Raging Rapids

You can always tell when Tim’s birthday is approaching because he starts shopping for himself a lot. And he usually comes home with exactly the gift I was planning to get him. He’s a challenge to shop for anyway, so you can imagine how much I love the increased difficulty level that comes with this pesky little habit of his.

This year, though, I was prepared. I had an idea for his birthday present that I was sure he was going to love. All I had to do was wait to buy it until I was sure he wasn’t going to go get it for himself, and I was set. The Big Idea? Seinfeld Scene It.

I just blew you all away with my mad gift idea skillz, didn’t I?

But then Tim went and gave me the best birthday present ever, and as soon as my initial excitement wore off, the first thing I thought was, “Oh, man, I am going to have to step it up for his birthday next month.” That little DVD board game was just not going to cut it anymore.

(And thank goodness for that, because it turns out the game was a pretty lame idea.)

Lucky for me, I didn’t have to stress long over coming up with a new idea. Two weeks and one serendipitous conversation with a coworker later, I had another good idea. And this idea was actually good: I decided to take Tim white water rafting.

I set up a trip with Royal Gorge Rafting, told Tim about it on his birthday, and we went this past Sunday. It was completely awesome. We both had a great time, neither of us fell out of the boat, and we got to wear some pretty sexy wetsuits. Win-win-win.

I am pretty much the best wife ever.

(Don’t worry — I also got the game as a back-up present in case Tim hated the rafting idea. So if you ever want to play Seinfeld Scene It, you know who to call.)

What I Did on My Summer Business Trip

Armed with the recommendations of friends and readers, unclear Google Maps printouts, an Austin city map, and only a hint of trepidation at the prospect of finding my way around a new city on my own, I dragged myself out of bed and onto an Austin-bound plane early Sunday morning.

After spending way too long driving in circles trying to figure out the highway/access road system in Austin before finally finding my hotel, I was tired, frustrated, hungry, and tempted to throw in the towel and walk across the street to have lunch at IHOP.

However, I’m not one to travel to new places just to eat boring franchise food, so I pulled on my Big Girl Pants, got into my blue Sebring (Michael Scott-style), and successfully navigated my way to Chuy’s and my first meal in Austin.

Oh, it was good. (The queso enchiladas were good, too.)

My hunger satisfied and navigational confidence restored, I explored downtown a bit and ended up spending a very relaxing afternoon at Town Lake.

All in all, not a bad first day in Austin.

Of course, I was in Austin for more than just margaritas, queso, and lakeside walks. First thing Monday morning it was back to work. In between a couple of very productive and informative days at the office I got to hang out with some pretty cool coworkers, enjoy a lot of delicious local food and drink, and see thousands of bats fly out from under a bridge in a wholly underwhelming display of tiny flapping wings.

While the bats lacked the thrill and entertainment factor my coworkers and I had hoped for, that particular evening’s entertainment was far from over. Later that night at a wine bar, we had the pleasure of sipping delicious wine flights across the bar from an octogenarian and his…well, his date, I guess you could say. Though something about her mid-twenties appearance and skintight leopard-print dress tells me she was there more for the Benjamins than the romance, if you know what I mean…and I think you do. It was quite the experience.

Awkward experiences aside, three days of good food, good drink, good company, and yes, even good work came together to make for a pretty great summer business trip.