Skydiving & El Alma’s!

Jumping into this recap- quite literally….

I saw this person putting on a show on the slack line along Lady Bird Lake. There was a little crowd watching him. How fun does this look?!

On October 11th, Deej and I went for a nice walk in the evening. The view of this city never gets old.

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On October 12th I enjoyed one of my favorite dishes for the fall. It is packed with flavor- sautéed tofu with coconut oil, brown jasmine rice, various Indian inspired spices, wilted veggies and roasted chickpeas. Such a comforting and filling dish.

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Now for the big event of this post!! On October 14th I surprised DJ for his birthday with Skydiving (or sorta surprised because he figured it out almost immediately when I said I had a surprise). He has wanted to go for a while, and we had one single afternoon/evening we could actually do something— so go big or go home right?!

Neither of us had been before, and it was the definition of epic. I think I embarrassingly overuse that word, but if there is any instance to use it, this is it! The scariest part, in my opinion, was just the tiny little rickety plane we were in. I have never been in a plane that small, and it felt like it could fall out of the sky any second. The views were STUNNING- I wish I could share those.

Some things that surprised me: Firstly, it was freezing as we were about to jump out. You can see me shivering right before we jump. I think it was just shocking since minutes prior we were in very warm and balmy temperatures on the ground. Secondly, it’s a much more mental experience than physical. I expected to have the ultimate “stomach drop” feeling like you experience on rollercoasters- but since there is no G-force your stomach doesn’t drop (I don’t entirely know what that means; I’m simply regurgitating what I heard, haha). Lastly, the free fall lasts longer than I’d expect. I didn’t mind though- it’s a great experience. My ears did hurt a bit, but I have always had ear sensitivity with changing pressures, so that wasn’t much of a surprise. We were pretty excited to check it off our bucket list! That’s been at the top for a while.

In order to celebrate both DJ’s birthday and surviving falling from 15,000 feet out of the air (give or take), we headed to El Alma for some great tex-mex.

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Inside is super cute and upstairs has an outdoor stone patio area. It’s relaxed, but still adorable with twinkling lights everywhere.

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We started with their house queso (of course!). It is called queso blanco y rojo with spicy queso, árbol salsa, rajas, onions, mushrooms, and tostadas. This is my favorite queso we’ve had so far in Austin yet. It had mushrooms in it which is a pretty original twist, but oh boyyyy did it work!! It was the creamiest most flavorful queso with a kick and the tostadas they served it with were not your typical tortilla chips- they had more flavor and were more hearty.

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For my main dish I ordered the veggie verde enchiladas with spinach, mushrooms, rajas, smoky tomatillo salsa, raw hemp seeds, white rice, and black beans. It was fine- I probably wouldn’t order it again. I also filled up on a whole lot of queso before so maybe I’m not giving a fair assessment, haha.

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DJ tried a couple of their tacos which he enjoyed, but probably not the favorite in town. We’ll definitely be returning for that queso though!

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October 15th I took an afternoon walk and listened to a podcast per usual.

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In the evening I made DJ some rice and pesto genovese chicken.

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I had my leftovers from my enchilada and threw on a fried egg for good measure. If you’re ever not sure what to do with certain leftovers, I recommend throwin’ on an egg! Makes a meal out of just about anything.

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I had this fun find below at Trader Joe’s. Okay this officially shows how behind I am on these posts, hahah.

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We also tried the burrata, prosciutto and arugula pizza from TJ’s on October 19th (I just took the prosciutto off mine). It was so yummy. I have yet to have a bad pizza from TJ’s- they are some of our favorites.

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On October 21st I chatted a while with one of my friends from my previous nursing job. I put this lasagna in the oven and then decided while it cooked I would walk and chat on the trail. (It bakes for about 45 mins). I totally forgot about the lasagna, and when I realized the time I interrupted my own sentence with “THE LASAGNA”. My friend was like “come again?” I explained I think I was burning our lasagna, potentially down our apartment, and our phone call wrapped up quickly after that. Thankfully DJ took care of it, so we’re all good, and it did not burn down our apartment complex, thank gooooodness.

