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Julia mentions Liz and Austin didn’t notice

Alaskaa

“Rise and shine sleeping beauty.” Summer cooed, playing with Austin’s hair and pressing a small kiss to his lips. She smiled at him when he opened his eyes and poked his cheek. “You need to get dressed, we’re leaving for the plane in 45 minutes.” She said and sat up in bed. “I put everything in the car already. I’ll make some breakfast for us while you get ready, is that okay?” She asked. Summer was already fully dressed, have showered and done everything. She was also very awake, she didn’t sleep at all at night again. Instead she was just making sure evrything was ready for the trip. She kissed Austin one more time before she got out of bed.

6

Where a Dog’s Life Means Luxury Living

More luxury developments are trying to be dog friendly to fill the niche for the luxury pet crowd. These buildings have everything from “leash-free” areas and nice dog runs to doggy day spas and doggy exercise classes. 

  1. Ritz Carlton Residences, Miami Beach. Amenities: leash-free dog park; pet spa with grooming and dental care; shaded walkways (pictured). Photo: LIONHEART CAPITAL
  2. MiMa, New York, N.Y. Amentities: Dog City (pictured), a 1,000 sq. ft. members-only club for dogs, which includes a terrace with a dog-bone shaped pool (for summer use), indoor doggy daycare, ability to schedule playdates with other doggy members, doggy yoga, treadmill sessions, montly ear wash and “pawdicure,” daily pet behavior report cards; monthly walking packages; overnight dog sitting. Photo: GIL GILBERT
  3. The Austonian, Austin, Texas. Amenities: 600 sq. ft. outdoor dog park with comfortable seating; self-service grooming room (pictured) which includes grooming tables, bathtubs, as well as free shampoo, conditioner, and towels. Photo: THOMAS MCCONNELL
  4. City Market at O, Washington, D.C. Amenities: rooftop dog-run with synthetic turf, decorative fire hydrants, water fountain, and couches; pet grooming area which includes two tubs and a drying station; “yappy hour” social mixers held in building for dogs and their owners. Photo: MARK SILVA
  5. Buddy on the rooftop dog run at City Market at O, Washington D.C. Photo: KATHY LYNNE RYDER
  6. Dogs enjoying he rooftop dog run at City Market at O, Washington D.C. Photo: JOEL REGIGNANO

6th Street, ATX

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6

On Friday evening, my girlfriend and I joined an impromptu celebration at the Travis County Clerk’s office in Austin. Travis was the only county in central Texas which immediately began issuing marriage licenses – they issued 313 licenses that day. After acquiring an armful of flowers at HEB, we  drove up Airport Boulevard to a building I’d never noticed. A large group stood out front, armed with beads, flowers, bubbles, bottles of water, and swiftly melting cake.

If a couple offered a shy smile or, even better, a triumphant brandish of their license, a swarm of people descended on them, offering sparkling cider, flowers, lollipops, rice, bubbles, beads, that melty cake. I put beads on men in matching Hawaiian shirts, ladies in business casual, service members in uniform, young couples, older couples, whole families, while the rest of the group shouted on cue, “Con-gra-tu-la-tions!” One woman hugged me, tight. 

An impromptu gathering of strangers to celebrate other strangers’ ability to obtain a marriage license: it was chaotic, and it was beautiful. Later we went to the rally in downtown Austin, and I ended up at Houston Pride. But nothing matched standing out in the heat cheering as couples thrust manila envelopes above their heads. An officer on duty came to ask for water for the people waiting. When asked how things were going inside, she teared up. “It’s beautiful.”

Marriage equality was a battle, to me, more about access to tedious bureaucracy than it was about the state valuing love. Certainly, when I was denied access to boring and useful adult things, that’s when I felt my lack of rights in Texas. Considering the Texas Attorney General has taken the battle to those clerks, these anonymous offices are still important, symbolic territory. Which only makes me more grateful to have had the chance to celebrate a small chunk of those 313 licenses on day one.