Happy New Year! I know that I’ve been a little behind on posting, but, hopefully, this year will bring new opportunities that will motivate me to do my best–including managing this here blog. On the first day back to school (Monday, January 2), I gave my kiddos a pledge to fill out entitled, “New Year, New Opportunity.” They had to give themselves a final grade goal and three ways to capture that goal. They signed and dated it, and I plan on returning them to their owners sometime in May, our final month together. I also gave the “you-have-a-second-chance” speech for those who failed, came barely close to passing, or could have definitely done better all-around. Yep, I’m that teacher. Ha! However, as I gave them the speech, I could not help but think how I should push myself to do the same. The end grade does, after all, matter. Here’s to a new year and a new opportunity to improve!
In celebration of New Year’s Eve, Erik & I took the newly acquired family van and our ol’ canoe that didn’t make it for the first journey to Austin out to Town Lake. We dropped in at Redbud Park and paddled all the way out to the South First bridge just south of downtown. It was a gorgeous 75 degrees on December 31, 2011! I felt so inspired watching the wildlife, people, and landscape, surrounding me. I think this little excursion into nature may become a tradition for us. Here are some photos:
After the trip, we were famished. So, we decided to treat ourselves to seafood. Eh-hem, a crab boil at The Boiling Pot on the infamous Sixth Street. We had dungeness crab, shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausage. It wasn’t Louisiana good, but it was close enough! On to getting prepped for the night’s festivities at some new friends’ place, the theme was Roaring ’20s! We had a lot of fun celebrating with the Austin skyline at our reach with champagne and sparklers and fabulous people at our side! I finally got to show-off my Urban sale find; this wool grey dress was perfect!
I hate resolutions. I feel as though they set you up for failure. So, I don’t really do them. Instead, I think of what I’d like to do more/less before each new year. For example, I’d like to do even MORE in Austin (and weigh less, but who doesn’t? I’m not going to hamper on the cliche topic). To begin doing more, Erik & I visited the Zilker Botanical Gardens. Although Texas has suffered an incredible drought this past summer and the weather has taken guise as a psycho, the gardens were still incredible! I could not believe how expansive they were and varied. They’re located right off Barton Springs Road, just a few miles from downtown. So pretty! I’d encourage you to visit when you get the chance–even this month! Here are some photos of our canoe trip and the gardens:
We’ve also enjoyed great eateries like Chuy’s and the oh-my-yes! Salt Lick BBQ… At Chuy’s, I opted for the healthy and filling Chicken Lite option, which included a chalupa and a taco. So yummy (even though it was a bit messy!). At the Salt Lick, I chose the 3-meat (sausage, brisket, ribs) meal with potato salad, cole slaw, and baked beans. Comparable to Carolina-style? Maybe. It was mostly just different, but a heavenly different. I fasted for the entire day in preparation for the larger-than-life meal. I even made room for peach/blackberry cobbler with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream (and shared with the table). I will be dreaming for days about the smoky, tender meat parts. It definitely lives up to its reputation here. If you visit, you MUST stop there! You will not be disappointed, even if you call yourself a Carolina-BBQ snob (as I do). Oops! 😉 Hey, I’m still improving, and I have a whole year to do so! 😉 Enjoy your every day this 2012. What do you wish to improve about yourself?