Christmas at the Capitol: Gardens – Advent Calendar, Dec. 11, 2017

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This week – yes, the entire (business) week – we’re going to the Texas state Capitol to admire all things Christmas.

Although I posted the illumination of the Christmas tree in from of the Capitol gardens, today let’s take a look at the tree during the day.

2017 Christmas Tree - Texas State Capitol, Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Christmas Tree - Texas State Capitol, Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Christmas Tree - Texas State Capitol, Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Christmas Tree - Texas State Capitol, Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

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Historic Fredericksburg – Advent Calendar, Dec. 10, 2017

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Today we are going to Fredericksburg, a central Texas city, about 80 miles west of Austin, with a German heritage.

We’re staying in the main street of historic Fredericksburg to see the decorations. I reserve the lighting of the Christmas tree and pyramid for a later post.

Historic Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Historic Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Historic Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Historic Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Historic Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Historic Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Historic Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Historic Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Historic Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Historic Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Historic Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Historic Fredericksburg, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas Trees on Loop 360 – Advent Calendar, Dec. 9, 2017

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I’ve posted before about the tradition of decorating Cedar trees as Christmas trees on Loop 360.

This year, I have new pictures of course (second part of this post) but I also have something new: I decorated my own tree!

This is something that I had intended to do last year, but as so many other things I enjoyed then but didn’t have the heart to do last year, it didn’t happen. So this year, I finally created my first Christmas tree on Loop 360. It is dedicated primarily to my kitty Texas, who left us last year, as well as two other French kitties we lost, Grouik and Milou. Thanks to Jody for helping me decorating this tree!

Below the pics of Texas’ tree are pictures of other trees from this year.

Texas' Christmas Tree on Loop 360 - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Texas' Christmas Tree on Loop 360 - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Texas' Christmas Tree on Loop 360 - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Texas' Christmas Tree on Loop 360 - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

The Gingerbread Village of the Four Seasons Austin – Advent Calendar, Dec. 8, 2017

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Every year, the Four Seasons downtown Austin creates a gingerbread village for the Christmas season. The village is made of all-edible gingerbread houses under one theme.

I’ve only seen two of their villages. Last year, the theme was children stories and nursery rhymes and it was pretty impressive.

This year, the theme is monopoly, and for the occasion, of course, the city of Austin is the city where the game takes place: Austinopoly! The gingerbread houses represent iconic places in Austin, such as COTA’s tower, or the Alamo Drafthouse.

I absolutely loved it!

2017 Austin Four Season's Gingerbread Village - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Austin Four Season's Gingerbread Village - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Austin Four Season's Gingerbread Village - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Austin Four Season's Gingerbread Village - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Austin Four Season's Gingerbread Village - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Austin Four Season's Gingerbread Village - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Austin Four Season's Gingerbread Village - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Austin Four Season's Gingerbread Village - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Austin Four Season's Gingerbread Village - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Austin Four Season's Gingerbread Village - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

2017 Austin Four Season's Gingerbread Village - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mort Subite, Austin – Advent Calendar, Dec. 7, 2017

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For a little more than a year now, Austin is lucky to have a bar specialized in Belgian beer: Mort Subite. Not only do I love this place, but I liked their simple, but cute Christmas tree, so here it is!

Mort Subite - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart’s Christmas Show – Advent Calendar, Dec. 5, 2017

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Today we’re going to Mozart’s Coffee Roasters. This is a well-known coffee shop near Lake Austin.

The place is a really nice place. You can seat outside by the lake, and enjoy a drink, and in December, they cover the place with Christmas lights. It is a must-see at Christmas time… and a very nice coffee shop to stop by anytime.

Here are the pictures I took of the decorations this year. The video in not mine, and was taken on YouTube.

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Mozart's Coffee Roasters 2017 Christmas Show - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

COTA’s Winter Wonderland – Advent Calendar, Dec. 4, 2017

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Today we’re going to the brand new “Christmas show” at the Circuit Of The Americas in Austin. Circuit Of The Americas, or COTA, is primarily a Formula 1 circuit but is also hosting other events. Just a few weeks ago, they announced a brand new show: Winter Wonderland.

COTA's Winter Wonderland - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

COTA's Winter Wonderland - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

I decided to go despite the $16 ticket, mostly because I am rarely disappointed by Christmas shows. Well I was this time.

I was wondering whether to post about it or not, and I decided to do so because 1) it has been widely publicized, and I think it’s important that people know what they are paying for, and 2) there were a few nice things that I’m also sharing below.

One problem, I think, is that this is a huge venue, and it seems they tried to cover the whole circuit, which resulted in an impression of not so much to see, instead of keeping everything in one narrower area.

For example, making people walk around the circuit with decorations every 60 feet or so seemed a bit cheap. Here’s a panoramic picture of what I am talking about. Click on it to enlarge and then to zoom in. It’s not great quality – it was dark – but it will give you an idea of what I was talking about.

COTA's Winter Wonderland - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

There were other things to see, of course, such as trees covered with lights, and a big wheel (although quite small for Texas), but mostly, the singing Christmas trees were the most original and the camel rides (not included in the price of a ticket). Other attractions also required an extra.

COTA's Winter Wonderland - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

COTA's Winter Wonderland - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

I completely understand that this has a cost, and the tickets are paying for it, but it seems that the attractions would have been better if kept on a smaller area of the circuit. There’s an expression for that in French, whose English translation isn’t as good as the French one for this particular case: “Qui trop embrasse mal etreint” (Jack of all trades master of none).

Here are a few things I liked. And a video of the singing Christmas trees. Ok, I liked those :)

COTA's Winter Wonderland - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

COTA's Winter Wonderland - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

COTA's Winter Wonderland - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

COTA's Winter Wonderland - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Downtown Austin Tree Lighting – Advent Calendar, Dec. 3, 2017

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Today, we’re going downtown Austin for the annual Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll… and lighting of the tree in front of the gardens of the state Capitol.

Don’t miss the videos at the end to hear the Christmas songs, and to see the lighting of the tree!

Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Christmas in Austin and the Hill Country – Advent Calendar, Dec. 2, 2017

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Today I am sharing a simple photo taken in a store. It might appear weird, since these are basically Christmas decorations for sale, but I thought this was really beautifully presented.

This was taken in a Lowe’s in Austin.

Joy - Christmas Decorations | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

You can also follow my Facebook page and Instagram account to see more of Austin in December!