Austin, Texas + Our 6th Anniversary + Video

Finally.....we are finally sharing our anni trip!  But it's not just a picture post....it's got a video attached, too!  It's a known fact that I'm all about video'ing our trips.  It's part of my "memory" making for our family.  You know, so we can watch them in 20 plus years with the kiddos and in 40 years with the grand-kiddos.  Who doesn't like watching videos of themselves?  This momma videos and takes pictures while on all of our trips (with or without child).  So it's kinda like YOU were there on the trip with us!!  

Oh, and, have no worries, the San Francisco trip which is so much more cuter since it has Boston in it) will be fully presented on Thursday!

Plus, this post is not from me.....surprise.....this post is from the hubster!  :)  Take it away.....

Greetings, people who read my wife's blog.  It's Jer, the husband.  I guess in your language, I'm "guest-posting."  Hopefully, you won't be disappointed by having to read my work, which (disclaimer coming) is much less fun than Jen's.  If my prose bores you, just view the photos and then watch the video at the bottom, which Jennifer created to add to our family memory file.  

Let's get started.

Jen's been hinting for several years that she wanted to go zip-lining, and I'd heard that there are some zip lines near Austin, Texas (about 3.5 hours from where we live).  So, around late May, when my mind finally let it sink in that our 6th Anniversary (July 8) and Jennifer's birthday (July 11) were just around the corner, I put together a plan.  I would tell Jennifer we were going out of town, but I would not tell her where or what we'd be doing.  I moved into action and immediately reserved a zip line tour with a company in Volente, Texas, which is right off Lake Travis near Austin.  And, since we'd always heard about how nice it was at Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, I thought, why not, let's just stay there, we deserve it.  So, I booked us a Balcony Room facing the golf course and scenic valley just off of the resort property. 

Next, I had to decide what to buy Jen for our Anniversary and something else for her birthday.  Luckily for me, Jen's not shy about sending me direct clues about what she wants and likes.  Not to mention, on a weekly basis, she advises you people what she favors in her "What I'm Loving Wednesday" posts, a decent source for gift-searching.  For her birthday, I easily settled on the Flip Video Cam.  Although Jennifer has a very nice Nikon D3100 camera with a video camera built-in, it is bulky and not ideal for a trip.  So, I hopped on Amazon.com, found the Flip I wanted to buy Jen, ordered it and had it sent to my office.  It arrived soon thereafter and that part of the planning and execution was complete - thank goodness.

Since I knew Jen would want to use her camera to document EVERY SINGLE PHASE of our trip, including the first part of our drive to Austin, I decided to give that to her early - the morning before we left for our trip (July 7).  Here she is admiring the Flip for the very first time.  SUCCESS!!!

Not too much longer, we were in the truck and headed south.  In this pic, Jen shows her enthusiasm for the idea that there's no carseat with a child in it behind us.  Just kidding.  We knew we'd miss Boston, but we were excited to have some time alone - Jen clearly a little more than me at this point.

After 4 hours of driving (be sure you don't do what we did and drive to the Barton Creek Country Club, since that has nothing to do with Barton Creek Resort & Spa, which is 20 miles away), we finally made it to the resort, and the picture taking continued....in an elevator.

Ooops, I hope he doesn't need these while we are gone.

The afternoon we arrived, we were told there was a Lobster Broil kicking off that night in celebration of the Fourth of July.  Trying to be spontaneous, while we aren't really lobster connoisseurs, we decided to sign up and attend.  It was a good time, and the food was decent (not worth the price, but decent).  Poor fella!

The coolest part of the night was that after the broil, the resort was hosting a fireworks show.  So, after dinner, Jen and I wandered out onto the balcony to watch everyone set up their blankets and chairs on the back lawn.  We, however, were fortunate, because, unbeknownst to me when I booked the room, our balcony faced directly at the location where the fireworks would explode.  So, after this pic, we headed to our room.

Naturally, on the way, we stopped for a quick photo that some unlucky passerby was forced to stop and take.  The fireworks show, some of which you'll see in our video below, was absolutely incredible.  I've not been that close to big-time fireworks, so it was spectacular.

The next morning (July 8 - 6th Anniversary Day), we headed out to zip line.  This is where we arrived - the home office of the zip-lining company.  Not the swankiest of places, but definitely what you'd expect from a bunch of liberal zip-line tour guides.  The important part was, Jen was happy and excited.

My Luck - after hearing we were on our anniversary, the staff picked out some specialized helmets just for us.  My first thought was - I better not die with this helmet on, how stupid would that be.

After a short wait for the entire group to assemble, we headed out.  The dude in the red shorts with the red hair - our lives were in his hands - he was one of our tour guides.  Funny thing is, his partner has brown hair that looks pretty much the same, and they refer to themselves as "the two Jesuses."

Oddly, despite that Lake Travis is near its historical lows and drought conditions, our tour began with a short boat ride across a small channel to a rocky beach where the first trail leads up to the first zip line of the tour. 

Jen, the brave one, goes first.

We ascended many of these on the tour.  Between each zip line platform there are trails much like the one depicted here.  For the most part, they were not too difficult, but we definitely got a work out in that day, particularly since it was around 100 degrees.

Jen took this photo just after we started the last zip line.  That thing was 2400 feet long.  It was a really fun line.

Back at the ranch, resort that is, we settled in for a nice visit to the pool.

After some good grub by the pool, we took a trip to our favorite ice cream parlor in Austin.  Amy's was very nostalgic for us.  When we lived in Austin for 3 years, Amy's provided our chocolate-covered strawberries for every Valentine's Day.  Thank you, Amy's, you never disappoint.

For her anniversary gift, I gave Jen a white, ceramic Michael Kors watch.  Several weeks before our trip, she sent me the link to the watch on Overstock.com.  What she didn't know was that the link she sent me (for the ceramic watch) was not the one she really wanted.  This watch, while beautiful, was way too big for her wrist.  So, we sent it back, and, true to form, she's used the money wisely and bought herself 3 bracelets instead.  But, I couldn't leave out this pic - such a good pic of a pretty woman.

The Texas Capitol Building.  Since neither of us had been in years, we decided to make a visit.  Such a cool place.  Can't leave out this fact - it's taller than the U.S. Capitol.  We Texans have a way of bucking the rest of the world, don't we?

Can't leave the Capitol without a gift for Bos-Bos.  Particularly for his magnetic board.

Jen's alma mater - St. Edward's University - Go Hilltoppers!!!

Jen spotted this writing on the side of a corner restaurant off of S. Congress Ave.  Seemed fitting.

Here's the place that foolishly gave me a juris doctorate - ha, joke's on them.

A nice meal to end the visit and hold us over on the long drive home.

Oh, but wait, there's an outlet mall in Round Rock - nobody's going home yet.  Fortunately for me, it was blazing hot and Jen shopped quickly, buying a few things for each member of our family (save for Jet), and we hit the road to the house.

Alas, the video.  FYI - it's over 16 minutes.  So if you have 16 minutes of your life to waste that you'll never get back then by all means click play.  It includes every picture from our trip (many not included in this post) and some music so be sure to turn your volume up or down (if you're at work).


This trip was very long overdue, for two reasons.  We loved Austin when we lived there, and we'd always wanted to go back.  And, we'd not spent any significant time together without Boston since he was born.  As previous posts will attest, he was taken on our 5th Anniversary trip last year to San Francisco.  It was bittersweet for it to be just the two of us.



Petchie said...

Looks like you guys had an amazing time!!! Great video too! My husband is the same way about taking videos of vacations


Meghan @ More from Meg said...

Cute video!!! Looks like such a blast!!! Thanks for sharing your pictures! :)

Celeste said...

Looks like such a fun trip! I've never really thought about zip lining, but it looks like something I could handle :) We might have to copy some of the places you went...we're going to Austin next month to celebrate our first anniversary!

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