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Archive for April 2019

Kansas City Friends’ Visit

Posted on April 30, 2019 by under Life.    

As if life weren’t crazy enough, the weekend immediately following our Austin weekend, my friends’ from Kansas City came down to visit. Lucky for us, the house was somewhat clean so at least we didn’t have to spend all day cleaning before my friends arrived.

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The girls (from left: Mary Ann, Molly, and Joy) came down on Saturday morning and went straight to my 10:30 AM Zumba class. I loved how they wore coordinating outfits. Unfortunately, no one told me what colors to wear. LOL.

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I was over the moon that they included Zumba as part of their itinerary. Naturally, we had to take a group photo because it’s not every Saturday that I have these lovely ladies in class.

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After class, the four of us met Brian and grandma at Carrabba’s for brunch. They already got a table and were waiting at the restaurant.

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I thought it was great that they were able to meet grandma.

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Here are some pictures of our food.

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The limoncello French toast was my absolute favorite.

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If you’ve never had brunch at Carrabba’s, it really is worth checking out. The food is good and there are no lines (unlike other places). I think it’s because most people don’t know they’re serving brunch.

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After brunch, Brian took grandma home. The girls followed me home where we got cleaned up before our next adventure.

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The four of us went down to the Keeper and took some pics.

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Then we went to the Wichita Art Museum to check out the opening of the new Georgia O’Keeffe: Art, Image, Style exhibit.

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I didn’t take pics of the actual exhibit. You’ll just have to go see it before it’s over. LOL.

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After the museum we were going to go to the Nifty Nuthouse until we realized that the store was already closed. We ended up killing some time at Lucinda’s before dinner at Sabor.

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Molly and Mary Ann enjoyed some drinks while we were waiting for a table.

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These food pics may seem out of order because Joy ordered her dessert first.

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She also likes to get hot water and honey (below).

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We had the fried plantain chips, which you always have to get when dining at Sabor. I don’t think I got a pic of it, though.

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The food pics aren’t that exciting because everyone decided to order tacos. LOL.

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Brian and I split the adobo pork, which is my absolute favorite thing (among other things) to get when I’m there.

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I like that they split it for us so we didn’t have to do it ourselves and make a mess.

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Here’s a pic of the tres leches cake, which is another restaurant must have.

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Obligatory group selfie at dinner.

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We had a little pajama party at the end of the evening. Joy struggled to stay awake. But who can blame her? They had an early morning. I’m pretty sure they left Kansas City around seven o’clock in the morning or earlier in order to make it to Andover for my Zumba class.

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We played some card games before calling it a night. We didn’t get too crazy. The girls hung out for a bit the next morning before heading out. Here’s our final group pic (at least, until their next visit).

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It was so nice having the girls in town. I’ve missed hanging out with them since I quit working in Kansas City. I’m super grateful that they finally made it down for a visit. I can’t wait until next time!

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More Austin Adventures

Posted on April 21, 2019 by under Travel.    

Just a few pics that we took while we were in Austin…

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Cool guitar decor in the middle of the hotel lobby.

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We found some more while strolling around town. I guess guitars are kind of their thing there. It is the live music capital of the world after all.

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After lunch at Easy Tiger, we checked out the Yeti store by our hotel.

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Then we went to tour the State Capitol.

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There are lots more photos on Flickr. Clicking on one of the above photos will take you to the album where you can scroll through the rest of them.

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This is a nice green space downtown that we always walked by to and from our hotel. It was a beautiful day and lots of people were hanging out on the lawn.

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The adjacent building has a nice foodcourt with lots of food options and also good happy hour specials.

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Foodcourt pics follow…

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It wasn’t so busy when we first arrived but, within the next thirty minutes to an hour, it started to get crazy.

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Here’s what we had.

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The next morning, I talked Brian into going to the Hotel Van Zandt near the Rainey District. My original thought was that we would have brunch at Geraldine’s, it a cute restaurant inside the hotel.

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One of the best things about Geraldine’s is they have live music even at brunch.

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We didn’t end up eating at Geraldine’s because, after looking at the menu, Brian decided that the food was too frou-frou and he wasn’t in the mood for it.

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We opted for the more casual Cafe 605 instead.

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After breakfast, we did some exploring downtown. Here’s a picture of us in front of the Driskill hotel downtown.

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This historic boutique hotel is so authentic, it even smelled old!

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This is a picture of a really cool church building that we passed on our way to the Blanton Museum of Art.

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We went to check out the Words Matter exhibit.

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They had a typewriter that you could play with.

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I thought using a typewriter would be like riding a bike so I decided to demonstrate it on video. I used to use a typewriter as a child so I figured I knew how to use it. Well, it turned out to be the most hilarious video ever because I couldn’t figure out how to make a new line. Watch below.

Now I remember why it’s a called a “Return” key — because of the carriage return. I looked for that stinkin’ key forever. LOL.

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In case you are wondering how we got around, we used these electric scooters for rent which were everywhere.

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The Jump ones are only 15 cents a minute on your Uber app.

Here’s video of Brian explaining how they work.

The electric scooters were scary to me at first because you just feel really vulnerable while on one. Plus, it’s so confusing because we saw people use them on the sidewalks and on the streets. There seemed to be no rules at all.

