Eye’ve got my Eyes on San Antonio!

Hi, everyone!! I am currently flying back from North Carolina after an on-campus intensive. A little update about this semester- it has been a game changer, in the best way.  I am in clinicals now, which means I am back with patients <3 I have doubted this decision to return to school many times, especially last semester, but I just kept praying, praying, praying and trusting that this truly what I’m supposed to be doing. And finally, it all feels like it’s coming together. I still struggle with some insecurity about my knowledge or experience, but I am reminded the purpose of this program is to fill in those gaps and provide us with what we need to know. Rather than the idea of being an FNP seeming so nebulous and intangible, it’s becoming more feasible. Prior to clinicals, I was worried about not retaining much of what we learned since it was so stinkin’ much, but it’s pretty cool to see how much of that knowledge comes forward when it’s called upon. My preceptor is absolutely brilliant, and I am learning so much from her. The MAs I work with could not be more wonderful. Last semester was grueling, but this semester feels like a weight is lifted; I have clear direction, motivation and assurance- I am feeling very thankful. My mom-in-law told me last semester (paraphrased) that throughout life often when it feels you are at your wits’ end is usually when you have a breakthrough/things turn up. That’s exactly what I’m experiencing, as is DJ. It’s busy as ever, but we’re both feeling reinvigorated. I do still have a tremendous amount of trepidation, nerves and amount to learn- but the accompanying emotional turmoil has lessened. Also, some exciting news- DJ sealed up his internship for this year. We will be apart for fourteen weeks since it’s in Ohio, which is going to be tough… but we are trying to see the bright-side: It’s a great opportunity for him, I have my heaviest amount of clinical hours during that time so I’ll be MIA anyway, he gets to explore a new city, and with the very little spare time I do have I can invest in friendships in Austin. It’ll just be another adventure for us both!

Okay, so I am posting one more post from 2019 (this one), and I’ve decided I’ll save my whole Christmas post for next Christmas season and release it at the beginning of December. I’ve never done that before, but maybe it’ll be a fun change of pace?!

Words, words, words… soo many words. And here are more words… but then pics will come soon too!

Sooooo story time (full disclosure, it’s a C+ story at best, read at your own risk of boredom):

I went to the ophthalmologist on December 17th for an annual eye exam (had my first floater…sad day). I had my appointment scheduled at 1 pm and was planning on meeting my mom for dinner in San Antonio in the late afternoon/evening (she was there for work). They said I would be just fine to drive after the appointment, so I didn’t rearrange my plans to drive straight to San Antonio immediately after. Well, it was more challenging than I would have thought. I was fine seeing a few feet in front of me/long-distance- I could read road signs easily, but I couldn’t make out anything on my phone, and even the car dashboard was hard to read. I went home and grabbed multiple sunglasses and somewhat blindly entered San Antonio into my GPS (Again, I was just fine seeing more than a couple feet in front of me, I just couldn’t read fine print). So I am driving and hear the ominous “ding ding” of the car maintenance alert on my dash. I had to squint furiously to make out what was the drama was. I figured out that it said my tire pressure was low, but my car doesn’t clarify which tire’s pressure is low, so time to go fill them all up. I found a gas station and pulled in. I could not read the meter for the life of me- it was just a black meter box with blurred numbers and letters. I walked into the gas station without running into the door (I know, I’m still surprised I didn’t too) and went up to the cashier with my double sunglasses on. Her face did not hide her confusion. I said to her, “I have a very odd request” which caused her to look at me even more… inquisitively. I explained the situation and offered to pay anyone a few bucks just to help me fill the darn tires up because I was helpless. One of the gas station employees helped me out, but when I turned on the car the alert was still on. I drove for a while longer, very cautiously, and the up-close blurriness slowly subsided. I tried one more gas station and this time I could make out the meter just enough to fill up my tires. But the dang alert light was still on my dashboard. I then took it to a car shop in San Antonio when I arrived, and they said it was probably just the alarm that needed to be reset since my tires were just fine (but they didn’t have that capability there). ANYWAY, I took the car in officially when I was back in Austin, and it was true, my light alert just needed to be reset… So I went through all that chaos for nothin’ ! LOL. Okay, D+ story at best. If you read that, bless you.

Anywho. After that fiasco, I met up with my mom at one of her malls she manages. We did some shoppin’, and I got the best deal ever on a Kate Spade purse. It was 60% off and I had a giftcard that covered it all with some left! My mom found some great deals on clothes too.

