Monday, August 11, 2008

Falling Behind and Catching Up

I'm sitting here sipping some wine and listening to the rain pour down outside. Aaahhh! I don't know if it's cooling anything off out there, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Sorry to be a bit out of touch (aside from all the well wishes). We have been keeping busy with work and exploring and even a little bit of exercise, all as explained below.

But first, some technical info. For those of you who do not receive email updates, you can sign up for them simply by entering your email address in the little box at the right. I know you all check in every single day, anxiously awaiting our next big adventure, so this will make it that much easier to read all about it! OK, onto our so-called adventures.

Two weekends ago, Mark, Kai, and I trekked south for a little getaway. We headed down to Waco and then veered off the main road to explore the back routes. Along the way, we passed a sign for Crawford, which sounded very familiar, though we didn't realize why until I said, "Hmm, Crawford, Texas, sounds familiar." Then I realized that the next word after Crawford, Texas, is ranch, as in Dubya's home away from home. We decided not to stop in to say, "Howdy."

After 5+ hours on the road, we once again realized that taking the back roads in Texas is not even remotely interesting. Ya seen one dusty ranch with long-horn cattle, ya seen them all. But it was all worth it, as we ended up in Dripping Springs, a small town in the Hill Country southwest of Austin. We were there to visit our good friends Marianne (pronounced My-anna) and Travis (pronounced T) and their two boys (Barret and Adler) and two dogs (Bailey and Addie), who had all moved to the area from Hillsborough (Calif.) about a year ago. They have a very lovely home with lots of land and a house full of laughter (with some occasional crying and barking). We were only there for a couple days, but we had a blast. Lots of reminiscing and catching up. Way too much good food and wine. And an absolutely fabulous time at Barton Springs Pool ... a little piece of heaven right in the middle of Austin. If I lived in Austin, I think I would just camp out at this pool 24/7. Mark and Travis finished off the weekend with a mountain bike ride near Hamilton Pool, another cool (in all senses of the word) area of Austin (I only know about it because I found the link for this post; we didn't actually go to this pool ... BUMMER!). It was hard to tear ourselves away from it all, and I probably wouldn't have if I'd known about Hamilton. Even Mark admitted that Austin is a great place, what with all its open space, trails, parks, rivers, and natural pools (all of which is very lacking in the Dallas area), not to mention a host of good restaurants (only two of which we tried). But home we went, promising to get together again much sooner rather than later.

The past week has been filled with work for both of us. I won't bore you with the details. If you really want to know, just give us a call and we'll fill you in. We ended the week with another bike ride. I did the shorter route (only about 20 miles ... ouch!); Mark pretty much doubled that, at about double the speed. His legs are back to being the solid pistons that just won't stop! Yesterday, we did a driving/hiking tour around Lake Lewisville and discovered some great hiking trails for us and for Kai, with a couple easy access/swimming points. We finished it off with a delicious chocolate shake from Braum's and a night of video-watching and relaxation. So, although we may whine just a bit about Dallas, we are enjoying ourselves. And good thing too, as we most likely will be here longer than expected. And with that tantalizing bit of news, I'll say good night until next time!

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