Celebrating in AustinOn Saturday, July 25, 2009, Josh and Kristin Woodyard celebrated their marriage, which took place earlier this year, with a memorable party in Austin, Texas.
What a wonderful weekend it was - with Sunshine and family there too, we had all of our children and grandchildren in town and thoroughly enjoyed every moment.
I won't be too eager to go back to Austin in the summer, though - boy, was it hot! Well over 100 every day.
As soon as we moved in to the house we'd rented together for the long weekend, Josh and Kristin came over and we all jumped in the pool - best way to stay cool!
Kirk and I have visited Austin a few times, but it was Sunshine and Steve and family's first visit, so we couldn't miss the South Congress Bridge nightly bat event.
At dusk, tens of thousands of bats come out en masse from their roost under the bridge (we've walked under the bridge during the day before and have heard their eerie squeaks) and fly out over the city and surrounding countryside to catch dinner (insects). We joined hundreds of others - some on the river banks, some on the bridge, and some in boats - to watch the spectacle.
It'll happen when the sun touches the hills, Josh told us, and sure enough, out they came....a nightly spectacle that's well worth a visit.
Josh and Kristin suggested Threadgills, an Austin institution a few blocks away, where several stars of rock and country got their start, for dinner.
Josh has been in the graphic design business for decades, and within the past few years has expanded into the neon sign arena. Beginning with the Threadgills sign, then their interior, he would point out his handiwork as we walked or drove by different places in town over the weekend. He's made his mark in Austin!
Ribs, brisket, cornbread and more filled our plates and stomachs. Our first meal this trip was Torchy's Tacos, where we met Josh and Kristin for lunch after our flights landed. Terrific tacos - I think they were our favorite of the trip. And Josh made their sign too!
Saturday afternoon was the big celebration at Mayfield Gardens. We enjoyed meeting lots of Kristin's friends and family, and were so happy that Kirk's sister Karen was able to come, as well as her son Nathan, wife Jessica, and darling daughter Sophia.
Josh's cousin Russ, his fiancée Courtney, and their son Griffin live in Austin too, so we had a few family members of our own there.
What a fun party it was! Filled with delicious food,
family gathered under the fluttering papel picado brought by friends from Mexico,
lots of laughter
special times with cousins,
and unending smiles.
Deb and Terry, Kristin's mother and stepfather, surprised Josh and Kristin with a fabulous gift....
a BMW station wagon that Terry and his team (he has Austin's premier BMW repair shop) had customized just for them... what better family car could there be?!
Saturday night Kirk and I took Karen downtown to see the bats, and then the variety of music on 6th street. Austin's the live music capital of the world, and we love seeing what's playing - take your pick of jazz, country, blues, rock...you'll find whatever you want to hear somewhere!
Sunday morning found us at Stubbs for their legendary gospel brunch.
More of that terrific Texas brisket, ribs, and all the breakfast goodies you can imagine, accompanied by "the Christianettes".
A little melody and a lot of shouting. Cassidy called it the screaming gospel brunch :)
Later that day, we joined Josh and Kristin as they opened a pile of wedding gifts.
Ursa the dog modelled the bows for us.
Whole Foods started in Austin, and their flagship store is almost as good as those European markets we love so much.
Even better in some ways - we were immediately tempted by the nut counter in the front of the store -
cinnamon orange almonds, coconut macadamia nuts, spicy pecans -- dozens of yummy combos. We stocked up, then picked up some more goodies and ate dinner right there in the store.
Next stop, the Paramount, Austin's vintage cinema, where we watched an oldie-but-goodie, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Monday we headed south to San Antonio, where Sunshine and family visited the Alamo and strolled along the River Walk while Kirk and I caught up with our friend Suzy, a Texas native who's moved back to the area after years on the coasts and in France. In between Born-to-Shop trips and books (her next trip, for all you shoppers, is Viet Nam in the spring) , Suzy's working on a follow-up to her first book about life in France, C'est la Vie. This one, Merci Madame, will include tales of her life in Provence, where we've often visited her.
She was sweet enough to invite Sunshine and family over for lunch along with us,
and while Connor played with Toffee, one of Suzy's globe-trotting pups,
Sunshine (who has her own site, Sunshinestyles, on ebay) looked through items that Suzy is planning to market on ebay and gave her some good ideas on how to proceed. If you're in the market for some gorgeous vintage Chanel jewelry or status bags, keep an eye out for Suzy on ebay - she's planning to begin that venture in September after she returns from Asia.
Our Austin trip ended with a matchless and thrilling experience. Our United flight was delayed about 90 minutes on Tuesday afternoon, so Kirk and I were able to go with Josh, Kristin, and Kristin's mom Deb to Kristin's sonogram appointment, where we all found out together that they're having a girl! Never have we been so happy about a delayed flight!
We are so happy to have Kristin in our family, to be looking forward to a new grand- daughter, for our wonderful son Josh, and for the never-ending joys of a loving growing family. Truly blessed!