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August 28, 2017

Eclipse and Huricane in the same week...

 eclipse 2017 austin texas 78746

While I had no plans to actually observe the eclipse, I realized I had welding helmet and glass on hand. The daughter and I did get to see it. I managed to get the image above with the welding glass and utilizing the Manual feature of the camera. It came in handy to understand exposure. That's how we did it before the cameras made all the big decisions themselves (beware the digital overlords!). 

oak tree trimming season west lake hills tx 78746

It's oak trimming season here in Central Texas. I spent most of the week trimming and cutting. Now that Harvey has passed, I see I will have another week of the same. At least the temps have dropped.  


We were shut in most of the weekend. The rain was constant. My lawn was mostly brown and crunchy from the summer heat. Harvey was helpful in that regard, it's all greening up again.

Mostly we got caught up on the original Twin Peaks series, ate food and worked on my NEIPA stash from Vermont. I don't do well being stuck indoors or seated in one place for long periods. I'm a poor fit for a desk job, extreme weather, sporting events and ceremonies. I came up with a few excuses to get out of the house this weekend.  

We did manage a quick trip to our local for a pint, one of my favorite pastimes.  

pinthouse pizza electric jellyfish austin tx neipa

I was anxious to see how it was after spending the summer with Hill Farmstead and Alchemist readily available to me. I'll say that Electric Jellyfish can hold its own against  highly rated New England India Pale Ale (NEIPA).

The Rate Beer ratings are posted/linked below

Heady Topper:100 

Susan: 100 

Society and Solitude (seven): 99 

Electic Jellyfish: 97 

August 21, 2017

Cochon 555 Austin and TRACE Ice Cream Social

It is really hot back here in Austin, TX, triple digits each day. I get up and work outdoors in the yard till lunch time. Then I'm worn out for the rest of the day. This can't be healthy.

BUT, we have enjoyed some gluttony, The Cochon 555 is part cooking competition. and part fancy food buffet with open bar. 

cochon 555 butcher austin

They also featured a butchering demonstration, if there was ever any doubt where your pork meat comes from...  

cochon 555 head austin 

cochon 555 austin 

tartare bar cochon 555 austin 

shishito peppers cochon 555 austin 

cochon 555 cocktails austin 

calf brain tacos cochon 555 

I di not try the calf brain tacos... 


Some of the wine vendors started to run out and disappear. We took control of the situation... 

wine takeover 

wine pirate 


We also took the kids to the TRACE W Hotel Ice Cream Social: 

TRACE W Hotel Austin Ice Cream Social 

trace austin ice cream social 

TRACE Icea Cream Social Austin 

A great way to beat the heat! 


August 15, 2017

Nebraska farm and cousin time stop

Our LAST stop before home to Austin, a quick stop at Nebraska.



beaver crossing  


nebraska soy bean crop 2017 




farm puppy nebraska  

farm puppy melts grumpiness 


Our soybeans are doing well.  

bmw off road in nebraska  

My Grandfather made that pond almost fifty years ago.  OK. time to head home to Austin TX.

nebraska farm rooster 

Stowe Gondola and the Von Trapp Lodge

Kat worked some of the time while in VT, it rained a few days, and some of our usual activities like biking and hiking were not a good option for everybody. On the last sunny day while Po Po was visiting, we splurged and rode the gondola up the mountain.


stowe gondola vermont 


stowe mountain vermont gondola summer 


stowe gondola summer 

stowe gondola ride vermont summer 


stowe gondola ride summer vt 

We had lunch at Trapp Family Lodge (the views from the lodge are SO much better than their new brewery down the hill).  

Von Trapplodge lunch view and beer 

I don't believe there is a more beautiful lunch spot in all of New England

von trapp tea and tap room view stowe 


We also found time for a quick tea service in East Hardwick.  

east hardwick vermont tea garden 

"HEY! I am QUEEN today!", while she didn't drink the tea, she did enjoy walking around the gardens at Perennial Pleasures.

August 14, 2017

Vermont Home Summer Goals

We did complete all our goals for the VT home this summer.

Hardwick House Vt 

The exterior paint is complete. 




All the Pink color is gone.


The stained PINK carpet is gone. The bright floral wallpaper is gone too!

hardwick vermont airbnb 



Ferry Crossing from Portland Maine to Yarmouth Nova Scotia

We enjoyed the ferry crossing. We had a big picnic on the boat and played board games. The high speed ocean ferry was operating on three of its four engines. The crossing took 6 and a half hours. We enjoyed the trip and caught a nice sunset.

portland maine ferry departure 

Goodbye USA.

cat ferry portland to yarmouth 


sunset from the cat ferry portland to yarmouth 

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

The Ferry from Portland lands in Yarmouth. We had rented a little cottage for a couple nights. I love being able to make dinner at home. We enjoyed the best meal of our trip in that little cottage, fresh local scallops seared in butter.

scallops in nova scotia seared in butter 

Yarmouth sort of feels like it's at the edge of the world. It was foggy during our stay.

yarmouth sandy beach low tide 


yarmouth ns 

Low tide allowed us to sift through the fog and walk on the muck.

yarmouth ns sandy beach  

low tide yarmouth sandy beach nova scotia 


yarmouth low tide sand beach 


yarmouth nova scotia 


yarmouth lighthouse nova scotia 






Digby, Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy

The Bay of Fundy hosts the most extreme tides in the world.

bay of fundy boats in mud 


When the tide is out, the boats rest on the ocean floor. It's muddy at low tide. Local clam lovers may come walk around in the mud in search of dinner (below).

bay of fundy low tide clam digger nova scotia


Annapolis Royal Nova Scotia 


digby harbor nova scotia 


We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast that is perched high up on a cliff over the Bay of Fundy.

cliffside view digby nova scotia 


Each room has a private balcony to enjoy the view.  

cliffside balcony digby nova scotia 

panorama cliffside digby nov scotia 

(panorama view) 

cliffside bed and breakfast digby nova scotia 


sun set on the bay of fundy cliffside digby nova scotia 


It was a great place to watch the sun set over the bay.

bay of fundy sunset from cliffside digby nova scotia 


August 13, 2017

Malpeque Oysters from PEI, we went to get some fresh ones...

Back in Feb 2015, we found ourselves at Perla's, enjoying oysters on the patio. It was a beautiful winter day in Austin. The oysters were the best we'd ever had, we mused that we would some day visit Malpeque and consume them as close to the source as possible, the ultimate in freshness. We kicked the idea around a few years, and eventually cobbled together a route to make it a reality.

It looks a bit like this....

malpeque bay PEI 


malpeque boats pei 


cavendish beach pei 


malpeque boats pei


lobster traps pei malpeque 


tuna tail bones on a fish shack malpeque pei 


oyster barn malpeque pei cute shucker girl 

oyster barn malpeque pei 

fresh pei oysters malpeque oyster barn 

road trip to prince edward island PEI from austin texas  



That was one HUGE road trip. Not sure we will ever bite that much off again. We started in Austin with stops in Florida, North Carolina, Vermont, Quebec, Nova Scotia and PEI, with a stop in Saint John before heading home (via Nebraska). That was a lot of road travelled.