February, 2013, in Barton Creek, Austin, Texas

We traveled to Austin, Texas, with our good friends Mike and Diane to play some golf and just relax away from the blues of winter. We stayed at the Barton Creek Resort and Spa, just outside of Austin. We played plenty of golf, playing the three courses of Barton Creek: Fazio Foothills, then Fazio Canyon, and finally, Pamer Lakeside. They are, of course, named for the course designers. Foothills is Barton Creek’s signature golf course, a beauty of a course designed by Tom Fazio. The architectural layout features dramatic cliff-lined fairways, natural limestone caves, waterfalls, and Bermuda greens - a course with no lack of challenge.

Below: A view from the Barton Creek Resort and Spa:
Barton Creek
Below: Karen, Mike & Diane at dinner at Verde’s, and the group on the course:
Karen, Mike, & Diane The group

Fazio Canyon is two miles from the resort, and is a 7,153 yard par 72 course with some very challenging holes, in the opinion of this bogey golfer. Palmer Lakeside is perched on a secluded hilltop overlooking Lake Travis, 25 miles west of the Resort. Palmer Lakeside is a hidden retreat that rewards golfers with a striking, panoramic lake view - but because of the severe drought that Texas has been experiencing, the lake is about 1/2 empty. Oh, well.

Below: the Fazio Hillside, the Fazio Canyons, and The Palmer Lakeside courses:
Fazio Foothills
Fazio Foothills
Palmer Lakeside

The highlight of the trip for me was a visit to see my Uncle John and my cousins and their families. As anyone who knows me well understands, Uncle John is my favorite person and has been a role model for me. It was an extraordinary gift to have the opportunity to visit him on this trip. He is doing very well, thank you.

Have I mentioned the meals? Well, Austin is known to be a “foodie” town, and deserves that rap. We ate at Uchiko Japanese Farmhouse for a truly unique experience. The menu is like a Japanese version of Tapas, wherein you order a series of small plates of sushi and composed dishes. They are all delicious and sometimes you just do not know what to anticipate. The chef/owner is Tyson Cole, 2011 James Beard Best Chef Southwest award winner.

We also dined at County Line on the Hill for some legendary Texas BBQ. Located in an old Speakeasy, the BBQ lived up to its reputation. We had to try some TexMex, so we went to Verde’s Mexican Parrilla. The Mexican food was wonderful, and the Margueritas were superb. The place is informal, with a focus on fun, having some outdoor games on the patio. We also dined at PappaDeaux Seafood Kitchen for a change from the heat of TexMex and BBQ.

All in all, a great trip with good friends, a visit with my favorite relatives, fun golf, good food, and a break from our Northeast winter weather. What more can I ask?

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