On our way home this weekend, we stopped in a small town called Eagle Lake when we passed a meat market that was boiling up some crawfish. Maxwell’s Meat Market cooks them up on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays when they’re in season. We indulged. The crawfish were big and perfectly seasoned. Purty dang good! I got my fix for a while.
Monte and I crewed on Camelot for Kurt & Kevin this weekend during one of the Austin Yacht Club Summer Series races. It was a hot and steamy day on the water but we had a great time.
Two more parks.
We drove straight to Colorado on the way north, about a 15-hour drive, and stayed with Julie in Denver for a night. Then we headed to Gene and Jo’s for two nights. We made a side trip to Estes Park as well. The family get-together was very special.
On the way back south we had another nice visit with Julie.
Then we broke up the long trip home into a couple of days including stops at two national parks.
We stayed in Ft. Davis for a night with a reservation to attend one of the McDonald Observatory’s star parties. The skies were not cooperative for viewing at the observatory, but we had fun.
We left Ft Davis on Wednesday well before dawn, and on the drive up to I-10, I noticed that the clouds parted, opening up a clear, starry sky. So we pulled over in the middle of pitch-dark range land with coyotes howling all around and enjoyed a full-sky view of the Milky Way.
We enjoyed the view for a few minutes and then resumed our drive. A few minutes later the skies were filled in with thick clouds again. It was a treat to get that brief moment of star gazing.
A successful road trip, but it’s always nice to get back home.
What a crew!
Well, it happened! Monte and I went on a road trip together for the first time since before COVID. We drove to Colorado for a family gathering of Gene and Jo’s entire posse. It was really a treat to be there. Lots of special people. Many laughs, stories, and hugs.
It’s GREAT to BE an FAU Owl!!
We are rooting for Monte’s school in the College Men’s Basketball Championship. We watched them at a local watering hole. Florida Atlantic made it to the Sweet Sixteen. Fingers crossed!
We took our friends Tim & Fiona and their three kids sailing on Nirvana today. We’ve done it many times over the years during their Spring Break holidays.
The kids are now 13 or 14, and 19 years old. It’s amazing to watch them grow up. They all have an intuitive feel for the helm. Monte and I didn’t need to steer much at all. It was a beautiful day for a nice long sail. I’m glad we got to spend it with them.
Old dogs learning new tricks.
Monte and I both hang on to the cars we buy a long, looong time – one is 26 years old, the new one is 13 years old. It’s time for some new blood in the garage.
We’ve been thinking about getting an electric vehicle, as much of our driving trips are less than 70-miles roundtrip (to the lake and back) and much shorter errand-trips around town. We have been shopping for a month or two. Last week we found one we were looking for in San Antonio. So on a wild hair, we hopped into the fossil-fuel vehicle (ironic, right?) and drove 75 miles to see it, sit in it, test drive it. We liked it, so we brought it home!
We picked a Chevy Bolt EV. Pretty roomy. It’ll hold our boat loads to and from the marina (ice chest and our bags) and lots of room for groceries and other things.
It’s hard to predict because of the seemingly endless droughts and freezes, but the Texas bluebonnets are blooming early and it looks like it will be a big wildflower year.
Monte has been grooming our front yard bluebonnet patch for years. Looking good! More photos to follow.
Wow, that was fast. January and February flew by – only 8 months til Halloween. 🎃
After the brief ice age a few weeks ago, our temps are in the 80s here. Seems strange when the latest arctic front is hitting another part of the country. But I’ll enjoy it because we’ll be back in the 100s in no time.
Speaking of ice storms, our wall of broken tree limbs were thankfully hauled away this week. I can see the street again!
I’ve been craving fish tacos for a week. Last night the universe aligned and I finally made a batch. They’re so delicious. Here’s a link to the recipe I start with. Or you can just google ‘best fish tacos’ and it’s the top result. They’re that good. The sauce is amazing. And the cotija cheese makes them muy auténtico. I like to use mixed corn/flour tortillas, which Doray turned me on to years ago. They’re sold by H‑E‑B here in Texas as Mixla tortillas. They tend to hold together better than plain corn tortillas.
I had an opportunity to visit two more National Parks this week. Lori and Mike are driving to Arizona to visit her sister, and planned to visit two parks I’d yet to see. So, I stowed away in their backseat on Wednesday morning. We drove all day, staying in Van Horn, Texas for the night.
Thursday we took a short detour north to see Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We crossed into New Mexico to see it, and the underground caverns are stunning.
After the caverns we turned around and headed back south. We hiked the Devil’s Hall trail at Guadalupe Mountains National Park on our way back up I-10.
We stayed in El Paso for the night, my first time visiting this border town. Our hotel had an amazing rooftop bar with great views.
This morning I flew back home. Lori and Mike are continuing on west. That was a whirlwind 48 hour trip. And two more Parks in the bag!
We had a fun, busy week. Noreen came to town. We visited with some of her family here in Austin, and some of our family in San Antonio.
We enjoyed an evening at Lori & Mike’s for a Super Bowl party.
Then we enjoyed a visit to Donn’s Depot to listen to Danny Britt and his band Grouchy Like Riley.
Valentine’s Day snuck by this week, as well
Noreen returned home after a fun-filled visit. Some orthopedic care and a pedicure happened. Then focus turned towards the upcoming 5K race this coming Sunday.
Tempus sure does fugit! Enjoy your weekend!
Over the holidays I spoke with a couple of friends who volunteer as ushers for the Texas Performing Arts organization, which hosts events all year at the Bass Concert Hall on the UT campus, and several other local theaters.
I was interested. I do have “theater” experience after all … I worked on the tech crew for the event coliseum at the university I attended back in the day – setting up, tearing down, and working spotlights for concerts, and helping Monte with productions for the showbiz club where we worked. Ok, so theater may not actually be in my blood, but I’ve at least stubbed my toe on it a few times. 🙂
I had an interview this week, attended a training session for volunteer ushers tonight, and decided to join for the remainder of this season – through August – to see how I like it. And to see how it fits in with all the other things I enjoy doing.
A bonus: I got to see some cool views of an empty Bass Concert Hall tonight.
We spent yesterday and today cutting and dragging broken trees and limbs to the curb. We’re not done. The biggest jobs remain: our formerly 40+ foot tall live oak’s dozen or so broken branches, several large branches still hanging way up high on one of our large pecans, and cutting up the trunk of a beautiful live oak that keeled over in the way back.
But our curb is mostly full for now. So we’ll have to wait til the city hauls this bunch away. it sure doesn’t look like much in the pic but I walked several miles getting these branches out there.
For now, I’m enjoying a well-earned glass of wine.
The mighty have fallen.
This is day 3 of this year’s ice storm. Temperatures in the 20s and freezing rain have coated the numerous trees across Austin with over 1/2” of ice. Our yard has been graced with a dozen or so beautiful live oaks, pecans, and red oaks, and more – probably over 40 feet tall. Our home is over forty years old but these trees are older than that – and they are glorious.
Sadly, yesterday, they started losing whole branches at a time. We’ve heard a symphony of loud cracks and then branches crashing to the ground for too long.
Like the majority of Austin, we finally lost power yesterday, but it came on again overnight, after about 12 hours.
This morning the temperatures are supposed to finally get back above freezing. I hope the ice thaws quickly and that no further damage is done to my beauties.
As bad as it is, I’m thankful the damage hasn’t been worse.
On a positive note, Monte loves using his chainsaw. 🙂