Happy Saturday morning all:

Weekly wisdom:

“I have no special desire to go crawl around in caves, but I really like the word [spelunking] and want to use it in conversation. I do a lot of things just to use words I like.” Evan Mandery

This morning I got up, made a pot of coffee and checked the news. By then Vince and Marcia had gotten up and I got side-tracked. But now, coffee poured, I am ready to proceed.
By the way, I forgot to mention that I have already fed Snickerdoodle-the-rabbit a small chunk of my banana. She got so excited that she nearly clawed the skin off the back of my hand trying to get to her treat.

Did I mention we’re having the best of times here in Austin? Well, we are!

The To-Do list – Kirstin is our family’s planner. True to form she created an amazingly long list of things we just had to do while in town. The fact that under normal circumstances completing this list would take weeks meant nothing—we’d do it all in just over a week. And yes, we’re absolutely on track!

IMG_4412We started at the bottom. Actually, seventy feet below bottom by exploring a mile-plus of cave. The kids and the adults loved it. Marcia has now started promoting her idea of me applying for a position of cave tour guide; something about the bantering which seems to be part of knowing which passage leads to another, etc.

A Rodeo and Alabama Shakes – Marcia loves watching Bull riding, I like barrel races, and Derek and Kellen hooted when kids competed in bareback sheep races. Actually, watching seven year olds hanging on for dear life as their sheep stormed the length of the arena had me roaring.

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Finally a rotating stage appeared and the four person band Alabama Shakes burst into the place. The lead singer and guitarist, Brittany Howard, took over the arena. Non-stop, for over an hour, she poured everything she had into her performance – a voice and intensity that reminded me of early Janis Joplin and Buffy Saint Marie. The evening blew me away (as it did Vince, Kirstin, and Marcia).

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Regional sight seeing – was wonderful and included a day-trip to San Antonio with a boat ride through the canal with its adjacent walkway of restaurants and shops. Not to be missed was a visit to the Alamo, and where Texas history was parked front and center.

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I asked six year old Kellen if he was having a good time. He was. Although he did say he was; “having difficulty reading the script lettering on the displayed documents”. He was trying!

Restaurant after restaurant – all week we’ve been tapping into the amazing variety of Austin eateries as well as an occasional picnic; then walking all that eating off by doing a lot of sight seeing. This included places like Zilker Park and botanical gardens which has a great Japanese Garden and a special walk with dozens of ‘fairy’ homes and villages put up by various civic groups – Marcia filled her ‘idea bucket’ for Narnia at Northern Comfort.

100_1214 Delayed – Nearly ready for posting and Vince asked if I would join him for a quick run to the city so he could get a three-mile run in. I dropped my posting effort and joined him. He ran 3-miles in 24 minutes while I walked 300-yards people, sculling, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, and runners watching. Too fun.

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Fini – We’re heading home tomorrow evening, partaking of the remainder of our bus traveling adventure. Next weekend there won’t be a post till the following Monday—we’ll be in Canada for a wedding. Cheers. Make it a great week everyone.

Cheers,
Dirk

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