my 48 hours in Austin

if i could find a job that required me to travel to new, fun cities all the time, i would take it in a heartbeat. nothing excites me more than seeing new places; i get that sort of electric buzz of a thrill to walk down streets just aching to be explored and pop into little boutiques and coffee shops and wine bars and drink it all in, literally and figuratively. i have this natural inclination to invent a life for myself in every new city, imagining what it’d be like if these streets were mine to traverse each morning — which restaurants i’d like best, which local haunts would know me as a regular, which routes i’d prefer to run, in what part of town i’d lay down my head.

of course, living in Manhattan, it takes me all of about 3 seconds after my plane lands and i see the NYC skyline to remember that i really have no desire to live anywhere else right now…but that doesn’t mean i’ll stop engaging in these little make-believe lives whenever i go somewhere.

all this wanderlust rambling to segue into this: i got home last night from a whirlwind of a 48-hour trip to Austin, Texas, which i had prematurely decided i was going to love long before i saw it. i’ve heard only rave reviews of this hip town, and from my short stay there, i can definitely see why people love it.

some highlights from my first (and hopefully NOT last) weekend in Austin:

*spending a weekend with my wonderful cousin and lifelong friend, Tara, and celebrating her bachelorette!

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*dinner at Bess Bistro. this restaurant, founded by Sandra Bullock, was a true gem: tucked underground, with a very elemental, cavernous interior, it offers a seasonally-inspired menu with ingredients from their own farm just outside the city. the food, the drinks, the service, the atmosphere — everything was great.

photo from Austin Food Journal

photo from Austin Food Journal

i especially got a kick out of the tin mug in which my drink was served. such a cute touch!

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*wine tour. for our main bachelorette weekend activity, we spent Saturday on a tour of the wineries outside of Austin in Fredericksburg with Texas Winos Tour. this was my first organized wine tasting tour, and it was such a fun thing to do for a bachelorette party.

9 girls, 3 wineries, and alllll the wine = pure silliness, in the best, happiest sort of way. it went smashingly.

photo 1our bus’s theme was a Masquerade, so everyone had to bring/wear a mask. i rather liked mine and am definitely going to be looking for excuses to go to masquerade balls in the future…if that’s, like, a thing outside of Broadway shows. i sorta felt like bursting into song every time i put it on.photo 3photothe first winery was hilariously called Fat Ass Ranch & Winery (because apparently they have a pet donkey, that my cousin was determined to meet), which sounds like an appropriate place to start a day of wine drinking. cheers!

photo 2i didn’t snap as many pix as i’d have liked (huge fail), but i’ll just chalk that up to the fact that we were having oh-so-much-fun that it seemed a shame to distract myself by looking for my phone. i experienced two completely different sides of Austin nightlife, as we did the “hipper,” more relaxed Rainey Steet area on Friday night, where all the bars were old historic houses or bungalows — such a sweet concept, and much more my style than the fratty craziness we ventured into on 6th Street on Saturday night. it was fun to see the totally completely different sections of town, and i’d love to spend more time out on Rainey St. next time i visit.

so, my first Austin experience was a huge, dynamic success of a jam-packed weekend, and my cousin had an amazing bachelorette party, which is all that really matters. i definitely want to go back to Austin and explore more of the city, as i can tell from this small little jaunt that it’s totally my style.

hope you all had wonderful weekends, my loves!

Been to Austin? If so, what do you love about it?

Tell me something fun from your weekend!

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WILW {1.21.15}

WILW_NYC
*races. i haven’t done a race in a whiiiiilllle — since the Brooklyn Half last May, actually — and i now have two on my docket, registrations locked:

– the Michelob Ultra Queens 13.1 on March 21 in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens. i ran this in 2012, signed up for it last year but had to bow out because my bff got married that weekend, and will hopefully have a successful time running it again this year. i was a little bummed because my initial reason for running it a few years ago was because it raised money for World Vision, which i think is a great charity, and that partnership isn’t happening this year, but i still decided to do it after i didn’t get into the NYC Half lottery. the nice thing about this race is that it has a very manageable 9am start time; the down side is that it’s, like, an hour away by train, and i felt pretty awful running it last time, so i’m hoping to erase that memory.

Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 16. i’m psyched for this race, even despite the 7am start time. this will be my third year running it, and it’s just an awesome race, at a perfect time of year to run here in NYC, and draws sooooo many runners and such a great crowd. i absolutely loved running it the past two years and am excited to have gotten into it, as registration just opened today and it’s already nearing capacity. runners looooove to run the BK Half, and i think the iconic finish on the Coney Island boardwalk certainly adds to the charm and appeal. if you live nearby and want to run an amazing half, hurry and sign up for this race!

*food. i don’t post a lot about food, because it’s really not the focus of my life/blog, and i rarely cook or get adventurous with my meals. my fave meal is actually Chobani with fresh fruit and granola: a homemade parfait, if you will — and it makes me so happy when the boy stocks up his fridge with all of these things for our weekend brunches when i’m upstate. i can easily be won over with the thoughtfulness that is Chobani & Bear Naked V’Nilla Almond Fit granola. take me to the gym, feed me fruit & yogurt and tell me i’m prettiest without make-up, and i just might like you for a long time.

granola
*running. two things:
1. i had a nice lil run (pun intended) with the Kinvaras, but i’ve switched back to running in New Balance. there was nothing wrong with the Sauconys, but i was alternating between the Kinvaras and the NB 890s for a bit and found that and the Newbs just work better for me, so back to my first love i go.

product photo shoot    Camera Angles include: 14.Site 1,15.Site 2,16.Site 32. i have fully embraced my identity as a cold-weather runner, and i’m loving it. like, not even just tolerating it, but actually lovingggg it.

