I may be a twelve-year resident of this great city, but that doesn't mean that I can't sit back and enjoy the view as a tourist! With that mindset, we took to the lake last Sunday in order to enjoy Austin's expanding skyline from Town Lake (it's now referred to as Lady Bird Lake, BUT I refuse to change what I call it, along with the other tried and true residents of the city - just FYI).
As it turned out, the weather was beyond gorgeous: clear, sunny, and nearly 90 (!!!), so we weren't alone on the water. In fact, we had more paddle boarders, water bikers (not the technical term, I'm guessing), kayakers, and others than I ever would have expected for late October!
You don't have to be an athlete or interested in watersports to enjoy all that Austin has to offer, though:
And, even if you're not into Auditorium Shores's dog park, Stevie Ray Vaughn (and/or our current live music scene, which is the best in the Country), or performing arts (the above picture is the Long Center, which features world-class artists as well as Ballet Austin performances regularly), there is the sheer beauty of the city that proves magnetizing to anyone who has had the good fortune to visit this gorgeous city!
I love this city! So much so, that I'm a wee bit jealous that Ava is getting to grow up a native Austinite!
If you're interested in taking a tour of your own, hop on over the Lone Star Riverboat Tours to make a reservation. Sightseeing tours run weekends at 3pm only, but bat tours are every evening during bat season, and can offer some of the best views in downtown Austin! Cost is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for children, and 2 & under are free.
Alternatively titled: How I Turned Stark-Raving Mad
in Five Days.
In this case, "mad" is definitely
duplicitous, as I'm both a total lunatic, as well as angry. You'd think I was
weaning off of meth, as opposed to carbohydrates, the way that I'm biting my
nails (something I've never done) and cursing out strangers in my head (well,
that's par for the course, to be honest).
It all started with my desire to lose five pounds.
Don't all good stories from your twenties? Anyhow, I decided I was feeling fat
and bloated and just plain unhealthy and that I needed to lose a handful of
pounds. Now I recognize a fad diet when I see one (baby food? No way, Jose!),
but I believe wholeheartedly in the South Beach Diet, especially given the
medical research and side benefits (lower cholesterol, blood sugar stability,
etc.) that go hand-in-hand with it. That being said, it is one thing to believe
in something in theory, and another to put it to practice.
While I believe there is nothing more effective in
quick, small-goal weight loss than low-carb dieting, I also think there is
nothing more difficult.
I should add that there is scientific research
linking carbs to that good, warm-feeling, satiated feeling of bliss, so it's
not entirely my fault that I'm insane. Low-carb dieting does, in fact, piss
people off. But oooooh, I'm feeling a case of the low-carb lows, and the
obvious cures (pasta! cookies! french bread!) are out, so I'm turning to my
little corner of the internet to vent instead. Also? It happens to be dinnertime,
and I've reached the point of Stage 1 of the South Beach Diet (where you
eliminate all carbs, entirely, for two weeks to detox, since your body gets
physically addicted to carbs - obviously.) where each meal I feel defeated,
dejected, and depressed, asking myself, "Why even bother?"
If you think I'm being dramatic, clearly you aren't
familiar with the diet.
I should add, it's about fifty times harder than it
was pre-parenthood, too, since before I could just avoid carbs like the plague,
not tempting myself with their presence in my home. I would literally rid my
pantry of anything remotely carb-containing. Now, all hell would break loose if
I tossed all the goldfish and other assorted snacks in the house that are
carbohydrate-based, not only due to Ava, but because my husband doesn't have to
watch his girlish figure. No, he's naturally stick-thin and can eat whatever he
wants. Pardon me while I vom on myself over that.
Within twenty-four hours of starting the diet (just
last Wednesday, despite feeling like it was five months ago...), I was faced
with a box of pizza at work. I had to open it, dole out pizza slices and heat
it to it's fragrant best and serve it to four kids, two of whom left half of it
on the plate. BLASPHEMY! It was physically painful for me to feel that soft,
gooey pizza dough and not devour it.
Everyone says that the first two days are the
hardest, which is somewhat true, but I'm definitely relapsing in my cravings
today. I dished out some goldfish to Ava and when she handed them back to me in
the car, I had to literally throw them out the window while my vehicle was
moving*, because I didn't trust myself not to eat them off the driveway if I
waited to toss them when I got home.
This is SERIOUS, people.
It’s also made much worse by the fact that I’m a
bit of a picky eater. I don’t love meat, but I’ll eat it, but only with
something on the side because I don’t like the texture alone. Whether it’s a
bun, or pasta, or rice, or anything, I need something to go with my meat. I
hate the texture of eggs, so I squish them nearly to death and eat them with
toast in the same bite, but that’s gone, too. And I’ll be damned if I’m going
to sit around eating cauliflower “mashed potatoes” or sauerkraut or half their
suggested items. Blech.
I know, I know, I’m making it much harder on
So guess how much weight I’ve lost in five days?
A POUND. One single, f&#*ing pound. I got on
the scale this morning, thinking I was in for a nice start to my day, and
literally sobbed when I stepped off the scale. How is this even possible? My husband would lose that if he skipped carbs in his lunch. NOT. FAIR.
Add to that a case of PMS and a toddler that's gone
from the "terrible twos" to the "holy-shit-this-is-insane
threes", and I'm a woman on the edge. If you don't hear from me for a few
days, send help. Or - what I'll really need - donuts.
*Note: I'm generally not a litterbug. In fact, Ava and I pick up trash
on our walks usually, so quite the opposite. At least they're biodegradable?
This annual event may have taken place the Saturday before last, but it's still fresh in Ava, my little dog lover's, mind. In fact, despite being out of it during the event (allergies are killer around here right now, and she's definitely inherited them from her dad :( ), she woke up from a nap (bonus!) that day mumbling something about doggies, so it clearly made an impression!
Dogtoberfest, as the clever name suggests, is a celebration of dogs, as well as a fundraiser for the many local dog rescue organizations. Not only are there vendors lined up ready to give away some freebies, but the event also consists of numerous contests, including a costume contest and wiener dog races - hilarious!
Check out a few of the sights we were treated to:
A cat, on a leash, in a backpack-style baby carrier. My day was made. Ha!
And what would one of my posts be without a picture of my sweet pea?
We attended a wedding this past weekend, and for the first time, Ava was invited (encouraged, even, since her best friends in the world would be there) to come along. Despite my many reservations, we took her along, and despite a rocky start during the ceremony (David had to take her out to avoid a scene) and a few low points during the reception (that, in her defense) went well past her bedtime, she did fabulous!
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the grand event: