After our busy first half of the day, we were pretty famished. We were on our way to an airplane design demonstration when the Double Dave's cart distracted us.
How were we supposed to resist pizza slices as big as our faces? (The squirrels behind that fence couldn't resist, either, so we had to move to a squirrel-free zone.)
Here's what we saw in the parking lot where we copped a squat:
Pretty cool to see a driverless car! Of course, if I saw that on I-35, I'd probably find an alternate route!
Since we missed the airplane session, we went to the Texas Student Publications open house. It was my first time to be in the Daily Texan offices since, oh, 1990?
Here's the copy desk where I worked (usually right where that black chair is). The old VDTs we used are long gone, but the room's configuration is largely unchanged.
The news side also has upgraded to Macs, but other than that, the partitions are the only noticeable difference.
The editor who was hosting the open house encouraged us to check out the morgue for some of "my" papers, so we did. It was fun to show Katie my name in the staff box.
But it was wild to find the much older papers stored in that room.
This paper's from October 1912. I loved the mention of the Oklahoma game in the middle of the page.
This one (also from October 1912) mentions in a headline: "Forward Pass Prominent." Love it! The ads inside were fun to see, too.
Before leaving the basement, we visited the Cactus yearbook area, which I'm not sure I'd ever seen before. Then it was back across campus to wrap up our day. Along the way to the east side, we came across...
a solar car...
and a computer-operated drum set. Impressive!
Eventually we hiked all the way to the Frank Denius Fields. This practice field is used by the Longhorn Band and the Longhorns football team.
I've seen this when driving along 35's southbound upper deck, but it was a thrill to see it in person.
During this activity we got to line up with the LHB. Katie insisted that we go to the front with the piccolo players. Even though it was crowded up there, it gave Katie a chance to hang with another picc player and gave me the chance to watch the football guys leave the bubble after their practice.
After we ran through a couple of LHB commands and marched 5 yards up and back a few times, the band lined up to lead us back to the Tower.
It was a long hike, but a whole host of us followed behind.
Finally we made it to the Tower for the "class photo" that culminates Explore UT. We stood amid what seemed like hundreds of school groups to pose for the picture.
Did I really take ANOTHER picture of the Tower? Yes. Yes, I did. Never gets old--for me, anyway!
Days like this just confirm my belief that my alma mater still exemplifies excellence. (And if Katie picks up on that idea, all the better!)
Before checking in to our hotel, we met two of my favorite Austinites for dinner at Chuy's. It was great to reconnect with them while enjoying my all-time favorite meal. Both were amazed at how tall Katie is now. We missed Brett and Ryan, but it was wonderful to end such a long day in the company of good friends.
With Explore UT and our Chuy's pilgrimage complete, we had just two more items left to check off on our Austin agenda.