Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy Nanaday.

To celebrate Nana's birthday, we took her some flowers,

and Katie made her a cake!

Happy birthday, Nana! We love you!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Six Flags love.

Oh, how we love Six Flags! These days we love it for the awesome roller coasters, like the New Texas Giant and the Titan, but for those of us who grew up going to the park every summer, we love the history of the place, too.

For Six Flags' 50th anniversary this year, old photos are placed around the park. Here are just a few:





This shot of an old Pink Thing really takes me back. We all LOVE them, and it's a tradition to get them at some point during a visit.

That's why it was so disappointing to learn that this year (of all years), Six Flags has a NEW Pink Thing. Sacrilegious!

Pink Things aside, Six Flags is still one of our very favorite places to go in DFW. Long live Six Flags!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Dad's Day!

Happy Father's Day to Brett, a fantastic daddy!

Ryan gave Brett a Blu-Ray DVD, Katie made cookies for him,

and we also gave him a set of classic video game glasses. (Since he had just returned home from a video game convention, his shirt was appropriate for the glasses!)

Frisco didn't wrap a gift for Brett, but there was no doubt how much she loves her daddy, too!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A MAVelous season.


On Sunday, June 12, 2011, the Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA championship. It was such a thrill to watch this group, this hard-working, unified TEAM, bring home the O'Brien trophy.

As we watched the trophy presentation, we were touched when Mark Cuban let original owner, Don Carter, be the first to hold the trophy. Then Cuban was quick to pass it on to Dirk Nowitzki, the team's and the finals' MVP.
As Dirk lifted the trophy over his head, I said, "There's your money shot!"

Sure enough, the next morning that money shot was on page 1!

It was great to see all the celebrations on TV, in the paper, even on store signs around town. Brett was especially thrilled to see this team that he has followed since its inception finally get it done.

When the team arrived home the next day, thousands showed up at Love Field to welcome them. We stayed home and watched on TV, but I still got goosebumps when Cuban emerged from the plane with that trophy. The players were so gracious, too, reaching out to the fans who had waited for hours in the heat to see the team.

On Thursday of that week, Dallas celebrated with a victory parade. Again, we stayed home, choosing to watch from our air-conditioned living room. And again, it was still exciting to see the joy in everyone's faces, from fans to team staff to journalists to players.

After the parade and before the celebration headed inside for season ticket holders, the team greeted the many gathered outside the AAC. By this point I was driving Katie to a friend's house, so I heard this on the radio. Still, it made me laugh out loud.



What a great moment!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Inaugural visit.

We were excited to make our first trip to Six Flags this summer because of this monster:Or should I say GIANT.

The New Texas Giant opened this spring, and after watching the renovation progress, we were eager to finally take a ride on the thing.

Unfortunately, on our first attempt, we got to have a seat and pull down our lap bars before the ride operator asked everyone to get off the ride because of the dreaded technical difficulties. UGH! So close! We had to wait about 20 minutes or so, but once the Giant was rolling again, we got the first ride. And oh MY was it worth it! The first drop is a killer, but all the hills, turns, tunnels, air time = all kinds of AWESOME.

While there, Brett got to hang out with some of his old pals.

June 15 was awfully late in the year for our first visit of the season, but know what?
We'll be back in a Flash!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pinballz.

Before leaving Austin, we got to visit and eat lunch with Cara, Jeff and their boys. Too much fun! Those boys have certainly stolen our hearts.

After lunch, we checked out a new arcade in town.

As the name indicates, this place has lots of pinball machines.





They have plenty of video games, too. In fact, the day we were there, they were hosting a Tron game premiere party/tournament.

Some redemption games round out their selection.

Although we've been spoiled by the Texas Pinball Festival's free-play pins, we enjoyed this last stop of our Vacation 2011.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Going batty, at long last.

Hundreds of people head to the Congress Avenue bridge each night from May to September to see North America's largest urban bat colony.

Because we tend to visit Austin more during the fall or winter, Brett and the kids had never seen the bats until this night.



It's crazy to see the bats streaming out from under the bridge! Up to 1.5 million of the critters head out each night to forage for food.



For more about the bats, check this out: Link

After our batty experience, we drove to the Arboretum to have some Amy's ice cream with Auntie Ames and her husband.

There are other Amy's Ice Cream locations in town, but we always head to the Arboretum. Why?

The cows!

It's our tradition to climb on and pose with the Arboretum cows.

They are awfully photogenic, don't you think?



After the Tower.

As we walked from the Tower back to our car, we noticed this amazing mural of Texas.


Houston and Southeast Texas (and a rose for Tyler)

San Antonio and the Metroplex

West Texas and the McDonald Observatory (a UT facility)

Pretty nifty!

Tower time.

Whenever we travel to Austin, I don't ever feel like I'm truly in the capital city until we can see the UT Tower.

Since the Tower is at the heart of the UT campus, it looms prominently in my college memories. Now, whenever I return to campus, I gravitate toward it, photographing it during the day, at night, from a distance, up close, after championships, you name it.

When I was a UT student, the Tower observation deck was closed to the public. I used to think about possible story ideas, ways I could play the "journalist card" to get up to the deck, but I never managed to do that. So years later, when the University reopened the observation area, I made a mental note: Must get up there someday.

That "someday" finally rolled around on Friday!

Fresh off our first dip in Barton Springs pool, we were finally able to check visiting the Tower off our Austin "to do" lists.

What a view!

East side of campus and DKR

Downtown and the Capitol

PCL, Jester, Erwin Center

North side of campus and the communication building

The Ransom Center and Dobie

West Campus and the Drag

South Mall and half of the "Six Pack"

The stadium and Disch-Falk
(where the Horns were playing in the Super Regional)


Deep in the heart of Texas!

View from the rain spout

I can't count how often I've looked to the Tower's clocks to check the time. It was bizarre to be standing right below each of those 12-foot clock faces!



I'm thankful this Tower visit worked out this time.

Next up: The Congress Avenue bridge BATS!