Tonight we made it to the last concert in this year’s Blues on the Green free concert series at Austin’s lovely Zilker Park. Bright Light Social Hour was the headliner. We joined Lori and Doray, who have made it to every show this year. They’re professionals; they have the parking/tailgating/setup thing down. We got downtown early, went for a swim in Barton Springs Pool and then headed over to the Great Lawn to set up our chairs and share some nibblies before the show.
I helped my friend, Lori, unpack boxes from her recent move to a new home in South Austin yesterday. The first thing we unpacked were the wine glasses, because she greeted me with a can of wine, one of her latest finds, a lovely rosé made by The Infinite Monkey Theorem, an urban winery that’s located just down the street from her new place. Kinda fun and not bad! I can see this on the boat in my future. 🙂
Days 3, 4 and 5 of our visit with family brought a trip to Barton Springs, Sno-beach snocones, a brewery crawl, an overnight at anchor on the boat on Lake Travis, and pizza night. The weekend was filled with swimming, diving and floating. A brother-in-law from Houston drove to Austin and he spent the night with us on the boat – whether he knew he was going to or not 🙂
I love the chance to spend this time with family. Keeto will be devastated when everyone leaves tonight.
This is a shot from the southern end of Barton Springs pool, looking north to the Austin skyline. The background has changed much since Mary Doerr captured the same vantage point years ago – the Capitol building is now obscured by skyscrapers. But the pool in the foreground is exactly the same.
We attended tonight’s Grand Opening for the new Celis Brewery. Celis opened in 1992 producing award winning local craft beer. Sadly, it closed in 2000. But the original founder’s daughter worked hard to make todays re-opening of Celis Brewery a reality, 25 years from the original brewery’s birthday. Cheers!
I joined Doray for a trip to the Wimberly area. We stopped by their new home site to check out progress. Then we visited Jacob’s Well Natural Area. Jacob’s Well is a narrow (10-20′ in diameter), but deep (up to 100′) hole in the limestone of the springfed Trinity Aquifer. Young and old jump from the rocks into the waters of the well to cool off. We were only hiking but I enjoyed watching the divers.
(Image manipulated using iPhone app brushstroke)
We took a break there for a while from our taproom exploration. But we’re back. First stop, 4th Tap Brewery Cooperative; have a nice flight!
Next: Oskar Blues Brewery; good tunes, too. I learned a new word here: zymurgy. See, it’s an educational tour.
We stopped for dinner along the way, but finished at Austin Beerworks:
Today Monte and I took a trip downtown to see the recently installed visiting art exhibit Forever Bicycles, by Ai Weiwei. It is sponsored by The Contemporary Austin and the Waller Creek Conservancy. Their material doesn’t cite an end date for the exhibit – it just says “ongoing.” But get yourself down there to see it. It is located at the “Waller Creek Delta,” which happens to be about where Trinity St runs into Lady Bird Lake. The Waller Creek Boathouse and its cafe are nearby, so you can catch a bite as well. And it is located right along the hike and bike trail.
I found the exhibit of hundreds of stainless steel bicycles to be teeming with motion, from every angle. Very cool indeed.
I made it to Laguna Gloria today. It’s remarkable that it is only my first visit, after living here over 20 years. It is the home of The Contemporary Austin, an art consortium. The grounds are beautiful, full of trees, and trails that will take you down by the (glorious) lagoon, as well as Lake Austin. A sculpture garden is spread throughout the grounds and trails. It made for a lovely afternoon of hiking, birding and art appreciation.
I attended one of the many University of Texas at Austin convocation ceremonies today. The daughter of a college roommate of mine graduated. Being on a university campus always feels a bit like home to me, no matter how brief my visit might be.
Seeing these young people graduate college and turn to take the next significant step in their lives makes me nostalgic. I can recall the excitement of the prospect of having your entire future before you. For me, that day was 30 years ago. I feel older; but not old. A little part of me wishes I could do it all again. The rest of me is content to look back on a life that’s more than half way lived, enjoy the memories, and cherish the remainder.
Congratulations to the all the graduates of 2017!!!
I can’t believe it has taken me so long, but today I visited Texas Farmers’ Market at Lakeline Mall this morning – open 9am to 1pm every Saturday. They set up right in front of Dillard’s in the parking lot. I really enjoyed it, and the beautiful day that came with it. They have all sorts of fare: veggies, cheese, meat, eggs, bread, sweets, olive oil, pasta, flowers, doggie treats, live music, sweet smelling pamper products, a little place to sit down and rest, and more. I’ll be back.
Austin dubs itself the “Live Music Capital of the World.” A well-deserved title. An equally well-deserved moniker would be “Rubbernecking Capital of the World.”
Seriously. Austin traffic is dismal. Bad. Horrible. We suffer through long and much-delayed construction projects, restricted lanes, new tolls on well traveled routes, terrible rush hours, and endless debates on funding affordable, responsible mass transit.
In my humble opinion, we can help ourselves out for free by just NOT RUBBERNECKING. Come on, Austin! I’ve lived in and traveled through many different cities, but nowhere have I seen this level of self-induced misery.
Case in point: today we attended a beautiful Bat Mitzvah of the daughter of our friends. On the way home (1:30PM on a Saturday ), we popped onto Mopac North. Traffic was moving very slowly.
So, I looked at google maps to see what was going on. Yuck. Mopac was red for miles in both directions. Luckily for us, we were almost through the worst of it.
Hmm, was it a terrible accident up ahead? Overturned car? Lane closure? Jack-knifed trailer tractor? Police pulled someone over on the shoulder? A backup on the exit? Ambulance blocking lanes?
Ummmm. No. It was simply an open house and Muster Day at Camp Mabry – lots of brightly colored tents, military equipment and helicopters on display on the parade grounds of Camp Mabry, WAAAY off to the west of Mopac. But, sadly, it *is* visible from Mopac, if you just turn your head and hit the breaks to take it all in. And that’s what people were doing, in both directions. No amount of infrastructure funding is going to help that. Sigh.
After a very rainy weekend the sun finally came out Sunday afternoon. We decided to check out a couple breweries nearby. Austin Beerworks has a new and expanded tasting room and patio area that opened recently — kid and dog friendly. My Pearl Snap was great!