Saturday, January 27, 2007

New House

My new house is almost liveable! It looks like they have already done the majority of the work. They mostly have touch-up things to do to get it ready for us. We are supposed to close mid-February! I can't wait!!!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Genuine Joe Coffeehouse

A sign on the old green house says that Genuine Joe's Coffee on Anderson Street is the best coffee in North Austin. With a sign like that, you can't help but want to find out! So, my husband and I made another stop on our never-ending quest to find the best coffee in Austin.

The barrista's seemed a little clueless when we made our order. I was really concerned that not only would the coffee be terrible, but we may never see it or our food order. But, much to my surprise, we not only got the right order, but it quite possibly could be the best coffee in Austin. It definitely deserves my vote for the award for best coffee in North Austin at this point in our journey! (Of course, I haven't had coffee from every coffeehouse in Austin, but I intend to try!)

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I have one word for Pluckers in Round Rock, LOUD! They have TV's showing different sports, loud music, loud people in the bar...It's an all around fun place to be on a cold, rainy Friday night. We went there on a Friday night and it was PACKED! We had to wait about 20 minutes or so to eat CHICKEN WINGS!! Can you believe that?

The first time we went there, I could barely eat my medium chicken wings. They were REALLY hot. I think that they messed up my order and gave me the super hot ones instead. But, last night I got the same thing and they were perfect. So far, this is the best chicken wing place I've been to in Austin. (I think I was spoiled in Dallas living so close to the best chicken wing place ever!)

My husband wants me to write things about prices, parking, if I'll be back, etc. I don't ever look at the prices, so if you want to know the prices, you can always go to the home pages of the restaurants. I'm not advertising for the places I write about, just telling you about where I've been. If they want to advertise more on my page, they can conact me through email. lol! Parking was pretty good at Pluckers, but since it was so crowded, it was a little tight! I recommend Pluckers, so that means I'll be back! Happy Mike?

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Since we moved to Austin, my husband has been wanting to go to Romeo's on Barton Springs. So, what do I do? I go there on Wednesday's snow day with my friend Natalia. Now you may be wondering what I was doing at an Italian restaurant on Chopsticks Wednesday, but there is no need to worry! As you can see from the picture, I brought my own!
I got the eggplant parmesan and Natalia got the tortellini. They were both delicious. The worst part of the meal was trying to eat with the chopsticks! :) I had to use one stick to stab the food so I could cut the eggplant. It was really quite amusing. My salad eating was kind of funny too! But, once I got into the rhythm of the chopsticks, I was pretty good!
Even though there weren't many people there, the service wasn't very good. Maybe she was scared to come and serve us since we were both sitting there eating with chopsticks instead of traditional forks!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Zilker Park on ice

After being stuck in a TINY apartment for the last couple of days, I decided to venture further away from home than the area Starbucks. So, I met my friend "Natalia" and after eating lunch, we went to Zilker Park to take some pictures of the winter freeze! I love going to Zilker. Not only is that where the party at the Moontower was filmed, it is also the location of the Trail of Lights and ACL! It sure looks beautiful under ice!

Purple Uggs

For those of you that read my myspace blog, sorry for the repeat. I'm bored!

Last summer, I found some purple Uggs at Marshalls for $18.00. How exciting. Uggs normally cost around $100 or more. All the stars wear Uggs. I need these Uggs, I said. So I bought them. My husband laughed at me and said they were the ugliest shoes ever. It never gets cold in Texas, so they serve no purpose! UNTIL this week! I remembered my Uggs this weekend and wore them out to eat at the Driskill. My feet felt warm, and I laughed when I saw several children running around barefoot. Maybe I was overexaggerating the chilliness as usual. But, I was wearing my new Uggs!

Today, I took my dogs out and decided to unscrape the ice off my car. I put my Uggs back on and proceeded to walk across the apartment complex! How empowering it was to walk around with warm feet amongst all the ice. Now that my car was de-iced, I felt like it was a great time to venture out of my apartment complex, that I had barely left since the ice began.

I made my way up to the closest Starbucks and sat there for about an hour drinking coffee, studying and wearing my Uggs! I even felt comfortable enough to take off my jacket, since my feet were still warm. I'm sure that everyone was jealous.

Now I'm back to the warmth of my apartment, bored to tears, writing about shoes and wishing that I could find somewhere else to go wearing my purple Uggs!

Chopstick Wednesday Reminder

Even though we are having another snow day, we still have Chopstick Wednesday to look forward to!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow Day

How did you spend your snow day? I stayed home and watched movies all day. Did anyone do anything productive or interesting?

1886 Cafe and Bakery

Cattlebaron, Jesse Driskill opened his historic hotel in 1886 after he purchased the entire block in 1885. The price of building the hotel was an outrageous $400,000. The Driskill quickly became the place to see and be seen, especially if you were a politician. Deals were made and even LBJ spent many elections watching returns come in at the hotel. Some supposedly liked it so much that they decided to stay and haunt the place!

But, the hotel isn't only for the rich and famous. There in a nice little cafe in the lobby, that while a little pricey, is still affordable. We went there for breakfast while my mother was in town. I had the Hippy Hollow breakfast skillet, which was eggs with feta cheese, spinach and tomato. It was delicious, but nothing special.

We didn't see any ghosts, but the service was sparing. We only saw our waitress when we ordered and when she brought the food and drinks. Tea was left unfilled and we even got someone else's bill at the end of the meal!

While the ambience is nice, I'm not in a big hurry to return. However, I would like to try their 5 star restaurant in the future!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Treehouse Italian Grill

I had such a wonderful time when my mother came to Austin for the weekend. We all wanted to try something new and settled on going to The The Treehouse Italian Grill on College and South Congress. What a wonderful decision that was! We had the option of sitting indoors or outdoors, but we chose indoors because of the weather. The room was dimly lit with Italian inspired decorations throughout the restaurant.

They started us out with some bread and an olive oil/garlic mixture. I could have made my whole meal on this and I rarely even eat bread! When the actual entrees came out, we couldn't believe our eyes. They had such huge portions that there was no way that we'd be able to eat everything. We all did our best, but still took home a doggy bag for later!

The restaurant was modestly priced and our bottle of wine probably cost as much as all three meals put together! It was a wonderful place to have a dinner date or have fun with a group of friends. I'm sure we'll be back.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


I've decided that Guero's is a hit or miss kind of place. The first time I went to Guero's on South Congress after hearing about it from several different people. Both my husband and I decided that we would probably never go back. While the people were fun, the food was really not that great. When my sister-in-law came into a couple of months later, we decided to try it again with reservations. We were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed it and decided we must've just come on an off day the last time. Last night, we took my mother there after we found out that Z Tejas had a 1 1/2 hour wait. All of us were very satisfied with the dinners that we chose.

Guero's almost always has a huge wait, but it's a fun wait. You can go next door to their patio bar, hang out under the stars and listen to whatever band is playing on the stage. They even have a version of their famous salsa bar, so you can stave off your hunger with some chips and salsa.

With two good and one marginal, we will probably try it again. Hopefully, that first time was just a fluke, but I'm not ready to put Guero's on my favorites list quite yet.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I went to Ross off Parmer yesterday to get some new sheets. It was very strange. There were several rows of empty clothes rack. Was there some kind of shopping frenzy over the last couple of days? Maybe they are getting a HUGE shipment in and needed to make room for all the new stuff.

I did, however, manage to find more than just sheets on this trip. That was strange in itself. I'm not really a big Ross fan and usually don't find much there. But, I ended up leaving this trip to the store with the sheets, a comforter set, a sweater and a skirt! YAY! More stuff that I can't fit into my tiny apartment! LOL!

I'll have to go back there soon to see if they get that new shipment!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Chopsticks Wednesday!

I feel compelled to remind everyone that tomorrow is Chopsticks Wednesday! What will you be eating with your chopsticks? I will probably be figuring out a way to eat a Lean Cuisine with mine!

If you haven't joined the group yet, you can find the invite in my previous posts about Chopsticks Wednesday! Join today, it's not too late!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Rules of Austin

I have run across this before and laughed. Saw it again today and thought it would be appropriate here. (And if the third one is true to anyone, it stands for the Missouri-Pacific Railroad that runs down the middle.)

Rules of Austin

~First, it's pronounced AWS-TUN. It doesn't matter how they say it in other places.

~Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Austin has its own set of traffic rules. There's no book about them. All you can do is get in your car and hope you survive to learn them.

~All directions start with "Go down Mopac...'cause you don't want to get on I-35." No one knows for sure what 'Mopac' means.~Burnet Road, Braker Lane, and Lamar Blvd. have no beginning and no end.

~It is impossible to go around a block and wind up on the same street that you started on. The Chamber of Commerce calls this a scenic drive.

~ The 8:00am rush hour is from 6:30am to 9:30am. The 5:00pm rush hour is from 3:30p to 7:15pm. Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday morning.

~If you actually stop at a yellow light, then you cannot be from Austin. You may only apply your brakes when the end of a yellow light and thebeginning of the red light create a burnt-orange hue. This is Longhorn Country, after all.

~If you like being an individual, don't even think of working for Dell. You'll be branded like cattle and made to walk all over town with your DellTag around your neck or clipped on to your belt loop. Ninety-eight percent of the people within a 200 mile radius work for Dell. When someone says "Michael Dell", Dell employees are trained to face Round Rock, hit their knees, put their face to the ground, weep, and rock back and forth.

~Just remember that Mopac IS Loop 1, 1325, and Burnet Rd; Capital of Texas Hwy IS 360; U.S.183 IS Research Blvd and North/South Bell Blvd Anderson Lane, Ed Bluestein Blvd. and OldBastrop Hwy; Ben White IS 290 and HWY 71; 2222 IS Northland Dr. or Allendale Rd. or Koenig Lane. Don't try to figure it out. Just accept it. If you question the intelligence behind this naming convention, people will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you.

~If moisture is determined to be rain, and not sweat, all traffic must immediately come to a screeching halt; ditto for daylight savings time,a female UT student applying eye-shadow across the street, or a flat tire three lanes over.

~DO NOT attempt to access any road after an apocalyptic event like snow or SXSW (South by Southwest Music Convention). Construction on I-35 AND U.S. 183 is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. Get used to it!

~Attn: All telephone solicitors...DO NOT correct my pronunciation when I say I live in Manchaca, TX. It's pronounced MAN-shack (just like aman living in shack). Also realize that the city of Manchaca (MANshack) is in Hays and Travis Counties, and there is also a very long street inAustin named Manchaca (MANshack)! The city of Manor and Manor Rd. are pronounced 'MAY-ner'. We don't like corrections on that either. And, for God's sake, DON'T pronounce the 'E' at the end of Guadalupe. It's Gwada-LOOP and we like it that way!

~Burnet Road is pronounced BURN-it, not Bur-NET. Koenig Lane is pronounced KAE-nig not KOE-nig. The old airport (Robert Mueller) ispronounced Robert Miller and is on Airport Boulevard. The new airport (Austin-Bergstrom) is no where near Airport Boulevard. It's in the cityof Del Valle pronounced Dell Valley!

~Keep in mind that the sloppily dressed 'hippie' in worn-out sandals and earrings is probably the latest IPO millionaire around here.

~Stay away from the Congress Ave. bridge at sundown if you do not like the thought of being in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. (Largest MexicanFree Tail Bat Population in the US)

~And, yes, we all know that there's a man in a teddy and a tiara on Congress Ave. It's Leslie and he probably makes more money than you do. (Surely, you have a homeless, celebrity drag queen that likes to run for Mayor where you live, too, right

**And you wonder why there are so many bumper stickers that say 'Keep Austin Weird'!**

Flight Path

I got a hot tip to try a coffee house called Flight Path, so I went online to find the location. Somehow when I mapquested it, I ended up on the opposite part of town. Luckily, my friend Natalia helped me navigate my way there! It's located at 51st and Lamar, for those of you that would like to try it out!

I enjoyed my coffee drink, but my husband got some frozen coffee drink that was even better! He said he got the Carrollton, which is the Louisiana coffee cold. I'm not sure if that is correct, but MAN was it good! I kept sneaking sips out of his drink when he wasn't looking. I'll be getting that the next time I go there!

Natalia and I both got quiches, too. I'm not normally a big quiche fan, but I found these to be really good! I'm not sure what else they had in them, but they were definitely spinach and mushroom.

The barrista was also very friendly. He was interesting and funny. He admired my new scarf, so that helped seal the deal for me!


Sunday, January 7, 2007

Ruta Maya

The Ruta Maya coffee house on S. Congress is a great place to get organic coffee. Especially if you have children. They not only specialize in coffee, they have lots of programs for children, such as yoga, puppet shows, a play area with books, toys and computers for kids!

It's also a nice place for adults with their great concert series. Last night we happen to get there for a benefit concert. I was concerned when I walked in and saw the hundreds of little kids running around that I had gone to the wrong place for a date with my husband. I found out that the concert benefitted a music program for preschool children, which is probably why it was so packed with kids. Also, there was a second level where adults could go and sit without being disrupted by the children. (We chose to sit there!)

The first singer got up to sing and I kept recognizing a lot of the tunes and even some of the songs. He kept making mention that he had written the songs with this person and that. So, I began getting more and more curious about him. I came home and googled him and found that he is in the band Fastball. They sing one of my favorite songs, The Way. It was exciting to see someone of his caliber be the first person sing at a concert at a local coffee house! I hope I will get to see him again.

They also had a guy sitting in the shop with lots of pretty scarves. Being somewhat of a shop-a-holic, I had to go and check them out. He told me that the scarves were imported from Madagascar and that to purchase one gives a donation to Madagascar, (or something like that). The scarves were pure silk and they were really nice. That morning, I had just been thinking that I needed a scarf, so I bought one! He is going to send me some kind of tax form in the mail. So not only did I get something I liked, I did some good in the world too! :)

I also want to mention the coffee from Ruta Maya, since that is their primary job! :) I got a Machiatto. Every so often, I have to try a Machiatto when I go to a coffee shop. When I was in Italy, I became so addicted to Machiattos that when I came home, I immediately went to a coffee shop to have one. I was depressed when none of them turned out to be the same type of drink. Well, that has all changed. I have finally found a Machiatto that closely compares! It's not EXACTLY the same, but it's close! I'm sure that the rest of their coffees are just as good! I definitely recommend this place for coffee and entertainment!

Saturday, January 6, 2007


"Up against the wall, a red-necked mother..." sang the band as we walked into Ross' on Lamar. We were on our way home from Central Market, (for the second time in a week), when we decided we better get something to eat before we go home. We looked over and saw neon lights announcing Ross' restaurant. Intriguing. We decided to stop.

We were excited that they had live music as we walked up to the place. There were three older gentlemen on a stage singing country music. Not really our type of music, it can still be a fun experience to watch! This band of guitar playing seniors were reminiscent of listening to Merle Haggard with his old country flair.

The food at Ross' was kind of home-cooking style. I'm trying to diet, so I ordered the grilled chicken dinner. It came with a choice of vegetables and I chose broccoli and salad. Mike ordered the pork and fries. (Embarrassingly, he chose to sit next to me while we waited for our food, rather than across from me, but he wanted to watch the trio, too...

I got a HUGE chicken dinner. They do not spare food at Ross'. The chicken had lots of spices and almost tasted like a steak rather than normal dry chicken. I'm sure that this meal wasn't REALLY dietary! It also came with Texas Toast. I haven't had that in years!

