Hot air.

I’m still going through photos from our recent road trip.   In the mean time, I’ll share a moment from today…..

A month or two ago, I bought tickets in advance for the 2018 Best of Texas Hot Air Balloon Festival (and wine & food festival, AND polo match).   I really just wanted to get some pictures of the hot air balloons.   The festival is today, so this morning, before the sun came up, I headed to the polo grounds for the photo opp.   It was a tad underwhelming, as the balloons didn’t actually launch.  They simply inflated six of them, left them up for about an hour, and then deflated them again.  Nevertheless, it was a beautiful sight, even if a fleeting one.




We attended the annual Austin Oyster Festival today. This was our third time to enjoy it. It was held on the grounds of the old Seaholm power plant on the north shore of Austin’s Ladybird Lake. And we had a great time.

The venue:

Gulf oysters:


We popped over to free Thursday at the Blanton museum today. Ellsworth Kelly is an American artist who designed “Austin,” a stand alone art gallery, and artwork in its own right, for the Blanton art museum. He died a few years ago, but his building was recently finished. We visited the museum today to see this exhibit, and the other rotating collections on display.

Afterwards we celebrated National Margarita Day at Chuy’s. Cheers!

Some Christmas Eve eve lights.

After dinner last night we cruised by some Austin neighborhoods that light it up during the holidays…37th street, Clarksville, and a few in between.

Enjoy a bit of Austin weirdness:

An homage to a scene from the movie Stranger Things:

Now, THIS is weird:

R2D2 lights:

Sock-monkey nativity scene:

Just a mess-o-lights:

Not weird:

Merry Christmas!


We headed downtown today to watch the Seahawks game at a bar. We grabbed a burger at Hut’s before the game; the number 7 “Hut’s Favorite.” Yum-my!

Sadly, my Hawks were decimated by halftime. Sniffle.

Blues on the green.  

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 enjoyed the night very much.  Temps were in the 80s!! How lucky was that?!

    Yes, we CAN!

    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.  🙂


    Barton Springs, Lake Travis, and a shanghai’ed uncle.

    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.




    My sister and her family are visiting us for a week.   We are having more fun than six people should.  We tubed the San Marcos River today, and hit the Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood for dinner on the way home. Delicious.  

    Photo credit to Fran.  🙂

    Welcome back, Celis!

    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!

    Jacob’s Well. 

    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.  

    Watch your step!   That first one can be a doozy.  

    (Image manipulated using iPhone app brushstroke)

    Sunday brewery touring, resumed.  

    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:

    We are in training for Fran’s visit…. 🙂


    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.

    An overdue visit.

    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.

    Texas Historical Marker for Laguna Gloria Villa
    The lovely Villa
    Looking towards Lake Austin from the Villa
    Miffy Fountain – Tom Sachs
    Looking Up – Tom Friedman


    Canopy Tower – John Grade
    Iron Tree Trunk – Ai Weiwei