I’d never think that I’d say this… but, I’m so thankful for 90-degree temperatures! Seriously. There’s a huge difference here in Texas between 105 and 95. Something strange happens where your body just rejoices with the birds and the dying plants and savors every precious breeze that chooses to pass you. I am just elated, and we can finally begin our outdoor adventures in Austin with a little more comfort.
I forgot to upload photos from last Sunday when we visited the Pedernales River. This particular section is very close to Hamilton Pool, located in the Reimers Ranch County Park. Warning: Hamilton Pool is a crazy fest on weekends, so if you want to visit get there before it opens. We got there around 11am and would have waited for 3 hours to enter. One of these upcoming weekends, we shall visit and prevail, and I’ll share with you some pictures of this secret lagoon/cave place.
Reimers Ranch is somewhat of a climber’s paradise; there are several rocks and boulders to work that upper body!
After a short hike (~1/4 mile), we made it to the Pedernales River! Believe it or not, it was quite refreshing…
Coincidentally, we met a group of twenty-somethings here from… (drum roll) Raleigh, NC!!! Two of the girls had been living in Austin for three months now. Can you say CRAZY?! We couldn’t believe it! What are the odds of meeting folks from our old stomping ground in the middle of nowhere! This particular area is about 40-50 miles east of Austin, so it’s a pretty spectacular and timely meeting. We exchanged numbers and will be hanging out again soon.
Now onto this weekend, Friday evening was lazy night. I whipped up a Chicken Parm meal with angel hair pasta because I already had the ingredients to do so. If you have egg, breadcrumbs, chicken, tomato sauce, herbs, and mozzarella, then you’re pretty much set. We also watched Robert Redford’s The Conspirator about President Lincoln’s assassination. Not too shabby of a flik. Then, it was early bedtime for the teacher in me.
On Saturday, we woke again to the hilarity of Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me… it’s kind of a tradition to listen every Saturday now. Then, Erik took me to a barbeque place that he’d eaten with his co-workers last week. After spotting Vic’s off the side of the highway, I knew it was going to be good: 1) it was established in 1987 (and it’s obvious there hasn’t been any renovations since then), 2) it was filled with quite a few large groups of people, and 3) it had a menu that reminded me of some back home in South Carolina (painted with other pieces of paper denoting price and/or menu changes). I chose to try out the Smoked Brisket plate with beans, potato salad, and a SMALL BOWL of pickles. If you know me, then you should know how much I love pickles…well, anything pickled for that matter. One bite into that pickle sent me back to younger, greener days in South Cackalacky with my cousin, Danielle, at Georgetown Ice Company where we were allowed to go behind the cash register (sooo cool when you’re in elementary school) and grab at our own command whatever we wanted (i.e. pickles, bottled soda, chili cheese on a bun). Man, those we the days… well, I forgot my camera, so no photos, but the smoked brisket was what I’d been waiting to taste–real Texas!
After Vic’s, we headed downtown for our Austin Ducks Land & Water Adventure Tour! I bought a Groupon to go, so it was totally worth it.
Since college, Erik and I have done these townie tours. I think we have a slight addiction. I enjoy taking them because you always learn something different about the city you’re in–even if you thought you already knew everything about it. With that said, we learned about some pretty cool places on the tour and had a blast riding along with other Austinites and out-of-towners.
After the Ducks tour, we strolled down the infamous 6th Street for a dive bar to watch the UT vs. BYU game (yes, we won! Go Longhorns!). We ended up at Shakespeare’s Pub, a place Erik had gone to on his initial Austin visit. Being the English geek that I am, giddiness took form and resulted in several photos like these…
To celebrate the UT win, Erik and I decided to take a victory lap of downtown. I love walking around a city at night (in safe areas), the people and even surroundings transform into something else, something more alive and bold.
Check out the Capitol building and UT tower that we stumbled upon on our meandering tour…
Oh goodness, he’s a Longhorn now… well, Sunday rolled around sneakily, and I wasn’t going to let it slip by without getting out again and enjoying some sun! We went down S. Lamar and rented some Townie bikes for a couple hours from Bicycle Sport Shop. We biked all around Zilker Park, Barton Springs, some downtown, Lady Bird Lake (Town Lake/Lake Austin) for two hours! We only took maybe a 15-minute break to grab some Water Ice behind Barton Springs to cool down as it was about 100 degrees today. The bike ride was still a pleasant activity to do, even with the heat. The wind in my hair, the sun kissing my skin, and the childlike enjoyment biking down hills made every minute of that rental just priceless!
Perhaps, this post is becoming a little lengthy. I hope that you are enjoying your days in your proper city wherever you are, whomever you are; I sure am! I’ll be posting sometime this week letting you know how a new Mexican chili recipe has gone. The chili was supposed to happen tonight, but Torchy’s called and we just couldn’t let him down. Delicioso!
On a more serious note, I have been contemplating all the day long, pondering that life-altering day ten years ago, September 11th. I’ll never forget that day: the fear, the shock, and the silence that pervaded a small-town World History classroom in Waxhaw, North Carolina. Despite all of the political bologna, we are all so very blessed to lead the lives we do, right here in the grand U.S. of A.
Good night and good luck this week, y’all!
Q: What’s your 9/11/01 memory?