Sunday, August 30, 2015

I've moved!

Delicious ambiguity has a new home at Please join me over there where you can continue to follow my escapades :) Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Spanish moss, sand dollars & shooting stars

Last week, we re-charged our batteries. It was a family affair: 15 people, 1 house, on an island together for a week. Bliss.

I'd honestly planned to blog from the beach, but when the time came to seat myself in front of this screen, I couldn't do it. Between bike rides and sand dollar hunts and pretending to read on the beach while really just chatting about nothing and watching the waves, I couldn't bring myself to post. These days spent together are far too few not to take full advantage of time, on which we're all constantly running low. But at the beach, time is on your side, even if the days fly by. 

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina was a first for us, at least all together. Our family has been on the Delaware beach train (a train I'll always love) for many years. But sometimes, it's nice to branch out and see what it is everyone's been talking about, what we're "missing." 

And it certainly was a different scene down south where the Spanish moss is plentiful; the beaches are as wide as football fields at noon and narrow down to a few meters by 5pm; and the ice cream shop closes at "tiiiin" instead of "ten." Although most places in our neighborhood, we discovered, closed closer to eight o'clock. Sometimes this made us stir-crazy, other times we relished in the nowhere-to-go feeling.

There were only a couple other groups on our strip of beach, meaning plenty of space to spread out and play games. Although the hard, tightly compacted sand makes for hard landings when the games get rough. 

My favorite time of day on the beach is always the late afternoon, when the sun's rays subside and the shadows lengthen. The wind picks up, and with it, the waves bulge higher, each one trying to out-do the last. At a certain point, I'd resign myself to another beach day's end and stroll home, skin salty and brown and dotted with sand. 

But we'd always get back down to the beach at night, long after dinner was over and card games had been played. We searched for turtle eggs to hatch so we could help the tiny creatures survive their perilous journey to the sea (of which we saw none). We also searched for shooting stars (of which we saw many). And one night, we got to see a fierce lightening storm far out in the ocean, shimmering reds and oranges between its frequent flashes of light. 

I don't know where we'll decide to go next year, but as long as there are a few beach chairs and umbrellas by the ocean, I think we'll be all set. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Out on the water in ATX

Austin may not be a coastal city, but there's still plenty to do on the water. Although land-locked, Austin is bisected by the Colorado River, which forms reservoirs, or lakes, along it's winding route to Matagorda Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. Conveniently for Austin residents, these lakes - Lake Austin, Lake Travis, and Lady Bird Lake - are all in close proximity to the city, providing several options of where to cool off during these dog days of August.

Austin's iconic Pennybacker Bridge over Lake Austin

I've been lucky enough - thanks to my 2 outstanding bros! - to get out on the water a few times since arriving down here, and I have to say it is pretty nice. The water is just cool enough to be refreshing, and there is a great mix of good waterskiing/wakeboarding spots as well as quiet coves to anchor out and swim. Or so I thought. On a Tuesday, one cove we found had just two other boats. Fast forward to Saturday afternoon, and there were more than 50 boats lined up in the same cove, each with at least half a dozen sunbathers lounging on the decks, and more bobbing up and down on noodles in the water. I don't know which was worse: the puke that floated by me at one point in the afternoon or the tiny lake leeches I found on my feet after walking around in the more shallow, muddy areas of the cove. Otherwise, it was a dream, although the opposite of quiet. 

SUP-ing with Elaina on Lady Bird Lake

And then there's After Lake. Like Aprés Ski or After Beach, but After Lake involves docking at a pier-side restaurant - or often more a shack of sorts - and chowing down as you watch fellow watercraft whizz by, with or without a skier in tow. The best After Lake spot I've been to so far here in Austin is Ski Shores, where diners sit just on the edge of the dock as swans, fish and even turtles beg for leftover scraps. It's like a real-life aquarium! 

Considering I've been in Austin for 2 months today, I'd say I'm doing pretty well in the get-on-the-water department. Now if only I could say the same for my get-a-job mission...