C & J Do Austin

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During my short time in the Lone Star state, I’ve been able to define two types of Texans.

You’re either “Fort Worth, TX” or you’re “Austin, TX”.

Cory is Fort Worth, but he married an Austin. & since he’s never been, we decided to take a weekend get-a-way to the capital city. I have only been once before, as a kid. My clearest memory is standing on the Congress Bridge at sundown & watching the bats.

It’s only a 1.5 hour drive from CS.  We decided, why not? We didn’t have a special occasion to celebrate, just wanted to explore. Besides, do you need a special occasion to do something awesome?

We stayed at the Adam’s House Bed & Breakfast.  Constructed in 1911, it sits in the oldest residential district of Austin. It’s close to 6th, the SoCo district & within walking distance of some great local cafe’s, like Mother’s & Hyde Park Bar & Grill. The sheets are like butter & they serve some real, kick-ass homemade granola at breakfast. I throughly enjoyed watching Cory choke on his as the innkeeper inquired about what he does for a living. Austin isn’t the place to mention that you mine coal, or as some environmental groups call it, “rape the Earth”.  Awkward.

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After breakfast, we hit the town & decided to go to the Austin Zoo while it wasn’t so hot. We thought this was an actual zoo. Turns out, it’s an “animal sanctuary”. So basically, every circus animal reject & millionaire’s tiger (like Mike Tyson’s) come here to live out their days. Along with pot bellied pigs, exotic reptiles and birds. We watched lions wrestle & fed goats. It was weird & still kinda wonderful. We are still country, farm kids at heart.

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(What I’m wearing: It’s my latest Stitch Fix. The necklace SF sent me is made by an Austin designer, Stitch & Stone. Cool, right? They set up a booth every Saturday in SoCo. If you haven’t gotten a fix yet, you can sign up here. You’ll get a $25 discount for using my referral. Yay, discounts!)

We spent most of Saturday in the SoCo district, shopping local vendors & consignment stores. We also ate desert before lunch at Hey Cupcake!, probably the most popular food trailer in the city. Cory stuck to the classic Red Velvet while I had the Michael Jackson (Get it!?)

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Of course, we had to see the bats. It’s the largest colony in North America, & now one of the top things to do in Austin. Sundown was at 8:10, & at 8:13 they came pouring out in well-choreographed streams. We sat under the bridge & watched. It was a pretty remarkable example of nature’s perfect design. & I prayed one wouldn’t land on me & infect me with rabies.

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Post-bats, we met up with a good college friend. It was a fun, relaxing & yet still adventurous weekend. We decided we may not be totally Austin people, but we would love to visit on occasion. We didn’t hit everything on our to-do list (Cathedral of Junk, anyone?) but we always have next time.

 

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Weekend in Review//Stars, Cars & Boys

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When I’m feeling tired from all the going-going-going, I remind myself to stay grateful we have so many great people to spend our time with. Since Colorado, we’ve been traveling or hosting friends at our house every weekend. It’s been a fun, albeit sleepy, few weeks. Here’s the highlights from this weekend.

We went dancing.

I made a new girlfriend.

The new apartment is coming together. We are purging our shit & enjoying the extra space for ourselves & our visitors.

We saw much-needed rain (finally!)

In lieu of church, I spent the wee hours of Sunday morning watching a meteor shower from the hood of a car. & I came to the solid conclusion that it was better than the pew, anyway.

Timothy Goodman favorited my tweet about him & the addictive Forty Days of Dating design/life project. Swoon.

I began working on my FIRST design freelance project. It’s scary & exciting.

What have you been up to this weekend?

J.

The Notorious N.A.P.

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Do you have something you’re famous for?

I was a 5th grader when, on the bus ride home, I took my first & most notoriously public nap. I woke up to an empty school bus & realized I missed my stop. I asked the driver to take me home, & from behind his scraggly mustache he mumbled that he wasn’t driving that far back & I could get off right then & there. ON THE HIGHWAY.

So there I was, a chunky 10 yr old running down the side of the road, my backpack thumping against my back and tears streaming down my face. By the time I go home, I was throughly out of breath and traumatized.

That event, however, did nothing to prevent me from making a long and infamous career out of napping in public places.

At church camp, I fell asleep against a tree & earned the camp nickname “Snooze”. I’ve fallen asleep in airports, at holiday parties with family, every car ride  I’ve ever taken, in class & in a park after fighting a homeless person for the best available bench.

…Okay, I’m making that last part up.

I’m ashamed to say I even fell asleep in the stands at an Oklahoma State University football game, sans the influence of alcohol.

Which is more than I can say for myself this weekend. After long hours in the car, all it took was a couple beers & the lulling motion of the Frio River for me to slip into a deep slumber. I slept through an impromptu concert & an equally unplanned wedding. By the time I woke up, Cory was quite tipsy & only answering to those who addressed him as “Sir Willingham”.

What embarrassing, & maybe a little funny, thing are you famous for?

Weekend Review: Pickle Run, Puking & Polish Fest

Don’t put Cory down for cardio.

He is about as receptive to running as Fat Amy, but at least she is willing to participate in horizontal running. Cory won’t even do that.

Yet, somehow, he thought signing us up for the Bremond, TX Polish Pickle Run was a good idea. Granted, his company (Luminant) was a sponsor and paid our registration fee. We even got cool shirts and beer mugs out of the deal. But, at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, not even beer mugs were enough to excite me. I reluctantly rolled out of bed, put on the running gear and headed for BFE, TX.

We arrived, walked to Luminant’s tent and was greeted by plenty of Cory’s co-workers doing their respective pre-race preparations. Some were stretching, pacing & be-bopping along with the music coming through their earbuds, or snacking on pre-race energy supplements. Cory, in an effort to look like he knew what he was doing, proceeded to kick with the gusto of a pee-wee football cheer captain.

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I ran cross country for six years and continue to run off and on. While I certainly wasn’t in fighting shape, I felt good.

The race began and slowly but surely the crowd of 600 runners began to plod across the starting line and quickly pick up pace. I experienced a small problem with my music, but no worries. I felt relaxed enough. Cory, however, was alternating pace, passing me or staying behind. He was clearly nervous, and what was about to happen next wasn’t going to help (& neither did the 3rd grader who passed him).

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We completed mile one, turned a corner and saw the longest, most menacing hill of my running career. At this point, I realized homegirl was going to have problems. Everyone started to pass me…Pregnant women, moms pushing 12 yr olds in strollers, the maimed, the elderly…All while I huffed & puffed up the hill.

On the way downhill, Cory finally caught up with me. We stuck together near the very end. As we hit main street, the final stretch, the smell of the festival’s festivities hit me: spiced Polish sausage and frothy beer. I gagged & warned Cory that between the heat and the smell of food, I was going to ralph right here in front of all these people. He nonchalantly kept jogging, gestured toward a grassy patch of the trail and said “I’ll see ya later then.”  It was all for one.

We completed the race, but learned some valuable lessons. 1. Train before participating in such activities & 2. Unlike cheesy Christian films would have you believe (Lookin’ at you, Fireproof) you CAN leave your partner behind. Especially if they’re puking.

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We passed on the free beer and sausage (woof) offered to racers. We changed clothes & finally enjoyed the festival with work friends.

What about our finish time, you ask? I don’t think so, suckers. An 80 yr old did beat us by 5 minutes, however.

That night, we enjoyed some live music at the tap with more friends. Life is good.

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