When Was the Last Time You Worked Out at Camp Mabry?

Outdoor rowing machine Camp Mabry

New equipment, upgrades to facilities make Camp Mabry a great fitness resource

If you haven’t paid a recent visit to Austin’s Camp Mabry, then you’re missing out on some fabulous new upgrades. If you’ve never been at all, here’s your introduction to one of the city’s best resources for free family-friendly fitness.

What Is Camp Mabry?

First, it’s pronounced “MAY-bree.” The camp, covering some 375 acres, is home to the Texas Military Forces, made up of citizen soldiers in the Texas State Guard, Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard. Established in 1892, Camp Mabry is a registered National Historic Landmark. It’s also home to the Texas Military Forces Museum (another well-kept, family fun secret).

Here’s where general fitness comes to play: Camp Mabry is home to a 1-mile paved track and assorted outdoor equipment, all open (and free) to the public for use. There are even water fountains, outdoor showers and a bathroom to keep the workout feeling good. [Read more…]

Austin Neighborhood Guide: South 1st Street

Roadhouse Relics South First Austin

Sights and colors along South First Street in Austin (Credit: atmtx via Flickr CC)

South Congress may be infamous for its popular cluster of high-end boutiques, trendy restaurants, and food trailers—but just one street over is a slightly more humble neighborhood with a quirky assortment of shops, food trailers, and murals of its own that just beg to be explored.

For those who haven’t dug too far into this south-central territory, I’d like to share some highlights of what South 1st has to offer.

First: Grab Some Coffee

There are several places on South 1st to get a decent cup of joe. But I want to highlight Once Over Coffee Bar in particular, as it’s spring and their porch is the perfect hideout. [Read more…]

Don’t Miss These Spring Events at Mueller Lake Park

Mueller Lake and Browning Hangar

Mueller Lake with Browning Hangar in the background (Credit: Garreth Wilcock via Flickr CC)

Austin loves to show off during springtime. It’s our ideal season: SXSW has just come and gone, bluebonnets are blooming and festival season kicks into high gear. The many districts and neighborhoods of Austin vie for our attention with unique events and outdoor activities.

One up and coming neighborhood in Austin’s northeast side is stepping up their game in 2015 with exclusive events you’d expect to see much closer to city center. The Mueller neighborhood is playing host to springtime concerts and an Earth Day festival that’s rapidly becoming one of the premier early spring events in town. As is customary for Mueller events, everything is outdoors and family friendly. [Read more…]

BeeSweet Lemonade: 10 Year Old Makes Sunshine in a Glass

Mikaila Ulmer with BeeSweet Lemonade Stand

Mikaila Ulmer got her start through Lemonade Day Austin (Credit: Josh Huskin)

Her long lashes accentuate bright eyes that radiated one word, happiness. Sporting a plaid skirt, white button down blouse and a pair of Nike tennis shoes, the young woman sitting opposite me exuded a vibrant energy that was contagious!

I’m not sure which was sweeter, Mikaila Ulmer, the founder of BeeSweet Lemonade, or the liquid in my glass that tasted like summer. Mikaila bounced in her seat with excitement as she explained a recent trip to Los Angeles where she was invited to swim with the sharks, though not the kind that slice through the Pacific. She was invited to appear on a recent episode of Shark Tank, a TV series where entrepreneurs pitch their business idea in hopes one of the judges will financially back their creative endeavor. [Read more…]

Everything You Need to Know About Texas Bluebonnets

Bluebonnets in bloom Pace Bend Park Spicewood

Bluebonnets in bloom at Pace Bend Park, Spicewood, TX (Credit: Jeff Cohen, Moonshine Images)

All along Austin’s roadways, bluebonnets are making their annual splashy appearance. Thanks to Lady Bird Johnson’s efforts to beautify the state’s highways, generations of Texans have grown up with a shared rite of passage, taking the family portrait in fields full of the state flower. [Read more…]

Guide to the Ultimate Dog Friendly Day in Austin


Meet Mr. Ming. It’s been a long, harsh winter for this pampered Pekingese. The weather has been rainy. The squirrels are all hibernating. He’s hasn’t had a hair cut in months.

But now that spring has sprung, it’s time for Mr. Ming to head out on the town for a day of fun, sun and luxury. Is your dog feeling the winter blues? Let’s follow in Mr. Ming’s paw prints as he checks out some of Austin’s most dog friendly spots during his best day ever in the ATX. [Read more…]

Introducing Star Kibble, Game for Finding Celebrities in Austin

Finding Celebrities in Austin

You may collect baseball cards. You may be a birder, coin collector or coffee mug junkie.

Or you may collect celebrities.

If you’re familiar with the Kevin Bacon Game or the six degrees of separation theory first theorized by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929, you know society is more closely intertwined than it often seems. The world has shrunk since 1929 because of social networking and globalization. In the past five years alone, you’ve probably noticed the shrinkage personally as you’ve unexpectedly bumped elbows not only friends, not only with strangers, but also with the famous.

Welcome to Star Kibble, a game I developed a few years ago. Star Kibble is played by seeing and photographing celebrities. [Read more…]

7 of the Most Amazing Aerial Photos of Austin You’ll Ever See

Drone Photo of Downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake

Photo taken by Christopher Sherman during our interview on the Saturday of SXSW Interactive 2015

It’s a sleepy Saturday morning during South by Southwest and the city of Austin is not fully awake yet. The sun is minutes away from making its debut when I meet Christopher Sherman, of Over Austin fame, just south of the river next to the Zach Theatre. We have a perfect vantage point to do a little flying and capture beautiful panoramas of the downtown Austin skyline. [Read more…]

Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy Your (Wine) Flight at Departure Lounge

Departure Lounge in Austin, TX

Departure Lounge at W 5th and Guadalupe in Austin

Departure Lounge Sign in Austin

Above the entrance to Departure Lounge

It bodes well for a place that can make a woman with four kids recall the sensation that accompanies the words sleek and sexy. It took a departure from suburbia for me to embrace this opportunity to escape.

Once settled into your plush seat, you too may decide to linger. No flotation device required and you won’t find safety information in your seat back pocket. But this downtown destination may induce wanderlust you’ve been stowing in your overhead compartment.

Departure Lounge inspires your mind to open and – like a fine glass of wine – breathe. This isn’t your typical travel agency; Departure Lounge is a coffee and wine bar that happens to sell customized travel. [Read more…]

Austin’s Jennifer Cunningham Hearts Art

Jennifer Cunningham Custom Ring

Jennifer blends her love of pop culture and art (Credit: Rebecca L. Bennett)

As an artist, mother and comic book geek, Jennifer Cunningham is the embodiment of Austin, TX.

Art from Early Age

Her life long love of art started early. Despite life throwing her curve balls, Jennifer has never forgotten how it feels to create. In her own words, “I’ve been drawing and creating various things for as long as I can remember. My mother still has a thing I drew when I was about 4 years old, an illustration of a dinosaur behind an X-ray screen with a mouse in its belly among the bones. My first recollection of getting in trouble at school was a result of me coloring the bunny’s eyes the wrong color in a kindergarten class assignment.” [Read more…]