Adventurin’ in Austin!

Hey all! Another back- logged post coming at you!! This semester is just nuts- I’m so stinkin’ sad I’ve had to take such a big step back from the blogging community… but I do think October maybe will be a bit lighter ?! Anyways- have a great week ahead!

On July 15th we continued unpacking and studying. I was trying to catch up as much as I could after taking a full three days off from the books. It was a wonderful break, but also it was pretty tough to get back to it.

On July 16th I did a big Trader Joe’s trip. I found this Organic Sparkling Apple Cider which was quite refreshing and tasty. 🍏

4cd3fb01-4a5c-41e7-8820-83edf0214486

In the evening I made us salmon, cauliflower gnocchi and asparagus. We are both obsessed with the cauli. gnocchi from Trader Joes.

c552d096-6620-435b-8c3f-e22c82ae556a

On July 17th it was more studying. It was a rough day though. I kept feeling the need to get the whole DMV process rolling since we only had until the 31st to get it done. I had a hard time focusing, so I decided to just get all these logistics done so I had a clearer mind to study. In order to get my car registered and a license, I had to get my state emissions inspection done. When pulling out of our garage I was so focused on not hitting the car parked closely next to me that I backed my drivers side across a cement pillar. It destroyed my mirror and some of the body. I was soo angry at myself. It was one of those moments where I knew I was way too overwhelmed and trying to do too much in a short period. I called my mom in the parking lot of where you get the emissions checked and she kindly pointed out my car probably wouldn’t pass with a broken mirror. So scratch that (pun intended). I went to a nearby mechanic on the verge of a panic attack, thinking how badly I needed to get back to studying. The guy could tell I was overwhelmed, took me without an appointment, temporarily secured the mirror so it would pass the inspection and helped me order a new one for the cheapest price available. He called his friends over at a local State Emissions inspection spot and told them the scenario and that a new one was ordered so they didn’t fail me. It was the kindest thing in the world. I called my mom again after thanking her for the heads up and explained what happened after- she said, “That’s Texas for ya! We take care of each other”. It was so above and beyond of him.

Anyways, In the evening we enjoyed a four cheese pizza from TJ’s. It was really yummy. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad pizza from TJ’s & they have so many options!

c54bde19-4908-4025-8c96-281bb5facfb4

July 18th-19th was study/unpack/study. DJ did meet up with some friends that he worked with back in CA that were visiting for dinner. I wish I could have joined but I had a mound of assignments to get to. He did find a cool little spot called The Lost Lei that he said we’ll have to go back to sometime! During one of those days I went to the DMV and sat with Smalls for over three hours waiting to get my new Texas license. I also made a trip to HEB to pick up some more essentials. I love HEB, especially now that I know how to navigate it. The prices are awesome, and if there are coupons available for items they will be right in front of them on the shelves. You just grab one and take them to check out. It’s saved us a lot already!

0130b0ac-511e-4c22-ad24-dd2c57ae1f69

July 20th was more of the same, but we did treat ourselves to our first meal out since moving to Texas! Yes, it took us nearly a month to actually eat out (except for our one small, quick meal at Cane’s).

7dd5d47a-a2fb-4087-83b6-94fbe6514c00

We chose to try out Torchys Tacos. This is a popular Austin Taco staple and one of the most frequently recommended spots for us to check out.

caaae4be-c56c-4aaa-bbc3-c18df2b37b5c

They have several locations all over the city, but the one downtown was within walking distance so it made it easy peasy. I love how accessible downtown is for us– definitely will save us a ton on parking in the long run.

0303fad1-3fea-4fa8-b2a2-2e68fb347017

They have tons of options on their menu, something for every dietary preference! Their tacos are individually only about $4.50 a piece so we ordered several different ones and their Green Chile Queso and Chips.

96c215c9-0685-4bc9-aa3f-5449065a42bd

It was probably the best queso I have ever had. I think it was my favorite part of everything I tried. It is addictively delicious 😋 – I barely could leave room for my actual tacos haha.

DJ ordered the Trailer Park with fried chicken, the Democrat with barbacoa and Crossroads with smoked beef brisket. He loved them all and said he couldn’t choose a favorite.

