Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Recap of the Holiday Week

Hello,

I know it is a bit weird that I am willing to recap last week but not willing to recap my third weekend in Dallas quite yet.  Maybe it is because I took most of the photos in Austin on my phone, so it is a bit easier to organize but I am not quite sure.

Ok. So as an earlier post could tell you, I had a super dooper busy day on Tuesday.  I even left work after 1 and had to find a dry cleaners and alterations place.  Of course I find them across the street from my building (by the yoga studio I was supposed to join but never did because I decided I would rather be lazy and do yoga when I want in my room hehe).  But of course, on my way back, I have to go to the Kroger so I go behind my building and in the back of my building what do I find? None other than a dry cleaners that I guess gives people who live in the building a discount...duh... oh well if I have any more dry cleaning I will make sure to go there but probably won't? -- which reminds me I really need to go pick everything up!

After that, I had to eat and organize which snacks I was going to bring with me to Austin before I then started packing.  After I organized my outfits and packed I really wanted to work out.  So I went for a run, and then did my pilates workout.  Then it was time to rush to get ready, meet the girl who was going to take care of Bernadette while my roommate and I were gone and finish making the snacks  yummy pluots, donut peaches and blackberries! KA-CHING! Then I ran to the train, missed the first one, but tried to act like I was ok while inside I was super freaking out but it turns out the next one came shortly thereafter and I semi walk-sprinted to the bus station only to make it with some time to sit.

Have you been on a megabus? I hadn't.  I had taken the Vamoose bus from Bethesda, MD to NYC and that had always worked great for me but Megabus is known as the double decker bus and honestly it worked out quite ok!  We hit some awful traffic so I arrived an hour late (so almost midnight) but it really wasnt too bad - though it was quite chilly.  I read - trying to move along in my magazine (i.e. the Economist) but found myself semi-sleeping semi-awake - dozing for most of the trip while listening to music, though there was this guy on the bus who was blaring his music and I kind of gave him a look but realized I had nothing to complain about because well my parents blessed me with noise-cancelling earphones!
Cool look huh? JK 

My dad picked me up and we were not far from where he is currently living so we just drove back and we were both exhausted so caught up for a few minutes but turned in pretty early.  But on the way back we were sitting at a light and bang-bang-bang three seconds later there was a three car pileup while we were sitting at a light.  It was weird because the first car appeared to have stopped at a green light... yikes hope everyone was ok.  But when we got back to my dad's place, Zeus was waiting at the window and then at the door with his "blobbers" which he only really does when he is way too excited and doesn't know what else to do but put something in his mouth. Well he does that and of course, me being the smart one, taught him to hug which he really only should do with me but dogs don't seem to differentiate sometimes, so with family he does it all the time but he also does it sometimes with strangers which rightfully scares them because its a 90 pound dog on his hind legs trying to hug/tackle you.  I can see how it could be alarming - but he really is the sweetest dog!  He did not put "blobbers" down all evening.  


The next morning - Wednesday - my dad slept in a little but still went to work so I got to take Zeus for a walk, and then grab a quick bite for breakfast before my dad came to get for me lunch.  I know it is a little weird to eat so close together but I never not eat breakfast - people have scared me straight and it is just not good to eat.  I tried Cafe Medici which is across from the Galaxy restaurant (sort of) and was actually super packed.  I don't drink coffee but there strawberry hibiscus ice tea was phenomenal.  I trusted the cashier to tell me what type of pastry to get and she recommended the chocolate croissant, it was ok. I have had better, the blueberry muffin looked delicious, so if I was to go back I would get that though when I told my dad I went there he said something about how it is expensive though I found it to be cheaper than Starbucks (I also had bought fresh orange juice and a yogurt for later, just to have in the fridge - don't you just love fresh juices??? they really are the best).  





SO as I was saying, the cafe was super cute, but super full so I just chilled on the deck and ate my quick breakfast.  As I was finishing up, a guy came up with a large dog, but with a giant head! He looked like a newfoundland but I had not really ever seen one up close so I was not quite sure, but yup he is one! It was pretty hot, and he was pretty hairy (so I kind of felt bad for the poor guy) but he was so adorable and sweet! It made the morning just perfect.   That and the nice walk Zeus and I had and getting to see some of the old bungalows as well as some of the newer houses! 

