The past few days have been my first official days as an Austinite! (Is that right?)
Austin welcomed me with delicious food, interesting people, and less-than-delightful weather. Two out of three ain’t bad.
My first week in Austin, I tried a few new local restaurants:
Fonda San Miguel (AMAZING Mexican food at reasonable prices in a fancy atmosphere with a ridiculously long wait)
Little Barrel and Brown (Brunch with mom, sis, and Annie– a delicious alternative just down the street from Magnolia on South Congress)
Russel’s Bistro (Another good brunch spot, an alternative for when Kerbey Lane is packed)
Torchy’s Tacos (My first time at this Austin classic)
Waterloo Icehouse (A great spot for a burger (veggie in my case) and a beer)
Eureka! (A higher-end burger and craft beer bar just outside of “trashy 6th”)
Pinthouse Pizza (A fun pizza spot with communal tables and a huge drinks menu)
Whew. Just writing out that list was a bit exhausting. All that eating out tasted fantastic, but I am definitely ready to begin eating simply at home again. My kitchen is well stocked (except for garlic… darn) and I am ready to go!
This week I also spent a ton of time outside– when it wasn’t pouring, that is.
Leben and I have been practicing our bicycling skills every day up and down the block. I think it’s getting better… maybe?
I took him to two dog parks this week. One was a sewage swamp devoid of dogs and people alike, and the other was a tiny spot beside the river that I waited half an hour to park in. We are definitely not in Kansas anymore.
I went on a RIDICULOUS hike at the River Place Nature Trail, which is supposedly the most difficult hiking trail in Austin. Did I care about that when I signed up for the meetup? NAH.
Let’s just say I was so sore I could hardly sleep that night. Leben even flopped down at the top of the trail it was so difficult.
I will definitely be doing PART of that hike again in the future because it was so beautiful.
I also got to spend some lovely time with my family this week!
Abi invited me over for Memorial Day swimming and grilling, and we enjoyed playing with Annie in the pool. We were surprised at how cold the water was after spending the week in Padre!
We also took a morning and went on a walk/hike at Mary Moore Searight Park off of Slaughter in South Austin. The park really reminded me of my daily hiking spot with Leben back in Denton. I wish I had a park like this close by.
Literarily speaking (haha) I have been reading a TON!
It’s my own way of killing time and avoiding the impending sense of doom that has settled in my anxious mind as August 1 draws closer and closer and I will have to find a job and a house all over again. Being in transition is really hard.
I am plowing through George R.R. Martin’s “A Clash of Kings,” which I keep telling myself is helping keep me sane since I can’t actively watch the new series as it releases. I’m really enjoying remembering the storyline.
I also began reading Cheryl Strayed’s amazing work “Tiny Beautiful Things.” This compilation of her advice columns as “Dear Sugar” has brought me to tears it’s so real and true.
I’m only halfway done, but this may rank as one of my favorite books of all time. Dear Sugar is the therapist I always wanted (and probably still need).
I also discovered a Half Price Books two blocks from my house (uh oh) and attended their Memorial Day 20% off sale. 3 hours well spent, if I do say so myself.
This bookstore fit me really well. The anthropology section is huge, the Teen/YA section is not completely full of paranormal romance, the folklore selection is stellar, and I happened to find a few real gems while I was perusing the stacks.
All in all, I have had quite the enjoyable week exploring Austin as a local for the first time.
As I walk through shops, people watch at restaurants, and notice the people around me around town, I am constantly surprised at the tiny whisper of belonging I keep feeling.
Little voices nudge at me, “These people look like you.” “This store was made for people like you.” “This is your kind of place.”
For those little moments of contentment, I am grateful.
Here’s to the future, Austin!
“That proves you are unusual,” returned the Scarecrow; “and I am convinced that the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.” ― L. Frank Baum