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On October 24th I enjoyed oats with raspberries, Fage and PB2 with some coffee to start the day.

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Later that day I took a chance taking a walk out on the trail. I did end up getting rained on a bit, but it was fun seeing these dark clouds over the lake.

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The morning of the 26th I had a couple errands to run downtown. I stumbled upon this Day of the Dead Parade and took a moment to line up with the rest of the crowd to watch as the various characters passed. It was a fun surprise to start the Saturday!

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That evening we witnessed one of the first of many gorgeous sunsets.

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Feels like a good place to stop for now. Thanks for reading 🙂

Questions for you!

  • Any experiences of your own with skydiving?
  • Do you have a preferred meal or restaurant for your birthday?

xo <3

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45 thoughts on “Skydiving & El Alma’s!

  1. My ex was a pilot and worked at the local airport where they did skydiving jumps. I would go hang out and help fuel up the jump plane and run the loading steps to and from the plane for jumpers. I never got the chance to jump myself, but I plan to when I turn 30 in a few years. 🙂

    1. No way! That’s so cool! I have such admiration for people who make a career out of it, either as the pilot or jumpers. So awesome. I bet he has some great stories. Thanks for sharing with me, Bex!! can’t wait to hear your own experience when the time comes 🙂

  2. What a breathtaking picture! Skydiving would be something that I’d be up for! Stephen on the other hand, not so much, haha. Weirdly enough, I like the stomach drop feeling from rollercoasters; it’s such an odd feeling. The lasagna looks absolutely delicious! Bummed that the best part of your meal was the queso, but awesome that it’s now one of your favorites!

    Since moving to Nashville, my new favorite restaurant is called, Inchin’s, which is a restaurant that offers Indian and Chinese cuisine! Thanks for sharing, Mackenzie! Hope your week is going terrific!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie 🙂 I actually don’t mind it either, but was nervous when I thought it would be an infinite stomach drop feeling skydiving. I even told DJ I feel like rollercoasters are scarier because of the physical reaction to them vs. skydiving. Skydiving is almost relaxing ! lol. I hope you get to try it soon 🙂

      And an Indian/Chinese fusion restaurant sounds absolutely delicious!!! I’m going to remember that if I’m ever in Nashville. Thanks for reading, Stephanie 🙂 I hope your week is going well too!

      1. That’s so interesting! I love the thrill of rollercoasters, haha. I hope to skydrive someday; it’s awesome that you both go to experience it! And yes, definitely try Inchin’s if you ever come across one. You won’t regret it!

  3. Hey there, Mac’n’Cheese gal!

    That’s so cool that DJ and you went skydiving! I tried this a couple of years back, and also bungee jumping the year before, and I loved it. If I had enough money, I’d take skydiving lessons, to jump on my own… The sensation of the fall is so great, I’d do it again anytime 🙂 On the other end, although I am happy I tried bungee too, I wouldn’t jump again. Surprisingly, it was much scarier for me than skydiving.

    I hope you started 2020 on a good note, and that it will come with countless blessings for you, DJ and your loved ones 🙂 *Big hugs*

    1. Hi Cyra!!

      Ohhhhh we were talking about how bungee jumping is our next big thing! We were saying how it would probably be scarier than skydiving, especially without the tandem.

      Thanks for sharing with me, and I hope your 2020 started out beautifully as well!!! Sending hugs right back 🙂 Always such a treat to hear from ya!!

  4. you are braver than I am.. I could and would never jump out of a plane. But, I did get a chuckle when you said you felt like the plane might fall out of the sky. My thought was, well you were going to jump out of it anyway, so you’ll be set. Ok that might have been a bad thought, but hey it is what popped into my head. I’m glad you got back in time to save the lasagna and your apartment complex!

