Howdy, y’all! I’m in Texas, so this greeting just comes naturally. I’ve been away from the blog for awhile, because we’ve been visiting friends and family, and I have to say, my baby nephew is so completely adorable and charming that I haven’t sat down at my computer one single time. And I’m not even sorry! Babies grow up too fast… The only thing I regret is that William is almost one year old and we’re just now meeting him! But better late than never!
I’m just gonna give you a hodge-podge of my eats & activities in this most lovely of Texas cities, rather than a full-day’s run-down. It would be so sad to miss out on any of the good stuff that Austin has to offer! This university town is a unique blend of traditional Texas culture and fare combined with that super-healthy lifestyle and cuisine that is gaining popularity all over the U.S.
We rented a cute little house near the University of Texas campus, which has been perfect for so many reasons, not the least of which is that we have a kitchen & fridge so we don’t have to eat out all the time, only when we want to! So for breakfast I’ve had my usual… green smoothies, banana oat cookies, & fresh fruit- making the most of US cherries & berries before heading back to Philippines at the end of the month.
Being highly fit & active, my brother & sister-in-law are totally in the know on Austin outdoor activities… so on our first day in town they took us rock climbing on Barton Creek. While I’ve done plenty of indoor climbing, this was my first stint on a real rock. Very different!! …and very scary!! I can tell from how sore my forearms & hands are that I was hanging on for dear life, even on the relatively easy pitch we climbed. It was fun though! And thanks to my wonderful husband for his excellent belays…
Afterwards we walked alongside the creek to a swimming hole with rope swings tied to the huge trees overhanging the water. You’d think that these wouldn’t exist in our litigious society anymore, but they do! And oh, it was soooo exhilarating!!!
Of course we worked up an appetite with all that activity, and I was thrilled go to Turf N’ Surf Po-Boy to devour the best fish tacos I’ve ever had… fresh cod, chewy corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, creamy cilantro dressing, a squeeze of lime… yup, it was all that, & I ate every bit.
Our lunch was so late that we thought we’d just get dessert at Hyde Park Bar & Grill where we went for dinner… but the menu looked so amazing we had to try something. Mark & I shared this gorgeous cauliflower steak with lentils & cilantro sauce, along with caramelly roasted sweet potatoes & grilled broccoli. A vegan meal! Shared with (and suggested to!) me by my husband! In Texas… with all that beef!! Whoa… is the world turning upside down??!
But then we went ahead & had this chocolate cake for dessert… so my blood pressure returned to normal & I didn’t reckon an alien had captured Mark while we slept.
I also have to give a shoutout to my cousin’s homemade peach cobbler… how I wish I had a pic! Gorgeous as it is delicious! In my family, we always make our own pie crust, and Alicen’s is second to none- light, flaky, and shatters at the touch of a fork. Put in around fresh Texas peaches & just the right sweetening & spices… well, I guarantee you I ate my full share.
Our other big blowout dinner was at the County Line BBQ. We were generously treated (again!!) by Mark’s Burmese cousins Khaymar & Kyaw Kyaw, and we all made the most of our fun family evening together… Homemade bread… onion rings… unpictured fried okra… grilled salmon & baked potato… pecan brownie with ice cream… We couldn’t eat everything we were served, but that just meant we had leftovers for the next day.
I don’t eat like this all the time… Thank goodness!!! It’s fun while it lasts, but wow, these couple of heavier meals, and more dessert than I usually eat have really sapped my energy, not to mention my motivation to work out. It’s amazing how fast it happens. I never take my health & energy for granted, but when I eat in a way that compromises it, I appreciate it all the more.
So I started today with a (slow) jog followed by a big green smoothie bowl. It’s all about balance, right?
Enjoy your vacations, folks! I am…