Thursday, June 30, 2016

Keeping Austin wierd

Sometime in 2001 we heard Austin, TX was one of the best cities in America to live in. Curious about what Austin had to offer that was so great, we booked tickets and spent a full week enjoying the Texas capital. Not exactly sure why...but decided not to move to Austin.

Fast forward 15 years ... we're  back as a family ready to show our daughters all the things we love about Austin. Ever go back to a place and it's not quite like you remembered it? That's Austin. Apparently we weren't the only ones who heard Austin was a great place to live... the city has exploded!

Like most places, once they've been discovered by the masses they loose a little of their charm. The Oasis, 15 years ago was a restuarant shack built on the side of a cliff, where you could grab a cold beer, nachos and enjoy the sunset. Today, the rebuilt Oasis (a fire destroyed the first one) is a monstrous tourist trap with overpriced, disappointing food....same gorgeous sunset view.

For 15 years, Phil's not been able to stop talking about the ever so delicious BBQ from the Salt Lick. Our kids were anxious to finally taste it for themselves. Verdict? It's still worthy of talking about.

In keeping up with homeschooling, we visited the State Captial and took the tour, which comes highly recommended. We ventured to 6th street for a cold beer, ate more BBQ, swam in Lake Travis and stood under the Congress Street bridge at dusk waiting for one of the largest colonies of bats to take flight....a definite must if you visit Austin. Our new favorite spot has to be the graffiti park where we left our mark.

Till next time Austin.... hopefully it won't take another 15 years.

Austin loves food trucks. 

Playing chicken with a lightening storm

Saturday, June 25, 2016

California LOVE

We made it from Guaymas, Mexico to San Diego, CA in a short 15 hours. Not but 4 hours into the trip and the girls were griping about not being able to freely move around,  complaining that their backs hurt from having to sit in one place and the general "sucky-ness" of travel by way of automobile.

Whoa, we're not in Mexico anymore! While we appreciate the smooth paved roads we had forgotten that everyone drives like a bat out of hell, you can't go anywhere for anything and not spend $100 USD and the people here are well, large. Most people would assume that Mexicans are larger people as their diets consist of  lots of beans and rice and let me tell you...when it comes to larger sized humans, Americans take the cake.....then eat the entire cake, and probably ask for seconds. 

It's been a fun-filled 9 days of reuniting with great friends, hanging out with my brother and meeting his girlfriend, celebrating my Grandmother's 95 birthday (yes, 95!), playing at the beach and a trip to the Wild Animal Park. 

When asking the girls if they wanted to go to the beach we discovered the first drawback to boat kid life.  "The water is going to be too cold".  "The beach will be so crowded".  Spoiled rotten kids!

Tomorrow we start the trip across the good Ole US of A, with a few stops along the way. Charleston, here we come!
Driving through the Imperial Dunes towards San Diego

Who doesn't love playing "cards" with their Great Grandmother?

America and their signs....there are no warning signs in is at your own risk 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Off for a Southern Summer

Today we start the hellacious task of putting Terrapin 'to bed'. I've yet to find a cruiser who doesn't agree, this is the crap part of cruising. It's the equivalent of  boxing up, cleaning and moving a 3000 foot home...usually to another home, for us, Terrapin is our home. So now what?

Our daughter's response to being asked, "What would you like to do this summer"? was a unanimous, "See our cousins in South Carolina!!!"  Phil's entire family is from Charleston, South Carolina about 3000 miles away from where we lived as a family in San Diego.  

Nine out of a dozen cousins were all born within 5 years of each other...all living in the South. Until moving aboard Terrapin, our girls had spent many summers flying unaccompanied across the States to visit Phil's family for a few weeks, giving them (kids and grandparents) quality time together and giving Phil and I a taste of kidless freedom...I assure you, we didn't waste one second.

Later this week, we'll be crossing the border, back to the States, a place we haven't been to in over 18 months. Why does this year have to be the year that circus clowns are running for President, everyone wanting to talk about politics?

While the girls get lost in running amok with their cousins, fishing the creeks, and enjoying shrimp and grits,  Phil and I will be filling the cruising kitty. We'll be reunited with Terrapin later this year, at a time that's much cooler and boat projects can be done without heat stroke. We still have no idea exactly where we're headed next season, we would like to sail away from Mexico.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Cost to Cruise May 2016

The northern Sea of Cortez is nothing short of amazing. The Sea life up here is magnificent...manta rays 6 feet wide, fin whales, sea lions galore,  huge pods of dolphins and our girls favorite, guitar fish. We our so happy to have had another trip into the Sea of Cortez, yet sad we only have one week left of sailing before tucking the boat into bed for hurricane season. This will be our last 'Cost to Cruise' till we come back for another season in the Fall.