For no better reason than it was time to get together and party, our Dallas daughter and her family (8 and 12 year olds) joined Mr and Mrs Texas Outside at our Austin daughter's house which is home to two dogs and three grand kids! The Dallas group got in late but not too late for a few rousing and fun games and lots of laughs.
After a hearty breakfast we loaded the boat with coolers, life jackets, some snacks, and 11 people and headed to Lake Austin for a day on the water. After three hours of turning backwards in my seat to watch the kids kneeboard my neck was aching and one side of my face was sun burned! The kids rode the kneeboard single, then double, then single again - the only way we could get them to stop was to circle through some huge boat wakes that knocked them off the board. I know, it's a little cruel!
Between changes in riders we would stop and swim for a bit before the grand kids (7 to 13 years old) were ready to go again. Why don't they ever get tired? After some more kneeboarding, we stopped at a rope swing. With no fear, they scurried up the tree and leaped 25 feet into the water. We saw pencil jumps, forward and back flips, spinners, and more. They kept yelling "come on parents" but none of us were brave enough to get out of the boat. They had to scurry up a narrow tree, stand up, and take a leap of faith - I was much too scared to try it knowing that I would fall off the tree before I got 8 feet off the ground and land flat on my belly in two feet of water!
After an hour of leaping from the trees they decided they were ready to try the rope swing - all of us took a deep breath, the moms buried their faces in their hands, and then we all sighed a breath of relief after all of them had a successful swing. So a couple of them started getting fancy with flips and twists off the swing. Now my neck is hurting from constantly looking up at them in the trees. I'm ready for a beer and lunch at Ski Shores Cafe - one of our favorites for drinks and burgers on the edge of Lake Austin.
Then it was more kneeboarding and just as I got excited about not having to twist my neck to watch, one of the dads said he wants to kneeboard - when will it every end? We made another stop for swimming before we headed to Hula Hut for some margaritas and "traditional Tex-Mex with a Hawaiian twist." What a fantastic setting for fun, food, and a sunset over the lake. That was followed by a slow relaxing cruise back up river on smooth water with great music and sky full of stars and me snoring in the back of the boat.
Friday, the older guys were up early for a round of golf at River Place Country Club, which we rank as one of the best private courses in Austin and one of the best golf courses in Texas. It's challenging with lots of ups and downs, some tight fairways, deep ravines to carry, plus water and bunkers to miss. I may have stayed up too late and had a little two much to drink the night before - what led me to this conclusion was on the first tee box I got dizzy when I tried to put my ball on the tee, then I saw two balls on one tee and wasn't sure which one to hit. Which means my first swing missed them both and I did a 360 and nearly fell down. And it didn't get much better than that during the rest of the round - 6 Advil, four lost balls, sand from the bunkers in every orifice of my body, and a score I'll never write home about. Read our review of River Place to learn more about this fantastic Austin golf course.
Hot and sweaty and covered with sand from golfing for four hours we headed to the UT Club swimming pool in Steiner Ranch to cool off in the pool, enjoy a good lunch, sip a few drinks, and play keep away with a couple balls in the pool. Then we rushed home to start preparing some appetizers before three other couples and seven more kids descended on our quiet abode. Rib eye, tri tip, deer sausage, potatoes, salad, and more for dinner was followed by lots of games and laughs.
Rumor has it I was still in bed at 10 when they were trying to get me up and ready for a bike ride around Lady Bird Lake. Luckily it was a slightly overcast and cool morning - near perfect for a bike ride. Our typical bike ride is we ride for awhile then stop at a bar/restaurant then bike back to the car or possibly a stop for another drink before heading to the car. On this trip we took a grueling ride up and down hills, over rocks, across some sand, and within 5 minutes arrived at Aussie's Restaurant for lunch and volleyball before continuing the ride - actually it was a flat and easy 5 minute ride to get to Aussie's but I needed to believe it was a tough ride so I could justify lunch and drinks.
When we got back on the bikes I was a little too slow to keep up with the rest of the group so I headed straight to Shady Grove restaurant to wait for them. I was nice and cool and sipping a cold beer when they arrived an hour later all red faced and sweaty! If you've never ridden the trail around Lady Bird Lake, you've got to add it to you list of fun things to do - its scenic, right on the edge of the lake, and flat and easy to ride!
We sadly ended this fun weekend with an excellent meal and fantastic margaritas at Don Mario Mexican Restaurant. With tears in my eyes, left over sand from the bunker in my hair, a slight headache, a sunburned face, a full tummy, and cheeks that hurt from laughing so much we said good bye to everyone and headed home.