Sunday, May 24, 2015

Austin Bakes for Nepal

Hi guys! I don't usually blog on weekends, but I am trying to get caught up on my posting. Yesterday was a typically busy day for us. First, I delivered some baked goods to Whole Foods for the Austin Bakes for Nepal bake sale. This was my first time getting involved with Austin Bakes. They organize bake sales around the city to help natural disaster survivors far and wide. In the past, they have baked for Austin (flooding), neaby Bastrop (fires), as well as Japan (tsunami). The after effects of the Nepal earthquakes are still being felt, I heard there was a landslide only yesterday, so very awful. The least I could do was use my baking skills to help raise a little money for relief efforts.

Olivia helped me get all our ingredients ready and we talked a little bit about Nepal. I don't want to scare her talking about natural disasters too much, since she is only five, but I do want her to empathize with families who are going through tough times and understand that we should always try to help out.

First we made Cookies and Cream Cupcakes (recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.)  I wanted them to be eye-catching, so I found some cute little polka-dot wrappers at Michael's.

We also made Cowgirl Cookies (from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.) These were some seriously hefty cookies, studded with chocolate chunks, pecans, and coconut.

Finally, also from VCIYCJ, Peanut Butter Cookies topped with roasted, salted peanuts. 

The bake sale was just kicking off when I dropped off my items. I hung around for a bit and I was happy to see lots of customers coming by to check out the goods. Some people just gave donations and didn't even want any treats, which was so kind of them!

In the afternoon we attended a wedding. The dress code was country casual and none of us own cowboy boots, so this is what we came up with.

The wedding was held on a ranch out in Dripping Springs, it had a really rustic vibe.

A true Texas wedding!

Olivia and Jackson were feeling festive.

I was, too. It was a sweet, romantic ceremony and a fun reception.

However, throughout the evening, the heavy rain that started earlier in the day got even worse. During the toasts, the lights kept flickering on and off in the lodge. We all listened to the rain pouring down on the patio's tin roof, and anxiously watched the rising creek water.

The ranch grounds started to flood and we all moved indoors. I didn't get any pictures after it got dark, but this whole patio was underwater including at least one of the lodge's screen doors which blew off and floated out onto the patio.

Finally around 9:00, some friends said they were leaving before it got worse, and we decided to follow. Tony took Jackson and ran to get the car and pulled it up as close to the lodge as he could, but there was still a dirt path that I had to get down with Olivia.  As I carried her, my flip flops were sucked off into the deep mud! I didn't care, I was just glad to make it to the car safely. There was about a two-mile dirt road to exit the ranch. We hadn't gotten very far at all when a guy ran up to our car and told us to turn around. Everyone ahead of us was stalled out because the road was flooded. So we parked and watched people hiking back from their stalled vehicles, and debated what to do. While we were listening to the storm and considering our options, Jackson and Olivia fell asleep in the backseat. A ranch staffer knocked on Tony's window and let us know the flood was getting worse and we should plan on staying the night. He apologized that there wasn't really anywhere to sleep. Some guests were still up at the lodge, hanging out, but since the kids were already asleep we resigned ourselves to sleeping in our car until morning.

We had no cell reception this whole time, but I was able to edit photos on my phone, so this is what I did while we sat in the dark listening to the crazy storm.

Finally, about 11:30, Tony made his way back up to the lodge to see if there was any news. While he was there, the owner came in and said that the road had become drivable and if anyone wants to try to leave, they should do it now, because another round of storms was due to hit any minute. Tony raced back to the car and I could see lots of other guests slogging towards their cars as well. We made a caravan out along the dirt road and luckily everyone was able to get through the low areas and get back onto the paved roads. I was soooo glad we did not have to sleep in the car! I do lots of yoga but I still would have been super sore in the morning. Very happy today to be home safely, but thinking of those in the towns of San Marcos and Wimberley which were completely flooded last night. Hundreds of people have lost their homes.

On a positive note, Austin Bakes for Nepal raised over $7000! Now, I am thinking there needs to be an Austin Bakes for San Marcos/Wimberley soon...

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