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After our successful shopping trip, we headed to our hotel for the evening. We stayed in the same one from the last time we were here!! As soon as we stepped through the lobby I had a rush of memories come back from the last trip. <3

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We dropped off our bags from shopping and took a quick view out the window before hitting the riverwalk!

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It is just magnificent at Christmas. There is no way to capture the beauty of the riverwalk in the photos.

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As we were looking for somewhere to eat we stumbled across a place that still had a happy hour going on- $3 glasses of wine. We stopped in for a glass at Lonestar Cafe while we had some wonderful conversation (mostly my mom encouraging me after an arduous few months). We also scoped the riverwalk for where we should eat.

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We decided on boudro’s. My mom remembered one of her coworkers actually recommended this. Wow, oh wow. This meal was one I will never forget. It’s one of those where every single bite was a flavor explosion.

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We sat out on their patio under a heater and were wrapped up in their cozy wool blankets. This was a moment where I felt like I could just relax for the first time in months. The setting was warm and seeing the Christmas lights on the riverwalk made it all that more magical.

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We decided to split three of their appetizers that were jumping off the page to us. First up, their seared scallops with white corn pozole (I don’t exactly know what pozole is, but it’s guuuud), red pepper vinaigrette and cilantro oil. I tried to savor every single little nibble!

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Next up were their wild mushrooms with grilled baked polenta, goat cheese, roma tomatoes and chipotle-thyme demi-glaze. Holy. Moly. Forever and always I have so mushroom for this dish in my life. So good. The polenta cakes were an excellent touch.

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And last… we went for a pretty uncharacteristic dish for us considering we do not regularly eat meat… but we could not resist a menu option as unique as this.. the all natural mesquite grilled Texas quail on pepper jack grits with fried parsley and jalapeno chips and chipotle demiglace. This was the winner. I didn’t think the other two dishes could be surpassed.. but woah…

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As we were munchin’, we had a little friend join us!!!

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He was so cute we could not stand it!!! Although he was a beggar!

My brother couldn’t help but point out on my insta story the irony that I posted our duck friend right after the quail. Whoops!

The riverwalk was hushed by the time we strolled back to our hotel. It was absolutely serene soaking with the quietness of the river and the brisk chill in the air. We both headed out in the morning. This was a quick and impromptu trip I will always treasure.

Questions for you:

  • Any good books you’re reading right now?
  • Did you watch the Oscars? I have them on while I’m editing this post, and these performances are captivating!

xo <3

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39 thoughts on “Eye’ve got my Eyes on San Antonio!

  1. San Antonio is such an amazing city! If I could live anywhere that would probably be it. My husband and I went for the first time in October and we’re talking about making it a regular thing, the river walk is magical.

    I hate when my car alerts go off for absolutely no reason, it’s so nerve wracking!

    1. Aw I’m so glad you share the same love and sentiment for San Antonio!! It really is a special place! Magical is the word for sure ✨ thanks for stopping in, Cleia! Hope you and your husband can make it back there soon ☺️

      1. Ohhh what a deal!! Mi Tierra still has one of the best margs I’ve had to date! (I think that was it’s name, hmmm). Hope you are having a great weekend!

  2. Great photos. Your photos of the Riverwalk are magical! 🙂 I’ve been there once, but it was during the day. We drove to San Antonio with friends and family. We visited the Alamo too. You always have such great photos of food. You inspire me to take more photos of food and post them on my blog.

    1. Thank you, Kathy!! I’m glad you were able to experience San Antonio! It’s a great place- next time you may have to see the river walk at Christmas 😍 and aww I look forward to the pictures you may take! Thank you for stopping in 🥰

  3. Hi Mackenzie. It’s great to hear from you. I think your concerns and nervousness about what you don’t know are really a great sign of how much you really care about what you are doing. You will learn so much with this hands on experience. I am sure you are wonderful at what you do.
    For the first 15 years that my husband and I were together he worked as a sailor on Great Lakes freighters. He was away from home more than he was here and it was difficult at times but we had a strong and committed relationship. I just wanted to share this quote that we have had posted on our refrigerator for years.
    ” Absence diminishes commonplace passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and kindles fire.” Your time apart will go quickly and you may find your relationship stronger because of it.
    God Bless!

    1. Aw thank you so much, Ruth. Your comment is extremely encouraging and affirming .

      I absolutely love this quote ! Thank you for sharing. I’ll have to write it down and keep it somewhere visible this summer!

  4. If you like Kate Spade, sign up for the emails! They’ll have surprise sales and the deals are incredible! Alex bought me a really nice bag for Christmas that I believe was over $400 normally but with the surprise sale it was right around $120. Such an incredible deal and the quality is amazing!

    Sounds like you had a great time with your mom even with the car issues to start. At least everything was okay!

    I just started a Jodi Picoult book called Small Great Things. I’m on chapter 2 or 3 so really just started haha. It’s about Ruth, who has been a labor and delivery nurse for over 20 years. One day, she goes to take care of a baby and the parents say they don’t want anyone like Ruth, who is African American, touching their baby. It turns out the parents are white supremacists. I’ve gotten that far but the synopsis says that something happens to the baby when Ruth is the only one near it and her decision spirals into a court case. I’m really curious the direction the book takes but I typically like Jodi Picoult so I have high hopes.

    1. Ohh so good to know this tip! Definitely going to have to sign up ASAP! I didn’t realize they had such good deals- they were always so high end in my mind I didn’t think anything would be so discounted (relatively!).

      Ahh my mom just told me she’s reading small great things! Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors. I love that she addresses challenging and thought provoking subjects head on- this book is intriguing – I haven’t read a book by her in a while so maybe this will be one after I finish up my current book! Thanks for reading and your comment Maureen ❤️ hope you are having a lovely weekend!

  5. I am so happy to hear that you are having a much better semester!! Congrats to DJ for his internship! Those 14 weeks will fly by 🙂

    Your story about the tires sounds exactly like something I would do so I was very entertained lol

    I absolutely LOVE that Kate Spade purse! Something about buying a nice purse feels so adult-like yet I haven’t done it yet either. I did snag a good deal on a Michael Kors crossbody on Poshmark a couple months back and using it makes me feel fancy, haha.

    $3 glasses of wine?! Sign me up! As always, your food pics are making my stomach grumble at 9:30 am haha.

    I just picked up the book The Other Woman that I’m going to start tonight. I’ll let you know how it is! It looks like it’ll be a good thriller. 

    1. Hi Em!! Thanks so much- we are definitely thankful we are able to breathe a tiny bit easier this semester!

      Haha glad you were entertained 😆

      Ahhh I love Michael Kors- looking on posh mark is genius!!

      Haha I hope you found some good eats after reading this! 😋

      Ohhhh I feel like I’ve heard good things about that one! Since I’m so late to responding to this- how do you like it so far?! Thanks for reading, Em! Always love our chats 😊

  6. Praise the good Lord you have had your breakthrough!! So beyond proud of you!! Truly I am thrilled to know all of this is clicking into place for you, I knew it would. Loved the story about your eyes and your tire. It reminded me of driving home in a snowstorm last night from Chicago and I could not see the lines on the road and frantically kept shouting out I couldn’t see and maybe I had cataracts, I should see eye doctor blah blah. Shortly after a huge junk of ice fell off my headlight and suddenly I could see, realizing it was never my eyes but a snow covered headlight! Your double sunglasses is hysterical. But love all the yummy food pics and yes the quail dish followed by the darling duck is quite ironic as that duck was a cutie! Love reading these and keep them coming! Love, your Ohio mom

    1. Aw thank you so so much 💓 hahaha I am cracking up at this story! Thank you for sharing and making me not feel so alone 😂 ❄️

      Thanks for reading always ! ❤️

  7. Well, Mackenzie – I have a story for you about fuzzy eyes after having them dilated. About 25 years ago I had an eye doctor appointment, same ophthalmologist as always and had my mom with me for her ophthalmologist appointment. I wore contact lenses at the time, but my doc wanted the lenses out for at least 48 hours prior to the exam. But that’s not the story. The assistant put the dilating drops in and the doctor came in, did his eye exam, etc. and I went out in the waiting room to wait for my mom. I had a 9:00 a.m. appointment – usually the drops wore off after an hour’s time. But it was noon, and I couldn’t see my watch as my eyes were so fuzzy. I’d mentioned it at the front desk and they said “it’ll be better and if not, when doctor returns from lunch, he’ll put reversal drops in for you.” Well he did and we waited around another few hours – more drops and still no luck. The office closed at 6:00 and this was before I had a cellphone, so I asked them to call our neighbors to come and drive us home. We lived about five miles away. The husband/wife came and he drove my car home and into the garage. My eyes were finally better 24 hours later. I refused to have dilating drops in my eyes ever again. Then my eye doc retired suddenly due to health issues (he was in his late 70s) and I went to a new place. They have something called an “Optomap” and I’ll give you the links on it and how to find a provider. You put your face up to a computer and they take images of each eye and review/enlarge the images on the screen to check for floaters, plaque in your eyes, broken vessels, etc. They compare year-to-year … it is great and I think mine is about $59.00 – I don’t have optical insurance

    http://www.optomap.com/en/optomap-Retinal-Exam/

    http://optomap.com/en-US/Find-a-Provider/

    Of course I love the duck marching over to beg – who knew ducks begged? You and your mom look so similar and happy in this photo. I like your purse as well – what a bargain. The Riverwalk looks amazing lit up at night – in fact, it seems to me like our Detroit Riverwalk was patterned after this one if memory serves me right. Yay for DJ’s internship and how far is he from your family in Ohio? My New Year’s resolution was to read more and stay off the computer to accomplish that – not been so successful, but my last book was “Every Breath” by Nicholas Sparks. I did not watch the Oscars as sadly I don’t know any of the movies, and very few of the actors/actresses. Glad you are enjoying this phase of school – good things come to those who wait!

    P.S. – Wow, was I wordy!!

    1. Oh my gosh!!! So crazy! I can’t believe that still didn’t do the trick (with the reversal drops). I bet that was scary. Glad everything was okay and the neighbors were able to help you out! I learned my lesson that I probably should just not plan anything (and remember to bring sunglasses) if anything like this happens again. Glad I’m not alone in having a story like this!! I was like- am I the only one who can’t handle this?! Haha.

      And this is so interesting!!! I cannot believe I haven’t heard of the Optomap before. Thank you TONS for sharing- can’t wait to look into it, sounds like an excellent system.

      I have never been to the Detroit Riverwalk, but now I want to go to see how they are similar! Any Riverwalk is a fun time! And he will be able 2 hours in all directions from family in OH- very exciting! How did you like Every Breath? I am reading Elinor Oliphant Is Completely Fine right now- intriguing read, but quite different from anything else I’ve read before. Thanks for your comment! Always love reading them! Hope you are having a nice weekend 🙂

      1. It was scary Mackenzie and I hope you can find an opthalmologist or optometrist’s office that has this Optomap … no more blurred vision and he puts the images up on the screen to compare from year to year. I had refused to get the drops after that one occasion, but I used to wait about an hour afterward and was okay. His office was right in the heart of downtown Wyandotte, so lots of little boutiques and fun shops to browse through. Not this time.

        They are still building up the Detroit Riverwalk – when it is completely done, it will be go from downtown Detroit all the way to Belle Isle which will be a three-mile walk. It was only partially built when I last worked on site (April of 2009) so I’ve not seen how it looks now.

        Great that DJ has family to visit so close to him; two hours is not bad at all and it will be nice weather.

        I have never heard of your book,but I only recently decided to get back into reading, a favorite pastime, but it had been 20 years since I read a book! I liked Nicholas Sparks’ ‘Every Breath” though I read reviews afterward on Goodreads and readers said it was not up to his usual standards. I had thought I’d read more this Winter, and except for a few snowstorms we have had a fairly mild Winter and I’ve got lots of walking done. We have had a wonderful 50-degree weekend! I walked 10 miles this weekend and didn’t want to come back in, but had to get my tax stuff all ready today, so reluctantly came inside. Hope all is well with you!

  8. I am so glad that you’re having a much better semester this time around. 🙂 Congrats to DJ! Sad that you’ll be apart for 14 weeks though. Hopefully they’ll fly by. It’ll be nice that you’ll both be pretty busy during that time, so maybe that’ll help. Lovely photos!

    1. Thanks so much, Ashley!!! <3 I think they will be so very busy- it'll be over in a flash! Thanks for stopping in and hope all is well :)

  9. I love love love the River Walk and to see it at night must be magical!
    I am so glad to hear that this semester is going much better! Yay!

    And you and DJ will do fine. Face time, email, text and call. You will think you are not even apart! Sweet Man and I were apart for a long while before we retired. It went very well.

    Hugs and Happy Valentine’s Day! 💕💗💕

    1. Hi, Nancy!! I hope you can see the river walk at night during Christmas sometime- there is nothing quite like it 😍

      Thank you for your sweet words! It will be both a challenge and adventure that I’m sure will make us grow stronger. Thank you so much for your comment ! Hope you are having a beautiful start to the week ☺️

  10. That story is really an A+ because while funny now, I can’t imagine how you must have felt!! Not being able to see is one of the most helpless feelings. I’m glad someone was at least willing to help you!