I saw these flowers, while Zeus and I were going for a walk - I just found them so beautiful how wild they were.  I don't know I just love bright colors in flowers - no actually I just love flowers!

My dad picked me up eventually (I got to watch some HGTV in the meantime - House Hunters International whoop whoop...actually it might have been property brothers but not quite sure...) and I got to meet some of the women in his office that he works with (from what I understand, he is the only male in the office...) and we went to a nice tex-mex type of place (it was mexican not quite sure if it was tex-mex, but it did remind me of Rio Grande/Uncle Julio's from DC).  I had the chipotle shrimp fajitas but when it came they did not bring me any tortillas and I was like oh doesn't this come with fajitas and he was like no? weird right? everyone else at the table was like no it does...but it was ok cause he went and got me some but I just thought that was super weird, but granted I am not from Mexico, maybe that is the American way of eating fajitas.  It was really good and had a little bit of a kick to it but I enjoy FLAVAH ... and I was able to get to know some of the women but...it was also a bit awkward.  I think the restaurant was called Maudis.  

Afterwards, my dad dropped me back at the apartment and he went back to work for a little bit.  I passed out on his bed (he is staying in a smallish apartment, and I have to sleep on the couch, which isn't a issue, but the night before Zeus had kept coming over and licking my face throughout the night because he wanted to play so I had not slept too well).  So I literally slept till just before my dad came but was able to turn the tv on and keep watching House Hunters International.  Eventually my dad and I wanted to go get something to eat so he took me to Wahoos, which was like a mile and half walk to there but that is what I love about where my dad lives...nothing is too far away to walk and your in downtown Austin so there is cool places all around to keep you interested while you are walking. 
On our walk, we passed the Whole Foods Headquarters (the store in it is also very nice and my dad and I checked it out on our way back from dinner). 
This is supposed to be a super famous burger place that Matthew McConaughey supposedly visits and loves!
This is where we ate - it is a total hole in the wall place but oh goodness the food is super good! I had shrimp taco and enchilada and it was phenomenal - I literally want to eat there every day (and it was super inexpensive) but the shrimp was done differently here almost more hawaiian/polynesian like! And the place was quite chill and just super cool - my dad visits this place alot? I couldn't believe it but the bartender (super tall...) knew him and they chatted and I ordered what he suggested (I tend to do that...) and he said the food would be too much... well look down there, I was part of the clean plates club! 




I also saw this sticker on the bench next to me... you know what I thought of - Harry Potter was here...probably not true but hey I liked it..

Ok...so as I said... my dad and I then went to the Whole Foods afterwards, you know cause we did not eat more than enough at the restaurant, and we wanted to get ice cream to eat later in the evening and throughout the holiday... I really wanted Haagan Daaz Chocolate Peanutbutter (seriously one of the best things on the planet) but the didn't carry Haagan Daaz at this Whole Foods (they do in NYC but never had a large selection), so then I really wanted Ciao Bella Blackberry Currant sorbet but they didn't have that flavor so I settled for the next best thing that I knew Ben & Jerrys Half Baked.  My dad was not really in the mood for that and and he also knew he wasn't going to get any but he didn't know what to try... I had heard that Talenti gelato is really good but it always cost as much or more than my Haagan Daaz so I never bothered with it...but man will I now!! It is amazing! My dad and I couldn't believe how good it was! Highly recommended if you are craving fruit, cold, sweet anything! 

The next morning I went to this cafe (Swetish Hill) - it is adorable! And so good!! Their pastries delicious (come to think of it, I still have a blueberry muffin and baklava in my fridge...).  They had a sampling of their ginger snaps shaped like Texas and I literally almost bought the bag of them just to snarf right there! So good!!! My mom was arriving a little bit later on so I figured that I would get an assortment for her because she had been traveling since very early this morning and was bound to be hungry! Plus it gave me something to snack on throughout the day!  



So after we picked up my mom, we came back to my dad's place, snacked and relaxed until we were supposed to go to my dad's friends (where he lives) main house for lunch!  That was pretty good too! We had quinoa arugula salad with lamonds and pears, cheese and crackers and chicken thighs made in the crockpot! Nom Nom Nom!  My dad's high school best friend's wife is a pretty darn good cook!  After lunch, my parents wanted to run some errands (because the community pool in the park across the street wasn't open yet) and it was 4th of July so major sales so we went to Macys to check out the sale on furniture/mattresses.  Now that we bought the house in Austin, my dad has to have stuff to move into there to live in until we can move more of our furniture down from Va.  So my mom and I were having fun trying out the different bed while my dad talked business and of course took a selfie.  

