Posts Tagged ‘austin’

brother bear turns the big 2-1! [part 1]

Friday, March 21st, 2014

as i mentioned back in this post, mike’s 21st birthday was at the beginning of march, so i took a day off of work to drive down to austin so i could celebrate with him that night and the rest of the weekend.  i must hand it to him – he did a pretty sweet job of planning his 21st to fall on the friday that spring break starts and the beginning of sxsw.  ;)  it was legit.  much cooler than my 21st birthday, which fell on a tuesday [oh no worries, i didn't let that hinder my celebrating].  ;)  i remember that i had a quiz the next morning at 9 am… needless to say, i didn’t make it to class in time for the quiz.  oops.

anyway, it was so nice to sleep in a little that friday and then have a leisurely drive down to austin, complete with a trip to the czech stop to get breakfast for the next few days plus a beer run, because i wasn’t about to show up empty-handed for my little bro’s 21st birthday!  [not that the availability of alcohol that weekend was lacking or anything...]

On the way...

{on the way… our beloved czech bakery in west + thinking of my sweet angelboy michael as i drove by his old place in austin.  we had some fun times together, purgy.}

Tennis + The Capitol

{one of the first things we did when i arrived was go to the men’s longhorn tennis match.  since the aggies weren’t playing, i could be a ut fan for a night!  also, i can never resist taking photos of our gorgeous capitol building.}

Mike's Birthday Dinner

{mike’s birthday dinner at trudy’s with friends and his girlfriend priscilla.  trudy’s is known for their famous [infamous?] mexican martini, and on your birthday, you get a free one!}

Brother Bear

{cheers to the birthday boy!  this is the only picture of the two of us that we got all weekend, but it’s a good one i think!}

Birthday Pre-Game

{priscilla tied those two balloons to mike’s belt loop and he put up with our giggling about it for quite a while! ;)  and if you ask me, i’d say mike was pretty much in heaven with his buds, his girlfriend, his sister [haha - see how i threw that one in there!], beer, and tiff’s treats [a.k.a. a special delivery of a box of hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies!]  not a bad mix for a birthday…}

Hello, Austin

{6th street, here we come!}

6th Street

{the bars were pretty crowded that night, as one might imagine on the first night of spring break and the beginning of sxsw.  which was great, because no one wants to celebrate their 21st when the bars are dead!}

The Group

{the whole group [minus a few who showed up later] and their first drink on 6th for the night.  it was priscilla, me, and the boys!}

i really didn’t get many pictures on 6th that evening, but we had such a fun night, mike especially!  he’s a pretty easygoing guy, but that was a very happy night for him!  he was pretty excited about it.  :)  i had honestly been a little bit worried about going out with all the college kids – i know it hasn’t been that long since i graduated, but ohhhh, what a difference two years makes.  i was really hoping i’d be able to hang.  and by hang, i mean stay awake, since i was the DD.  but amazingly [with the help of a little coffee during the day + red bull at night], i never got tired or even wished it was time to go home.  it was actually more fun not drinking and getting to see how the whole night played out, and i thoroughly enjoyed myself.  getting to be with my little brother on his 21st was too cool.

[i did have one irish car bomb at the beginning of the night - i bought one for mike and me, because when you're with your brother celebrating his 21st birthday, you have to take a shot together.  duh.  also, the last time i hung out with my friend michael before he passed away, we went to 6th and he bought us both an irish car bomb and it was my first time having one, ever.  he loved them, and it's such a special memory to me, thinking about us drinking those together on 6th street, toasting our friendship that had made it through the years of going to different colleges, celebrating our growing up and discovery who our adult selves are, reminiscing on our high school days.  and i decided that any time that i'm on 6th, i'll have an irish car bomb for him and remember all the great times we had together.  i think it would make him very happy.  this time it was mike's first time to have an irish car bomb, and he too enjoyed it very much.  it was meaningful for me to get to do this with him.]

anyway, now that i completely killed the mood, back to our wild evening on 6th… i made sure that our group hit several different bars so mike got the full experience, and it was so interesting to people watch and see the places from a sober perspective.  and mike was hilarious and he had such a BLAST – it made me so happy to see him having such fun with his friends on his 21st, the way it should be!  his friends bought him all kinds of fun drinks, including flaming dr. pepper shots at the end of the night, which is a pretty impressive show if you’ve never had them or seen anyone order them.

Flaming Dr. Pepper Shots

{flaming dr. pepper shots.  they are pretty awesome, and by this point in the night, they were blowing. mike’s. mind.}  ;)

his 21st birthday was a total success.  we even stopped at ken’s donuts on the way home so everyone could satisfy their cravings.  a perfect end to the night.

as you might imagine, a good majority of saturday was spent recovering [at least in the case of the birthday boy and his roommate], so it kind of went like this for mister mike:  wake up at 1 pm, drink water, go to cabo bob’s for some tacos, drink water, take a nap until 5 pm, try to feel energetic enough to want to do something.  which, in my opinion, is honestly pretty good, considering it was the day after his 21st bday.  going to lunch and everything.  i mean, that’s pretty ambitious, right?  we had lucked out with the weather the night before on 6th, but it rained all day saturday, so it wasn’t a bad day to be cozy inside doing nothing.  but at 5, i made mike take me to the co-op so i could buy him some longhorn beer mugs for his birthday [that's how he KNOWS his sister loves him!] and then his friends came over.  they weren’t letting him off the hook for the night!

we went to the steeping room for tea/dinner, which immediately became the 432984035th thing that i love about austin.  it is such an austin type of place, with pages and pages of different kinds of tea and plenty of all natural, organic, cage-free, gluten-free, vegan food.  which is delicious by the way.  so we ordered pots of several different kinds of tea to share, and soups and sandwiches for dinner, plus they happened to be serving complimentary glasses of wine.  our lucky day.

The Steeping Room

The Steeping Room

The Steeping Room

after the steeping room, we hit up the draught house, a quaint, dimly-lighted pub that makes you feel like you just stepped into ireland or something.

The Draught House

so naturally, we played darts…


{it was my first time playing and i had an immediate stroke of beginner’s luck, and then my true dart skills reared their ugly head.  see all those x’s under my name on the scoreboard?  that’s because i’m really good at hitting exactly what i don’t need.  it was a lesson in precision vs. accuracy, that’s for sure…}

and then we picked up priscilla and spent the rest of our rainy night on rainey street, which i had never been to before but am now obsessed with.  rainey street is a bunch of old houses converted into bars and restaurants, and it has such a sweet vibe.  we went to banger’s first and had beer flights [and a beer float for mike since he was still kinda feeling the drinks from the night before and ice cream is obvs a cure-all, even for a temporary aversion to alcohol.  i must say that it was DELISH] and some of the guys got food, which they so generously shared with the rest of the group.  i specifically recall the stoner’s sausage, which was wrapped in a bacon-stuffed pancake topped with a fried egg and the finely shredded fried potatoes drizzled with sriracha maple syrup… and i died and went to heaven after one bite.  this is why hanging out with the guys is THE BEST, because i get to try these dangerously appetizing late-night menu items that i might not normally order.  okay, who am i kidding.  i would totally order that.

we went to another bar on rainey and then headed home, as the weather wasn’t awesome and we were all pretty exhausted from the night before.  i left early the next morning so i could make it home at a reasonable hour and reluctantly bid farewell to austin.  for now.  i swear, that city is calling my name, always.

brother bear, i hope you had the best 21st birthday there could ever be.  getting to be there for it was everything to me.  love you!  xoxo


Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

this friday is my brother’s 21st birthday(!), so i’m taking a vacation day to drive down to austin to spend that afternoon and evening/the rest of the weekend with him.  i’m sooooo excited.  uh, 1.)  i don’t get to see enough of my little bro these days.  2.)  21st birthdays only come around once in a lifetime, especially your little brother’s. haha.  but yeah, i’ve been waiting on this day for years, literally.  3.)  austin is the greatest city ever and i’m always thrilled to have an excuse to visit it.  4.)  the last time i’ve celebrated a 21st birthday on sixth street was my 21st birthday.  oh, the memories, guys.

anyway, i thought it would be the perfect time to post pictures from the last time i went to visit him, back in october.  it was rad.

Czech Bakery in West

{i couldn’t miss stopping at our favorite czech bakery in west!  you might remember this post from waaaay back when.  i got the usual kolaches for mike and me for breakfast and a pumpkin whoopie pie for the road, which was fantastic.}

That Big Texas Sky

  {every time i’m roadtripping through texas, the sky always puts on some elaborate display for me during the drive.  this time, there were several.  as it was, i had my friend michael, who passed away a year and a half ago, on my mind, like i always do when i drive to austin, because in college i would always visit him when i went there.  and then with the sky doing some spectacular things and the clouds moving so fast and seeming so alive, i know it sounds crazy but i just felt like he was there.  i was having like a lion king moment or something.  anyway, it was pretty cool.}

The Clouds

 {yeahhhh… see what i mean?  no filter on this, you guys.  it was unreal.  a few times, i looked at the people in the cars that i was passing like, “are you guys seeing the same thing that i’m seeing???”}

A Sidewalk Poem + A Beer

{a sidewalk poem – VERY austin – and an oktoberfest at pluckers.  also very austin.  although it would have been even more austin had i been drinking, say, an austin amber.}

Austin Amber

{oh heyyyyyy.}

Mike's Condo

{didn’t mom and mimi do a nice job decorating mike’s condo? ;)  i actually really like it [minus the UT stuff!].  like this number thing on the wall – the perfect decoration for the numbers guy!}

His Space

{his space.}Shoal Creek{we slept in [college-style], and then we went for a run at shoal creek.  and i pretty much almost died.  remind me never to run with this tennis-playing college kid now that i’m old.  but the run was pretty and i’d still say it was a good one.}

Brother Bear and Me{i’m happy that he’s my brother.}  :)

S. Congress{south congress.  and pictures from the last time i was there.}


{oh, this city sure knows how to steal my heart.}

Dinner at S. Congress Cafe{dinner at south congress cafe!  mike had duck, and i had the most amazing seafood risotto.}

Love Him!{the parents instructed us to go for a nice dinner together and they took care of the bill.  being the foodies that we are, it was much appreciated.  and we loved spending the time together, just the two of us.  thank you, mom and dad!}

South Congress

{we always have to stop in uncommon objects for a look-see.}

Blurry City Lights

{this was me trying to get a picture of the downtown skyline while we were driving over the river.  somehow, i kind of like it.}

Capitol(dear texas capitol building, you are too beautiful for words.  also, year-round sparkly white lights in trees are my favorite.}


Soaking Wet on Sixth{and then we went to sixth street and it decided to POUR.  so this is the obligatory bathroom selfie in which i am completely drenched and have dripping wet hair that i am about to attempt to dry under the hand-dryer.  good times.}

6th Street{we spent most of the night at buffalo billiards because of the rain.  we sure had a fun night though!}

Brother-Sister Bonding{brother-sister bonding on sixth.  i love him so much.}

Brunch at Taverna

{and as a bonus, i got to have brunch with one of my best friends from college, thomas, at taverna.}

Brunch with Thomas

{brunch is something we do best.  also, not to embarrass thomas or anything, but remember when he was my model for photography class?  – see the photos here and here.  what a handsome guy!}  

can’t WAIT to see you this weekend brother bear!  21, here we come!


more austin food adventures

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

the “live music capital of the world” should really be called “the fabulous food capital of the world,” at least in my opinion.  i end up eating my way through the city every time i go.

this memorial day weekend, i was there for less than 24 hours as we were helping my brother move into his new apartment.  unfortunately, my dad had to work, so it was just mom, mike, and me.

{brother bear’s home for the summer}

yet we still managed to fit in two tasty meals.

we ate a late dinner at cuatro’s, which is actually right next door to mike’s apartment.

it was a nice night, and like many austin restaurants, cuatro’s allowed dogs on the patio, so lucky got to chill at our feet as we enjoyed the breezy evening.

{he was such a good boy!  it was his first restaurant visit and he just laid at our feet!}

the three of us shared a pitcher of blue moon.

our food was delicious.  mom and i each had a grilled shrimp taco [with mixed greens, avocado slices, and ubiquitous sauce] and a kona taco [pulled pork in green chile sauce with diced pineapples, diced onions, and cilantro].  mike got the kona tacos as well.  the green chile rice and refried black beans were yummy too.

we ended the night with a long walk through the city.

the next morning, we were busy helping mike clean the apartment and get settled, and then we had to be on our way back to dfw, so we only had time for a quick bite.

we went to the spicy pickle and picked up some paninis to go, then ate them [plus some archer farms tiramisu gelato!] at the apartment.

{gotta love the YOLO sign. haha}

i had the panini de luca – fresh mozzarella, EVOO basil mayo, tomatoes, roasted red pepper, and spinach, grilled on rosemary foccacia.  sounds delightful, doesn’t it?

it was.

the sandwiches came with a tiny little cup of pasta salad, which is always a win in my book.  and of course, can’t forget the spicy pickle!

the one and only downfall of the restaurant was my iced tea, which i swear tasted like pickles.  no joke!  i guess it goes with the territory… haha.

unfortunately for us, we all had to jump back into the reality of work this morning.  it was a nice three-day weekend though!

A Bit of Sweet and Color