    What a stunning hotel and boardwalk!! So magical. You and your mom are beyond gorgeous and look so similar. That food. YUM. But I hate to say the duck stole the show!! So so cute. Although your brother’s point made me laugh quite a bit. Poor guy didn’t realize what you all were eating. Otherwise, I don’t know if he would have begged.

    I’m so glad you are feeling better and growing in your confidence!! Slow and steady. You got this! xo

    1. Haha thank you, Kori!! It was one of those circumstances that I was thinking “is this real life?!” Too funny. Learned my lesson 😂 and yes, so thankful for people willing to help!

      Awww oh my gosh thank you ❤️ It’s funny how much I morph into her more and more as each year passes- my moms whole side of the family looks exactly the same from my grandma to me!

      Haha that duck was a hoot. Or shall I say a quack. Ohhh even I’m cringing at that 🤣

      Thank you so so much!!! 💓💓 I’m sitting awaiting my midterm evaluation with my preceptor and reading this comment helped alleviate some nerves and bring a smile to my face! Hope you are having a lovely start to this week ☺️

  11. When I read, “that throughout life often when it feels you are at your wits’ end is usually when you have a breakthrough/things turn up,” it makes me think of this particular cartoon drawing.

    It shows two people digging a tunnel side by side, and one person finds a diamond quickly, with less digging, while the other person has dug significantly more than that person and is THIS close to digging up a better and bigger gem, but must keep going to find it. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but I love the meaning of it!

    It sounds like there are so many wonderful opportunities for you and DJ! Many prayers to you both; I hope the time flies during your time apart, but you both grow and become stronger in your relationship and careers!

    I hate how a car doesn’t tell you which tire is low, so you have the light glaring at you! I never understood that. But goodness, I’m glad that you made it safely, and the purse is lovely!! I have a bad addiction with buying purses and anything Fossil, haha. The lights were gorgeous and you’re keeping us all in suspense of waiting until December for the past Christmas post!? I’ll definitely look forward to it. That’s so funny about the irony of the duck, but the little guy is so darn cute and the food looked delicious!

    So glad I’m able to read and catch up to see what you’re up to, Mackenzie! I hope this semester treats you both super well! Keep going and be firm in who you are and what you’re striving to do! ❦

    1. Hi, Stephanie!! I absolutely adore that cartoon metaphor you are describing- wow, that’s a powerful illustration and one I will remember! Thank you SO much for sharing with me <3 Haha- wouldn’t it be nice if the car would tell us where the issue actually is instead of keeping it a guessing game?! And YES- oh my gosh, Fossil is such a cute brand- I love their jewelry too! I was thinking maybe I’ll release the massive Christmas post in July (Do a Christmas in July type thing- it just feels as though Christmas is so far past it’s sad, hahah). Thank you for being eager to read though- I appreciate that!

      Thank you again for reading and your encouraging, thoughtful comment! Hope you are so well and having a beautiful start to this week!

      1. Hello, Mackenzie! I absolutely love the illustration and I hope you come across it sometime to fully see what I’m trying to explain, haha.

        I’m already clueless about cars, so it would definitely be nice if they would just tell us point blank what the problem would be! A Christmas in July post would be neat, and it really does feel like Christmas was so long ago, wow.

        I hope your week is going lovely and that your’e hanging in there! ♥

  12. You & DJ have such a wonderfully loving outlook on coupleness & your life together – I am so encouraged and very teary-eyed reading your post. Praying that the time apart will be the best together-time ever in other ways!

    Thank you for the lovely pics of San Antonio – it has been many decades since I’ve been … a stroll down memory….

    Have a wonderful weekend, and week ahead! Hugs!

    1. Awww thank you, Ju Lyn!! Your sweet thoughtful words mean tons. I SO appreciate your prayers too <3 We are definitely treasuring our time now more intentionally knowing in a few months we'll be apart- but I'm sure it will go by quickly!

      Isn't San Antonio a wonderful gem of a place? I'm glad it brought back good memories for you 🙂 Hugs right back!!

  13. I am so glad you made it safely and that your car was okay! That sounds like a scary situation and you are one brave human!! That dinner with your mom sounds so lovely and absolutely perfect. Also what a cute dinner companion 🙂

  14. Oh my gosh. That Riverwalk photo is breathtaking & Boudro’s looks absolutely amazing. Love that they had blankets for you. The quail dish is making me drool & I wonder if the cute little duck guy would have had a nibble of the meat if you gave it to him?! Lol. 😂

    I’m so happy to read that this semester has been much better for you than the last, babe! Have a wonderful week. ♡

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