Thursday, July 15, 2010

Catching Up

I've sort of abandoned the blog for a while, haven't I? I guess I've been both busy and distracted, but it is high time to get back into this. I'll start with an easy post and just let you all know what I've been up to.

I went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with friends June 21-25. It was a very good trip, and very relaxing. There were 6 of us (all adults) in a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo on the ocean. It was actually about 1/2 hour outside the town of Cabo, but it was just great. Our deck overlooked a pool, which was right in front of the beach. The beach where we stayed is the best for surfing in the area, so we could sit by the pool and watch surfers all day. It was really neat. One of the guys in our group rented a surfboard for the week; that wasn't for most of us who hailed from landlocked states (our group included people from Iowa, Colorado, Tennessee, Indiana, and Texas). Everyone did rent boogieboards and flippers one day though. It was pretty cool to be in the perfect place at the perfect time and ride a wave up onto the beach. I managed to do that a couple times and it was great! We went into Cabo a few times at night, by taxi, to go out for dinner and/or hit the clubs. We went to Sammy Hagar's restaurant/club, Cabo Wabo, a couple of nights. There was a live band both nights -- same band, same songs. When they took breaks, the club played dance music and videos. Yep, those were the same too! Our last evening together, we all went into Cabo and had a nice dinner on the beach at a restaurant called The Office. I would recommend that place to anyone who visits Cabo San Lucas -- great food, great wine, cool ambiance! Our table was in the sand. For the most part, though, the trip involved laying by pool and reading. The pool was the perfect temperature to jump in for a dip, too.

Let's see....the 4th of July came and went since I last posted. Our friends John & Julie Aust (John is a friend of ours from Simpson College, and we met Julie at the same time, though she went to Iowa State) visited me in Austin that weekend. We got rained out of going tubing on the river, but still had a wonderful time! We saw an outdoor show at Threadgill's (, my favorite outdoor music venue in Austin so far, by Bob Schneider & Texas Bluegrass Massacre. Many of you know how much I love Bob Schneider! It was definitely Brian who introduced me to Bob (he showed me most of what I know and like about music), but I don't know how he found out about this Texas legend...maybe from his brother Jeremy, when he lived here? How I wish I could ask Brian that....but I digress. While John & Julie were here, we packed a lot in: swimming in Barton Springs; canoeing and kayaking in Barton Springs/Lady Bird Lake; hitting 6th Street (twice!) -- including the infamous "Game Face" shot at Chuggin' Monkey; shopping at the incredible Prime Outlet Center in San Marcos; eating at Chuy's and Rudy's (Brian's favorites); sno cones at Zilker Park; sushi at Uchi, the chichi place to be in Austin; watching UFC fights; live music on 6th; and a stop for chicken & waffle tacos (the taco shell is the waffle) sold from a trailer at 2:30 a.m. It was an awesome visit!

John & Julie left early on the morning of July 4. I spent the day with my friends Erin & Chad (you might recall that Erin lived with me for a month until her fiance was able to make the move from Des Moines to Austin), lounging by the pool in their super-cool apartment. They made teriyaki-chicken fajitas and guacamole and we watched "Team America: World Police." We didn't go to any 4th of July festivities or fireworks -- this was our very low-key "Dysfunctional 4th of July" and I wouldn't have had it any other way! It was great to kick back & relax. When dusk came, we thought we'd head to 6th Street (for anyone who has not been to Austin, Google this! It is the prime bar district, a very hopping place!) and catch fireworks on a rooftop bar, as rooftop bars are plentiful in downtown Austin. We noticed downtown/6th Street was kind of desolate, so we had no problem finding a spot right at the edge of a roof....only to realize that we were about 6 blocks too far east, our view of the fireworks being obstructed by a skyscraper! We laughed it off and had fun cruising to a few different places on 6th Street. It was actually a very cool way to experience 6th Street -- instead of every place and the street itself being crowded and loud, it was quiet and we could actually talk to bartenders, dilly dally in the street without being run into or impeding the flow of traffic, etc. Later on, a high school friend of Chad's who also lives in Austin met us out. He had been out watching fireworks with his dog, and they came out, so we found a bar with outside seating that allows dogs! We ended the night with more Mexican food, from a stand. No fireworks, no bbqs -- just dogs at bars and Mexican food, all day long! Happy Dysfunctional 4th of July!

Since the 4th, I've just been laying low a lot. Brian's cousin Val had a baby shower last weekend, and I went to that and saw all the "Texas Boka" women. I went out for sushi with them later on that night. I also -- finally! -- cleaned out the fridge and did some massive grocery shopping, which included buying sushi to-go from the fish market area of HEB Central Market (I have been on a real sushi kick lately!). I've also been out boating a couple of times with friends, on Lake Austin and Lake Travis. Last Friday, we spent the day on Lake Travis and then went to Carlos 'n Charlies for a beach concert by The Eli Young Band ( That was a great show! I've also found a new restaurant (new to me, anyway, though it is an Austin staple) that is now my "When people visit, I have to take them here" restaurant! It's called The Magnolia Cafe. I had heard great things, and with good reason!

I've also tried getting back into the swing of things on the exercise front, which is good, given all the great food I've been eating! I've been doing cardio workouts and I went for a 12-13 mile bike ride today! This morning, I grabbed my camera and got on the bike, and took some great pictures of the trail around Town Lake, where I run and bike. I went further than I ever have before, though, and finally found where the trail connects into Zilker Park. What an amazing trail system we have downtown in Austin!

Until the next post, happy trails to you too!

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