Monday, May 11, 2015

I Spy: First Week of May

I Spy...

Texas A&M Chancellor cracking jokes at a Texas Tribune Event...
This was my first Texas Tribune event but I've decided I need to get myself to more. What a great way to get insight on what is happening at the Capitol. Do yourself a favor and check out their events calendar and get yourself to one!

A spring inspired cupcake from Blue Star Cafeteria...
A little taste of lemon-y heaven!

Way too many people standing in the rain for La Condesa's Cinco de Mayo Block Party...
This event look overrated with its one food truck, one beer stand and a ton of umbrella clad people. We opted for our favorite fajitas, Uncle Julio's, instead.

Us being foolish at Leadership Austin's Best Party Ever.
While I wouldn't call it the best party EVER, we did have a blast celebrating the great examples of leadership we have in our community.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Central Texas College Signing Day 2015

On Friday May 1st, Austin celebrated its first College Signing Day. The over 500 students in attendance pledged their commitment to Reach Higher by pursuing post-secondary education options. Austin area universities and colleges were even in attendance to greet their future alumni and build the bridge from high school to college.

Students had their fun competing with future classmates in games and activities. Former UT Football star, Vince Young even judged a mascot dance off - and even Texas State's Boko the winner over Hook 'Em. Later, they were joined by Austin ISD and Del Valle ISD Superintendents, Dr, Paul Cruz and Dr. Kelly Crook, who recognized the students in the crowd. Austin Mayor, Steve Adler, and HUD Secretary Julian Castro shared their personal stories that emphasized the day's theme of "Reach Higher".
Austin American Statesman
I had the pleasure on serving on the Task Force responsible for the day's activities. And I must say it was truly an honor to have served on this amazing team of individuals dedicated to education. Its remarkable that people can come together to recognize the hardworking students in the Austin area. Separately, we represented for-profits, non-profits, private and public sectors. Together we represented one ultimate goal: celebrating our seniors who have chosen to Reach Higher!

I loved getting to know community leaders who share the same passions as me. But what I loved most about this experience was knowing how strong our Austin community is. I keep reading about how divided the Austin community is but on May 1 2015 at Huston Tillotson University- there was nothing but unity to celebrate ALL of the magnificent students!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Top 3 Things to do in Oahu

Less than a week later from returning from Hawaii and I am still dreaming of the gorgeous views, endless sunshine and cool breezes. We spent a full week at the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club. Ko Olina was a very low-key area of West Oahu. If you're staying in the area a rental car would be beneficial. We enjoyed the calm of the side of the island away from the crazy of Waikiki.

So here's my top three things to do in Oahu.

1) Tour Kualoa Ranch

This was by far the highlight of our trip. Kualoa Ranch has been the filming sites of other movies and shows such as Jurassic Park, (the new) Hawaii 5-0, Godzilla, Pearl Harbor and so many more. There's a ton of options to explore the over 600 acres of the cattle ranch including ATVs, horseback, zip-line and bus. As LOST fanatics we opted for a hummer tour through KOS Tours. This gave us the opportunity to tour many scenes from the 6 seasons of the show. Our tour guide pointed out sites from other movies and shows and helped us recreate some famous scenes The tour ended in a WWII Army bunker filled with props and memorabilia from the movies filmed at Kualoa Ranch.

2) Shop in Haleiwa

Located in the North Shore area this small surf town has much to explore. Haleiwa has a long strip filled with restaurants, food trucks, boutiques and surf shops. I dropped a few dimes strolling the town. Not only is there great food and shopping, there are some fabulous views! We stopped every quarter mile or so just to soak in the views. While taking in the sun, we were even lucky enough to spot a poppa, momma and baby turtle napping on the beach. We enjoyed this town so much we ventured here twice during our week long stay. The selection of restaurants were tough to beat plus you'll often see a cluster of husbands outside the best stores waiting on their wives!

3) Eat pineapple ice cream

The island of Oahu is home to the Dole Plantation- as in acres and acres of pineapples. On the plantation you can try your hand at the 2008 Guinness Book of World Records' Largest Maze, tour the farm on board The Pineapple Express and stroll through the garden. While entrance to the plantation is free, each of the three activities has a small cost affordable on any budget. On site there is also a restaurant. We did not eat a meal here but did enjoy the pineapple ice cream or "Dole Whip". Its a must have in Oahu!

Runner Ups:
- Visit Pearl Harbor Be sure to go early since tickets are free!
- Dine at a Luau We loved our expereince at FIA FIA!

Have you been to Oahu? What are you must sees?