chrome wheeled, fuel injected and steppin’ out over the line

Bikes, bikes and more bikes. There are a lot of bikes in Austin. A lot of people ride around town (so I’ve learned to look a little more carefully when driving.) We don’t have bikes (yet), but wanted to check out Lance Armstrong’s bike shop—Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop—after reading about it. It has a coffee shop and tons of bikes and accessories. You can get your bike fitted and get instructions from bike experts. It’s a pretty cool place.

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There’s some street art outside of it, like on almost every building in downtown Austin.

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Then we walked by the postcard mural of “Greetings from Austin TX” that is painted on the side of Roadside Relics—a shop that sells neon signs.

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This weekend was the Republic of Texas Biker Rally which brought a TON of bikers to the city. We were walking around downtown and noticed the bikes were all lined up on 6th street, the owners of which were undoubtedly hanging out in the bars trying to stay cool. Or they were driving around the block blaring their music and revving their engines. It was quite loud.

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Something else that’s really loud? These darn black birds that are ALL OVER Austin. I think they’re called Cracklers. They have a really shrill squawk. They’re harmless, but they’re EVERYWHERE. They fly low right at your head so you feel like you have to duck when they come close. And they fly right at your windshield. Crazy birds. With crazy beady eyes.

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*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “Born To Run” by Bruce Springsteen

another sunny day i met you up in the garden

Our Memorial Day weekend, the first in Austin, was spent celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary and otherwise avoiding the scorching heat. But first, I got a much needed haircut. I went in and said “chop it off!” Then we grabbed some margaritas to ease us into the weekend.

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Memorial Day weekend will always be special for us because we get to celebrate our anniversary by having a 3-day weekend, but we usually don’t do much to celebrate. This year, we decided to have a nice dinner out, courtesy of my friends who bought me a gift certificate for my birthday. Zoot is outside of Austin, to the west in hill country. It was a nice scenic, hilly drive there and the restaurant was excellent! I had the best chilled asparagus soup and seared scallops!

Sunday started with a game of tennis at the courts across the street from our apartment complex – how convenient! We caught a matinee of Hangover 2 at the Alamo Drafthouse – a theatre where waiters serve you food and drinks (alcoholic) at your seats throughout the movie. It was awesome – definitely our new favorite place to see a movie! In the early evening we decided to try out the pool at our apartment complex. It felt backwards, to have gone to a movie in the middle of the day and then to the pool in the evening, but it was genius for 3 reasons: 1) It was still really hot at 6pm, 2) It wasn’t crowded and 3) I didn’t have to worry about getting burnt!

After hanging out in the pool, we were ready for dinner and decided to hit up East Side Cafe, not too far from our apartment. They have their own garden behind the restaurant where they grow their veggies and raise their chickens. Their food is all local and seasonal and delicious.

I love this “bed” of herbs!

On Monday we did some more unpacking, organizing and cleaning around the apartment (and we’re still not done.) And I prepped our kabobs for grilling.

At our apartment, we are not allowed to have our own grill, so there are community grills in the courtyard. We went down to fire up the grill when we saw it was open and noticed that the gas tank was missing. Drew went over to the other courtyard where he saw a huge party going on and they had stolen the gas tank! So back inside we went where I grilled the kabobs indoors and smoked up the whole apartment… (they were still tasty.)

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “Another Sunny Day” by Belle and Sebastian