photo 1who would have thought? i sort of even like seeing my breath while i’m bounding along. i think the clear, cold air helps clear my head and calms down my (racing) mind. it’s amazing, and embracing the cold is really making this winter much more bearable for me. bring it on, cold & dark. i’ll crush you.

photo 2
*school.
i can’t even believe i’m saying this, but i started my final semester of grad classes last nigh!! that seems so surreal, to think i’m almost done with three years of classes. i still have a long way to go, as i have to do the clinical piece (which will take God knows how long), but i’m so stoked to be down to just one last semester of school. sometimes it’s still incredible to me that this program even worked out for me the way it did, that i was able to go back to school at night for something about which i’m truly passionate while working full time in NYC, and still feeling like i kept a balance of fun and friends and social life and running and everything else. and i don’t even feel exhausted, most days. this has truly been a blessing, and i’m praying i can finish this semester strong.

*travel. so much of this in the works for me in the next few months, and i just booked another flight today for a family trip in the end of April! but the imminent trip i’m taking is to Austin, Texas on Friday, to celebrate my cousin’s bachelorette party with a fun girls’ wine tour weekend. i’m sooooo stoked to visit Austin, as it’s one of the main cities in the US i’ve been dying to see, and i’m thrilled to see my cousin and be able to celebrate her, so this should be a blast.

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i was telling the boy this past weekend that i’d love to make it a goal to visit a new city i haven’t been to in the US every year, so Austin is kicking that off for me this year. last year i saw Boca Raton, FL and San Antonio, TX for the first times, and this year i have Austin, Amelia Island (FL), and Vegas in the line-up already (because i don’t count the last time i went to Vegas, since we stayed outside of the strip and only went in for a day). yee haw for Austin, which i’m expecting to looove, because apparently everyone does!

Anyone else in the NYC area running either of these races?

What meal/food combo makes you the happiest?

Any fun travel plans in your near future?

Friday Five {11.14.14}

holaaa, friends! i’ve sorta been MIA this week, i know. lots going on and little time to sit down and write.

i don’t know about where you live, but it’s getting chilly here in NYC and certainly feels like Winter is clawing at our heels. my mom texted me this morning to say they got 2 inches of snow last night upstate! as much as i love snowboarding, i’m not sure i’m quite ready for some mid-November snow to start flying around here. my bike ride to work this morning was def on the chilly side, despite the sun.

in related news, i can now say “it is cold” and “it is sunny” in Spanish. so if i ever get lost in Spanish Harlem, South America or Spain, i can still make friends and talk about the weather. & that makes me happy. #itsthelittlethings

so for today’s Friday Five, i’m going to break it up in terms of some regular categories that comprise my day-to-day life.

1. running. it’s.been.so.darn.good. i’m so thankful to feel like my “real running self” again and be over the misery of feeling so bad for myself and whining about the pain. i actually had moments where i despaired that i’d never run like i had before again. i wasn’t even comparing myself to anyone else — i was comparing myself to the healthy, happy, running-loving-pain-free version of my former self, and i missed her so much and was scared she’d disappeared forever and i’d never regain her. drama queeeeeen much?
welp, that’s behind me, thank the Lord. and it changes everything about my weeks (and mental state!).

this past week’s line up:
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: 5 miles (w/ a girlfriend)
Monday: 60 minutes circuit training/boot camp
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: rest day
Thursday: 4.5 miles
Friday (today): 60 minutes circuit training/boot camp

2. school. i handed in a 15-page paper this week for my Sexuality class (aka best class everrrrr), which felt amazing. the English major nerd in me gets so hyped to write a long paper and hand it in. our big project/ final assignment for this class was to choose something related to human sexuality that either made us uncomfortable, or was out of our normal frame of reference, or that we just really knew little about or had limited experience with, and experience it and write about it. here’s my final project:

shadesi won’t go too in-depth into the reasons i chose this topic, but i can say it was a rather interesting paper to write and definitely opened me up to new ways of thinking. if you can’t tell from the title, i really disliked the book (as i expected i would) and would have never chosen to read it had this assignment not presented itself.

but handing in that paper on Tuesday felt oh-so-good. 🙂

3. work. okay, well, sort of work. one of the best parts about my job: the view from my desk.

photothis one is sans Statue of Liberty, but i have a clear view of her from my seat as well. every job has its perks, right?

4. inspiring words. i search for these every single day. i need these every single day. sometimes, i stumble upon words so poignant & lovely that i ache inwardly over the fact that i didn’t think to pen them first.

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5. goin’ places. it’s the beauty and the curse of a wanderlust soul: if you’re not actively planning your next trip, you’re constantly dreaming about places you’d like to go and spending countless hours on Pinterest and WeHeartIt looking at pictures of allllll the places.

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i’m happy to say i’ll be booking a flight over the weekend to visit one of the cities in the US to which i’ve never been and have been really wanting to see: Austin, Texas! i’ve wanted to visit for yearssss, and we’re having my cousin’s wine-touring bachelorette weekend there in January, so i’ll finally have a great reason to go.

this makes my third trip to Texas in 9 months, to 3 diff cities: San Antonio, Dallas, and now Austin. i have to say, i’ve had a great time in the other two and am stoked to explore the third.

yeeehaw and stuff, right? except that i’ll be at wineries and having lots of girlie time, so, like, not really, cowboys. but maybe. 🙂

happy weekend, my lovelies!! xo

Tell me something great from your week, in any of these categories above.
Where’s a city in the US you want to visit that you haven’t?
Anyone been to/know Austin? Tell me something good about it!