Happy Monday! Hope your weekend was restful and lots of fun.
I got a little quiet last week because I had family in town, yay!
Billy's mom, sister, and our nephew Tyler came to visit for a few days. I was happy to play tour guide around Austin, even though I am pretty new to the area myself. My brand of guidance is the "eat your way around Austin" kind, and while it's delicious, it's not fabulous for the waistline. I am definitely in need of a cleanse, lots of greens, and to stay away from sugar for a bit.
Thursday we visited the Austin Zoo.
We discovered it is not your typical zoo, but an animal sanctuary and rescue facility that functions as a zoo. All of their animals were either gifted from another zoo, or rescued from random, and often sad, situations. My favorite story was the leopard that was bought by a truck driver at a truck stop. I mean, seriously? You can buy a freaking big cat at a truck stop? Why have I never been approached by some nefarious character who opens his coat to reveal a baby tiger or something?
Even though most of the animals were sleeping the afternoon away, Tyler was in heaven, running around and checking out all of the animals. I have to say, we had the most fun feeding the goats! Kids really like being able to get up close and personal with animals. I guess I do too! Seriously, that Llama? I need it.
We finally managed to tear Tyler away from the zoo, quite unwillingly. We headed to the Salt Lick Barbecue in Driftwood, a Texas institution, and something that has to be had while in Austin.
Friday I had to work, so B took them to Round Rock Donuts for a sugary breakfast, then to the Round Rock Outlets for a little shopping. They had lunch at Rudy's BBQ, and I finally met up with them that evening for pizza delivery and couch time.
Saturday I went on a bike ride, then came home with breakfast tacos from Torchy's Tacos. I love me some Torchy's, but hadn't had the breakfast tacos before, and oh man they were yummy! Since this was their last day in Texas, and we are desperate for family to move out here, we took them to a few model homes in the gorgeous Crystal Falls community that is right next to ours. Crystal Falls was voted best master planned community in Austin, and we knew it would shine pretty nicely and help convince the family they need to move out here. Even Tyler had fun wandering through the beautifully decorated homes. My favorite was the Jimmy Jacobs home. The master bathroom and closet were the total kickers, but I loved everything about it, including the 17 foot ceilings with dark paneled wood inserts, the gourmet kitchen, and the outdoor kitchen and entertaining space.
After dreaming of fancy pants houses, we headed into downtown Austin and found ourselves at Gordoughs Donuts, which is a food trailer on 1st st that is very well known for their delicious donut creations. I ordered the dirty berry, which was chocolate and grilled strawberries, and I was in sweets heaven. Tyler got the baby rattler, a chocolate donut topped with chocolate Oreo's and gummy snakes.
We wanted to go to Home Slice Pizza on South Congress, but it was so stinking busy, and there was no parking anywhere, so we just drove around to show them the So.Co area. We did the same thing to show them 6th st, since the traffic was nuts, and it's not exactly kid friendly with the plethora of bars. We wanted to get dinner at Chuy's's, but were stymied once again by a busy Saturday evening, and didn't want to wait over an hour to be seated. We ended up grabbing some Mexican food from Rosa's Cafe, but the only thing I can say about them is they had good tortillas.
We all piled on the couch and hung out, enjoying each others' company on our last evening together. We had a super early wake up time of 4am to make sure they got to the airport for their 6am flight. Yeah, none of us were happy about that part. I guess that is what happens when Dad is the one to book the flights and is looking for a deal.
It was so sad to drop them off. Billy hadn't seen his family since he moved to Texas in September. Normally, we would see them once a week at least. I was lucky enough to stay with them both times I've been back to California, but B has missed them quite a bit. We are trying to figure out if he will be able to take some time off in April and come back with me on one of my trips back for weddings, but nothing is for certain. Not being around family has definitely been the hardest part of moving to Texas, and it doesn't seem to get any easier with time, just more tolerable. So hug your family if you are lucky enough to have them around, and if not, count your blessings when you get to see them.