Eastbound and Down

This weekend we headed to Nacogdoches, home of the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, to support Heath’s sister Megan as she performed in her senior recital. A skilled flautist, Megan put on quite a show for Heath, myself and more than a dozen other friends and family members that had us tapping our toes in rhythm and sighing in disbelief at both her stamina and melody making abilities. Job well done, Megan.

After being thoroughly entertained and blown away by Nacogdoches’ most skilled musician, we took a walk around campus to experience a day in the life of a Lumberjack.

Heath really liked the trees.

It turns out there is no such thing as too much purple at SFA.

After the recital comes the heart of any family gathering—in this case, a hearty dinner at Clear Springs Cafe.

…Followed the next day by a stroll with Gramps and Elouise at The Azalea Gardens.

The walk included a requisite tree ring counting, obviously. (This is Heath and Gramps we are talking about.)

As all adventures tend to do, this one ended too soon but was filled with fun and family and afforded us a much needed change of pace from our usual Austin antics.


Four Year’s Later

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

It’s been four cool years of getting to know Heath and I’m excited for the next four, and the four after that. To put it as Heath said this morning, “SENIORS, YEAH!” Eloquent.

A photo from our first date.


Seeing Red

I never thought I would be so happy to not eat free tacos.

Yesterday, I had a simple goal: get free tacos from Torchy’s. The local business was celebrating the opening of a new South Side location with free tacos and beer, so I had made it my mission to enjoy both as a sort of mid-week treat. After work Heath, myself and some former colleagues jumped in the car, braved rush hour traffic and headed down South Lamar Boulevard with tacos on our mind. But as we approached it became clear tacos would be a no go. The queue for quality queso wrapped around the parking lot and nearly out into the busy street. Our stomach’s rumbling, it looked like it would be at least an hour or two before any taco consumption would take place. Alright, I guess we will have to pay for our dinner tonight. What’s nearby? RED’S Porch. OK. Why not?

RED’S Porch is the second restaurant by the creators of Austin’s North by Northwest. Like it’s sister restaurant, it features dozens of draft beers, signature drinks and a great happy hour (which we were fortunate enough to take advantage of). The food is great, too; a unique blend of cajun, Tex-Mex and Southern specialties that are moderately priced and great reflection of the region. But the best selling point of RED’S was the view. Typically, tourists and Austin local’s alike head to The Oasis for great patio dining and scenic views, but RED’S offers a comparable atmosphere at a third of the distance, wait time and cost as the lakeside eatery. One covered and two open patios make up the outdoor dinning spaces while the inside bar and lounge areas still receive a healthy dose of fresh air and have a breezeway-like feel provided by several huge open windows and doors surrounding the space. The second floor of the relatively new restaurant offers spectacular views of Austin’s greenbelt that catches first-time visitors by complete surprise. One minute the rush hour traffic of South Lamar was whizzing past at the speed of light, the next we were surrounded by a Central Texas paradise.

If you head to Austin for a visit, expect to stop by this place.


Choosing the right sports bar

First of all, be cautious when writing a blog post about choosing the right sports bar, because with a slip of the finger it becomes Choosing the right sports bra, and that is an entirely different blog all together—but I stray from my point…

Friday is Heath’s and my four-year anniversary. We agreed nothing big since, you know, we are married now and have a real anniversary to celebrate. But it’s hard to pass the day by without giving it some kind of nod. Plus, The Texas Rangers are playing the Baltimore Orioles that weekend which deserves a celebration on its own merit. So as any good, domestic wife would do, I began researching never-been-to-before sports bars capable of hosting our evening of beer, baseball and betrothment. Choosing the right venue is proving to be a labor-intensive task. Meet the contenders:

The Tavern

I’ve been interested in this place since I moved to Austin because I was tickled by their “we have air conditioning” sign which gets second billing after the venue’s name on it’s neon marquee out front. Sure they have a wealth of flat screen TVs, healthy variety of draft beers and a prime piece of real estate to boot, but why mention any of those things in place of your business’ best asset? I’m definitely one to appreciate a healthy batch of irony, so if this place can serve that up along with its 50 beer-menu and historic charm (the Tavern has been operating since 1933) then I’m in.

Shoal Creek Saloon


Literally a stone’s throw from the Tavern is the little sports bar and Cajun influenced restaurant that has dubbed itself the unofficial Saint’s fans headquarters of Austin. Since we won’t be watching the Cowboys duke it out with the New Orleans-based team, I suppose we can tolerate some Saints paraphernalia around the joint while we indulge on fried catfish and pork chops which are rumored to be the best in Austin. It also gets raves for it’s outdoor patio seating which boasts simultaneous views of flat screen TV and its namesake Shoal Creek.

Cover 3

A bit swankier and with an array of creative menu items not typical of a sports bar, Cover 3 is a good option because it blends the chaos and energy of a sporting event with the classy upscale atmosphere desirous of an anniversary evening. The food and drinks, while expensive, are worth it according to Texas Monthly which voted Cover 3 as having the number 12 best burger in Texas.

If you’re a fellow Austinite and frequenter of any of these local hot spots, let me know which venue can do the job.


blossom

It’s nice when you can not only  eat the fruits of your garden labor but enjoy looking at them in the house too.

 


Fun with planters

Heath’s the master of sustainable gardening while I have say over the “pretty” plants. I’m always looking for fun new ways to bring some flowers into the yard that deviate from the traditional plain jane pots and flower beds. I found these fun ideas at apartment therapy and now the wheels are turning as I contemplate other creative containers.


The Houses In Your Neighborhood

So we aren’t really in the market to buy a house at the moment—especially since Heath’s job is in limbo, but we have dabbled with the idea of home ownership. We’ve checked out neighborhoods across the city to distinguish the unacceptable ones from the devastatingly desirable and the ultra hipster from the ultra hippie. We’ve developed quite a list of potential future doodle houses, but until that time comes we are more than content enjoying the views in our current ‘hood. Check out some images from a Sunday walk in Central Austin.


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