Baustin Celebration!

Happpyyyy New Year’s Eve!! I have been sooo so stoked to write this post, and I’m hoping reading it will feel like we are ringing in the New Year with a celebration! Leaving off the weekend before starting our fall semester (late August), DJ requested we keep that last Saturday totally free. Fine with me! All I had on the agenda was an 18-mile training run. Little did I know all else he had planned. 

On that Friday, DJ recommended one last trip to Aussie’s, our new favorite spot in town. I was not about to turn down an opportunity for those shrimp tacos! When we arrived I had a moment of utter confusion when I spotted my mom, Pete and Halston sitting at one of the patio tables. I could not wrap my head around what was happening! I quickly learned they had all planned a “Baustin” weekend since I would not have the Boston experience we had planned prior to the marathon since it went virtual rather than in-person. I did not have any idea about all they had planned! They pulled off this surprise so well, and DJ helped coordinate it during a time he knew I wouldn’t be bogged down with school. *Please note, COVID precautions were taken*. 

We enjoyed some apps and meals at Aussie’s while I sat in shock, and then my mom handed me this itinerary for the weekend! 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2020-12-31-at-9.01.58-PM.png

After dinner, we went our separate ways but then met back up in the morning to let the festivities begin! We picked up some Summer Moon coffee to go, along with some light pastries to tide us over to lunch. I’m telling ya- if you have never had Summer Moon- prioritize trying it if you find yourself in Texas! The “moon milk” will change your life. I like the 1/4 sweet moon milk because I don’t like too much sweetness with my coffee, but you can adjust to your tasting! 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is f5e8cf62-7d10-4692-8b40-1ec1ec3f42e4-930x1024.jpg

One place we have all wanted to go together since we moved to Austin is The Oasis located on Lake Travis. It is primarily known for its gorgeous views. 

We arrived around 11 am and made it before the lunch rush. Thankfully, there is plenty of outdoor patio seating and we were seated far away from anyone else. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 864980e5-a5a4-4a05-a904-91ca892389bd-1-871x1024.jpg

They don’t have a reputation for having the greatest food around, but I thought was actually pretty dang good!!! 

After soaking up the views and fueling up for the day, we went to a place nearby to pick up a boat rental to take out on Lake Travis. It could not have been a more perfect day for boating.

We had the absolute best time. Those hours out on the lake were not only one of my favorite memories of the year, but of ever. Pete drove the boat and found the best spots to anchor down so we could swim. Swimming is one of my favorite things in the world, and we just swam and swam out there for hours. There is something about being in the water that it feels like the world stops for a second. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0fb71966-71eb-43e9-8cf9-4750a7adb3e1-1024x768.jpgAfter returning the rental, we returned home and got ready for the evening. My mom then planned a whole “expo”. And she went all out. She had an assortment of “samples” (typically my favorite part of expos, hah) including protein bars and gu, hair-ties, other goodies, a can of New England Clam Chowder (ha!), and a lot of personalized Boston memorabilia including a Nike Boston Tank and Boston bag. A family friend made the coasters, coffee mug and wine glass! There was also the book Run the Mile You’re In. I definitely teared up seeing all they had poured into making this special and all the thought that went into it <3 I still cannot believe it!!! Even now writing about this weekend as a whole is making me emotional! 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 17b6dea3-ddc0-4d12-8915-08e63e334351-1024x768.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 31f2fc17-5f27-45e7-90e8-26f084ea64af-1024x1024.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dc1945d8-ead1-4758-bd67-95004e55b8f1-1024x1024.jpgKevin, my brother-in-law, sent vegan muffins and cupcakes from Mr. Natural. They were phenomenal, best vegan baked goods out there. And I don’t think they tasted extra good just because I was hungry 24-7 with my training, hehe. 

Next, we headed down to South Congress Bridge to watch the famous 1.5 million bats fly out at sunset. Yup, you read that right! The first time I saw this daily bat exodus happen, I could hardly believe my eyes. There were so many bats flying out that in the distance they almost looked like a cloud or a massive swarm of mosquitoes. It. is. wild. According to the Bats in Austin website, “People are simply batty for Austin’s world-renowned Mexico free-tailed bats and their night flight of 60-plus miles per hour and 2-mile high flight patterns, and feeding frenzy of Austin insects”.

We grabbed a spot on the bridge that wasn’t crowded and hunkered down to watch the flight. You don’t know exactly when it will occur, so you want to be there a bit earlier than sunset to make sure you don’t miss it. Be prepared to wait 30 mins-an hour. It seems like a long wait, but it is worth it to see once! It’s funny because when we first moved here we had no idea about it and asked someone randomly while walking over the bridge “what is everyone waiting for?” LOL. Then we waited forever to see them, and now it seems when we are casually out on a walk or run we see it happen pretty often! One time we were actually under the bridge when they took off, and that was an adventure in itself, haha. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is b18eeef2-3ce1-4513-83e4-43c3c6ceab50-819x1024.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 5511bf66-9d90-4f53-a01e-fbd61362584b-1024x768.jpg

I love this video because you can hear my mom’s natural reaction to the bats which mirrors just about anyone’s who sees this for the first time! 

