Purgatory, or August in Austin

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” –  Russel Baker

You may not know this about me, but I dislike being cold. Fourteen snowy winters in the Rockies and ten winters of Nor’easters and hurricanes in New England never buttered me up to cold weather. Every August I would get antsy and dig my heels in for fear we’d dip out of the 90s too quickly. One September 1st in Massachusetts I woke up to 32 Fahrenheit. I wanted to be a snow bird that day and fly somewhere waaay South!

My point? This is the first August I haven’t totally freaked out about fall coming. It’s also coincidentally my first August in Texas since I was a child and it’s been pleasantly H-O-T. Triple digits. 90 degrees at 9pm. Oh blessed hot air that blasts you in the face! I drive with the windows rolled down and 105 degree air flowing through the car like a furnace – a goofy smile plastered on my face. So this is purgatory? Bring it on!

Even the cat likes the heat on her “walks” on the balcony (we’re not convinced she won’t try to leap off the balcony and seeing as how she’s *ahem* rather “big-boned” as the vet put it, I dunno’ how she’d fare with the landing and all).

ceff7f38fd1f11e2913e22000ae8004c_7But hot weather isn’t just for melting into a puddle, one needs copious amounts of frozen refreshments to enjoy the heat. Blueberry Mascarpone Ice Cream is a good start.

a2152566fc6d11e29b1122000ae901a3_7

And frosty smoothies after a workout at the gym…

e43b826a012111e39a0922000a1f8c1a_7Keep in mind, your Bougainvillea won’t bloom if it’s not hot out.

22bb65cc0b2811e388be22000a1d1fe4_7

Neither will the wildflowers at Springdale Farm when you’re dining al fresco at Eden East.

647007d8015b11e3913d22000a9e2892_7And here’s where my readers back in New England will get a chuckle! Did you know that beaches outside of the Caribbean and Hawai’i can have warm bodies of water lapping at the sand? Yeah, me neither! I’m used to a balmy 62 degree water temp at the height of summer on Cape Cod. Imagine my complete surprise upon discovering that the water at Port Aransas is a bath-water-warm 85 degrees. No lie!

But I can say Texans have some pretty interesting ideas about a day at the beach that made this gal gawk and stare. For starters, everyone drives their vehicle of choice straight up to the shore line, parks, and proceeds to unload the kids and gear RIGHT ON THE BEACH. Tres bizarre! Clearly some of these folks were also sleeping/camping on the beach which meant equipment like giant screened dining tents, RVs, deep sea fishing rods, and generators were in tow. An RV, on the beach. Shut my mouth!

After the initial shock we proceeded to enjoy the powdery sand, the 85 degree salt water, the sea birds (pelicans, gulls, cormorants, and terns), the tiny sea snails and crabs, and the view of the sun setting while bobbing in the surf – just like everyone else was. It’s not the Cape, but we’re OK with the amenities and the drive is only a half hour to hour longer than our usual jaunt down to Truro in summer traffic so overall it was a successful first beach adventure in Texas!

a646713a079911e3b53f22000a9e5e0e_7A $12 annual parking fee didn’t suck either! Of course now the hubby wants to rent an all-terrain golf cart to zip up and down the beach for “next time.” I’m not completely sold on the idea. Maybe just the snorkeling gear?

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