Summer Days

Un poquito mas of verano en Austin.

1 lb. of veggies topped with 1 lb. of potatoes, topped with 1 lb. of fried chicken, topped with 1 lb. of gravy. Dinner at ZTejas:

Jack Allen’s makes an insane burger:

Lunch at Frank:

Whip In:

Texas-sized frog.

At first glance, I thought this frog was a rock, so I figured I’d kick the “rock” out of the way of traffic/bikers… About 2 inches before my shoe made contact with the “rock”, I heard a loud “RIBBIT!!”. As if to say: “WTF are you doing?! I’m a frog! Don’t hurt me!!!” The frog jumped about 2 feet in the air, which caused me to jump about 27 feet in the air, screaming: “jesus christ! oh dear god. that is NOT a rock!!”.

Rudy’s:

Sno-beach:

Time with my piano:

Early AM walk/run. No other way to do it in this insane Texas heat:

Mt. Hood

Yes, I grew up in Oregon and yes, I know I was only a few hours away from a handful of amazing ski locations but no, up until this past December I had never been to a mountain and certainly had never been skiing/snowboarding.

In case you were wondering, no, I have also never been camping. Actually, I take that back. My first camping experience was this past summer…in Israel…in a Bedouin tent. Go figure.

Yes, now that I live in Texas I have a much greater appreciation for Oregon and all of its beauty but no, even with this newfound appreciation, I really don’t think I’ll ever be much more of an “outdoorsy” person.

All this to say, I went to Mt. Hood for the first time this past December.

Well, David went to snowboard. I guess you could say I went along for moral support. I did contemplate skiing/snowboarding for about 10 seconds, weighing the pros and cons:

Pro: It could be fun, I can say I’ve tried it, it’s good exercise

Con: I hate being cold, I have no athletic ability, my hand-eye coordination is alarmingly low in the world of athletics (minus salsa dancing), I have the upper and lower body strength of a 9 year old, I’m not the best at making split second decisions in life or death situations (scary), and my luck isn’t all that great….

Wondering which option I chose?

Well…let’s just say, I took the photo you see above from within the lodge. I was mad at myself for about 3.5 seconds for not trying, but then I reminded myself: A. Different strokes for different folks, B. You have an awesome book in your bag that you’ve been wanting to read for about 6 months now and C. If you go out there, there’s a high probability the only way you will return is via stretcher.

While at Mt. Hood, I did alot of two things: reading & people watching. I read one of Chuck Klosterman’s book. Found the content on this page to be particularly smart:

Uhhh. I think someone is tired:

On the way back, we passed a snow bank where there were people sledding and snowshoeing, so we pulled over to check it out. I don’t like dogs (I’m wildly allergic), but I thoroughly enjoyed watching dogs go down snow embankments via snow tubes. It was a challenge to decipher if the dogs really really liked or really really hated the experience. I actually think they weren’t sure themselves.

The hotel where we stayed had quite the happy hour menu. We ate well and I’m sure my galbladder hated me the entire time:

 

Once Upon An Adventure To Boerne, Texas

After just being in Reno for a week, anything involving fresh air and natural light sounded good in my book. Plus it was David’s birthday…what better way to celebrate but submerge ourselves into the earth?

There are a number of cavern tours around central Texas – I decided on Cascade Caverns. The other ones seemed a bit more commercialized, whereas this one seemed most down to earth (I am so punny).

On the way there, guess what we passed?

If you guessed “a Greek monastery!” welp, you are correct!  I have absolutely no idea how there is a Greek monastery in the middle of nowhere Texas, but there is. And here’s proof:

η αγάπη ζει Ελλάδα!

After our quick Greek monastery detour, we arrived:

Watch out, he’ll getcha:

The tour was great and we really lucked out – the tour before us had about 10 people and the tour after had about 246 boyscouts. Our tour had David and me. FTW!

See that cement looking hole in the middle of the picture below? That is a hole leading down to another cave. They offer a tour in which you must SWIM out to that hole, then lower yourself down the hole to cave. Did I mention the water is freezing? (Obviously I am not the target audience for this escapade).

Y ya! One our later and we surfaced from the cave (the tour was awesome!). This was the first thing we saw when exiting the cave. I wonder how old this sign is? If I owned that sign, I might consider taking it on Antiques Roadshow.

Part 2 of the day involved eating a burger. Something you might or might not know about me is that I love hamburgers. Luckily, David also loves hamburgers. After much Texas hamburger research, I found the perfect place to go. It’s a little cafe, literally in the middle of nowhere, called Alamo Springs Cafe:

Here’s what I ordered:

Ha. Totes kidding. As much as I love burgers and as much as I love challenges, I just can’t be ok with eating my weight in / vomiting my weight in hamburgers. Gross? Perhaps. True? Absolutely.

So we settled with this bad boy:

I would not consider myself a foodie/food snob, but I’ve got to say, this burger was pretty out of this world. Out of all the burgers I’ve consumed, this one makes the top 5 list. In fact, I am getting hungry, right now at 4:14 am, for one of these burgers. They are that good.

Back to Austin we went – time for the grand finale – birthday cake! And by birthday cake, I mean peanut butter mint paradise bakery cookie ice cream cake.

Interlude: David’s favorite cookies in the entire world are from Paradise Bakery. Unfortunately, there are no PB locations in Texas. Fortunately, I was in Phoenix the day before. There is a PB in the Phoenix airport. I had exactly one hour between flights to make it through the terminal, find PB, get the cookies, go back through security, back through the terminal and to my gate. Let’s just say I amazing raced my way through Sky Harbor. Success ensued. 

Back to the cake. Here is it! Sadly, I forgot to grab a picture before digging in. Thankfully, it was because the cake turned out so well, we couldn’t wait to dig in!

Pun-Offs & Burgers

This weekend, I attended my first pun-off.

This round’s topic was a category involving the solar system:

And this round’s topic was bedroom furniture:

This dog was wearing a candy necklace:

After leaving the pun-off, we stopped by Downtown Burgers, a burger-selling food trailer!

The burger was good… The bun wasn’t too thick. The tomatos were freshly cut. The burger wasn’t so packed, it fell apart 1/2 way through.

And the staff at Downtown Burger was awesome. In fact, the guy making the burger, slash the guy whom I believe owns DB, came out and chatted with us for about ten minutes. And by chatted w us, I mean, he was cracking us up for about 10 minutes straight.

Anyway, here’s a beautiful picture of the burger, followed by a beautiful picture of the french fries: