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Friday
Started the weekend out with a roar at the Austin Chronicle Christmas Party. There must have been close to 500 people there, but the weather was perfect to be out on the lawn of the American Legion Mansion. Tons of food, Austin beer, and wine, a salsa band, karaoke, and a moon jump! We even saw one celebrity, George Wendt, aka Norm!! from Cheers. Ran into an exboyfriend from four years ago, and was able to comfortably chat with him. He even apologized several times for how badly he had treated me during our relationship...I am just glad I had the strength to end it, and to stay out!
Both decibel45 and I sang karaoke to a packed room upstairs. Being on a little stage in the corner made it easy not to see how many folks were actually in that room.
Came close to publicly dedicating "Thorn in My Side" to the ex....

Once the beer ran out around 9:30, the party emptied out except for those who had walked down to the convenience store for more beer. I left to pick up John, a wonderful young Irishman I'd met at Fado's during a recent Viking Women Expedition. Unfortunately, his work training in Austin for Intel was cut short, so it was his last night to see Austin. By the time we made it back to the party, dopplertx and ivo were ready to check out the Database City party. Lovely house, pleasant folk, but after one beer there we decided to head downtown.

We introduced John to the wonderful microbrews at the Bitter End, including a red ale Tim recently brewed. Finished up our evening at the Ginger Man, where John tried an Austin beer, Live Oak Pils, after narrowly escaping ivo's suggestion to try a Lone Star or Shiner Bock. Closed up the bar drinking some champagne shared by a friendly couple sitting next to us. All in all a fun evening.

Saturday
In a nutshell:
Swim clinic, outdoor heated pool actually comfortable, getting out is the hard part!
Lunch at Elsi's with Jen, followed by shopping
Austin Sailing Society Christmas Party with a tasty shrimp boil. decibel45 showed up, as well as some of the Viking Women initiated at Fado's.

Sunday
Holiday Wine Trail through the Hill Country. decibel45 had the honor of chauffeuring four women to wine tastings at the wineries and a German lunch in Fredericksburg.