Sunday, January 04, 2009

Holiday Round-Up

Happy new year, to anyone reading this.

So, a few random observations on the festive period...

Alan and I went to the Trail of Lights with Tamzin, Allan and their kids. We enjoyed a pleasant meal at the Green Mesquite beforehand. I've been wanting to visit the Trail each year we've been here but never quite made it. It's a 1 1/4 mile long walk through Zilker Park lined with all sorts of Christmas lighting of trees etc. We went on a bitterly cold night (yes, we do get those in Texas occasionally) which gave me my annual excuse to wear my lovely flying jacket. Here's a few pics:

Entrance, with constant stream of people:

A nice jellyfish tree next to some typically plasticky awful character-based giant diorama things which line the trail:

The exit:

Verdict: Cool for kids. For us: seen it! Will be viewing from a safe distance (like, the pub) next year. Did I mention it was heaving with people?

We held a party just before Christmas for some folks from Alan's work. It seemed to go down pretty well; people seemed to enjoy themselves. Note for the future: Salmon on rye bread doesn't disappear nearly as fast as queso and chips. However Larry brought his famous Neiman Marcus bread (DANG! that stuff'll give you a sugar rush for a week) and Tamzin and Allan inundated us with cookie-based goodness; much of it gluten-free for one of our guests.

Next up was a Gumbo and Curry evening at Micah and Brandi's house, along with other Alan-work folks (different ones this time, mostly!). Micah made the gumbo, Alan made the curry and both were delicious.

Christmas Day was spent quietly in the house. Alan cooked a very nice steak for lunch which he coated in coffee/paprika rub. We had Dauphinoise potatoes and veg; it was all very tasty.

Boxing Day (for American readers, the UK celebrates this on the 26th. Explanation.) was spent mostly at Allan and Tamzin's house, where we joined in playing on their new Rock Band game (I reprised my old drum bashing antics) and much merriment and jollity ensued. Tamzin laid out a mountain of food again which was most splendid, and I was roped in to learn how to make lentil soup. People could still eat it so I guess I didn't break anything.

On Monday 29th I went down to Kerrville with some chaps from the CAF squadron in Burnet. Unfortunately, a well known airshow display pilot and Reno racer of years past, Lefty Gardner, died on Christmas Eve and I was asked to go down and photograph the funeral tribute flypast.

This formation includes three P-51 Mustangs and one P-38 Lightning, Lefty's old plane.

New Year's Eve was spent at Allan and Tamzin's place too; they organized a party and had everyone dress in black tie (or as near as one could manage) so we met a load of their neighbours who we hadn't seen before. It was pretty good. Mountains of good food again! Nobody goes hungry when Tamzin's on the case! Fireworks rounded off the evening which was cool.

So I'll end like I started: Happy new year!

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