7e71f842-7872-471e-9e2f-e6ebac2e1dcf

I ordered the Independent with fried portobello mushrooms and the Mr. Pink with seared ahi tuna. I expected to prefer the ahi tuna one more, but it was a bit too salty and saucy for me, where the Independent was the most amazing blend of flavors!

487efacc-4b96-4da8-b3b5-f023425ccb379ca7c61b-cda7-479e-b94c-f57560713f1dd4a9b326-557f-45eb-ae18-31c044b6abbd

Their margaritas are delicious too!

After, we decided to walk around and explore the city a bit.

3c528156-064b-47cf-9736-8529b269481f

I just adore the character of this city. I will discuss all my thoughts on my first impressions of Austin in a separate post!

ba9da053-2051-459c-bb14-2590462208d9

So pretty pretty.

fb07c921-45a2-4e51-886f-e1d70ee23f85

On July 21st for dinner I made a zucchini pasta with turkey meatballs for DJ and I just ate a portion without the meatballs. Not pictured- garlic bread on the side. Mmm !

08e092e0-723b-4ec4-9aee-b296a59cf80a

July 22nd for lunch I made a salmon salad with tzatziki. Such a perfect summer lunch!

364262be-3417-4f0a-9d58-0ac82128222e

For dinner I made us “chik’n” from Lightlife, corn, and brown rice for dinner. DJ is fully on board the “Chik’n” train too. I appreciate how open he always is to trying my vegetarian meals!

baa40a88-13b0-4f60-9fed-d1a2b0525899

Even though I had to work on school assignments through the whole evening we did put on Bach in the background.

b2dbd728-450b-41d4-aef1-cf5cd2c3bc72

July 23rd I worked on submitting my clinical request form and DJ helped me take a head shot for my application. I also got my annual TB testing done for clinicals. We sold our big couch since it wouldn’t fit in our new apartment and dropped it off to the buyer. It was a pain in the BUTT to get out the door- but it feels good to have it off our hands. Back story with the couches: We got basically the cheapest ones we could find at Big Lots when we lived in Indiana for our first town house, and planned on reselling them at the end of the year- but fell in love with them so have had them since. We still have the smaller love seat so it’s perfect for just the two of us.

On July 24th we had leftovers in the evening as well as a caprese salad.

f144df0f-7825-4cc0-9f21-12645fbcb76d

July 25th I made DJ some tacos he was craving & I enjoyed my massive garden salad.

4d064ca2-4aae-4050-80f5-137c450ddf2a

July 26th it was study, study, study. I went to Starbucks for a change of scenery and took along a Quest bar. I tried the Chocolate Sprinkle Doughnut for the first time, it was fine, but I still prefer the Cookie Dough or S’mores flavor most.

7cab9ec0-cac0-469e-a3d6-8edabafa94c4

I remember that day being kinda emotional and stressful. I worked hard studying all that day and then on July 26th I told DJ I needed something to look forward to to stay motivated that day. We decided to see Toy Story 4 in theaters that evening. We actually had chipped away at the first three Toy Story’s in the evening before going to sleep, so all of them were fresh in our minds and made us even more stoked to see Toy Story 4! Better yet, we had two movie coupons so it was a free date night (minus the sodas we picked up).

3eadd396-2461-409b-9549-0a1b0aa5f7b7

This was one of the cozy theaters with the reclining chairs! We will definitely have to go back. I usually have such a hard time sitting through a couple hour movie, but it was much needed to turn my brain off.

cd66535d-cd76-412b-a656-ca4b0ce5c75a

We really enjoyed Toy Story 4! It was so cute. I had no idea how they were going to make a fourth after the full-circle ending of the third, but we think they pulled it off! I told DJ we need to go movies more often.

July 27th was another full day of studying (sorry, I sound like a broken record!), and since we were getting low on groceries we decided to eat something quick within walking distance. Many people have suggested Home Slice down here, especially because they know my obsession with a good NY slice.

