For better or worse, we’ve fallen into a bit of a routine here in Austin. Matt has been working from home the majority of the time, which has been great, but also makes it very easy to forego going out to dinner or a show in lieu of popcorn and West Wing on the couch. Regardless, we’ve been able to do quite a bit of exploring and have found some great restaurants, walking places, and even a yoga studio [seriously, if you are in Austin and looking for a stretchy, sweaty, intense workout – check them out! We always leave a bit sore and drenched in sweat.]
We spent Thanksgiving here in Austin just the three of us (because Snickers counts), and it was great. We had a very leisurely day of sunning ourselves, cooking, and gorging ourselves. The weather was amazing that day – upper 70s and sunny – so we spent some time at the pool; quite the juxtaposition from the snowy pictures Beth and Casey sent us from Thorp! We made a relatively modest dinner all from scratch – even the bread for the stuffing! – and just enjoyed our time together. While we love our families, the quiet holidays together are some of our favorites.
We also went up to Chicago for Matt’s company holiday party. Coming from Texas I was not prepared for the snow and cold. The party was at a local winery and we enjoyed getting to mingle with his coworkers and put some faces to names. We might have imbibed a little too heavily and nursed hangovers the day after, but snuggling up in a hotel while the snow falls and blankets the city is pretty nice too. They got their first snowfall while we were there, and there’s just something really magical about big, fluffy flakes against a backdrop of twinkly Christmas lights.
Matt stayed in Chicago for work after the party and I came back to Austin, welcomed by 75 degree, sunny weather. My parents were in town so we ate our way around. Since I was working they were mostly on their own, but we met up in the evenings for food. Ralph used to come to Austin for work back in the 90s so he suggested we go to the Oasis on Lake Travis for dinner one night to watch the sunset over the lake. We got there after the sun had mostly set, unfortunately, but the sky was lit up with flames and the view was still pretty spectacular. They also headed up to Waco to see Magnolia Market since they apparently watch a lot of HGTV; per them – “it was nice to see if you’ve got a free day with no agenda, but if it’s your destination it’s not worth the drive.” We did some walking around East Austin and Lady Bird Lake and just had some easy days. I think they loaded up on just as much chili, Tex Mex, barbecue, and margaritas in their week here as Matt and I have; food is definitely the best way to enjoy a city!
We’ve got one more week here and we’re hoping to catch a show (Matt the Electrician is playing so that’s our goal), eat more food, and drink more beer.