Friday, August 30, 2013

The Joys and Sorrows of Barton Springs Pool

Barton Springs Pool was on my bucket list for this Summer.  I don't know why I have never been.  I think partly because I knew it was a natural pool fed by springs and creatures live in the pool.  I get kind of (okay, really) creeped out when things brush up against me in the water.

Last Wednesday evening we decided to go check it out with Ainsmar. Enter Sorrow Number One.  As soon as the sun started to go down the temperature dropped and a wind kicked up.  The waters in Barton Springs Pool come from the ground.  The cold, cold ground.  The waters were freezing and it wasn't relaxing at all.

We decided to give it another go on Friday during the day to erase the bad memory of Wednesday night. The sun was blazing, making the cold waters refreshing.  It was a totally different experience.  I'm so glad I finally went (and went back) to Barton Springs Pool.  I'll definitely be going back.
I forgot to take a photo from the top of the hill--I will next time.  The waters look so pretty from above and you can see the different rock surfaces on the bottom of the pool.
Ross looks cool in his new sunglasses.
Ainsmar has zero body fat and was freezing the first time.  He had a lot more fun the second go round.
Here is a photo of a fish in the pool.  The moss and algae and fish and stuff didn't creep me out at all.  The pool must be really deep off the diving board because I never felt any seaweed type stuff tickling my feet the way it used to in the natural pool (river) in Del Rio.
Action shot of Ross doing a backflip off the diving board.  We all tried out the diving board.  I just dive tricks.
Obligatory photo of my toes in the water. The white stuff is rock. The green stuff is moss/algae. The mossy stuff was slippery. The light was dancing on the rock and looked a lot prettier than it does in this photo.

Sorrow number two is that I lost one of my hair sticks at the pool. I had a premonition that I would lose it...but did I leave it at home? No. I've had that stick for a very long time. I said I would cry if Ross lost it and I did cry like a little kid. Oh well.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rock Climbing

Last Saturday we went rock climbing at Reimer's Ranch with Live Adventure. It was only 94 degrees out, but the humidity made it quite oppressive.  Our guide, Brandon, was great.  He was patient, and all about safety.  We learned (or relearned) how to tie the figure 8 knot, how to belay, and all the commands. Despite the heat I really had fun.  We tried to hang out in the shade as much as possible. Brandon pointed out some poison ivy and we managed to avoid it.
Here I am presenting my knot to Ross so he can double check it.
Video of me climbing.  Those large steps with one leg shredded my thighs.  I am finally almost recovered.
Video of Ross climbing.  He wore the climbing shoes I got him cheap at a thrift store. Yay bargain hunting!

This adventure lasted from about 930a to about 230p.  I think we managed 5 or 6 climbs.  After we hiked back to the parking lot we could have taken a dip in the Pedernales River, but we were just too exhausted to hike down to it.  Instead we got some drinks at Sonic Happy Hour, took a shower, and I took a nap.

I would definitely do this again.  I feel a lot more comfortable belaying.  Of course I would just like it better if it weren't so hot and humid next time.

Trailer Food Tuesday

Trying to be cool for Ainsmar--we went to Trailer Food Tuesday last night.  
The lines were long.  Who knows how long Ross stood in line...
I was hungry, and not willing to stand in line--so I got some hatch sliders at the Greengos trailer.  They were creamy goodness.  Hatch chiles are all the rage right now.  We got lemonade too.  Refills were only one buck.
Ainsmar got in line at Peached Tortilla and didn't have to wait too long.  He got some kind of pork sliders.
And we devoured our brisket tacos that he got us at Peached Tortilla. I really wanted to try their burger, but it wasn't on the menu last night.
Ross waited in line what seemed like forever at Chilantro.  They weren't serving the burritos.  So he got a bowl for us and a bowl for Ainsmar.  Ross was very disappointed.  Chilantro parks out in front of his work regularly...and he says it is usually much better.
So we hung out on the grass and got to see the Austin skyline as it lit up and the sky darkened.

As a bonus to the food and the view we got to hear some live music by Mike and the Moonpies.  So we get to take credit for taking Ainsmar to hear some live music in the live music capital of the world.  Richard and Monica took him to batfest on Saturday and they heard a couple bands play there.  Ainsmar is sticking around a while longer, so I think we'll go see some more live music on Thursday night.

