The Texas Capitol, Sandy’s & Joann’s!

Hi All! How are ya? I am safely back in Austin. I still cannot believe how quickly a full month went by. I’m definitely still processing through some emotions while diving into this next semester. It is nice to be home though. Oh! some great news- I found out my clinical placement. It’s an hour away, but I’m just so stinkin’ thankful I won’t have to live in a different city this summer.

In this post I’m finishing up our fun little staycation spring break from early March (pre-lockdown, etc.).

After getting some poke, we dropped our car off at our apartment then walked to the Texas State Capitol for a little self-guided tour.


Jus’ look at the beauty!


Driving down South Congress and seeing the State Capitol bookend the road is probably my favorite site in the city. If you are curious to read more about the history of the capitol, there is a lot of great info here. 


I think the the most interesting part was seeing the House of Reps and the Senate Chambers.


It was pretty neat seeing this national historic landmark.

That afternoon, this package of Magic Spoon cereal came in the mail. I ordered it after hearing about it on a podcast. It’s created based off childhood favorite cereals, but with more protein and cleaner ingredients.


Our consensus: It was worth the try with the discounted promo code, but we probably won’t pay full price to order again. It’s a nice idea in concept, but didn’t quite translate. It tasted very “protein-ey” and actually kinda sat like a brick in my stomach. I liked the blueberry flavor the most of all of them and the chocolate wasn’t bad either!

Once we unpacked our cereal, we rested our feet for a bit (our dogs were barkiiin’). After a while, spurred on by the heat of the day, we decided to try out the cute little local spot Sandy’s we’ve been eyeing since we moved here.


They are particularly known for their hamburgers and frozen custard. We went to try out the custard this time.


I hate to give a negative review, but it was just not our cup of tea. We love a more creamy custard than the frozen. Andy’s is where it’s at 😉 Next time DJ said he’ll have to try one of their burgers!

In the evening, we went to dinner at Joann’s Fine Foods on a whim. This restaurant is on South Congress. You can’t miss the distinctive red lips and bright neon sign.


They always have the wittiest little sayings up on their letter board too.


The interior was retro and fun! It makes me wanna go back one summer day in the afternoon and grab a milkshake with DJ while sitting on those stools.


This time, we opted to sit outside to enjoy the beautifully balmy evening. It was one of those dinners we won’t forget- everything about the night was wonderful. The fact that both DJ and I had nothing too heavy hanging over our heads at the moment, the endless laughter through the evening, the perfect weather, the vibe of the restaurant and the delicious food- an Austin night that will be cherished!


Joann’s has all these adorable little touches too- I love the little lips on the napkin.


We started with margaritas and their queso and chips- yuummmy! In our queso rankings it is up there- we debated where it would fall- I think better than Gabriela’s, but maybe just below El Alma’s (I think that’s still my favorite!).


They also brought out some complimentary biscuits- they were good, but the butter they served it with was necessary. The butter was salted with pink Himalayan sea salt if I had to guess.


DJ had their barbacoa tacos that he loved.


And I had one of the all time greatest salads I have ever ordered from a restaurant- the Rainbow Salad with lettuce, fresh veggies, avocado, toasted almonds, cilantro & mint, grated carrot & ginger dressing. The flavors, textures and freshness of it all was satisfying as could be! I’m thankful this is still something on their to-go menu right now.


We decided to keep walking around town since it was such a gorgeous night. We went all the way to Rainey St., thinking we would be the only ones out and about that late, but we were not!


The next day, we wanted to go on a big hike. We drove all the way to Hamilton Pool Preserve, which was about 45 minutes away. When we arrived we realized you had to have a reservation to go into the park- whoops! Now we know. We’ll be back with a reservation ready. I quickly looked up other nature spots we could visit, and Mt. Bonnell is supposed to be one of the best hikes in Austin. We drove straight there and jumped out of the car. I know there are great spots outside and around the city to get a true hike in, but this was more of an outlook just as an FYI!


The views were still awesome though and we were glad we went!


Immediately after, we decided to go see a matinee at the Alamo Drafthouse. As we were pulling into the theater, I received the first word about the Boston Marathon being postponed. I cried a bit in the car, then pulled myself together enough to head in. I felt silly shedding tears over something like a race when much bigger devastation was/is happening. But again, I’m so thankful it’s postponed and not entirely cancelled.


We were the only ones in the theater when we arrived, so we ordered up a storm of food.


We got some yummy sours, chips and queso, a massive chicken sandwich for DJ and a vegan pizza for me.


I lucked out getting these pics before anyone walked in, hah. It was all so delish! I love the variety of food options at the Alamo & the fact that they have an entire vegan menu.

