So this past weekend was a holiday here and we took advantage of the Monday off work/school and went to the state capitol Austin. We'd had a pretty quiet week after the Superbowl the weekend before (Sad that the Colts lost, but soooo pleased for the Saints - if ever a city needed a boost, it's N'awlins!) so it was good to have something to look forward to.
We headed up Friday after Chris got home - Austin is only about an hour North of us but we diverted off the freeway to a town called Driftwood (which evoked memories of Ian McShane until I remembered that the show was called Deadwood) to eat at a BBQ place called The Salt Lick. It's a cash only joint located in a dry part of the county so if you want to drink you have to bring it yourself. The place was packed but they fit us in and we had so much food that I didn't know where to start - turkey, ribs, sausage, brisket, bread, beans, potato salad, coleslaw.............man alive! It was so good that I'm glad we made the time to go.
Austin itself is a wonderful city - it was lovely to be in a place where we could walk and wander aimlessly. It just doesn't happen in San Antonio!! We spent Saturday morning in Zilker Park - we couldn't get Luke away from the playground other than to go on the miniature train but we did get to see the crazy fools who were swimming in Barton Springs Pool - it might be kept at 68f all year, and it was a sunny day, but it's still February!!! I am very envious of the Austinites who have that park on their doorstep. Ironically - we met a lady in the playground who is married to a Brummie! Everywhere we go, we meet someone with a British connection.
To be honest, the weekend was mainly about food! We had a great lunch in a little pizza shack and a great brunch in the 1886 Bakery & Cafe that is part of the historic Driskill Hotel - it was soo busy (we'd forgotten the Austin marathon was on Sunday) but well worth it. I had a huge waffle shaped like Texas, Chris had some amazing french toast, and they made Luke a pizza that was so much nicer than the usual ones you get on a kids menu. This was after we spent a while watching the half marathon go past our hotel window, and some time at the finish line......it didn't inspire me, just made me hungry!
We also went to the Capitol building, which is the largest state capitol in the USA, and is second only in size to the Capitol in DC - even though it's taller! It is an amazing building - although Luke was abit freaked out by it's size. He did however, love the "elevators" (he's so American!) and we went up and down, back up again a fair few times!
Austin is also home to the University of Texas and it's Longhorns. The main campus was a short walk north of our hotel and is unbelievable, and in the centre of it is the Memorial Stadium where the football team play. That such a huge place is on a college campus is still baffling to me - these guys play on prime time TV on Saturdays and tickets sell for about $95 a game. Next time we go back I want to go and explore the campus properly and hopefully get inside the stadium. I only managed to get a fleeting shot of the stadium from the freeway...must do better next time!
Yesterday, we waved goodbye to Austin and headed 20 miles north to Round Rock so we could go to................Ikea!!!! It was so strange seeing all the products I'm used to (including good old Billy) in the USA and in $$$. Needless to say, we came home with some random items........
Back to normal today. Chris went back to work, Luke went back to pre-school and I went back to the gym - I need to work hard to keep shedding those pounds! On top of a regular workout, I managed 15 mins on the treadmill, walk run walk run walk run - so I ran for 8 minutes total. It's not much, but last week I only did 3, so it's heading in the right direction! Watch this space......
Weight Watchers update - lost 1.8lbs on Feb 10th
Books - Finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett which I highly recommend and am now onto Mystic River by Dennis Lehane (thanks to Anne C for the recommendation!)