Day 4 of Road Trip Keeps Us in Austin for Washers Tossing and Barton Springs

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Following a unplanned middle of the night drive from New Orleans to Austin, the PapiBlogger Family used its fourth full day of the 40-day family road trip to rest its wheels.  Well, sort of.

In Sick Bay: Baby Briani had some coughing but the pediatrician gave her clearance to continue her national tour.

The day started with a impromptu visit to the pediatrician for one-year-old Briani because we wanted to check on a persistent cough she developed (she’s fine) and some World Cup rooting for the U.S. in their victory over Algeria.

Texans take their washer tossing seriously and so does Jonathan.

Washers Tossing at Freddie’s Restaurant
With barely three hours sleep for Angela and me and Briani back from the doctor, we headed over to Freddie’s, a classic outdoors Austin restaurant that is family friendly, offers good American and Tex Mex-style food and more important for us has a nice area to play the ranch game known as washers.

This time he didn't make any washers in the hole.

Basically, washers is a simple but very competitive game that entails throwing a 2 x 2 inch steel washer inside a hole on the ground from a distance of about 21 feet.  You get points for throwing the washers in the hole or landing them close to the hole.  Many Texans take washers tossing seriously and even Freddie’s features a weekly tournament every Wednesday.

If you haven’t played washers, trust me it’s fun.  The first time Jonathan came to Austin we went to Freddie’s and – can you believe it? – he made his first toss right in the hole.  Ever since, whenever we bring the kids to Austin (it’s our second home) we make an obligatory stop at Freddie’s to play washers and dine (in that order).

In this photo, you are only seeing about 25% of this natural-looking, but majestic man-made pool.

Cooling off at Barton Springs

The second and most important highlight of the day was cooling off from the 95F degree weather at the city’s popular Barton Springs.  Barton Springs is is a man-made recreational swimming pool located on the grounds of Zilker Park in Austin.  The pool exists in the channel of Barton Creek and is filled by water from Main Barton Spring, the fourth largest spring in Texas.

Mr. Jumper Jon!

Besides its scenic beauty what really stands out for me about Barton Springs is how cool the water remains EVEN in the middle of scorching weather. The pool maintains a narrow range from about 68.0 °F (20.0 °C) in the winter to about 71.6 °F (22.0 °C) in the summer. When you go, be sure you let yourself feel very hot (a PapiBlogger trick) because if you go into the water even slightly cooled off you will instantly freeze.  The heat definitely will help you once you’re in but trust me when I tell you that Barton Springs is cold.

During our visit to Barton Springs we  also had our first real water test of the FUJIFILM FinePix XP 10 (retails for $199), an all-purpose camera that the company furnished us to test with the family in different weather conditions.  FUJIFILM says the camera can withstand water up to 10 feet, a fall to the ground of up to three feet, cold weather and sand.  The fun part of having a camera like this is that it’s worry free because you can use it or give it to your kids without any care they will mess it up.  Jonathan and Elena gave the camera plenty of action at Barton Springs with some of the photos you see here.  The FinePix XP 10 also proved equally strong for underwater video, something which far surpassed my expectation and makes for interesting underwater audio.  With this camera, which I will be reviewing shortly, you never have to buy another disposable underwater camera again!

Family Road Trip Tip of the Day (Sponsored by Sprint Nextel)

No matter how aggressive a traveler you are (and believe me, we are), you need to schedule days to slow down.  Last year when we did the ultimate Costa Rica adventure vacation with my wife and kids I got partially offended at first that my wife secured for us to have semi-restful days and that we go with a tour guide to drive us.  Regardless of whether your kids are older or not, create down time for the trip every three or four days.  You will feel more rested and will have less odds of getting sick from the stress of always being on the go.

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  • Mama Contemporanea

    We are going to Austin in 2 weeks to visit some friends, definitely we’ll stop at Barton Springs. My hubby and son les encantara.

    Hope baby Briani is getting better.

  • Abuela Yolanda

    The trip gets interesting by each day, but good you all rested today. That contributes to safety on the road..

    Mr. Jumper Jon, saw your great jump and also you washer playing. Keep trying, you know you are my champion.

    Hope Briani gets better, Love XOXO

  • Abuela Yolanda

    The trip keeps getting more and more is good to take a rest also as that contributes to safety on the road..

    Mr. Jumper Jon, terific jump and regarding the washer tossing, keep trying .. You are my champion..

    Hope Brianni is much better, XOXOXO

  • Alicia

    Washers… my dad’s family in Chihuahua, Mexico, south of Texas, plays the same game and it’s called “watchas.” Must be a Spanish pronunciation of “washers.” LOL It all makes sense now! And I’ve ONLY seen “watchas” played in Chihuahua!

  • PapiBlogger

    that’s a good one indeed 🙂 Seems that various parts of the South also have their own version of washers. I like the Texas version.

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