Overall, it was a good experience. The people that work there are VERY friendly and welcoming. The biggest complaint I have about the place was the Aggie knick knacks that the place had displayed. BOO Aggies!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Central Market and tea

Central Market has to be the most fantastic grocery store in the world. We finally went to the one in Austin on Lamar. I have only been to the ones in Dallas in the past and I truly enjoyed the experience there, but I have to admit, that I like the Austin one so much better. Their restaurant is nicer and the store has a more small grocery store feel than the other ones I've been to, even though it's probably just as large.

While I was there last night, I decided I was going to become a tea drinker! I bought some Mighty Leaf Tea to start out my new drinking regime. I was so excited about it, that I even dreamt about how good the tea was going to taste. I thought about it all through my morning routine. Then when it was time to eat, I decided that I would wait until I got to work, so I could show off that I was a tea drinker. I got to work this morning and realized that I had forgotten the tea at home. No tea today. I guess tomorrow I will start the tea drinking!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Austin Group

I have created a group, so we can talk about Austin. Feel free to join even if you don't live in Ausitn!

Click here to join Austin-Blogatorium
Click to join Austin-Blogatorium

Pei Wei

As much as I like to spread the word about Chopsticks Wednesday, I have to admit that I'm not really a fully practicing member. Usually, I forget or just figure it's too much work. I'm really not very good at eating with chopsticks. However, with the New Year and all, I figured it was time to turn over a new leaf. While I was at the airport on Monday, I chose to eat Chinese food and I thought I'd try the chopsticks, even though it wasn't a Wednesday. I was amazed at how much better I had gotten with them.

So today, given a choice to eat at Chipotle or Pei Wei's, I jumped at the opportunity to show off my new skills! We ate at Pei Wei's over on Parmer. I ordered the orange beef, which is my favorite. As usual, it was really delicious and I proceeded to pig out! I have to admit, that as far a chain restaurants go, Pei Wei's is one of the best!

I went with three other converts and we all enjoyed eating our food with their wooden chopsticks. We are all at varying levels of expertise with the chopsticks, but none of us went home hungry! We had a great time taking pictures of ourselves, so we could post them on the group site, to prove that we are participating in our newest low pressure weekly holiday!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Chopsticks Wednesday

I wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow is Chopsticks Wednesday. In case you don't remember, you only eat with your chopsticks on Chopsticks Wednesdays. Makes sense, right?

If you want to make this fun, you can post what you ate with your chopsticks in the comments section of this blog. You can also join the group of chopsticks fanatics through this link.

Click here to join chopstix
Click to join chopstix

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

We made it back safely to Austin! I have to say that I really like the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. It is probably the nicest small airport that I have ever been in. It's set up really well. They have great little shops there. All the food in the food court is based on Austin area restaurants. Mike ate at the Salt Lick and I ate at Matt's El Rancho! I got the Bob Armstrong dip, which I have to say is much better at the actual restaurant, but that's to be expected.

The airport also has cute little stores that have Austin specific things. They even have an Austin City Limits store, where you can buy cd's or dvd's of past artists that have performed on ACL.

Another great thing about the airport is that they got our luggage out really quickly. Usually, you have to wait around for about 20 minutes before they start unloading. This is not the case in Austin. By the time that we got to the baggage area, the luggage was already coming out.

The airport is doing their part to Keep Austin Weird!

Monday, January 1, 2007


We went to Progresso yesterday. It was so much fun. I love going to border towns to walk around and look at all the things they are selling. It ranges anywhere from boots to magnets and then add some more stuff! All that stuff always throws me into a buying frenzy! Mike's cousin bought a little bit of everything while there. I got some new movies, a pancho, a magnet, and silver hoop earrings. Mike got brandy and kalhua for his dad.

I think we are going to go back today so I can get a few more souvenirs before we go home tonight. Unfortunately, the rumor is that starting today you have to have your passport to cross over the border. Mike brought his, but I didn't. I'm going to be really sad if I can't go back. That will mean that we stay home and watch sports all day. BOO!