Saturday, May 30, 2009

Texas is very very good to me

My boxes from Austin came this week. I got my boots!

And my yarn, and my red pumps.

Life is good

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Austin = food

Austin Texas is known for music, shopping, general weirdness, and of course, food. And we got a lot of food recommendations. And took advantage of them. Behold:

Mom at our table at Gueros. My brother and sister in law recommended them for their tacos and margaritas, and their location in the funky SoCo (South Congress St) district of downtown Austin. Their margaritas weren't my cup of tea (I think I'm used to the sticky sweet margarita mix in most margaritas), but their mojitos were to die for.

The kitchen garden at the Eastside Cafe. This was a perfect place for Mom, since she's a vegetarian and there were lots of options for her. She ended up getting a trio of sides, while I had Eggs Benedict and we shared a cobbler for dessert. Yum!

Mom and her margarita at Chuys. Oh, the joys of Tex-Mex!

I model my tiny spoon at Cru. Mom really liked the bar (see the cool oval shelving unit over my shoulder). The food was amazing.

My Kobe beef with potato gratin. Mmm, mmm good!

Hook Em Horns! (or, my mom lied to me)

When I first suggested Austin as the meeting place for our girls' trip this year, my mom said, "Oh, that would be cool. I've never been to Austin." This was a surprise to me, since she spent her formative years living in Texas, and while it's a big state, I would assume at some point she'd been there.

On our first full day in town, she suggested we visit the UT Austin bookstore. She's a sucker for college bookstores, since she likes to collect pencils, and there are definitely pencils in a college bookstore. On our way there, she said, "You know, I haven't been here in 42 years."

Now, considering I'm 40, my mom is a little older than 42, so I asked what she meant. "Oh yeah, I used to come to frat parties at UT Austin all the time when I was in college." When I mentioned her telling me she'd never been here, she looked at me like I was nuts. Now I'm wondering who exactly has the selective memory.

We got out of the car, and right across from the garage was this lovely sight:

Mom said, "Look, there's Bevo!"

Why is he in a cap and gown, you might ask? We picked graduation weekend to visit Austin. Hence the lack of hotel space in the downtown area.

Mom posed with Bevo, thinking back on her glory days where frat parties were de rigeur.

Oh, and she got her pencil.

By the way, you're probably wondering about that nastiness at the top of this post. While we were at the 80,000 square foot Whole Foods, I checked out the bakery dept. and saw those lovely cupcakes for sale. I'm not sure if you ever visit the website known as Cake Wrecks, but you really should. And maybe, just maybe, that UT nastiness will be there. Because when I saw that cupcake, the first part of a person's anatomy I thought of wasn't a hand doing the "hook 'em horns" gesture.
Just sayin'

Where is the capital of Texas?

No silly, it's not in Dallas. It's in Austin!

The dome, from the main entry at the state capital

The main entry, from the 3rd level

The floor of the Senate. OK, this doesn't seem that unusual. Except it was Saturday.

Now, why would the Senate be in session on a Saturday? It turns out the legislature only meets once every 2 years, and this is their year. The session ends on June 1. So they're trying to cram as much legislation in as possible. While we were there they were debating a law against online harrassment, and something to do with paying state employees to volunteer or take job-related training. Exciting stuff.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Howdy from Austin

Every other year, my mom and I go on a girls' trip together (yes, my dad is bitter that he's not invited). We decided we should "meet in the middle" this year, and Austin sounded like a fun place to do so.

We both arrived yesterday, and immediately headed to all 80,000 square feet of Whole Foods (down the street from the original Whole Foods). Mom wants to go back and browse some more--we could have spent all day there.

We spent our first full day bumming around town (and getting a mild sunburn--Texas is hot!). We visited SoCo (the South Congress Street area), which is full of quirky and offbeat restaurants and shops. I bought not one, but 2 pairs of cowboy boots, and a great pair of jeans to wear with them. I also found a yarn shop, my downfall. Thank goodness for stores that ship, or I would have been in trouble (or at least at the post office). Then we headed to the UT Austin bookstore, since Mom can't go anywhere without a commemorative pencil. She has quite the collection ;)

We finished off the day with a pedicure on 2nd Street, and dinner and wine flights at a local wine bar. Kobe beef, syrah, and chocolate fondue. I could get used to this ;)

Tomorrow is visiting either Lake Austin, the State Capitol, or the LBJ Library--we haven't decided which yet. Dad gets here Sunday, and we've decided he's taking us out to a fancy dinner. If you know of a good place, leave a comment and we may try it out!

I have to buy one of these shirts before I leave...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there, but especially to my mom and grandma, and J's mom and grandma. We love you!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

I went to Baltimore last weekend, to see friends old and new. In between, I had some downtime, and J told me there was a sheep and wool festival going on. And I quote: "You might find some yarn there."

Boy did I.

I also saw sheep, goats, bunnies, alpacas, and a lot of really nice people. It was a good trip.

A fuzzy sheep

Another fuzzy sheep

A sheep with 4 horns!

The head is on the left, by the way

My plunder

Monday, May 4, 2009

Meet Bob

You voted, and we listened ;)
Meet Bob. Bob the Fit.