First Days in Austin & Flying to Miami!

Hi everyone! Ok, now I am dipping into my back-logged post reserves. It’s 12 am, I’ve been studying since 7 am… and that’s pretty much how every day this week has gone, and I think this semester is going to go. It is a DOOZY. I do have my on campus intensives soon, so I’ll be traveling for those which I’m excited for – just a lot of prep until then. But, for now, I have a few posts on standby to share :). Hope you all are so well 💕❤️

So now our posts moving forward are all going to be from our time in Austin (well some Miami too). I am so stoked to recap the rest of the summer. It’s been probably the busiest few months I can remember, but all packed with fun (and only a couple moments of panic, hah).

Once we returned home from TJ’s, I whipped us up some Indian Food with their naan. I loveee TJ’s naan (both the fresh & the frozen). They have such a wide variety of options for vegan and vegetarians too (they have a Vegan Tikka Masala that is so yummy!).

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We spent the rest of the night unpacking and getting settled as much as we could.

The morning of July 4th I started the day with a slice of toast with yogurt, strawberries, salted cashews and a dash of stevia. I love the salty/sweet combo, especially with coffee.

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I spent the whole day studying. Kinda a bummer when it is a holiday — but gotta do what you gotta do, ya know? DJ was really understanding & he worked on getting organized/getting ready for his semester too.

In the evening we decided to go clear our heads and walk around outside. Basically upon stepping out our door we were in the audience of the Austin Symphony. Everyone was congregated to hear them play and witness the massive Fireworks display- there was an excitement and anticipation buzzing through the city, vendors lined the sidewalks and food trucks emanated smells of fair food that made us involuntarily salivate. The food truck scene is incredible here!

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We walked along a river and soaked up the views of the city. We even saw our first city rat that scurried past us on the trail. Eep!

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When walking back to find a place to stand and watch the fireworks, we were passing a set of porta potties, and I heard a mom tell her daughter in a scolding tone as they left one of them, “No more peeing till we get back to the hotel, that was traumatizing enough”. It cracked me up.

We found a spot on a bridge to watch and it was nice to turn off my tired brain for a couple moments and to share this moment with DJ. We haven’t had a Fourth of July together since we moved to California (ironically it was actually during our last move too!)- the last few summers he was at the baseball stadium for game nights and fireworks.

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On July 5th, we both went to a nearby Starbucks to crank out work all day. Since we didn’t have Wifi, we changed scenery between the lobby of our apartment and Starbucks. We had a gift card, so we figured we would use that up before venturing out to different local coffee shops.

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In the afternoon we made a Target Run to get a few things we needed like cleaning supplies, bowls to replace some we lost in the cooler, toilet paper, etc.

We found these bowls for .79 a piece & we love them!!! They are dishwasher and microwave safe too. Also, they are the perfect size. (My oatmeal doesn’t overflow, which is the ultimate test, amiright?!)

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For this meal I made a murasaki potato stuffed with roasted artichoke hearts, chik’n from Lightlife, and green goddess dressing from TJs.

July 6th was the same ol’ as the day before… but with one special highlight- we tried Cane’s for the first time! Now, this place is very hyped up. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone who doesn’t just rave about it. So naturally we had to try it out!

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We ordered a basic chicken tender basket with fries and their Texas Toast. DJ LOVED their chicken and we were both obsessed with their Texas Toast and fries… but maybe my favorite part… the sauce!!! That doggone Cane’s sauce- oh me, oh my.. so good!! Obviously, we get the hype (it 1000000% lives up to it) & we will be back. I have since found myself craving that Texas Toast & sauce combo– mmm mmmm!

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We took another evening walk that night.

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July 7th was the same ol’ too.

July 8th…nothing new- just study, study, study. I did have a pretty serious moment of panic this day though. I had to take my exam for class on the morning of the 10th before flying out for my sisters wedding that afternoon. Originally, the cable guys were supposed to come on the 8th to set up the Wifi, but then something came up and it looked like they wouldn’t be able to come until after we returned home. I needed that secure Wifi for my exam (public access Wifi can knock you off easily, plus it’s hard to focus in public). We worked it out that if they had a cancellation they would come on the 9th. I prayed hard there would be a cancellation, and luckily there was! I was so thankful…it all worked out as it always does!

Anyways- random non-segued transition- at TJ’s I saw this Fresh Texas Homegrown Okra I could not pass up. I don’t know what it was about this Okra, but gosh it was sooo tasty.

