Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A new love affair



It’s been a week in our new city, and though I want to say it’s love at first sight, this is more a tentative kind of love affair. It’s one that allows me to find sweet little notes in unexpected places, make deliberate eye contact for a hint of a smile in the midst of a bustling room, and go out of my way just to walk the same path home so our hands may perhaps brush against each other, sending tingles down our back. Sudden and exciting, unsure of what’s next, but yet feeling like it’s the most natural thing in the world. 

Or something like that.

The sun is shining, the air is a warm 80 degrees – I went from hot toddy to iced coffee season in a matter of days. In my view are what Austinites call a greenbelt – a large patch of natural greenery amid urban life – and the tulips My Guy came home with to put a smile on my face because I had a harrowing day trying to get a hold of someone from People’s Gas to turn off my service at my old apartment ($^@#&$*@&@%!!!). Yes, the flowers are in a blender because who packs a vase in their car when driving 1100 miles while waiting for the rest of the stuff to arrive on a bigass truck? 

At this moment, My Guy’s working at a coworking space he found just five minutes from our house and the girls are at rest in the middle of the day, which means someone should be napping but is probably playing with socks, pretending they’re party hats for her little fuzzy buddies, and the other is reading her fourth, fifth or sixth book from the library—I lost count. We made it a point to get Little Miss her first library card on our first day here because we couldn’t keep up with her fiendish appetite for books anymore. There are worse things I suppose.


While the mid-day writing and resting feels the same, I myself feel like I stepped into a different world.

Well, okay, it is a different part of the world here. Back where we came from, it’s still puffy coat weather, but it’s not just the heat that we’re loving right now. There is so much more about this town that has our heart a-flutter. Like goodness gracious these beautiful, undulating hills in my neighborhood that took my breath away when we first turned into this thoroughfare that leads us to our place. This is quite the change in scenery (and elevation) from the flat landscape of our previous home state.


But you know what’s the best part? Austin is closer to the western edge of the Central Time zone, which means the sun comes up later here than it does in Chicago. Which also means my girls don’t wake from bed till almost eight o’clock EVERY MORNING!!!!!!!

Sorry, did I seem a little excited there? That’s because I am. I realize now that their internal clock is tied to the sun; when the sun rises, so do they, and now that dawn happens almost a full hour later, we get to freakin’ sleep in! Which, in our world, means 7:30AM—still early for some, but hey, I’ll take it!


she who rises with the sun

When we finally got into town last Sunday, we rolled into a dark and tired city. As weary travelers, we were okay with that. Two days on the road can do that to you. We were ecstatic to be here, except we weren’t quite sure what here meant yet.

But when we woke the next day, we were eager to get our Austin on. That’s how we ended up with the quintessential Austin breakfast tacos at the Torchy’s near us.

photo 3 (31) all kinds of salsa action going on here

And we weren’t disappointed. We’ve also had Cajun pizza (shrimp and pineapple anyone?), delectable homemade dumplings in an unassuming Chinese joint a few minutes from our house and the Austin-famous Amy’s ice cream—twice. But we already knew Austin is a food town; it’s no surprise that we’ve been impressed with our choices so far. Eating our way through a culinary hotspot seems like the best way to get to know it, though not the healthiest way, I admit.

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the Cajun pizza


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this is the face with Cajun pizza


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these are the faces with Amy’s ice cream

Eating our way through Austin is definitely why I’m back on my usual running schedule again. I don’t have to dodge subzero temps but subtropical is not my friend either apparently. Especially when you jump from one to another so quickly. Throw in these hills from my neighborhood called Great Hills – errr…yeah, there’s a reason why they’re so named – I’m thisclosetodying each time I run around these parts. Two things I never really grew accustomed to back in Illinois: heat and hills. And these are the two main elements I contend with each time I step outside here. Ugh. I should just take up swimming instead. Seriously. 


the landscape makes my heart happy and my legs cry 

But I’m not complaining. We had the most amazing weather this past weekend – sunny and 70’s – that kept us outdoors. We went back to Zilker Park downtown after our Day One foray there so I could run on the trail around Lady Bird Lake, which turned out to be a runner’s haven (yay, no hills!). While the rest of the family explored the playground, kids’ train, lake and Barton Springs “Splash” exhibit, I felt my bones finally thaw from the depths of this past Chicago winter as the gentle spring weather took us in its warm embrace. 

photo 1 (49)It. Was. Glorious.

After my run, we headed to the farmer’s market downtown for (surprise, surprise) more food exploration. At Little Miss’ request, we went in search of a food truck and ended up with an antelope chorizo taco as our first food truck experience. Another success.  

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fooooooood trrrrruuuuuck!!!


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With our bellies full, we stayed in the park by the market so the girls could play with other kids. We didn’t see any reason to hurry back. With the sun on our face, no one wanted to go home or stay inside. It’s just that kind of weekend. The kind that says, hey, welcome to our fair city – won’t you stay awhile? 

And so far, I haven’t found a reason to say no.


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