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Anyway, after Brian convinced me to try them and, upon realizing that the scooters are so much faster than walking, the scooters turned out to be our preferred mode of transportation in Austin and we may or may not have gotten carried away (as you can tell from all the scooter chargers on our credit card).

You can hear more about our Austin scooters experience in the above Facebook live video that we shot while we were at Cafe 605 inside the Hotel Van Zandt in Austin.

That’s all for now. GNG!

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Easy Tiger

Posted on April 17, 2019 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

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Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden is one of the places that came highly recommended when we were in Austin and therefore we had to check it out.

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We originally planned to eat brunch there but the restaurant didn’t open until 11 o’clock. Brian and I decided to just have coffee and a chocolate croissant while we waited another 30 minutes to eat lunch.

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I took some pics of the upstairs bake shop while Brian enjoyed his coffee.

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Obligatory selfie while we were waiting… LOL.

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I took some pics outside too.

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I guess Austin is a popular destination for bachelor weekend for those looking for something different than the whole Las Vegas getaway because we ran into another group of guys on a bachelor trip. We made friends with two of them.

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I challenged one of the guys (dude in white shirt) to a ping pong game because the ping pong table was just begging to be played with and we were all killing time until the restaurant opened. This next pic isn’t that great because you can’t see my opponent. Leave it to Brian to take an awful pic. LOL.

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Brian was looking unhappy at first. I think he was cranky because he expected to be able to eat brunch and we had to wait when we got there.

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He was much happier after he got his beer.

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Some pics of our food.

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So, Brian and I really liked Easy Tiger. We liked it so much we both got souvenir shirts. We definitely recommend you go find this place on Sixth Street next time you’re in the Austin area. GNG.

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Beardbrand and Bats

Posted on April 15, 2019 by under Things to Do, Travel.    

After Moonshine Grill, we walked over to Maggie Mae’s which calls itself the most iconic bar on Sixth Street. We were there with the OUUG conference group just the previous night but Brian had never been and I wanted him to be able to experience it. Plus, I found out about the Beardbrand customer appreciation party so I thought it would be a good way to get free drinks. I couldn’t believe I managed to talk four others into crashing the party with me. As always, Brian (who is a bit of a stick in the mud) was a very reluctant participant.

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Lois and Michelle at the Beardbrand party at Maggie Mae’s.

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They had these little mustache combs in a bowl for everyone to take so I took a few for my bearded friends in Wichita.

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We could have stayed and drank for free all night but we had to be at the bridge by sunset to watch the bats, which Brian had never seen before, so we only had time for a drink. As we were leaving, they were rounding everyone up for a group photo. I really wanted to be in it but party pooper Brian wouldn’t let me. I guess he was still feeling really awkward about crashing the party. LOL.

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We arrived at the bridge just as people were gathering both on land and in the water. They were in paddle boards, kayaks, paddle boats, and tour boats of all shapes and sizes — pretty much anything that floats.

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I suppose the water is the perfect vantage point for viewing the bats as they emerge from their roost under the Congress Avenue bridge.

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Our group decided to stay and watch from the bridge. It worked for me because Jackie and I watched them from the grassy area under the bridge the night before. She wanted to see the bats so I went with her and we both left the OUUG party at Maggie Mae’s early.

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This is the spot where Jackie and I watched the bats.

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It’s a very popular bat observation spot. However, as you can see, people watch the bats from the bridge and also from the river.

Here’s a short video the bats emerging from their roost. They are very small and difficult to see. I was actually quite surprised. I thought they’d be much larger.

Here’s a video of us viewing the bats from the bridge, which I think is actually much better because it’s easier to see the bats. However, I think watching them from a boat on the water would probably be best because you’d be even closer.

The bats start flying out of the bridge at sunset. The whole event takes several minutes and continues until dark. When Jackie and I left that first night, there were still many bats emerging but it had gotten quite dark and we could barely see them at that point and so we decided it was time to leave and head back to our hotel.

It’s really interesting to watch the bats. I can see why it’s a tourist attraction. The main thing to remember is not to touch the bats if you see them on the ground as the sign below says. I didn’t encounter any grounded bats on either night. That’s a good thing. I would have felt very bad for them.

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Anyway, Brian and I decided to call it a night after the bats. He didn’t get in until almost three o’clock that morning due to flight delays. He was supposed to arrive shortly after ten and at the hotel by eleven o’clock. Luck was not on his side that night. He had a rough trip. We both turned in early to allow Brian to catch up on much-needed sleep. That’s all for now. GNG.

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Early Supper at Moonshine

Posted on April 14, 2019 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

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Brian and I had dinner at Moonshine Grill in Austin. We went for an early supper and to take advantage of some happy hour deals. This place came highly recommended and did not disappoint.

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Here are some pictures of the cute restaurant interior.

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Lois (left) and Michelle (right) and Michelle’s husband Brad (not pictured) joined us for dinner. Cheers!

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I can’t remember what they had but I’m pretty sure I took a picture of this section of the menu so I would remember. It didn’t work.

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Moonshine has the best flavored popcorn to go with drinks.

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Here’s a pic of the menu. Pics of food follow.

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Brian and I got full from the apps we ordered so we decided to just split a sandwich which they were nice enough to cut in half for us.

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Everything was so good and the prices were great during happy hour. I highly recommend Moonshine Grill if you’re ever in downtown Austin.

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