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For dinner one night I made us okra, eggs, and brown rice. Kinda an odd combo, but it worked!

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July 9th we started the day with some PB toast with honey and eggs. The movers came that morning too!

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Since I needed to crack down in the books, I headed to Starbucks while DJ helped get the movers going. Time to put in one last massive day of studying!

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Before heading home for the afternoon I grabbed DJ a protein chicken wrap from Starbucks.

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The rest of the evening was spent packing for Miami and unpacking a couple boxes here and there. In the morning of July 10th, first thing I did was take my exam. After an hour and a half I submitted the exam, and was thrilled to see my grade (we get them automatically because it’s electronically graded).

It set the day and trip off on a great note 🙂 It was such a relief to have that behind me! We finished getting our suitcases together and then left our scattered boxes to go to the airport.

Austin’s airport is awesome! It emulates the hip/happenin’ chill vibe of the actual city itself.

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I sniffed out some coffee from Ruta Maya and then sat down to start my next unit. Usually I give myself the rest of the day off from studying after an exam, but since we had my sister’s wedding festivities the entire weekend I couldn’t afford to take our travel day off too. Worth it though! Anticipating all the fun that was coming helped keep me motivated.

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Plane time!

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We arrived in Miami in the evening. We made a trip to the grocery store with my mom to get some snacks for the Bachelorette party the following day. Something that we were fascinated by was the way you get your groceries down… they have a system where you put your cart on an escalator and then just meet it at the bottom! Too funny.

 

 

When we got made it back to the Air Bnb we were staying at, DJ ordered a burger from Five Guys. He ordered a double, not realizing their standard burger is already a double so ended up with three patties. Lol. Safe to say he got his protein intake met for the day.

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I worked that evening on getting everything ready as much as I could for the Bachelorette party and then hit the hay.

In the morning, my mom, sister and I all worked out at the AirBnb together. Workouts are all the more fun with them by my side!

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Ahh- I’m so excited for the next post where I’ll recap the first half of Miami. Thanks for reading 🙂

Questions for you:

  • Do you like Raising Cane’s?
  • Do you have a favorite fast food “sauce”?

xo <3

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44 thoughts on “First Days in Austin & Flying to Miami!

  1. I believe the bowls you bought are the same ones I purchased to take with us to the race track when we stay in our enclosed trailer. Great minds think alike! I have to give props to Kaci because she told me about them. Despite having just moved, knee-deep in a challenging program, and then having your sister’s wedding, you made awesome meals and really have kept such a wonderful attitude! SO glad your Wi-Fi sitch worked out and that you did so well on your exam! I haven’t tried a ton of sauces to feel as though I can weigh in like an expert, and I hate to sound cliché, but I do love CFA sauce. 🙂

    1. No way! I literally was thinking “great minds” as I read the first sentence And then you said great minds and great minds are thinking even about saying great minds 😱😱 so meta! Did you follow that? I’m not even sure I did . anyyyyways those bowls are great , huh? 🤣 thank you tons for your kindness and encouraging words. And I agree – CFA sauce is way up there! 😋😋 thanks for reading, Kori!

  2. sounds like things are moving smoothly for the move. glad you were able to get your wi-fi set up and going. I’ve never seen a 5 guys burger with 3 patties before, everyone we’ve gone to is 1 patty for a single and 2 for a double. maybe he got a bonus patty? I’ve heard of raisin cain, but never been there before. we are chick fil a people

    1. I’m so thankful it all worked out! I do feel that I am much more lethargic into starting this semester after such a draining summer, but I also am very thankful to have way more time to focus on school! And so interesting! I bet he did get a bonus one because he said the same thing too 🤣 chic fil A cannot be beat- I agree with that! Especially the fries and sauce 😋 thanks for stopping in! I miss the blogging world, but these comments help give me even a brief connection to it 💕

  3. First, I want to commend you for your dedication and focus on your studies. Seriously. That takes A LOT. Proud of ya!

    Now, on to the fun stuff.

    I am laughing so hard at this: “No more peeing till we get back to the hotel, that was traumatizing enough”.

    Ok that Canes place looks like my kind of place. I recently discovered the wonders of Texas Toast (unfortunately, all I can get is the frozen kind, but as yummy as it is, I can only imagine how awesome the fresh kind is) and I love crinkle cut fries, which are hard to find. I don’t know what the Canes sauce flavor is like but I’m sure I would love it on my toast, on my fries, on my chicken….