While we were out shopping around, we stopped in at target to get some boxes to start putting stuff my mom brings with her down to Austin for the new house but I saw this... I don't know if you remember these, but omg they are terrible! I remember when they were the hottest thing and my parents got my sister and I each one and they were cool for like 10 seconds until they would not stop talking and screeching.  I think I killed mine...no joke.  I showed the picture to her and she said Satan in a toy.  Rightly described! I literally can't believe they are still around! In other news my dad got me some lens (UV and polarized for my camera so I really do need to now learn how to use it besides just auto).  

After the errands my parents decided to go to a local hangout and just sip some Margheritas while I consumed an unholy amount of chips (and salt ... the chips were definitely not salty enough so I kept adding salt...definitely not good for my health).  I actually wondered into the Goodwill that was next door looking for a pair of overalls but had no luck - I really want a pair, and found one online at Urban but I would hate to spend $60 on them :( We then got to chill at the pool after my parents went for a walk with the "Zeus-man" and we just relaxed.  It was nice to see that my parents are really going to embrace the outdoor living style.  Honestly, I wasn't sure.  I knew Austin made sense in a lot of ways for my parents but over the two times I have been there now I have noticed how young and outdoor living the city really is.  I didn't always think of my parents like that.  But then over the holiday it was the both of them pushing me to go to the pool with them or go for walks (which I totally love but I also love being lazy and playing with Zeus in the "apartment").  So I definitely think it is the right place for them.  It is definitely the right place for me too!  I love the food, how easy it is to live an outdoor life, it is definitely cheaper than NYC/DC but costs are rising since the city is getting to be so popular, interesting people, beautiful bungalows (I love them...one floor is all you need - stairs and my back don't agree) with great backyards (I want to have chickens so I could have fresh eggs every morning and grow some of my own food) and the weather is quite nice! Ok enough about that...

After relaxing outside, at the pool and inside (watching of course more HGTV) we went to dinner (starting to see a theme of food...?) at the Galaxy sister restaurant down the road (not sure what it is called but it is also mexican food) and I got some chicken and beef tacos! SO delicious!  I was pretty exhausted afterwards, that I laid down on hte couch and wasn't sure I even had the energy to go outside to watch the fireworks...of course I did though and we just chilled on the lawn with the neighbors and some of my dad's friends' friends.   It was a good evening, despite the bug bites I got! 





The next morning my dad had to go to work (bright and early, I don't even think I woke up) but then my mom and I got going and she took Zeus for a walk and I was able to clean up a bit and pack before we headed to Swetish Hill Cafe (second time for me) for breakfast!  They had something that was similar to a bagel but not quite but I was able to get an egg and cheese sandwich and some good iced tea.  I was happy and my mom and I got to catch up!  
After breakfast, my mom and I went for a walk and then wanted to go into the pool (but it wasn't open yet) so we ended up relaxing...watching HGTV of course... until my dad came home and we got dressed up to go to lunch at the Austin Club (or like my dad likes to say "the Club")  and we enjoyed the nice buffet and had a delicious dessert that the waitress recommended; it was called the almond ball (I think) I am not quite sure but man it was good!  




Afterwards, I took a food coma nap with my mom and Zeus while my dad watched the news (and the events in Egypt continued to evolve...) until I had to get ready for the bus and I returned back to Dallas.  This ride was quite short but the bus was absolutely packed!  Everything went quite smoothly but I was sad to leave - I do miss my parents (and family) and my Zeus but I also appreciate that I am on my own.  So what I am thinking is living in Austin (on my own, like on the other side of town) so that way I am not too far away, and my mom can come take care of me when I am sick but I don't have to have dinner with them every night? Good idea? Maybe Dallas would be better, it is a bit further...but still I don't know if I will be able to go too far away, I am so close with my family even with our own quirks and each of their ability to drive me crazy - yikes don't like thinking about the future.  I just have to survive this week!

Just a few last photos of Zeus:


He just got his haircut on Saturday..so he looks completely different now but I do love him when he is all fuzzy wuzzy!  

Well thanks for reading - hopefully it was interesting!

With joy,

A

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