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When you think about beaches, Texas isn’t the first state to come to mind for the best place to find a warm, sandy beach. But don’t count this southern state out just yet. You can find some pretty awesome beaches right here in my backyard in Austin, TX!

Bob Wentz Park at Windy Point

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Located on Lake Travis, this park is part of the Travis County park system with a boat ramp, a pavilion, picnic facilities, a beach and swimming area, showers, and sand volleyball court. This park is so popular that it can be closed when it reaches capacity, so plan to go early to avoid disappointment. The location on the basin of the lake makes it a favorite for windsurfers and sailboat enthusiasts. Admission costs $10 per vehicle per day.

Emma Long Metropolitan Park

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Part of the Austin Park System and located on Lake Austin, Emma Long has a nice sandy beach and swimming area. Kids can also jump in the waves made by the wake of passing boats. Day passes are $5 per car Monday through Thursday, $10 weekends and holidays. You can also camp at Emma Long, with fees ranging from $10 to $25 per night. Online reservations for camping are highly recommended.

Pace Bend Park

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Another of the Travis County parks, Pace Bend Park is in Spicewood on the far western side of the lake and has more than 9 miles of shoreline. It is one of the best places for sunsets in Austin and has several designated swimming coves where no boats are allowed. The park has many campsites, two boat docks, picnic areas, barbecue grills, restrooms, and numerous hiking trails. The rocky beach areas in the coves are shallow, perfect for dogs and kids alike. Day use is $10 per car.

Volente Beach Waterpark

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If it is a sandy beach you are craving, Volente is the place. Volente is a water park on Lake Travis that offers not only a nice beach, but rides and amusements, picnic areas, two restaurants, volleyball, and plenty of other options to keep the entire family amused. Kids will love the pirate ship area. Admission is $21 for adults and kids over 42 inches; $16 for kids under 42 inches; and free for kids under the age of 2.

West Lake Beach

West Lake Beach

In business since 1954, going to West Lake Beach is like stepping back in time. Family-owned and -run, it’s located in West Lake Hills on the western side of Lake Austin. There are tons of things for families to do, like picnic, boat, and play sand volleyball. The admission is reasonable — $8 for adults and $5 for children — and there are daily specials where children get in free with an adult. The entire place can be, and often is, rented out for parties and events, so call ahead to make certain the beach is open to the public.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and dive in!

Your Realtor and Friend for Life~ Kathy

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Happy Mardi Gras & Fat Tuesday! Boy do I wish I was in New Orleans today enjoying the festivities and my favorite part, the FOOD. But for those of you who don’t know what the hustle & bustle is about today, I’m here to share with you. From the origins, to the traditions, and ultimately the food; after you’re done reading this blog post you’ll be a Mardi Gras expert and in need of a King Cake.

What is Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras also called Shrove Tuesday,or Fat Tuesday,in English, refers to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

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Mardi Gras Traditions

Beads

It is believed that Mardi Gras parades began in New Orleans sometime around the 1830’s. … During the late 1800’s, inexpensive necklaces made of glass beads began to be tossed into the crowds by the parade krewes. The beads were an instant hit among the crowds of New Orleans residents and visiting Mardi Gras tourists.

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Flambeaux

When you watch any evening Mardi Gras parade, you’re bound to notice the literal torch-bearers of Carnival: the flambeaux performers. This tradition dates back to the early days of parades, when the torches were needed to light the way for the floats.

Many of the krewes keep this tradition going, though the torches themselves have been upgraded from the original wooden torches wrapped with lit pine-tar rags. It is customary to offer monetary tips to the flambeaux carriers if you enjoy their performance.

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Mardi Gras Food

King Cake

By far the most delicious of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras traditions is the King Cake. Between Twelfth Night and Fat Tuesday, you can find king cakes lining the walls of local grocery stores.

Traditionally, a New Orleans king cake is an oval shaped coffee cake, braided and covered in icing and sugar the color of Mardi Gras: purple, green and gold. A small plastic baby accompanies each king cake (Due to choking hazards, most king cakes now come with the baby on the outside, allowing the buyer to place it inside of the cake). King cake custom demands that whoever cuts the slice of cake that has the baby in it is king for the day — and also has to purchase the next king cake.

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Crawfish

Being that New Orleans is the lucky spot in which these delicious mudbugs thrive, it’s no wonder people eat these by the pound during this massive celebration!mardi5So there you have it! You are now a Mardi Gras expert. Please share this blog with your friends and family so they too can join in and celebrate what today is all about!

Your Realtor and Friend for Life! Kathy

 

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Happy Friday!! I’m going to let you all in on a little secret today. I am going to share with you some of the most sought after Superbowl recipes ever created. Get ready to dazzle your guests with these mouthwatering finger foods!

Buffalo Wings

Recipe:http://www.recipetineats.com/truly-crispy-oven-baked-buffalo-wings-my-wings-cookbook/

Meat Lovers Pizza

Recipe: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/12/meat-lovers-pizza/

Jalapeno Poppers


Recipe: http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/buffalo-chicken-jalapeno-poppers/

Football Cake

Recipe: http://spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com/blog/2015/01/cool-cakes/easy-football-cake-for-super-bowl

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Recipe: http://damndelicious.net/2014/02/12/slow-cooker-spinach-artichoke-dip/

Loaded Potato Skins

Recipe: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/potato_skins/

 

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I for one know the struggles of trying to eat healthier. The constant struggle between wanting to fit into my jeans and wanting the last donut at the office. People have this stigma that eating healthy has to be all lettuce and zero taste. Well I’m here to share with you some recipe ideas to make eating fun again!

Quinoa Burrito Bowls

Quinoa Burrito Bowls

Egg White Scramble with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes with Toast and Avocado

Egg White Scramble With Spinach, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes With Toast and Avocado

Wild Salmon with Butternut Squash, Potatoes, Peppers, and Onions

Wild Salmon With Butternut Squash, Potatoes, Peppers, and Onions

Kale, Garlic, and Caramelized Onion Paninis

Kale, Garlic, and Caramelized Onion Paninis

Cacao Oats with Almond Butter and Cinnamon

Cacao Oats With Almond Butter and Cinnamon

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blues

KGSR’s Blues on the Green returns to Zilker Park for its 25th season. June 3rd was the first official concert of the season and it featured Antone’s All Star Review hosted by Jimmie Vaughn with special guest Gary Clark Jr. For those of you new to Austin or haven’t heard of Blues on the Green, it is Austin’s longest running FREE music series. You can bring in two factory sealed water bottles, blankets, chairs, and your dog. My advice to anyone planning on attending this event, ride your bike, carpool, or uber/lyft. Traffic is pretty heavy around this area. If you’re living in Austin this summer definitely plan on going to this event at least once this summer. It really is a rite of passage for living in this great city!

2015 Line-Up:
June 3 – Antone’s All Star Review Hosted by Jimmie Vaughan
June 24 – Riders Against The Storm, Shakey Graves
July 22 – Walker Lukens, Bob Schneider
August 5 – Max Frost, Jamestown Revival

Admission: Free

Music Starts: 8pm

Location:
Zilker Park
2100 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704

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