    Congrats on getting a great grade on your exam!!! And so glad the wifi man got your set up in time to take the test!

    OMG how cute are you and your Mom and Sis working out together???

    That system for the grocery carts is too much! They should let us ride IN the cart on the thingie. How fun would THAT be?

    1. Jinjer, thank you for your kind words! It’s like you know what I needed to hear today. I am feeling burnt out after only two weeks into this semester but this just gave me a new vigor to get back to it!

      Lol- wasn’t that a hoot what the mom said? That was a couple moments after seeing the rat so I can only imagine how bad they were 😱🤣

      Oh my gosh!! I was raised on the frozen Texas Toast !!! Sometimes nothing beats it- especially with a good bowl of pasta! Enjoy 😋

      Thank you so much! And yessss I just LOLed- riding in that cart would be the best!

      I hope you are having a nice weekend and again, thanks for brightening my whole day!

    1. Hahah !!! I get it! That sauce is something special 😋 thanks for reading , Carly! I miss keeping up with your blog- this semester is kickin my butt, but I hope all is well!

  4. It sounds like you were off to a good start in Texas! I am so jealous of your motivation and determination with your studying! You’re amazing!

    I can’t wait to hear about your Miami trip! How sweet that you worked out with your mom and sister! I love sharing a workout with family 🙂

    I have never heard of Raising Cane’s but the chicken looks delicious!! I’m not a huge sauce person but I do love the dip that a local pizza place gives with their sweet potato fries. It’s some sort of horseradish mixture and it’s delicious! I wish I knew how they made it because I’d make it all the time at home!

    1. Aw thanks, Em! It’s been a hard day particularly to stay motivated so thank you for these encouraging words 🤗

      Yesss family workouts are so fun! It’s rare to get them, but we treasure um’!

      Oh my gosh sweet potato fry dipping sauce is always SO good- I love horseradish based sauces too!

      Thanks for reading 🙂

      1. I actually found the time to run with my sister this weekend and it was the best! We spent the whole time chatting and catching up since we are both teachers and last week was CRAZY!

  5. What a Summer for you Mackenzie – and in between juggling everything around, you have to choose your free time activities carefully … it looks like you made the right choice though. The open air symphony and the fireworks – you were lucky you headed out. I have never heard of Raising Cane but their chicken looks tasty – in fact, with all the “Popeyes Chicken versus Chick-Fil-A” sandwich wars going on right now, it is a wonder that Raising Cane is not up there with those two sparring chicken sandwich places. Your curriculum will get tougher when you go on site? I don’t know how you do it girl. 🙂

    1. It was such a memorable day for sure 🤗 made us feel like we did something without committing too much time. And I just heard about this whole thing today with Popeyes and chic fil a! How ironic!!!! Thanks for your encouragement always. I soooo appreciate it!

      1. Thank you! I took my first exam yesterday- got a 96% woot woot! Now off to on campus intensives. The rest of September is nuts, but I think things will calm down in October right in time for DJs birthday 🤗 hope you are having a nice week!

      2. Congrats Mackenzie – all your hard work and less distractions now is paying off with great grades. Two weeks of craziness, then I hope you can plan something special for DJ’s birthday.

  6. Sounds like you had a great first few days! That’s such of cute picture of you, your mom and sister all working out on the treadmill! Since we’re moving Friday I’m kind of hoping a grocery store has the cart escalator. It just screams city grocery shopping to me!

    1. Hi, Maureen!!!! Gosh, I miss you girl! This semester is kicking my butt so I have had zero time for anything, but I hope your trip went so well!! As well as the move 😍 yayyyyy!!!!

      Haha you’ll have to let me know if they have it- 10000% a city innovation!

  7. Hi Mackenzie! You are studying so hard, 7-12AM? That is WILD, you are a champ. One day, it will all be over & worth it. ♡

    The photos of the city are GORGE! & I’m jealous there’s a hot food truck scene over there. That’s so lovely you & DJ were finally able to see fireworks together! They look awesome!

    I feel like such a picky person but boyfriend & I both weren’t fans of Cane’s & honestly, especially not the sauce. It tasted like black pepper sour cream or something lol. I’m glad it lived up to the hype for you guys though. Your photos of the place & food there look so profesh!!