    1. Hahah wait that’s such a valid point!!! I think the only difference is we aren’t hooked up to our tandem instructors in the plane (who have the actual parachutes)… so logically that’s the only problem. But in theory- too funny !! And yesss, thank goodness DJ actually heard the timer go off! Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your Thursday 🙂

  5. Skydiving! You are very brave! I’ve never skydived, however, I did fly a plane once. I was thinking of taking lessons and an instructor went up with me. It was the most extraordinary experience. Go you!

    1. Thanks so much, Kathy!!! And flying a plane is too cool!! If I were you, I’d forever use that as my “fun fact” that they ask during ice breakers, lol. I don’t know that I’d be brave enough to do it though. DJ has actually mulled over the idea of getting a private pilot’s license one day though. Thank you for sharing!!

  6. I have not been skydiving, but I never say never. My husband used to skydive when we met, but hasn’t been in forever. The Day of the Dead parade looks like something fun to have stumbled upon! That sunset is just gorgeous!!! I hope you’re having a fabulous day!! xx

    1. I love your attitude- never say never is right! It’d be a fun thing for you and your husband to do together one day. I was shocked how easy the general process was and there isn’t a whole lot of instruction since the instructor does most everything technical. Thanks for reading, and I hope you are having a wonderful day as well 🙂

  7. How nice that this epic (yes, great choice to describe it) experience was recorded as well. Love the Titanic-like pose for both of you – you are both sporting gigantic smiles. That Tex-Mex place looks fun and tasty as well.

    1. Thank youuu! The titanic pose is actually important for the air dynamics! A fun little behind the scenes: They tap us on the shoulder and that means we are supposed to spread our arms out, otherwise the instructor has to do a lot more work with keeping us upright, I think (?) something like that haha.

      It was all such a blast 🙂 Thanks for reading, Linda!

      1. I wondered if that was the case since you both did it. It looked like it was fun – that’s great that you guys experimented by going up skydiving and were brave Mackenzie.

  8. Oh wow, that’s totally cool you took DJ skydiving for his birthday, how did he guess that surprise haha! It sounds like such an awesome experience… and I would totally use the word ‘epic’ too if I were you. I would love to go skydiving one day, and I am so happy for you both that you got to tick it off your bucket list! That’s wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Mack ❤️

    1. Hehe- I think he knew because it’s something we’ve talked about for a while and the fact that I had to make sure he had a whole afternoon free kinda gave it away!

      Thanks for sharing in the experience with us through reading! xox

  9. Ooohh my gosh! You guys have a ferry over there?? Lol
    And super fun you guys went skydiving! It’s in my bucket list too but I’m also kind of, scratch that, very afraid of heights lol.
    The veggie enchiladas sounds amazing but sorry you thought it was okay.
    Lol I find it funny that you forgot about the lasagna but I’m glad DJ took care of it and nothing bad happened 😄
    Curious about what the weather is like over there? Does it fluctuate a lot? Few degrees? Is it sunny one minute and cloudy/rainy the next?
    Ah the parade looks fun! I dont think they have anything like that here considering it’s usually raining by that time of year.

    1. Yess! There are boat tours constantly! We haven’t done one yet, but they always look like a lot of fun.

      I will say it’s almost like your brain can’t compute how high up you are or what’s happening which almost makes it LESS scary than you’d think. I highly recommend everyone doing it at least once!

      Hmmm the weather is pretty mild, but gets extremely hot in the summers with lotsa humidity. Right now I’ve been saying it feels a lot like a Bay Area winter- mild, sometimes rainy… one of those types of deals. Thanks for reading, Rossy! xox

      1. Haha it’s still kinda insane, but the scariest part is probably the ascent in the plane rather than the actual fall (in my own opinion!)… I’m sure others would disagree, lol

  10. Oh my goodness so much better for me to watch the skydiving AFTER the fact. This still gives me the willies to watch even though months ago and you truly are safe and sound!!! I can honestly say I will never, never, ever do this in my life!! Glad you had fun and thank God you landed just fine!!! your relieved Ohio mom

    1. Hehe!!! It’s so surreal!! I feel like you survived the experience with us by just watching the videos. You can have your mind at ease that we won’t be doing it again anytime soon. But we are looking into Bungee Jumping- just kidding, just kidding (for now, lol!). <3 <3

    1. You totally could! The actual fall isn’t as scary as you’d think- way more of a mental experience in my opinion and less scary than rollercoasters (some would probably disagree lol). Thanks for reading, Ashley!

