For no better reason than it was time to get together and party, our Dallas daughter and her family joined Mr. and Mrs. Texas Outside at our Austin daughter’s house. Austin is home to two family dogs and three grand kids! My Dallas daughter has an 8- and a 12-year-old.

The Dallas group arrived late but not too late for a few rousing and fun games with lots of laughs.

A Fun Day on Lake Austin

Kneeboarding on Lake Austin

After a hearty breakfast, we loaded the boat with coolers, life jackets, some snacks, and 11 people. We headed to Lake Austin for a day on the water. After three hours of turning backwards in my seat to watch the kids kneeboard, my neck ached. On top of that, one side of my face was sun burned!

The kids rode the kneeboard single, then double, then single again. The only way we could get them to stop kneeboarding was to knock them off the board with boat wakes. I know, it’s a little cruel!

Between changes in riders, we’d stop and swim for a bit before the grandkids were ready to go again. Why don’t they ever get tired?

a tree swing on Lake Austin

After more kneeboarding, we stopped at a rope swing. With no fear, the grandkids scurried up the tree and leaped 25 feet into the water. We saw pencil jumps, forward and back flips, spinners, and more. They kept yelling, “Come on, parents,” but none of us were brave enough to get out of the boat. They had to scurry up a narrow tree, stand up, and take a leap of faith. I was too scared to try it knowing I’d fall off the tree before getting 8 feet off the ground. I was sure I’d land flat on my belly in two feet of water!

Lunch at Ski Shores Cafe and Margaritas at Hula Hut

ski shores

After an hour of leaping from the trees, the grandkids decided they were ready to try the rope swing. All of us took a deep breath as the moms buried their faces in their hands. But we all sighed a breath of relief after each successful swing. A couple of them got fancy with flips and twists off the swing. My neck was hurting from constantly looking up in the trees. I was ready for a beer and lunch at Ski Shores Cafe, one of our favorites for drinks and burgers on the edge of Lake Austin.

Then it was more kneeboarding.

Just as I got excited about not having to twist my neck to watch, one of the dads said he wanted to kneeboard. When will it ever end?

We made another stop for swimming before we headed to Hula Hut for some margaritas and “traditional Tex-Mex with a Hawaiian twist.” What a fantastic setting for fun, food, and a sunset over the lake! That was followed by a slow, relaxing cruise back up river on smooth water with great music and a sky full of stars. Of course, I snored in the back of the boat.

Kneeboarding on Lake Austin
Hula Hut Lake Austin
Kneeboarding on Lake Austin

Golf At River Place Country Club in Austin

River Place Golf Course

Friday, the older guys were up early for a round of golf at River Place Country Club, which we rank as one of the best private courses in Austin and one of the best golf courses in Texas. It’s challenging with lots of ups and downs, some tight fairways, deep ravines to carry, plus water and bunkers to miss. I may have stayed up too late and had a little two much to drink the night before. What led me to this conclusion was getting dizzy on the first tee box when I tried to put my ball on the tee. Then I saw two balls on one tee and wasn’t sure which one to hit. That meant my first swing missed both balls as I did a 360 and nearly fell down. And it didn’t get much better than that during the rest of the round – 6 Advil, four lost balls, sand from the bunkers in every orifice of my body, and a score I’ll never write home about.

Read our review of River Place to learn more about this fantastic Austin golf course.

Hot and sweaty and covered with sand from golfing for four hours, we headed to the UT Club swimming pool at Steiner Ranch to cool off, enjoy a good lunch, sip a few drinks, and play “keep away” with a couple of balls in the pool. Then we rushed home to prepare some appetizers before three other couples and seven more kids descended on our quiet abode. For dinner, we had rib eye, tri-tip, deer sausage, potatoes, salad, and more, followed by lots of games and laughs.

Riding Bikes at Lady Bird Lake

ready for a bike ride

Rumor has it, I was still in bed at 10 a.m. when they tried to get me up and ready for a bike ride around Lady Bird Lake. Luckily, it was a slightly overcast and cool morning, nearly perfect for a bike ride.

Our typical bike ride goes like this: we ride for awhile then stop at a bar/restaurant. Then we bike back to the car, or possibly stop for another drink before heading to the car. On this trip, we took a grueling ride up and down hills, over rocks, across some sand, and, within five minutes, we arrived at Aussie’s Restaurant for lunch and volleyball before continuing the ride. Actually, it was a flat and easy 5-minute ride to get to Aussie’s, but I needed to believe it was a tough ride so I could justify lunch and drinks.

volleyball at Aussies

When we got back on the bikes, I was a little too slow to keep up with the rest of the group. So, I headed straight to Shady Grove restaurant to wait for them. The restaurant has since closed, but I was nice and cool and sipping a cold beer when they arrived an hour later, all red faced and sweaty!

If you’ve never ridden the trail around Lady Bird Lake, you’ve got to add it to your list of fun things to do. It’s scenic, right on the edge of the lake, and flat and easy to ride!

Lady Bird Lake
Biking around Lady Bird Lake
Shady Grove

We sadly ended this fun weekend with an excellent meal and fantastic margaritas at Don Mario Mexican Restaurant.

With tears in my eyes, left over sand from the bunker in my hair, a slight headache, a sunburned face, a full tummy, and cheeks that hurt from laughing so much, we said goodbye to everyone and headed home.

Mike Sharp
Author: Mike Sharp

I have a passion for travel and outdoor activities, and now I'm enjoying retired life. I will continue my traveling, golfing, boating, and enjoying life all across the great state of Texas.

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