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Crawfish Pasta, Burning Clock, Long Ride, and a New Year

January 4, 2009

To ring in the the new year for 2009, Colleen and I decided to join in the Austin First Night festivities near Auditorium shores and City Hall. We both decided that we were tired of the whole downtown bar thing and wanted to celebrate this new years eve differently. I would have a few beers for the night, but didn’t even come close to getting drunk and was in bed before 2:30 am. First night is a really fun and creative happening to Austin. Over 800 artists gather to put on a parade, art installations, concerts, and dances. It was a really beautiful and family friendly atmosphere. The parade featured lots of human powered contraptions from the Austin Bike Zoo, as well as several other cultural groups/artists. The next big event was the burning of the clock tower at 8:30. This was truly a sight to behold. You can find some impressive images here and a video of it below.

After watching that thing burn to the ground for about 30 minutes, we went looking for some grub. Found some tasty crawfish pasta in the vendor espanalade, watched a band at City Hall, wandered around to see all the other art installations and bands playing, and then wound our way back to Auditoriom shores to watch the most impressive fireworks show I have ever witnessed. Some other friends who watched it shared my sentiment: ” I thought it was over at two different times, but it just kept going, and just kept getting crazier.”  I can’t put into words how amazing it was, but it blew away the the previous most impressive show I saw at Disneyland back when I was in high school.

A bit more hanging out, some pizza at the Onion, and we were off to home for some shut eye. A truly wonderful way to spend the welcoming of a New Year. I counted my blessings that night and was ever thankful for my freedom. I am ever thankful for those who serve to keep that freedom too. I hope you have a chance to count your blessings and that you have a prosperous and healthy 2009.

What better way to start the first day of the year than to go on a long mountain bike ride.  Since Proud Mary was still on loan to a friend, I took out the KHS single speed. It was a blast! Trail traffic was heavier than usual since everybody was off work, but that didn’t bother me. I’ve gotten accustomed to the single speed rigid feel and somehow was able to ride technical parts that I haven’t been able to ride on any other bike. It was just a good day for a mountain bike ride. Colleen and I wrapped up the day with cornbread and black-eyed peas at Threadgill’s and going to the movies to watch Australia. It wasn’t as good as Benjamin Buttons a few weeks back, but still a very good movie, and a great way to end Jan 1, 2009.

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