Sunday Night - Granger Lake

I often forget that we live in a "small town". Because we're only 20 minutes from Austin, it doesn't seem real at times. But that's the life we're living! I guess that's why I find the outdoor/country scenery a bit foreign yet so endearing. I just want to take a bazillion pictures of it all! And on Sunday there was plenty of opportunity.

Casey and I have noticed that there seems to be a Lake in every town around here. Though we live a mile from Lake Georgetown, for our Sunday Night outing we ventured to the next closest lake in a small town called Granger. The 20 minute drive looked like this:
What gorgeous country! In fact, the entire outing felt like a photo-shoot set-up. Everything around us was just too beautiful and picturesque.

The plan was to drive 20 minutes to Granger, drive over the dam and walk around the lake. Lucy of course told us the entire drive that she was going to go swimming in the lake. I replied with that motherly response, "we'll see."
I was hoping she'd forget about swimming once we got there because I hadn't brought any swim stuff nor was I sure you could even swim in the lake.

When we pulled up to the lake, the "swimming beach" road was closed so we headed over to the boat drop-in. It was just us and one other group at the drop-in. They were headed out for duck hunting at dusk. We chatted for a bit and let the kids put their feet in the water. But there was no chance Lucy was going to stop at just her feet.
So.....we went trashy style and dropped the clothes.
and the kids had a ball! It wasn't the most comfortable walking on the cement boat driveway but the kids didn't mind.
Lucy splashed,
and swam,
and I joined her, till I swear a fish nibbled on my toe. hmmm.
Owen was Owen and had the most fun walking up and down the hill over and over again.
And he wanted nothing to do with picture-taking (he was too busy watching some Kayaks come to shore)
We tried.
How I love that little head!
We waded in the water for a bit and then headed back to the truck to dry off.
Lucy: "Naked shadows!"
Once clothed we walked to a different part of the lake through this gorgeous field of grass. Seemed like something the pioneers may have waded through on the plains.
It was the perfect spot to play Tag.
"You're it!"
There were plenty of flowers to be picked.
And lest you think it was all Little House on the Prairie, there were a few 2009 moments as well.
The grassy field ended at this pretty spot. The hour couldn't have been more perfect:
The clothing came off and Lucy was back in the water.
I'm amazed at how much fun this girl has in her own little world. I never heard exactly what she was saying but there was a whole conversation going on between her and the pebbles from the shore.
I'm sure they were going to the park together or having a tea party.
Casey and Owen had their own fun tossing pebbles into the water or shooting for a hole-in-one into Lucy's shoes.
I said to Casey at one point, there is no way you would find this back in LA. I couldn't believe that we were completely alone at this gorgeous spot. I mean, there is still amazing beauty back home....but to have the moment all to yourself as a family? Too cool.

Another successful Sunday Night outing.Lucy:
the gnats:
On the drive home, we took an alternate route down the main drag in Granger. Seriously? This stuff is real? The back-lot of Universal never looked this good.
We'll be back again little Granger.



We've been doing a lot of home improving lately so on Friday we took a break. We hopped in Casey's truck...
and went on a road trip to:
Houston is a few hours South East of us. We thought it would be 2 hour drive but the highway stops in every small town (with stoplights), so the drive was more like 3 hours. At one point we finally saw a mileage sign for Houston and we were both certain it was going to say "Houston: 10 miles". Instead it said "68!" WHAT? Thankfully the kids were good sports in the car. Owen slept for an hour of the drive and then hung out while Lucy watched Mary Poppins.

Casey was a fabulous navigator. He had looked up all sorts of free and interesting things to do in Houston. And with his GPS, we found our way around fairly easily.
Our first stop?
Um....the Beer house. Isn't that everyone's first stop? This house was in a normal neighborhood but covered in beer cans.
Pretty impressive and actually kinda beautiful (especially this part):
that took someone a lot of time (and a lot drinking).
Next up, into the downtown and to the Art Park. It started at the skatepark (where our kids seemed kind of in the way):
dude, awesome wipeout:
How many parks do you know of with this kind of view? Stunning skyline. And yes, in case you were wondering....Lucy danced her way through Houston.
And then the park curved down a hill with a hiking/biking trail that runs along the river, known as the Buffalo Bayou. How cool is that name?
Houston definitely felt more like "the south" to me. Much more humid, more green, and slightly different vegetation than Austin. As we walked along the Bayou, it felt like a freeze-frame from the the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It was just the same buzzing, swampy environment you'd expect.
This place is called The Art Park because there are art pieces along the way.

"3 people in a house"
Unfortunately we realized that most of the art was on the other side of the river. So we kept walking, looking for a way to cross over. But after a mile (with a non-cooperative Owen) we decided to turn around and head back.
It was a warm hike but still fun. And it only made us more excited to get back in the truck and blast the A/C.
After the hike, we drove around Houston and stumbled on some gorgeous neighborhoods. I mean, GORGEOUS. I'll take this please:
or maybe this. Wow, if I could have my dream house, it would be this and in a neighborhood just as charming (too bad we looked on Zillow and these go for $millions!):
Next on the agenda: food. Casey found a fabulous local spot for us called Goode Company BBQ:
it had a similar vibe as Rudy's.
but Casey couldn't get over their "Austin Baked Beans". He's already hoping there's one of these back home:
Owen and Lucy ate bread:
and Owen stayed entertained with Salt and Pepper shakers.
Though it was getting dark, we couldn't leave without seeing the famous WaterWall. In a swanky shopping part of town....
...we found this completely impressive wall of water. These pictures do little justice and are blurry since it was getting dark. But it was absolutely gorgeous. Walking through this arch, you find yourself inside a semi-circle wall with gallons and gallons of water streaming down. It does strange things to your eyes and almost feels like the world is moving around you.
from the outside:
Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
and lastly, we made a quick stop at IKEA because our IKEA was out of the desk we needed. Owen and I hung out in the truck while Lucy slept and Casey ran inside.
Then back in the car for a few hours and we were home by midnight. A quick 12-hour adventure!