Dessert was key lime pie frozen custard for Ainsmar--he said it wasn't so good, and I got a hibiscus mint popsicle. It was okay.  I shoulda gotten the mango--or gone to Amy's.

Mayfield Park

Our buddy, Ainsmar, is visiting until he ships off to China.  Ross and I are the boring parents--Richard and Monica took him shooting!  In an effort to show him something cool I took him to Mayfield Park yesterday. As soon as we arrived we heard the peacocks make a squawk--not the normal meow--we never did hear a meow.  Then we saw a little skunk chasing some peahens caused the squawk.  So cute.  
The peacocks didn't really have tail feathers.  The one guy with tail feathers--well, they looked pretty scraggly.
These lilies were actually a peachy color.  They looked fake.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

First Bake: Lemon Cake

Two and a half weeks ago my mom's new oven/stove was delivered.  My mom hasn't had a proper oven for at least 5 years.  My dad and I followed the instructions and burned it in--getting rid of all the greases and chemicals inside.  My parents used the stove top----6 burners!  But we didn't use the oven.  I kept saying I was going to make scones, but didn't.  Then I decided I wanted to make lemon cake.  I had seen a recipe in my mom's recipe notebook.  So lemon cake was the first thing baked in my mom's oven.

The cake was very dense and moist.  I need to get the recipe from her and see if it makes good cupcakes too (I can remember most of it, but I'm not sure about the leavening).  I made a small batch of frosting to go between the layers.....just butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and powdered sugar.

Desert Blooms III

This lilac spiral opens up into the white devil's trumpet below.
These white trumpet flowers are very fragrant and attract a halo of bees that buzz around in the mornings and evenings.  My mom sent me home with a bunch of seed pods.  Ross says he doesn't like this plant, but it smells so nice, I might try to grow some.
 Yellow lantana.  I'm not a big fan of lantana, but it can smell really nice.
Pink oleander.  This is a small plant.  My parents lost a lot of plants due to a big freeze a few years ago.
Desert bird of paradise, also known as pride of Barbados. My mom put a few seedlings in pots and sent them home with me.  I need to figure out where to plant them.
Desert willow.  I really like this as a tree.  Once Ross grinds down the stumps on the side of the house I want to plant these.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Plaza Film Festival: Third Time's the Charm: Thief of Bagdad

I went with Laura, Kitson, and Jhetlyn to see the 1940 version of The Thief of Bagdad.  I didn't have high hopes.  I was actually looking forward to a cheesy B-rate film.  Turns out this movie cost 2 million dollars to make back in 1939.  And it shows.

The movie wasn't really cheesy at all until the genie came onto the scene.  The scenes of him flying (mostly done with an action figure) were painful.  Other than that I really loved this movie.

The story was great and Conrad Veidt as Jaffar was convincingly evil.  The costumes were beautiful.  Check out June Duprez as the Princess.  She's wearing a little corset and a bolero.  I thought at any moment there might be a wardrobe malfunction!

This movie ran smoothly.  No glitches or snags.  I guess third time was the charm.

On Sunday they showed the 1920, silent version of the movie with live organ accompaniment.  I really wish I could have seen that one--but I was already back in Austin. Unfortunately the 1940 version is not available on Netflix.  The 1920 version is available, and I have added it to my queue.

Plaza Film Festival: Take Two: Fahrenheit 451

My parents and I decided to go see Fahrenheit 451.  It was screened in the smaller Philanthropy Theater. The turn out was amazing.  I think they almost sold out.

I read the book ages ago, but had never seen the movie.  I couldn't get into it at first, but then I got hooked.  A world without any written word.  A scary thought.

The movie didn't run smoothly.  It glitched a few times, and then it even stopped on a black screen for a while.  The screenings were digital, so I'm not sure what the problem was.

I think I enjoyed the book more, but the movie was a fun look at things in 1966.

Plaza Classic Film Festival: Take One: Looney Tunes

Well, the Plaza Classic Film Festival was playing while I was in El Paso.  My parents and I went to see Looney Tunes in the old Plaza theater.  The listing said that there would also be organ music.  We showed up early and got to hear the organ.  Here is a short clip:

The showing was free.  We got to see some very old cartoons.  It was really working my brain to figure out the roman numerals for the dates.  I hadn't seen a lot of the cartoons they showed.   I was glad to be able to see some Looney Tunes on the big screen and hear the organ.  I had never been to the Plaza Theater. Then they started playing cartoons over again.  And then it got REALLY loud.  We left.