3a513c8b-d7f3-4f08-bba8-440fd9e7b671

We were going to just eat at the restaurant, but since the wait was over two hours and it was already 7:45 we decided to just go next door to their “More Slice” Slice House to pick up to-go slices. The slice I mainly wanted to try was the white pie & spinach, and it was a special they had- love it when that works out!!!

0f4927b2-99d9-4901-81eb-89dd2ebfafe5

Here she is in all her beauty!!! It was phenomenal. This was one of my favorite slices of pizza I’ve ever had. In CA it was really hard to find good pizza, and when we finally did (At Capo’s), it was sooo darn expensive. This $4 slice is somethin’ of my dreams. I knew I loved Austin upon the discovery of this slice of pizza. 🤣

bd4d478d-5917-4f4d-8b36-374af3b97d40

We also tried their Marg which was fantastic. DJ tried their pepperoni, but I think the consensus is to get their white pie if you ever go. But also, you can’t go wrong.

75e9a548-11f7-4545-9327-5e7fafe7f529

We walked around South Congress after. It has a retro, funky, yet hip, vibe. I think it’s my favorite part of the city. Next time we’re there I’ll take more pictures to give you a better idea.

88f44e77-4fc6-4ccc-95a6-7911bfa5d30c

On July 28th I went on my first run outside and discovered an amazing running trail that goes for miles! While it was hot, it wasn’t as bad as expected. I do go through sunscreen like it’s going out of style now. Also, while this pic of a bat under the bridge may be cool, the smell under that bridge is gosh awful. I have to hold my breath every time I run under it- who knew bats could stink so badly?!

c4b75e45-3c56-4ecb-be00-c7a42ed3ff0dd47c9f9c-3177-4782-b1c6-0b06d9e1bb82

I adore this trail though. It snakes along Lady Bird Lake and is easily accessible from our apartment without driving. I have put in quite a few miles on it since discovering it. It actually reminds me of the Towpath back in OH which adds a comforting “home” feel. I was worried about giving up my walking path back in CA because it was such a therapeutic part of my day, but this is 10000% better.

647c72bf-1dd8-43ec-9924-be8b5c68f197

This feels long enough so I’ll wrap it up here. Even though the whole first month was insanity and chaos and stressful, the transition was all-in-all smooth! We no longer have obnoxiously loud upstairs neighbors (I could cry tears of relief, truly) and the city just exudes this vibe of excitement and fun. Can’t wait to share more!

8a308c58-9250-4322-b894-238596535331

Question for you:

  • Have you seen any good movies lately?

xo <3

submark signature

Advertisements

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!).

96536844-89d2-49d9-94e3-eea5265c25f1

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.

d01e649b-c1c1-40fc-9fcb-49b8b2f5f9a6

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!

8e6d6225-f0d7-42b5-922f-69148eddfed5

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!

62a09051-32ff-4388-9b1b-fc1b64a560b9

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.

200f1e13-2512-440c-9261-958e10283b416c5eeac4-0a2c-4082-82a4-e4f49fc5cfbb

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.

81ea0632-1d4d-4786-b908-1dedacc35035

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?!)

f956ed18-6f46-428d-9792-83ad041e0e7e

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!

4e44bf99-5f96-4b42-b6a0-4b7b79ac6a76

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!

abd05bff-d017-4228-9318-92ee5b47bab6

We took another evening walk that night.

97e186c0-015b-4b6c-8aa0-42a570b500b7

c241413f-4d03-4421-ab25-cef353d8b411

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.

55862cf8-daa1-4710-81ab-c2a25355b135

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

e5e360f6-4c98-4694-914c-f0bb996999be

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

eee61cb0-7604-4b35-8e3e-146cef4bdc8e

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!

f4cd1c5c-62e5-4619-8a48-d4f1d07a6932

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

2eab30f7-49f3-4d38-99cb-7182553948a3

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.

511f17d9-6210-4b02-ac7e-b30171decf8c

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.

d111378c-c824-4f5a-ba4f-76b1194ce3ab

Plane time!

59847503-4adc-474b-90f6-53b55c466d58

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.

ba6461ef-1158-4a9d-9923-2f9e5b5139c6

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!

0d3c3fec-4dd0-4b26-9d41-3fc4e138950a

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

submark signature