I can’t believe it- with this post I am actually pretty much caught up to present day! On November 4th, I woke up to this most tranquil view of frost beautifully covering the ground. I… More
Hey hey!!! I have a couple days coming up that I’ve dedicated to catching up on the blog once and for all! Moose is snuggled up with me again. He is very quickly becoming my blogging buddy. I’m really looking forward to just typing away and reflecting on the last few months over the next couple days 🙂
We continued our hikes and exploration of the Northeast Ohio area from late August into early September. In between hikes I applied for jobs and chipped away at getting our home together.
At the same trail, we saw this sweet little cardinal among other wildlife.
On August 28th, I went to my friend Clair’s house and saw her and her kids. Oh I have missed them! It’s so nice they are within driving distance now.
On September 1st, I met up with another friend, Rachel, at a wonderful riverfront restaurant in Kent, OH called River Merchant.
I enjoyed the most delicious prawn salad and a side of yummy sweet potato tots while we caught up and chatted away! I’ve missed her soo much too- I don’t think I’ll get over being in driving distance of some of my best friends any time soon.
Anyway, even though we sat inside, the room was wide open, and we had some beautiful views of the river area next to us.
After, we went to dinner at Paninis with a lot of the family. It was so nice to be able to spontaneously just do something like that now that we live here!
And back to the hikes we go! Meadow Trail is probably my second favorite trail after Brandywine Gorge Trail in my last post.
After our lovely Saturday morning hike, we went to NOMZ in Akron at Northside Marketplace. The marketplace has a row of shoppes and a place to eat that resembles a really nice food court. NOMZ has a plethora of delicious vegan and non-vegan options. I had this “chik’n” sandwich with facon (fake bacon). SO yummy!
I also couldn’t resist a side of their green salad with pistachios, mint, avocado and cucumber- a simple and delicious combo. DJ had one of their Turkey clubs with cranberry mostarda sauce (no idea what mostarda is (Mustard? Google, here I come!). Whatever it is, Deej raved about how good it was. We’ll have to go back soon.
Looking at this picture, it’s kind of funny how many additional toys and “Moose things” our home has accumulated since. I didn’t realize how much trial and error is involved in owning a pup! We have tried items that work, others that don’t. Discovered the type of toys he likes, others he feels “meh” about. Realized food that settles well in his stomach and the food that doesn’t. We’ve gone through multiple collars and leashes, cleaning supplies and dog bags. We discovered quickly he doesn’t like a hanging tag, so we had to get one of those “silent” ones from Road ID. I could go on, but he’s worth it all. It blows my mind he wasn’t in our family just a few months ago. We love him so stinking much, as much of a handful he is! Ha! <3
Anyway, there was something so nice about the “hum drum” of this time of hikes, settling into our house and not having school assignments due!
Question for ya!
- What’s going on in your world?
Hi, everyone!! I am so ready to start the Ohio recaps. We have LOVED being back. I thought I was going to have many more mixed emotions since I also loved Austin so much- but as soon as I was back it just felt right…As though an entirely new chapter had begun, which it had! Although.. I do miss those sunset runs and find myself day dreaming about them time to time 💭.
Anyway, I drove back from Nashville early August just in time for our anniversary. Unfortunately, I hit a ton of traffic, so I didn’t get back until late- but we had planned on formally celebrating our anniversary another weekend anyway. More than anything- I just couldn’t wait to see DJ. Those three months apart were not easy, and I hope to never have to do that again. I hadn’t seen our townhouse in person either, so I was excited about that too!
DJ gave me a tour, and I immediately noticed the gorgeous flowers he got me for our anniversary <3 Also, side note- you can see wrapping paper up on the windows. We used the wrapping paper as a place holder before we got blinds. I think DJ actually made it look quite nice, and it was a much cheaper alternative than getting those temporary blinds!
The next week was operation get-unpacked-and-organized! I also spent a few days submitting a poster presentation to a national nursing conference- I won’t hear until December if it was accepted though.
I also discovered my love for a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee with oat milk. Yes I know, very late to the game on that one!
We saw family throughout the week that I hadn’t seen since 2019 (!!!), and I got to meet two nephews, which was obviously a big highlight 😊 I also can’t even tell ya how nice it was to have my mom-in-law and Gordie’s cooking again. Gosh, it is SO nice they, and much of our family, are just 15 minutes down the road!
That weekend we ordered from my favorite restaurant in town- Aladdin’s! They have a falafel pizza that is *chefs kiss*. DJ also loves their lamb dish. And of course, we can’t get enough of their famous hot sauce. Well, it’s famous in my book 😉
Around then, I started feeling a little under the weather for about a week- I think my immune system was just shot from all the travel and stress of the summer. When I started feeling 100% again, I started applying for jobs like crazy, went to the BMV (about 4 different times 😭), finished up getting the essential furniture for our home, and we got back to trying some restaurants in town. We ordered breakfast takeout from a nearby restaurant- Garretts Mill Diner. This was an amazing breakfast & those pancakes are in a league of their own!
Also, we had a good laugh over this receipt (look under veggie omelette).
I didn’t make a big deal out of ordering egg whites or anything, so I’m guessing Brian made an order wrong earlier that day. Oh, Brian! It seemed like such a sweet staff when I went in to pick up the order, so I’m sure someone was just playfully ribbing him. Whenever an order anywhere is wrong for us now we jokingly go, “Come on, Brian!”. But in this case, lemme tell ya, Brian made a GREAT egg white omelette!!
The weather toward the end of summer and early fall was absolutely gorgeous. We took full advantage and tried to get in as many hikes as possible!
We downloaded the AllTrails app which we lovee & started out on our first hike: Deer Run Trail.
This hike was a bit buggy, but still enjoyable.
I was amazed by these beautiful waterfalls! It’s kinda crazy that we lived here for most of our lives and didn’t know about some of these trails- my mom said she did take us here once when we were younger, but I don’t have a recollection of it!
The trail transforms from a shaded and wooded area with ledges and falls to an open running trail with a couple quaint little farms lining the trail. If you look closely, you will see a little lamb peering through the doorway.
For dinner, we found a new favorite restaurant- CoreLife Eatery. It is kinda like a Sweet Green (Sweet Green still is better, but this gives us our delicious salad fix!).
Near the end of August, I was craving a run on one of my favorite running trails- Lock 29.
The trail is mostly paved and super easy running with gorgeous views and nature. It’s just so peaceful.
I actually had my senior photos done here. It’s kinda fun all the little memories we have sprinkled throughout here. I think I was a little worried it would feel like I was stepping back in time coming back to Ohio, in the sense that I worried I would feel like the growth I made in myself over the last nine years would be lost. I didn’t like myself when I left the Midwest, and I worried I’d have some type of identity crisis moving back. It hasn’t been like that though at all, it’s just an exciting new time in every way, and I tend to remember the good here more than the bad. We often smile and laugh about our memories here prior to moving away, and it’s so much fun to simultaneously make new ones in a place that is so special to us ❤️
I can’t wait to share much more!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Hi, everyone! Things might look a bit different around here. I decided after five years, I was ready for a bit of a blog change. I have been thinking about changing the name of my blog for probably over a year now, and I finally landed on the name “Oh Hi!”. It’s a little play on “Ohio”, but I also hope it captures the welcoming nature of the blog. If you type in mackmarie.com, you should still find yourself here, but the alternative URL is ohhiblog.com. That’s really the only change- everything else will be the same! Just a whole lot more Ohio content 🙂
Hey hey! Our little man Moose was a Lion for Halloween this year… for a total of about two minutes. He was not having it at first, but when treats got involved, he agreed to sport his mane long enough for a few blurry pictures, lol. Anything for a treat!
As soon as we were done getting these shots, this costume did not stand a chance!
Hope y’all had a great and safe Halloween!
After our exquisito dinner, we set off to explore another neighborhood in downtown- The Gulch.
The Gulch has a casual vibe. We walked around and took note of all the adorable restaurants and bakeries we would like to eventually try. We then stopped into 404 Kitchen and chatted the night away!
We decided to try to get some views of the city after, so we went to the top of a hotel Kels had previously been to. Unfortunately, the top view was blocked for a wedding party, but it was still a beautiful rooftop!
And for the last local spot on our agenda, we stopped into Santa’s Pub to watch Karaoke.
As we walked in, we were greeted by wall-to-wall Christmas decor/trinkets and nearly every person singing along to whatever music was playing. There was hardly a place to sit or stand, but we found a couple seats to slide in near the back.
The vibe of this place was the definition of cheerful. It was easily one of my favorite parts of the trip.
You could tell this was a local spot- it seemed everyone knew each other and was familiar with the different singers to take the mic. A roar of applause would erupt as the announcer called up certain people- and we knew we were in for a treat! Some of these singers were just phenomenal. That’s what you get in Nashville- even casual karaoke is packed with talent!
We even spotted Santa himself! A man with a long, white beard was casually chillin’ in the outdoor porch area. Turns out it was the owner of Santa’s Pub. A sweet note- He earned this nickname from his grandson about 18 years ago.
The next day in the morning we went to Crema Coffee Roasters to grab some fuel to start the day. It was great coffee!
Lastly, we wrapped up with our final meal in Nashville at Adele’s with a brunch buffet.
This brunch had everything you could imagine for brunch-great music, a smoked salmon bagel bar, eggs, yogurt, french toast, a variety of meats, tons of different salad/cold dishes and much more!
I tried the chocolate mousse and a pecan bar- both were the most delicious end to the meal- I can practically taste them!
We got one last picture together and then went our separate ways- Kels started the trek back to Illinois, while I set off toward Ohio. I miss her so much already! It was an unforgettable few days!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Welcome to Part Two of our Nashville Adventures! You can catch Part One here 🙂 We left off after breakfast about to go out on our run. We set out for 8 miles on Stones River Greenway which was only a couple mile drive down the road.
We got ready for the day & then headed out!
For our second day in Nashville, we wanted to avoid some of the more touristy spots and go to the spots the locals frequent. Kels has been to Nashville a few times before, so she knew exactly where to go! 12 South neighborhood was our first stop.
We both had coffee on our minds (can you believe it?), so we went to the frothy monkey coffeehouse, which is a coffee shop I will not soon forget!
You must try their Golden Monkey made with steamed turmeric milk and honey (& add espresso). One of the best coffee drinks I’ve ever had!
We also split a refreshing salad to tide us over before dinner.
Ok, the tourist still came out of us!
Before we knew it, we were hungryyy. We looked up restaurants around, and decided to try a restaurant in Edgehill Village. It was about a couple mile walk from where we were, crossing through Belmont Campus. The campus was absolutely stunning!
When we arrived to Edgehill Village, we walked around a little bit more soaking up all the charm.
Right at the edge of the road was Barcelona, the restaurant we had our eye on.
They didn’t have seating available at the moment, but they said the bar seating was first come, first serve. We lucked out, because as soon as we walked over to check it out we saw two lone seats open. We grabbed them and avoided probably an hour wait!
We started with delicious bread and oil and then chose from a mouth-watering list of tapas. The tapas have Mediterranean, Spanish and South American influences, and I can guarantee, whatever you order, will be spectacular!
We chose to split three dishes- the blistered shishito peppers, patatas bravas and grilled octopus.
Everything was phenYUMenal- but I think our favorite was the patatas bravas. I’m so glad Kels suggested we order these- she had a friend that went to Spain who loved them, so when Kelsey saw them on the menu she said we had to get them!
We enjoyed our meals while admiring the brick walls covered with black and white timeless art, the green plants scattered tastefully around and the rustic lighting that added such a warmth and coziness to the restaurant.
Once again, our spontaneous food venture ended up being the best- could not imagine anything better!
I’ll finish up the trip in Part Three 🙂
HEY HEY! How are ya doing? I am sitting here with a sleeping Moose snuggled up at my side. Nothing better! I feel like so much has been going on lately that I have had little left to devote to the blog- but today I woke up with a real craving for it. I have been really eager to share about my road trip from TX to OH this past summer with the highlight being a stop in Nashville!
I loaded up sunscreen and an under eye mask and hit the road. I know, wearing an eye mask on a road trip seems a bit
extra unnecessary, but trust me, after that semester I needed it 😅
I took off toward Little Rock, Arkansas for my first stop. It was a lovely drive. I listened to medical podcasts and sermons by Tim Keller (thank you for the rec, Taylor!). It was a wonderful way to pass the time.
When I arrived at the hotel, Courtyard by Marriot, for the evening, I was exhausted. I didn’t get there until after 11 pm, so unfortunately I didn’t get to explore the nearby parks like I had planned to. Next time! Something kinda amusing- I accidentally packed up all my bags without leaving one for all my bath stuff (shampoo, conditioner, etc.), so I just used an old “bath tissue” plastic bag to carry it all. Gotta do what you gotta do, right?
I fell asleep very quickly, and then was up and at em’ early the next day. I squeezed in a short little 20 minute workout to wake up a little and then chugged coffee and ate some Chobani, fruit and oatmeal. I had a great experience at the hotel, and the check-in staff to the cafe staff were so friendly!! The trip was off to a lovely start!
The leg from Little Rock to Nashville was shorter than the day before, and I mostly chatted with friends and family on this leg to pass the time. The drive went off without a hitch! While I was excited to explore Nashville for the first time, I was even more excited to see my friend Kelsey who I hadn’t seen since 2018. You may remember our adventures all over northern CA. I missed her (well I miss her now too) something fierce!
We stayed at the Best Western Plus Nashville Airport Hotel. We had tried to get an Airbnb, but they were mostly picked over when we started looking. This was the most practical in terms of cost and distance from downtown/different areas we wanted to explore. It was a great hotel! Somehow we got upgraded without extra charge?!? I mean, no idea how that happened, but we weren’t about to complain!
My favorite part was this mirror! Well, I guess, the Keurig definitely was very much welcomed too, of course ☕️
Something different about this trip vs. most I take is we didn’t have anything planned. Usually, I have at least a few places/restaurants to try or things to do- but Kels and I were both so busy leading up to the trip, we decided to just be spontaneous and go with the flow. It ended up being one of my favorite trips, and I might have to do more trips this way moving forward!
We chit-chatted while we unpacked (meaning my suitcase exploded all over the place). I tend to be a bit of a tornado when I travel, but I do eventually clean it up, lol.
Once we were ready, we headed out to a place Kelsey suggested- The Hampton Social!
When we arrived, the wait was late into the evening without a reservation (the rooftop was open though, but not for food). We had just passed a super adorable restaurant walking over, so we decided we would go to Hampton Social later and try the other restaurant instead.
Thankfully, Liberty Common (the cute spot that caught our eye) did have some openings. We were seated immediately and our mouths watered looking over the menu.
If oysters are on the menu, I can always count on Kels to share a half dozen with me! And these were goooood!
I ordered their trout salad- which was ah-may-zing. I didn’t realize it came with bacon, but Kels helped me out with that!
I also couldn’t resist a side of the truffle fries, which were divine.
Kels had their Liberty Hot Chicken Sandwich- cannot go wrong with a hot chicken sandwich in Nashville.
While we ate our amazing meals, we soaked up the adorable decor. It ended up being the most perfect unplanned dinner.
Even the bathroom was cute!
The energy of this place was incredible!! It was super chill, yet fun at the same time. Possibly my favorite part was the view!
It’s very much what I expected when I picture Nashville restaurants/hangouts!
After sipping some Rose, we headed to Broadway. To take on Broadway, we both decided some coffee sounded glorious. We went to Mike’s Ice Cream & Coffee bar and were blown away by how good the coffee was! Next time, I’d really like to try the ice cream too- it looked really delicious.
We’re all just gonna pretend I don’t have anything in my teeth, K? lol.
Broadway!We walked up and down Broadway soaking up the tourist feels and energy. On our way, we stopped into a little candy and fudge shop, where we tried a sample of their pecan clusters which were… OH my goodness I can practically taste them… SO GOOD!! They tasted extra good with the side of coffee.
It was worth it though- it was such an awesome rooftop, they played great music, and Kels and I had the best time!
We headed back to the hotel and had worked up an appetite for a second dinner, so we ordered a stellar margherita pizza to share from Florence Pizza East Nashville.
In the morning we both woke up very much looking forward to the hotel breakfast. I just love a hotel breakfast- I don’t care what it is, there is just something about I so enjoy. This all tasted great- and most importantly we felt fueled up for a long run that morning!
Kelsey was training for a full marathon and that Saturday had an 8-miler. I will recap our run and the next day in part 2!
Question for you:
- Do you like to plan your trips out to a T or are you more go with the flow? Somewhere in between?
Hi everyone! I am so excited to introduce you to the newest member of our family- Moose! He has been with us for over three weeks, so this post is long overdue.
When we met him, we were in love immediately.
The last few weeks have been pretty chaotic, but beyond worth it. People often compare having a puppy to having a newborn, and I do think I understand what they mean now 😅
Moose is the sweetest, most loving dog who just wants to be at your side 24-7, or even better snuggling on your lap.
At the same time, he can be very mischievous and stubborn. Like most puppies, he is always looking for trouble, and his stubborn side mostly comes out when trying to take him on walks. He hated walks at the beginning and refused to take a single step.
I mean refused 😅
He has improved a lot over the last few weeks and now seems to enjoy a short walk around our neighborhood loop! He does like some reassurance throughout the walk that he’s doing a good job, and then he’ll trot along happily.
Mr. Moose also can be so dramatic- we call him our little drama king. He makes the funniest growling noises when playing, hates even a slight drop in temperature and refuses to go outside if it’s even sprinkling. We are in for a treat this winter hah. He is quite particular about his food- he likes the tiiiniest bit of water mixed with in- can’t be too soaked or too dry, or he won’t have it. Oh, and he refuses a dog bed- we’ve tried two and he basically used them as pee pads. He pretty much thinks the couch is his bed, or blankets stacked on the floor he will like too. So yes, very particular and maybe a bit spoiled, whoops, lol.
He also makes us laugh constantly- he is such a hoot. His sleeping positions for instance- how are these even comfortable?! 😂
When he’s sleeping more, ahem, normally, he prefers to sleep with something under his neck whether it’s your leg, your arm, a stuffed animal, a folded blanket, etc.
Moose man loves to army crawl and “dive” under couches and his favorite toy is…. cardboard. Yep, all these fresh new toys (which he still enjoys), but he loves nothing more than cardboard. We give him the empty paper towel rolls and he just has a field day.
He did so well in his first day of obedience school! He now knows “sit”, so we’re getting somewhere lol. He socializes well with the other dogs during the puppy socialization hour and now has a best friend named Enzo pictured below hugging Moose.
He has improved SO much with potty training!!! The first week was accidents galore, but by this point, he lets us know he has to go by running down the stairs to the door. We don’t have a walk-out door on our main floor, so we’re impressed how quickly he picked this up. We are working now on teaching him to “ring the bell” to let us know he has to go.
He’s also growing so fast 🥲 We had to carry him over the step into the house coming back inside, but he does it himself now.
I’m sure there is so much more I could write about, but that’s most of it off the top of my head! Moose has added such zest, fun, excitement and joy to our lives in just a few weeks. We can’t imagine our lives without him now!
Hey hey!! This is my final Austin post (for now), and I am feeling quite emotional about it even now!
August 1st I had a hair appointment to get some brightness added to my hair. I have really toned down the blonde over the years- as much as I miss it sometimes, it is now much lower maintenance. My favorite salon in Austin is the Salon at the Domain. It’s one of the more affordable ones I could find, and it’s always fun to walk around the Domain when there’s time.
I arrived about 30 mins early, so I walked down to Coffee + Crisp to grab a coffee. I ordered their chagaccino (chaga mushroom cacao, cinnamon, vanilla and monk fruit) with oat milk- oh myyy, it was so creamy & delicious!!
That afternoon I ran some errands around town and studied for an “on call” assignment. This was pretty nerve-racking. It was a simulated situation where a patient called in with an endocrine emergency. Overall, it went well and was a great learning experience!
The On Call took place on August 2nd, and then I was DONE officially with school.. D-O-N-E!!! Surreal. I booked a massage at Viva Day Spa using a giftcard from Christmas.
After the massage, I was craving a salad. Of course, I stopped by Sweet Green .
August 3rd was a big day of packing & getting rid of our couch I had a real emotional attachment to. We originally bought a set of couches from Big Lots back when we moved into our first Toho in 2015. We wanted to get something that wouldn’t break the bank that we could turn around and sell at the end of the year, thinking we would just get new furniture in CA. Wellllll, we ended up loving our furniture set and taking it across the country with us. Over time we had to get rid of each piece- but in this apartment we were left with our smaller couch. This thing was falling apart through the last year. It started shedding it’s faux leather everywhere, and we knew it was time to part with our final piece of the original Big Lots Lot.
I wasn’t able to move this couch out on my own, so I hired a disposal company to move it out and the big egg basket swing from the porch (the swing was also hard to part with since it’s where I did much of my blogging in CA). Who knew you could become so attached to a couple pieces of furniture?
On August 4th, I went to my last Orange Theory class in Austin.
Across from Orange Theory, there is a Cafe Medici, so I swung in there after class to get my caffeine boost for the day. Anddd since I was both wired and down to the wire with coffee shops I could try, I ventured into downtown after to also try The Hideout Coffee.
In the afternoon, my mom and Pete drove into town for one final day in Austin together and to help me with shipping my mattress to Austin (I slept on our guest room mattress through the summer).
We went out into the pool area to enjoy our lunches.
Oh my goodness – this Tarzen’s Big Salad was outstanding… it had roasted portobello strips and stir-fried broccoli tossed in nutritional yeast, organic mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, sunflower sprouts, avocado & sunflower seeds tossed with chipotle pecan pesto & ginger miso dressing.
When we finished up our chore for the day, we headed out for our final Austin dinner (for now)! Perla’s had been on my list of restaurants to try since day one of arriving in Austin, so it was an easy decision when choosing where to go.
We went before the dinner rush, so we were seated right away outside. You must sit out on their patio. It’s adorable. I forgot to get pics when we first got there, but I got them later on after it was dark out, hah.
This meal was insane in the best way from start to finish.
We first tried their octopus with avocado, squid ink ranch, sunflower seed salsa, and lime. This had a unique smoky flavor. I think it’s the type of dish you’d either love it or hate it— I absolutely loved it!
The crowd-pleaser all around were these wood-grilled creole oysters with oregano butter, parmesan, bread crumbs, lemon, & toast. Holy moly. I cannot handle how good these were. Pete ordered their lobster roll, which was close to being on par with some that I’ve seen in the Bay Area!!
On the side, we ordered the oak-grilled heirloom carrots, chevre yogurt, & spiced pecans. This was also one of my favorite parts of the meal- these carrots were unreal!
After dinner, we went to Jeni’s for Ice Cream. I was so stuffed, I couldn’t have a full cone, but I shared some of the dairy free orange sorbet with my mom. It was soo creamy. You would have no idea it was dairy free!
We walked back to the apartment, and made it right in time to enjoy one last sunset from the rooftop!
Mom and Pete then had to drive home to Keller before it got too late. We said our goodbyes (I couldn’t hold back the tears), and then it was time for me to finish packing and cleaning to leave the next day.
It took way longer than expected, and I didn’t get to sleep until around 2 AM.
The next day, I couldn’t pass up the chance to try another coffee shop before leaving- so I went to Halcyon and grabbed a coffee to help revive me after getting very little sleep the night prior.
On my way out, I saw one last very Austin thing- a guy walking down the road with a rooster on his shoulder. LOL.
Byeeeeee, Austin. Until next time ❤️
Hi everyone- I accidentally had this post scheduled for release yesterday, and as soon as I realized it was published I took it down. Yesterday was set aside for remembrance of 9/11, and I did not want to post in reverence of the day.
Continuing on through the end of July- the week of July 18th was mostly figuring out my road trip from TX to OH, including a stop in Nashville to see my friend Kels from college. I ran to the mall to get a couple new outfits for the trip/make exchanges & returns.
July 27th was my last day of clinical…forever! My emotions were as mixed as could be: sadness leaving my colleagues and patients from the office, excitement about starting a new chapter, sadness leaving Austin, elation about seeing DJ soon and being back in OH, relief in finishing the specialty, apprehension with no clear job lined– you get the picture.
I brought in bagels from Nervous Charlie’s and Starbucks for the office. Nervous Charlie’s bagels are really good- I did some looking around for the best bagels in Austin and these are near the top of the list for a reason!
July 28th, Sara (close friend from CA who you may remember would bring around the spunkiest dog named Foxy Lady!) flew in to visit. This year, she was diagnosed with and survived breast cancer. I have been in awe by her strength, grace, and outlook every step of the way. When planning her trip, it would be a month after she was entirely done with chemo. She has a friend in Houston too, so when she suggested coming to visit us both in a trip it was a no-brainer! More than anything I just couldn’t wait to give her a hug. It was excruciatingly hard being far from her during all her chemo treatments and the whole journey. I thank God for protecting her through it all and for this time together!
When she got in the car at the airport pickup we couldn’t talk fast enough –we were very excited to be actually catching up in person! We were so wrapped up in conversation that I took a few wrong turns and it took us an extra 30 mins to get back- whoooops.
For dinner we had some phenomenal Mexican food!! Matt’s El Rancho boasts they are the “best Mexican Food in the World”, and a la Elf‘s “World’s Best Cup of Coffee”… is this the best Mexican Food in the World? Welllll who knows- but I’d say it’s hands-down the best in Austin! But was I still tempted to congratulate them on having the World’s Best Mexican Food? Sure was.
For food- Sara ordered their fish tacos – I had a bite and seriously the best fish tacos I’ve ever tried. They literally melt in your mouth! I had their shrimp fajitas which were everything and more I could ask for in fajitas, but the fish tacos are where it’s at!
We savored our meals and time seemed to pass so quickly as we were engrossed in conversation. When we finally left, we realized the place was nearly cleared out- a stark contrast to the lack of an empty seats when we arrived.
On July 29th, it was time for some brunch! We went to 24-diner after the breakfast rush. Sara had been here once before when she visited Austin years ago. She raved about it, and naturally we had to go!
First- I loved the interior!
In the afternoon, we went to get our nails done at Enjoy Nails & Spa. It was a great nail salon and much needed R & R for us both!
We drove around Austin for a little bit looking for the Graffiti Park not realizing it was closed (but it does sound like something else is going to replace it soon). We then went back to the apartment to get ready for dinner.
Dinner was at Sway, another Austin favorite! The tables are communal, but it does seem most people just talk with the people in their own party (so if you don’t prefer to socialize, don’t let the communal tables scare you away!).
We shared their som tam salad to start which was the most refreshing, light, delicious start to the meal!
Sara ordered their thai basil eggplant, and sadly, didn’t love it. I tried some too and agreed with her it was a little too sweet. I think it all depends what you want- if you want a sweeter dish, this would be really tasty. But if you want something more savory- definitely try something else!
Once again, we shut down the place!
We spent the rest of the evening binge-watching Are You The One with some popcorn and ice cream. It was so nice & relaxing!
On July 30th, Silk Sonic released their new song Skate. We were immediately obsessed and played it every time we got into the car or when we were getting ready.
First adventure of the day, we went to brunch at a favorite of mine, South Congress Cafe.
We got mimosas and veryy tasty meals! I was craving another goat cheese omelette after the one the day before and Sara had some of their migas, which she said were amazing. Also if you go here, and you like potato pancakes, you must make sure to try these ones. YUM! After brunch, we walked around South Congress and shopped for a couple hours! We adored the sign at the Tiny Grocer grocery store. Naturally, the rest of the weekend we would break out in song at random songs singing the tune of Tiny Dancer with our new found lyrics.
When we got home, we relaxed for a bit, squeezed in another episode of Are You the One and then ordered pizza from Via 313. I decided to try their vegan pizza this time- it was good vegan pizza, for sure— but nothing beats their classic four cheese!
After pizza, we decided to hit up Rainey and went to Unbarlievable, a place made for millenials. They play the best music, and it’s overall a more tame crowd than on 6th. Oh, another fun little nugget about Unbarlievable- they have a slide inside. The whole vibe is really fun.
Then we walked over to 6th street (lovingly known as Dirty Sixth) to get some Voodoo Donuts. I have never been on 6th at night like that- it was … something to say the least, lol!
I had never had Voodoo donuts before (I know, a crime considering it was right down the road). I think I thought they wouldn’t be very good for some reason?… Maybe because I know them as having such extreme toppings and just saw it as a gimmick shop. Well, I was flat out wrong. These were incredible. I’m so bummed DJ never tried them, because he would have LOVED.
We did one more episode of AYTO, and then it was off to sleep. The next day, we met her friend from Houston halfway. It was a hard goodbye, but we packed amazing memories into those few days! <3