Thursday, May 31, 2012

Water Wednesday

A couple of weeks ago when Toby and I hiked Barton Creek we enjoyed it so much that we vowed to go back soon. This time I encouraged Summer to tag along with us.

It hasn't rained in a couple of weeks so the water flow was down a little from last time, but we still had fun hunting tadpoles and fish, swimming, skimming rocks, exploring, and just plain hanging out and enjoying the hot day on a cool creek.

At one point during the day Toby asked me if I would rather be at the beach or on the creek. I didn't have to think long about that one.  I was much more comfortable laying on my carefully chosen  flat rock feeling the cool, clear water rush over my body listening to  the birds in the trees and the sound of  the water swish over the rocks. It's where I am most comfortable....I silently wondered if the ocean lover in him was a little disappointed in my answer....

A male Grackle enjoying an afternoon bath and drink.


Refreshing for the soul...and the feet!

Skipping rocks

A wonderful Wednesday indeed.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Beach Week

We took our usual May trip to Corpus Christi/Padre Island last week.  This year my cousin and her family who live in Houston met us there for the week. It was nice to be able to spend some time with some of my Texas family and get to know them a little better.

This is Shannon. She is my second cousin. I'm really fond of her. She is easy to get along with and has a very sweet disposition...knowing that side of our family I really don't know where she gets it

This is Ted, Shannon's husband. Ted is equally as likable as Shannon. Ted is a manager at Chik fi la. That should give you an indication about how pleasing his personality is...

This is Emma, Ted and Shannon's little one. Emma is a hoot! There is nothing in her bones that speaks shy or cautious. She's daring and lets everyone around her know who's boss!!

I love taking pictures of small children. It's easy to get natural pictures of them because they are too young to worry about how they are posing or how their hair looks.

This year the beach was not very pleasant.  Not that I'm really all that much of a beach fan anyway. I find the beach visually appealing but once the reality of sticky salt water, humidity, sand, and the offensive smell of deceased ocean life sets in I'm done.
The water was really rough and the wind felt as though it was whipping at 1000 mph. There was also an over abundance of seaweed. Secretly I don't really mind the seaweed because of the cool beach creatures that can be found hiding underneath it all. ;-)

Although Bo was highly annoying on the beach with his attempts to catch the laughing gulls he kept his manners about him in his long, unattended stays in the hotel room while we were out doing stuff he couldn't participate in.

The wind was relentless our whole stay. We walked along McGee Beach and the sand stung fiercely as it pelted us on our walk. As many years as I lived along the coast I had never had this happen to me before...

Having fun at the museum...

Oddly enough one of my favorite moments at the Island was the little getaway Summer and I took to the souvenir shop while everyone else was being lazy and napping. We had a blast taking pictures and taking our time browsing for trinkets. It's rare stolen moments like these that make having kids worth all the bull shit in between.....

Another highlight of my trip was coming upon a yard sale with TONS of fabric for a steal.  I spotted the yard sale when Toby and I  were taking Bo on his morning walk in the neighborhood that backed up to the hotel we were staying in.

Because I'm not a serious seamstress or sew for profit, I always feel a little guilty when I buy it retail. The lady was an ex-home economics teacher and was trying to get rid of her extra stash. I came home with yards and yards of fabric for only $9!! Lucky morning dog walk for me. ;-)

It was a fun trip. I think I could live in Corpus Christi...even though Toby says "NO WAY'....never say never. After all,  5 years ago I managed to drag him all the way from Alabama to Texas. ;-)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Barton Creek Greenbelt

This week's hike we decided to check out Barton Creek Greenbelt at the Zilker Park trail entrance. Our goal was to hike to Campbell's Hole to check out the creek flow. The hike to the hole is about a mile and 1/2 so it's always nice to be greeted by flowing creek water once you arrive.

 Last year we hiked to the hole with Summer and Bo in 110 degree temps only to arrive and find a VERY dry creek bed. I'll spare you the description of the torture it was to hike back the mile 1/2  out with a hot, disappointed, whiny kid and a bulldog that was about to collapse from heat exhaustion.

This year Summer opted to stay home and work on some personal projects.  Once we made it to the hole I really wish she had been with us. What I wished even more was that Toby and I had thought to dress in something we could take a dip in. The creek was flowing better than we have ever seen it. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!

The only one that got to enjoy the water was Bo. I won't bore you with too many pet details but I have to say that when it comes to water Bo is like a human child. He LOVES water. He'll jump in swim awhile until he gets tired,  get back out, rest a bit then jump back in again. It's really funny to watch an animal enjoy an activity other than gnawing a bone just for the sheer enjoyment of it.

Some random shots of the rest of the creek along the trail.......

I have no idea what these native flowers are but they are all over Austin right now. They remind me of those long dusters...

We ended up hiking approximately 3 1/2 miles. It was worth every step of the way!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tattoo Me

Those of you that know me personally or follow my blog know that my hubby, Toby is a Tattoo Artist.

Well, recently he tattooed me...the third of my small collection actually. Although the previous two are somewhat small and inconspicuous my most recent one is plastered as big as it can be as a half sleeve on my right arm.

I'll be honest, when hubby suggested the design,  which he designed himself,  I was more than a little reluctant. Not because I didn't love the design but because tattoos are not something you'd expect of someone who is creeping up on the age of 48.  It sends a message: 'She's a little wild.'  In addition, I grew up in a generation that really didn't identify with tattoos - but the more I am surrounded by it here in Austin the more I come to appreciate the art of tattooing.

To back this post up a little bit, for the past several months Toby has been doing some appearances on a local television show called The Bling Johnson Show that highlights local artists and musicians. Toby met "Bling" a couple of years ago when he became his tattoo artist. At the time Bling just did a lot of YouTube stuff in and around Austin but had decided to widen his horizons and go local to help promote our local artists. He respects and admires Toby's work as an artist and asked him if he would be a part of the show.

To make a long story short, I inadvertently volunteered myself not only to get a large half-sleeve tattoo but also to have it filmed on local television. For anyone interested in seeing the episode here is the link. Our segment is near the beginning so you won't have to wait long to see the tattoo section if you don't have time to sit through the whole episode.

As nervous as I was about the whole thing, I ended up having a good time with the filming and ended up loving my tattoo way more than what I thought I would. Matter of fact, I LOVE IT and feel very comfortable and proud sporting it around.

Take a gander.....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Waller Creek Greenbelt

Our weekly hike was along Waller Creek Greenbelt that runs through the middle of downtown Austin. After hiking it I'm not exactly sure why it is called a creek, a greenbelt or why it is even considered a hike.

I'm also pretty sure that I'm one of the very few people that would enjoy this particular "hike". The creek trail is more for storm drainage and a haven for the homeless than it is picturesque.

I love the Spanish architecture so popular in this area and it saddens me to see such a beauty wasting away. More positively I have heard rumors that Austin is restoring this particular area for it's own version of a Riverwalk.

Because of the restoration project the entrance to the trail beginning at  Waterloo Park and other portions of the trail were closed off.

I still enjoyed envisioning what it may look like one day.....all while holding my nose from the overwhelming smell of homeless folk's urine.

Tucked away in the middle of the pathway was a inviting little pool. We stood there and lusted after it a bit then moved on.  Nice.....

Because of the closures from the  restoration project we just headed out into the downtown streets to finish up our hike. I spotted this interesting looking design on the side of a large building. I loved the way the golden colored tree leaves (it was probably dead) contrasted with the checkered blue...

Street Art

And of course, the Capitol of Texas

I don't think Toby enjoyed this particular hike as much as I did. I guess I will have to let him pick the hike next time.