As promised here is a picture of me in my new cowboy hat. I liked the coat, too, but not on this trip.

Had fun touring Austin on Monday. We saw the interior of St. Mary’s Cathedral. It’s in the middle of a major renovation, and it looks good. All of the dark brown wood has been refinished, the gold leaf has been touched up and the whole sanctuary looks gorgeous. I was surprised at how small it is; Most parish churches are bigger. But it is an old church and I’m sure it was suited to the number of Catholics in the area when it was built.

We also went into the state capital building, which is an almost exact replica of the US Capitol. It’s a beautiful building, the Senate and House chambers are nice and the history in the place is great. And it’s also true that Texans are very proud of their independence. It does feel like some people think of themselves as Texans first, Americans second. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Texas also has a chain of used book stores called “Half Price Books” where we stopped in. I was looking for the next volume of the Aubrey/Maturin series, “Treason’s Harbour,” but they didn’t have it. Instead I picked up the first couple of volumes of another Age of Sail historical fiction series by Alexander Kent.

We also dropped into a large independent bookstore called BookPeople. Very crunchy, granola, and liberal. In the politics section, the anti-George Bush books outnumbered the conservative books by about 5 to 1. But they did have “Treason’s Harbour”, so I was happy.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli