2010 August/September

During our 4th week in Austin we decided we had been working TOO hard so we got away one weekend to Mckinney Falls. It was beautiful and great to sit among the trees and rocks and do absolutely NOTHING for a day! Then we got the energy to actually walk to the falls; as you can see by the photos it was worth the walk!

McKinney Falls Bridge out

McKinney Falls Natural Stone Halfcave Roberta

In spite of the 100 degree temperature and the almost unbearable humidity, the walk to the falls was beautiful, although longer than we had expected. Luckily we found many trees and natural caves in which to rest from time to time.

McKinney Falls stepping stones

Mckinney Falls rock hole closest

Mother Nature does it again! What an interesting rock formation just above the falls….

Mckinney Falls distance

And wow! we were not disappointed when we finally arrived at the falls!

One of the reasons we put the new shed in the back yard of the Austin house was so we could get rid of the storage unit we have had for the past year+ (since selling the Cerritos home). Emptying the storage pod was a big job to say the least! It added about a week to our stay in Austin. But Dave did an AMAZING job organizing the shed & the extra week in Austin was worth the money we will save on the storage pod!!
Austin 2010 new shed closeAlmost big enough to live in?

And perfectly organized for us to come back to in a few years (??)

Shed organized

Once we had the Austin house pretty well emptied of the pod stuff & “re-decorated” with OUR old furniture, Dave started the next project – re-landscaping the front yard. Then he also decided that the shed “needs” electricity (light/AC) – 2 more weeks in Austin!!

And, of course, Mother Nature had her own ideas of how things should go. Thanks to Tropical Storm Hermine Austin experienced torrential rains, high winds, & even flooding in some areas, for several days. In one night we received about 12″ of rain! Add another week to our Austin adventure.

One of the tasks Roberta did in Austin was to finally open Grandpa Duncan’s briefcase and box she had been storing since he passed away four years ago. She found so many interesting things….his induction and discharge papers from WWII, many WWII correspondence letters & a few photographs, maps and war records (he served as a clerk during part of his enlistment), score books from (brother) Doug’s Little League seasons 1961 & 1962, programs and news clippings from 2 of Doug’s violin recitals, photographs of ALL 4 grandchildren, 3 of Grandpa’s favorite caps, ticket stubs from (probably) all the Notre Dame games he attended along with many newspaper articles about them and….a 1965 Playboy magazine in mint condition. She organized it all and stored them in sturdier plastic containers for now….isn’t it wonderful how small “snippets” of a person’s life can bring such joyous memories back long after they are physically gone? Four years ago Roberta wasn’t ready to face this task, but now she found it such a pleasure to be reminded of her dad’s long and fulfilling life while he was here with us – she cried many tears of joy during the process and was happy to share many of the memories with her son Mike.

Austin 2921 E. 14th Street (RV)BEFORE….

(the black plastic covering the old lawn was to kill all the crabgrass without chemicals so the new seed could go in immediately – great tip from Home Depot for all you gardeners out there :-0)

Austin finished northeast view

Austin 2921 E. 14th St.and AFTER!

Patio awning more distantand the backyard patio with the new awning – perfect for fall parties, now that the weather has cooled off. (We did NOT supply the beer pong table. That was a remnant from Mike’s college days that stayed.)

By the end of September we finally finished all our projects in Austin and Dave had completed his dental surgery, so we were ready to head on down the road again! It was a LOOONG stay in Austin (about 8 weeks instead of 3) – but we did accomplish a lot and the house looks great, the monthly mortgage is lower, and Mike has all the tools (& skills??) he could possibly need to keep the house in tip-top shape year round! Dave’s surgery turned out to be not quite as horrible as we had imagined & he healed very well.

One other highlight at the end of our Austin stay was watching the UCLA-Longhorn football game at a local sports bar – well, let us be more specific, ROBERTA had a great time watching the game!! Dave has decided that he can NEVER again take Roberta to a sports bar to watch a football game unless he wants to see an upset! This is the third time it has happened. But the street fair before and after the game WAS fun for everyone. (In case you didn’t see the game – unranked UCLA (Roberta’s alma mater) whooped the Longhorns, ranked #3 BEFORE the game.

And lastly we spent an evening on TGIF’s “Batio” waiting to see the famous Mexican bats that swarm by the hundreds of thousands out from under the Congress Street bridge to feed on insects every evening during the late spring until early fall, before migrating back to Mexico for the winter. However, we must have waited a bit too long because we did not see a single bat come out to feed…we’ll have to come earlier in the season next time. Or is this just an urban myth we got suckered into? Roberta’s son SWEARS it is true – hummmm??

Austin Congress St. Bridge 1The famous Congress Street bridge from the pathway below- a beautiful sight even if we saw NO bats!

Austin Congress St. Bridge 3A beautiful early evening walk along the edge of downtown Austin’s Guadalupe River also.

As of September Dave, Roberta and our RV officially are Texans – check out the cool license plate . And on October 1st we finally left Austin and headed back to Forest City, Iowa to complete the cabinet work in the RV that we started in July. And, now that we were leaving, it was finally fall in Austin! The morning we left was actually in the 70’s, cool, breezy and beautiful!! We needed to plan this better!

GET WLD bckWild Texans, huh?!

Coming next – our October adventures while returning to Iowa. Be sure to come back y’all…….

More Austin…
Whoops! I forgot that we visited the LBJ Library on the UT campus in Austin. It was so interesting we have decided to visit ALL the presidential libraries in the US while we travel!

Austin LBJ Library View frm terraceThe view from the library toward the UT campus & the downtown Austin skyline.

Austin LBJ Library Oval Office 2Two re-created views of the Oval Office as it was during LBJ’s presidency.

Austin LBJ Library Oval Office

Lady Bird’s Office re-created.

Austin LBJ Library LadyBird room

Austin UT Tower closer

The UT campus tower (above) & the Longhorn football stadium (below).

Austin Longhorn Football Stadium


About meanderingmomma

A retired school teacher hits the road
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