    Yesss! Everything does always work out, doesn’t it? I totally get why you wouldn’t wanna do your exam in public, so glad there was a cancellation for you! & congrats on the good grade! 🎉

    That okra looks sooo tasty!! I’d def have some with those eggs & brown rice. ♡ I actually laughed at the cart escalator, I’ve never seen that before!! I’m fascinated lol. & woo! 3 patties?! Go DJ! Five Guys is my fave!! & my fave fast food sauce is probably Wendy’s Sweet & Sour. 😄

    1. Thank you so much, girl! I do have to remind myself that it will all be worth it!

      You would LOVE Austin! It is food trucks galore here!!

      So interesting! I hear ya though- definitely a very specific flavor!

      Aw thank youuu! I am soo thankful it all worked out how it did 🤗

      Glad you like my okra combo 😋 all the different textures and flavors worked surprisingly so well.

      Oh yes- I remember my first five guys burger vividly! So tasty!

      Oh my gosh, yum! When I did eat meat Wendy’s chicken nuggets were my absolutely FAVORITE! Thanks for stopping in , Hunida! ❤️

    1. Yes me too! I always feel so successful when I find something that works like that, especially when it’s with leftover groceries!! thanks for reading, Jess!!

  8. I always find your posts so calming and its so nice to have an insight on american life!! The firework show looks so impressive, I bet the atmosphere was amazing. Once again your post has left me sooo hungry, it can be so hard to find good vegan alternatives so its amazing they do a vegan tikka masala?! I loved this!! xxx

    1. Aw thank you, love!!!! This comment just warmed my heart tonsss. You are always such an encouragement to me! I hope you find some delicious vegan eats so soon. 🙂 I’m sure one of your epic cafes you visit will have something! Have a great rest of your weekend, Chloe! 💕

    1. Absolutely amazing! It’s a place of it’s own- not sure I could live there- but the energy is so much fun, the food is great, there is so much to do- I just loved it!

  9. Oh my goodness you have long days Mackenzie !! Try and get some time for you. Aww I remember the days doing the unpacking after a move. It is a pity you had to study on the 4th but you had to do what was needed. I am glad you got out in the evening though. How nice to see the Austin symphony play! Not so nice to see the rat. That was nice you got to see fireworks together in your new city. It is always nice to make a target run, and those bowls are awesome. Cane’s looks so good! The power of prayer worked for you and I am happy you got to take your exam. The toast and eggs look tasty. It was good for you to head out while DJ helped the movers, to keep you focused . I am so happy for you that you got a nice grade and then were ready to leave. That is funny sending your groceries all by themselves on the escalator ! That is a huge burger ! How fun to get the chance to work out/or just hang out with your Mom and Sister ! We have a Cane’s 10 miles away for the last 8 years or so and I have not gone yet ! I like https://freddysusa.com/fredhead-feed-freddys-famous-fry-sauce-must-have/ Freddys sauce on fries ! Thanks for the post , Terri xo.

    1. Thank you, Terri! I let myself have no studying last night after I took my first exam and painted my nails instead while watching a show 🙂 it was such a nice treat!

      I am so thankful to DJ for picking up so much of the slack while I studied hard this summer. Very thankful for him!

      Oh my gosh! I know Freddy’s !!! I haven’t had it yet, but my step dad, Pete, raves about it! I believe it’s his favorite too 🙂 Next time we see one I’ll have to make sure we stop. Thanks for reading ☺️

    1. Ah they do?! 😍 I was thinking they may only have them in Fort Worth but this is so exciting! Thanks for checking!!

  10. I need some more bowls so I’ll have to check out Target soon! I love okra….so tasty! I haven’t heard of Cane’s and we don’t have any around here. Austin looks gorgeous at night…and a symphony! How lovely! 🙂

    1. Yay!!! They are so cheap yet durable!

      I would love to spend some real time listening to the Symphony- maybe make an evening of it with a picnic on the lawn 🙂

  11. Ah I had forgotten you were already there by the Fourth. I’m glad you guys got to go out and enjoy some sights and some fireworks.
    I’m sorry you had trouble with the internet company, but great that actually showed up!!
    That PB with honey and eggs looks great. Never though of having eggs on the side, I’ll have to try it lol
    We have Five Guys here too and I think they’re decent burgers…but Mike’s Drive In (probably only here) takes my winning spot since we dont have In n Out around here haha
    Cant wait to read the rest. Think I’ll do that now because I feel like I havent read much from you lately. Binge reading time it is 🤣🤗

  12. Hey Mackenzie! I have been out of the country and have missed your posts! I know you are crazy busy but loved seeing you are in Austin and you are up to your eyeballs with school!

    The wedding looked beautiful! Hugs and prayers!

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