It’s hard to capture the magnitude of the flight on video or in picture, especially because it’s hard to time up when they will make their first big exit from under the bridge. If you want an idea of the full experience follow this link and watch the video! 

After alll that swimming and bat watching, we were ready for some grub!! We headed to Geraldine’s to get our food on.  This is one of the most wonderful hidden gems in Austin in my opinion.

We entered to live music playing up on the stage of the spacious, industrial and beautiful venue.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 037564ee-8a27-4929-be31-f1c61cf5ecd0-1024x811.jpg

The dining experience was one of the most memorable we have ever had in Austin. Every single menu item was extremely unique and delicious with a beautiful presentation! They are served tapas style, so we tried a little bit of every magnificent dish! Every bite was… WOW. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 79224eb5-e984-44bf-80d3-1f25ad619e7f-1024x864.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is d39be4d0-e90a-4dc0-93be-e2ae1fcbc77b-1024x858.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is d02faa3b-b68b-47d0-a1fa-246e98115fe3-1024x975.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 9fb2042d-c2ed-4532-96a6-027b0fb5f69a-1024x913.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is a04d2133-2964-48da-bdb6-8ed58bdeb3a1-1024x768.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 963930ee-4805-490d-b143-42ece3f00427-1024x1024.jpgAfter our meal, we walked down Rainey street replete with food trucks, and Pete suggested we all try Little Lucy’s mini donuts. We all said we didn’t think we had room after our meal, but after one bite we absolutely found a second stomach! (lol, that kinda sounds like a dad joke, doesn’t it? Whoops)

I am soo stinkin’ grateful to my family for making this weekend so special. What was originally so devastating for me with Boston going virtual ended up being the most unforgettable, special memory. I joked with them that after all this, I better actually do well in the virtual Boston race! Pressure was on! Of course, I will recap the actual race next 🙂

I’d love to know:

  • What are you looking forward to in the New Year?

Aussie’s & El Arroyo!

Hey all! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas/holiday season, even if it all looked different this year. I also hope you have a Happy and Healthy New Year too! These wishes carry a little extra gravity this year, don’t they?

I am still going through the summer recaps, although they are flying by because, well, we didn’t do a whole lot outside of work and school. In July, I transitioned to my second clinical site for the summer at a family practice. I learned more than I could have imagined in a few weeks & I was able to secure the site again for the spring semester- woohoo! I can’t wait to get started again.

I was on a PB & Toast with a side of grapefruit kick through a lot of the summer. 

More Austin walks!

August 8th was our five year anniversary!! DJ surprised me these beautiful flowers <3 We had always said we were going to do something big for our five year, like a trip out of the country or something. Obviously, this idea was put on hold this year, but when we can travel again we look forward to planning something 🙂 I’m just so darn thankful for him and treasure each day and year with him. 

When we wrapped up the semester/DJ’s internship in mid-August, we had about a week and a half off. We decided to try out a restaurant we had been eyeing up for a while. Aussie’s is a local favorite and is more modest-appearing compared to the flashy restaurants on nearby South Congress.

Along with not being a total tourist trap, this is the most chill spot you will find around. There is a volleyball court that usually always has a game going on next to their relaxing patio. Food is way more affordable here than most ATX restaurants, and it is super tasty. 

Proof- their shrimp tacos (!!!)

The YETI Flagship store is also near us and we walk by it all the time. Ever since we moved here we said we’d have to go and choose some YETI mugs together! We didn’t own anything YETI at the time, but we knew people loved it. And it seemed like a must with the flagship store so closeby.

I settled on the white rambler mug for myself and DJ chose the stainless steel.

Later that afternoon, we decided to try out our apartment pool for the first time together since we moved last summer. It’s kinda sad it has taken us that long, lol!! (I briefly checked it out last summer myself, but I didn’t stay out there long since that day was particularly excruciatingly hot). Also, our apartment has a great system with a reservation portal to make sure there aren’t too many people at the pool at once.

We decided ordering take-out chips, queso and margaritas from El Arroyo would be fun to take out to the pool and have our own little “staycation”. El Arroyo is famous around here for their sign with its creative messages. You can see a whole bunch of their signs here if you need a good chuckle!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 39681549-6e22-4d77-aea3-f236ebbaa1de-1024x1024.jpg

We used our YETIs for the first time for the margaritas! We were amazed at how long they kept our drinks cold, especially since it was also blazin’ hot that day. 

Our pool day was one of our favorites of the summer. It was so relaxing. Without school hanging over our heads in that small moment in time, we just chatted while floating in the pool and enjoying the beautiful, sunny Austin day. 

Most days of that break I used to get organized- I re-organized my entire laptop making sure everything had a file, deleted unneeded files, etc. It took a while, but it felt great moving into the next semester. I also read a little bit, made sure to get my oil changed and was deep into my training for the Boston marathon at this point! I also had to pack for the fall semester for my pediatrics rotation.

I’d love to know:

  • Favorite memory from this past month?