A hill (and a thrill) with a view.

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One of many familiar images of Austin is of the Pennybacker Bridge at Loop 360, overlooking a stretch of beautiful Lake Austin.   The 360 Loop drive and its Hill Country views are one of my favorite parts of Austin.  I crossed off one of my must-do’s by hiking up the cliff overlooking the bridge to take in the view for myself.   In the panorama above, you can just see the downtown skyline peeking over the hill on the left of the image.   I’m not afraid of heights, but I have to say my heart skipped a beat or two as I stood on the rock on the edge of the cliff.

For reference (from google streetview):

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I think I like this shot better.  It’s taken from a vantage point slightly farther west, down the trail along the top of the cliff.

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Just another gorgeous day in my little corner of paradise.

Shades of blue.

Glassybabies.

Rachel is back home.  Julie is studying.  Monte is at the lake.  And I’m getting ready for a Sunday afternoon full of work-work.

We went to brunch at Güero’s this morning, then I dropped Julie back at her apartment, before taking Rachel to the airport.  This is a shot of some of Julie’s many glassybaby pieces.   These blue ones are pretty.  I also like the taupe/beige/cream colored ones.  But I guess I’m feeling blue today.

We had a nice weekend.   But we all have a busy week ahead.

Tomorrow is Rachel’s first day as a surgical resident (u go girl!).  Julie has a test.  And I have a full slate of meetings and presentations.

Here’s to the next girls’ weekend.

And, Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!  My dad is gone – for several years now.  But he would be very proud of his progeny, especially the two very talented, determined and self-reliant granddaughters that I got to spent the weekend with.

Basil Claus

Basil to go.

Our garden is taking a beating in this heat and drought.  Monte has already pulled up the tomato plants.  They stop putting out flowers.  But we did harvest some pretty red tomatoes off of them this year.  The basil is getting tired, too.   It dries up during the day, and in the evening it gets watered and pops back to life.

Our sprinkler system is shot, so we have been doing the manual watering thing this spring and summer – lots of hose schlepping.  We know we will be out of town for a few days this summer.  So instead of just letting the plants die, Monte is trying to use up as much as we can.   We’ll plant more when we will be here to water them well.

So, tonight Monte cut some of the nicer sprigs, put them in bottles of water and walked them around the neighborhood to give to several of our neighbors.  Hopefully they will use and enjoy it.   For the rest, a marathon pesto session is in order.   You can freeze it, if you hold off putting the cheese in.   Maybe put some in an ice cube tray or two for future use in small amounts.

Dec 16, 2010

Olympic view.

When my family first moved up to this area it was 1974.   In the preparations for yet another family move, in this case from South Carolina, I can recall being very excited about moving to a place with mountains and snow.  And I REALLY wanted a house with a fireplace.

Well, I wasn’t disappointed.   36 years later I still love the mountains.    And, I do still enjoy a fire in the hearth.   But the joy of the cutting/stacking/hauling of firewood that goes along with it — not so much.

This area is on the west side of the Puget Sound surrounded by the Olympic mountains to the west and the Cascade mountains to the east.   Long before I knew how to tell direction by looking at where the sun was in the sky, I knew to look for the mountains to get my bearings.

This is a shot of the beautiful Olympic mountains from outside of Seabeck.