We saw the movie 1917. If you haven’t seen it, you must. It’s phenomenal. The thing that amazed me about it was the exquisitely simple plot that had a stunningly poignant impact on the viewer. The cinematography is breathtaking as well. I’ll leave the trailer here (idea from Maureen who shares trailers that always pique my interest!).

Question for you: 

  • It seems many new shows have been released lately! What are you watching?

*I finished up LTYH, and I was not super interested the last couple episodes. This last episode was especially over-produced. But I am a huge Rudi fan- hoping she will continue to bless us with her voice now that the show is over.

Have a great rest of the week! Hope y’all are doing well.

xo <3



12 thoughts on “The Texas Capitol, Sandy’s & Joann’s!

  1. I’m so happy you made it home safe and sound! That’s awesome your clinical placement is close so you don’t need to move for the summer.

    That frozen custard and the queso looks so good!

    It sucks that Boston postponed the marathon but your feelings are valid! I feel like people think they can’t be upset or sad over missing out on something (a race, a trip, a wedding shower, etc.) because of everything going on because “someone has it worse right now”. And that’s fair but everyone needs to feel their feelings for a bit before moving on. That’s just my opinion though!

    So this isn’t a new show but I watched Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime and loved it! Now I’m watching the new season of Dead to Me on Netflix.

  2. Love the queso! All the food looked delicious! I have been binge watching Bosch! I know its an older show they are already on Season 3. Its very good – kind of slow but in a good smart way and I love the house Bosch lives in! LA scenes are great too. Have a good week Mackenzie ❤️

  3. Glad you made it home safely and got good news for your placement!! Your photos make me so excited to be able to travel and eat at a restaurant again in the future! Something to look forward to 🙂

    We just got Hulu (we are super late to the club haha) so we’ve been trying to figure out what to watch. I really enjoyed Everything’s Gonna Be Okay and Tacoma FD. We also watched all of Boy Meets World on Disney + which was a fun throwback!

  4. Thanks for the recap on the cereal! I’m a hugeee cereal lover so this sounded like a good idea, but I’ll probably pass on trying it.

    I’m with ya on being more of a creamy custard kinda girl! We had some over the weekend and it was so yummy!

    The Alamo Drafthouse looks amazing! I love movie theaters where you can order food! We have one a little ways from where I live but it’s worth the drive. My parents saw 1917 and were raving about it!

    We have been rewatching Grey’s Anatomy so that’s been taking up a lot of our time lately. We keep trying to watch Ozark but it’s a little too slow for me. 

  5. Hi Mackenzie. I’m glad to hear you made it home and are well. I don’t watch much TV or movies but I thought I would recommend (even though I haven’t seen it yet) a film just released on Amazon Prime.
    It was written and produced but WP blogger Mitch Teemley. I don’t know if you follow him but thought the movie might be one you would enjoy since it gets good reviews and is Christian based. Also Mitch is from Ohio I believe.

  6. As always, your food looks delicious!! I am with you on the creamy custard! We just finished watching Little Fires Everywhere, and are currently watching the second season of Dead to me.

  7. Glad you made it back after your month away Mackenzie. As usual all the food looks wonderful and I thought the Rainbow Salad looked tasty. As to the frozen custard at Sandy’s, we have a place called Bob Jo’s Frozen Custard that has been in business for around a 1/2 century – it opened last weekend and the opening made the newspapers. It is always a big deal when it opens and people line up into the next street to be there on the first day. So it made the newspapers as people were there wearing masks and waiting to pop them up to eat their cone which looked as big as yours does. It does go down smooth, I’ll tell ya, though it has been about as many years for eating it as going to a show or watching TV … oh well. Glad you had a little breather and enjoyed your state.

  8. That Capitol building is just stunning and those views from Mt. Bonnell look amazing! So much yummy looking food! I haven’t watched 1917 yet, but it’s on my list to see. I haven’t been watching much lately since we finished up The Umbrella Academy. We started The Gifted, which is based on X-men, but I’ve been doing more reading so we are slowly moving through them.

  9. So glad to hear you are back in Austin, Mack! Have been thinking of and praying for you so am thrilled to hear that your placement is not quite as far away …

    How is DJ doing? Your mom is fairly close by as well, right?

    I saw your sign for Chile Relleno – haven’t had that in ages so that brought back some taste memories! The nacos & tacos looked fab as I have a very soft spot for those and we haven’t got a great TexMex or CalMex or Mex place here. Ah! Thank goodness I have your photos to eat vicariously through!

    Keep well, stay safe. Sending you a big hug!

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