  11. Girl look at you! I am so proud of you guys! Also, you make me want to do skydiving! I know a lot of people who have done it, but I feel like your description is the most real I have heard/read. Though the ear thing is a turn off. I also have super sensitive ears and have had my eardrums burst. I also never thought of that being an issue before, but it makes sense. Thanks for sharing sweets AND being inspiring!
    Also happy belated birthday DJ! It sounds like he had an amazing day and I hope he has an amazing year!
    That Tex-me looks so yummy! All of the food does and girl your pictures! You are making me want to go visit Texas (again!) and really explore. I am drooling! <3

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I am the same with my ears. Have had issues my whole life with pressurizing, scuba diving was one of the most painful 😣 but skydiving wasn’t as painful as that and the pain was done as soon as I landed on the ground. Then it was just the muffled/clogged feel for the evening; but they eventually popped! Hope you do try it one day!! So worth it 🤗

      Awww I’ll pass along the bday wishes 🥳 thank you tons !! If you’re ever here lemme know!! 💓💓

  12. I know I already wrote to you on Insta, but you are my hero for skydiving with DJ!! I think it’s incredible that you did it with him, and I’m sure it was so special. I don’t know if I could ever overcome my fear of height enough to do it, but I love how you described it.

    Your date night looked so special! I’m sorry the entrée was a bit underwhelming, but I love how you just acknowledge it and don’t dwell on it. We’ll have stellar and not-so-stellar meals, and I try to just appreciate them all. 🙂

    “Put an egg on it” is our motto!

    Love those ghost chippies! So cute! Gimme both that ‘za and lasagna pleaseandthankyou! 🙂

    Sometimes getting rained on feels nostalgic of childhood and our more carefree lives. <3

    Here's to a wonderful week for us both! xo

    1. Awww thank ya! It’s funny because I think we were so distracted with the craziness of our semesters we really didn’t have time to get in our own heads about it all! So probably good timing to try to take it on 😆

      Aww yeah, with all the Tex Mex in these parts not every one is bound to be the best, but that queso definitely made up for it 😋

      Hehe I wish I could share!!!

      Yes yes I so agree!!! I remember a post you did about you and Matt getting soaked in the rain. It really does bring up those old carefree childlike states!

      Yesss- I hope yours has been going so well💓💓

      1. I can understand that!

        I’m so glad the queso hit the spot!

        Yes! You have a great memory, & I appreciate your enthusiasm for my posts. 🥰

  13. AHHH! You two are so brave! I don’t think I would ever have the courage to sky dive but, your videos turned out so cool. So interesting that your stomach doesn’t do the drop for whatever scientific reason! & oh girl, I am drooling over that queso, I LOVE mushrooms & those chips look so special, too. <3 What a shame the other dishes weren't up to par. 🙁

    That chicken & pesto meal you made DJ looks amazing. I'm going to look up a recipe for that! Those ghost chippies are adorable & the Day of the Dead parade looks so fun. 😀 What a gorgeous sunset, too!!

    Thanks for sharing, Mackenzie! <3

    1. Hehe thanks so much! It was such a crazy time of year I don’t think we even had time to really get scared 😂

      Oh man oh mannnnn I wish I could share this queso with you if you like mushrooms! It is next level!!

      I think I got that genovese from Trader Joe’s! I’m sure there are great recipes from scratch out there too 😋

      Thanks for stopping in, Hunida!!! ❤️

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