Saturday, March 22, 2014

Our Austin "Stay-cation"

Ever since I began cancer treatment, my "end of treatment" celebration that I was really looking forward to was to go snowboarding.  So, we had been planning to go this month on a fabulous snowboarding/ski trip.  Actually, we were going to ski/snowboard with a big group of family just this past week.   We decided long ago to go to the Taos ski valley, because it was less expensive than Colorado/Utah/California and within driving distance (which is nice with all of the kids that would be going).   Unfortunately though, New Mexico just didn't get enough snow this spring to make the trip worth it.  With the possibility of closed runs and warmer than normal weather, my family mentioned that perhaps a visit to us in Austin would be a better option.  So, our family had a little Austin "stay-cation" this past week instead. 

My mom and dad, brother (Jeremy), sister-in-law (Brandy) and nephew (Traber), stayed at our house with us.  My sister (Holly) and brother-in-law (Ryan) and their kids (our nieces--Lilly and Linnea), along with her in-laws (Ryan's parents, Wayne and Susan, and Ryan's brother, Drew), all rented a cute house closer to downtown. 

We packed in so much fun each day they were here and had a blast showing them around our beloved town.  We ate at delicious Austin restaurants and food trucks, visited so many parks (Zilker, Barton Springs, Laguna Gloria, Mayfield Park, Mount Bonnell, Zilker Botanical Garden), took a tour at the Texas Capital, took a stroll down South Congress, watched the Bat Colony under the Congress Avenue Bridge emerge at dusk, and even did some shopping and playing at Top Golf.  In addition, we threw in a little birthday party for our nieces, Lilly and Linnea, who turn 6 and 4 years old, respectively, this month. 

Below are just some of the photos I took during the trip.  You will notice that Luke and Abbey are not in many of them.   They were always too far ahead of the group (or moved too quickly) for me to be able to snap a photo of them.  :-)

My sister, her family and in-laws in front of the Capital building.

Abbey's pace was a little faster than the tour guide's pace.  So, she did her own little tour with daddy.

I really enjoyed the tour that we took of the capital.   I had visited before, but never had a guide.  I learned so many interesting things--it was definitely worth the 30 minutes of our time.

We did a lot of exploring!

Jeremy and his family hiking at Mt. Bonnell--too bright for a good photo.
Lilly, reflecting on her last days as a 5-year old.
Tuckered-out Abbey
Cute little Linnea
Lilly and her other uncle Drew
Abbey--exploring at the super-fast Abbey pace.

I love murals---they are a fun backdrop for photos.  This one is great for photos with loved ones...

I will stop with the photo overload now.  We just had so much fun with everyone.  Showing family around your own town makes you appreciate it even more.  And, the weather couldn't have been more perfect.  I really do love our city.  I am still going to go on that snowboarding trip someday though!  :-)

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