Instead, after going back to the Microtel and checking my mail, I went out a bit to try and capture some of the waining light. While I was walking around my partner at the conference walked up on his way to a local 7/11. I told him it was better if I drove him, so we hoped in and went down the road to the closest. He picked up a few supplies.

That's a silver Toyota Yaris sitting outside the 7/11. That's the Budget rental car. It was the cheapest thing Budget had. Cheap is the operative word with this car. The doors clank closed like my old Chevy Nova. Locking and unlocking any door means reaching around to each door individually. Accelerating means listening to the engine rev its little heart out. There is no automatic light cutoff when you turn the engine off. Instead a long annoying beep greats when you shut car off, until you remember to turn the lights off. While it's an automatic transmission, shifting is sloppy. The dial cluster (speedometer primarily) is in the center of the  dash instead of directly behind the steering wheel. And to think I once considered buying this thing.

Tales from DFW

I was too tired to write much Sunday. Because of that I forgot to mention the great lunch I had while waiting at DFW for my connecting flight to El Paso. My connecting flight was from gate D21, so while in that part of the terminal I at the Reata Grill.

I had their Tamales and a cup of Tortilla soup. The meal was delicious. The soup had chunks of chicken and avocado in a broth that had a touch of lime. I ate every last spoonful. The tamales were excellent as well. They were served with just a touch of sour creme on top and a sprinkling of pecans. I even enjoyed the small garnish of vegetables off to the side.

Lunch Before
"Lunch Before"
Olympus E-P2 with M.Zuiko 17mm
1/50s, f/3.2, ISO 640

I ate every last byte. I certainly intend to visit the place again when I travel home.

Lunch After
"Lunch After"
Olympus E-P2 with M.Zuiko 17mm
1/50s, f/3.2, ISO 640

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