How about a New Year's Day hike at one of Austin's waterfall gems? The trail at Commons Ford Park (http://www.austinexplorer.com/Locations/ShowLocation.aspx?LocationID=1400) is secluded and the scenery is spectacular. However, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT MEET US AT THE PARK. There are only a few parking spots, so we have to carpool. We'll finish around 12:30 and have lunch at the Westlake La Madeleine.
Here's the plan. MEET AT THE WESTLAKE BARNES & NOBLE (http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2757) at 9am. The B&N is in the big shopping center that's hidden in the SE corner of the intersection of 360 and Bee Caves Road. You can enter the shopping center from the first light on 360 south of Bee Caves or from the first light on Bee Caves east of 360. Driving around the shopping center can be a bit confusing, so just remember that the B&N is the building closest to the aforementioned intersection. Park in the back of the parking lot, away from the store. (As in this picture. (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=westlake+barnes+%26+noble,+austin,+tx&sll=30.29359,-97.829518&sspn=0.005327,0.008851&ie=UTF8&hq=westlake+barnes+&%20noble%2C=&hnear=Austin,+TX&ll=30.29246,-97.826305&spn=0,359.995574&z=18&layer=c&cbll=30.292611,-97.826148&panoid=B6HFLZl97DvM0celFuSMcA&cbp=12,303.69,,1,4.51))
Please BE ON TIME. We want to get to the park before the parking spaces disappear. Again, PLEASE DON'T MEET US AT THE PARK. If you arrive at the park before we do, we may not be able to park because you're in our spot. If you arrive at the park after we do, you may find yourself without a place to park. We should be able to fit everyone if we carpool. The problem is that the park gate doesn't open until noon, so we have to scrounge for parking outside the gate, along the road, outside the park. Afterwards, we'll have lunch at the Westlake La Madeleine, which is conveniently located in the shopping center that we're carpooling from.
Newcomers, here's how the outings works. We walk into nature and have either one long creative stop or two short ones. BOREDOM IS NOT ALLOWED. Be prepared to happily entertain yourself for however long we take. Also, TALKING IS NOT ALLOWED during the creative breaks, except for niceties and necessities. That way people can enjoy the nature and focus on their creations (especially at this location, where voices carry down the canyon). After each break we'll gather again to share our creations. We do plenty of talking outside the breaks.
I'll see you creative types in the Westlake Barnes & Noble parking lot! (Woohoo! That parking lot is SUCH a great place!)
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