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Eating my way through Austin, Texas

I used to live in Austin, Texas. So every time I visit now, I want to eat at all my favorite places. I usually don’t get to hit up all places. This time though I managed to get to quite a few.

Mighty Fine – I actually don’t go for the burgers (don’t tell my friends!), I love the fries and their shakes!

Chuy’s – You can’t not go to Chuy’s while you are in Austin. That just would be wrong on all different kind of levels. So I went twice, You can’t beat the Chick Chicka Boom Boom. And don’t forget to order the creamy jalapeno dip with your chips.

kerby lane pumpkin pancakes

I couldn’t finish my pumpkin pancakes at Kerby Lane’s.

Kerby Lane – Breakfast at Kerby Lane’s and right in time for my favorite pancake season: pumpkin pancakes.

Amy’s ice-cream – I am not a big fan of vanilla ice-cream, too boring really. But the Mexican vanilla ice-cream at Amy’s makes a vanilla ice-cream lover out of me.

Whole Foods – Their salad and other food bars are just amazing. The one in London is trying to, but is just not getting there. So I got my fix here.

Cafe Mozart – On Lake Austin. I love the coffee and the atmosphere. It’s always full of people reading, chatting, studying. I think this would be a great place to write a novel.

El Arroyo – They nearly freaked me out. New menu and my favorite wasn’t on it. But as I asked about their BBQ Chicken Quesadilla they were happy to make them, being on the menu or not.

Rudys BBQ spicy chopped beef breakfast tacos

Yummy! Spicy chopped beef breakfast tacos at Rudy’s BBQ

Rudy’s BBQ – I couldn’t leave Austin without having my very favorite breakfast tacos: spicy chopped beef tacos. Yummy!

I missed out on a few other favorite places, but I am happy to have gotten to all of these in just over a week. 🙂 Of course, I am about 5 pounds heavier now. LOL. And of course, my healthy eating plan was suspended for my time in Austin! Though I discovered flavored oatmeal and brought back a whole bunch of them.

Happy eating!

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Running in the dark

It only took me a few days to get used to the warm November weather again. The one thing I totally forgot to bring was running clothes that reflect light though. I don’t like running in the dark and that’s something I can not get used to. There was a team run earlier this week – hills in the evening. I knew the route and wasn’t too afraid of getting lost, but more afraid of what I may step into…. specifically, with my recent run-ins with dead snakes… I only once stepped onto something that I’d rather not go back and check on what it was…

As you can imagine, the only real reason to run in the dark is the promised social dinner afterwards. I am happy to report that El Arroyo still offers BBQ Chicken Quesadillas. They are not on the menu anymore though, so you better ask for them… They are goooooooood! 🙂

This weekend, I am running the Rock ‘n Roll half marathon in San Antonio, Texas. It is the fourth time I have been running this race. The weather forecast is a little too warm for my liking with t-storms. Hopefully, it will hold dry during the race. I noticed that the weather on race day is unpredictable. The first year I ran this race, we started with near-freezing temperatures. The second year it was hot and a record-high humidity. Last year it started off cloudy and near perfect only to have the sun come out half-way through and ruin a great race so far. I like the sun, don’t get me wrong, but she could have waited another hour… Let’s see how the t-storms hold up this year…

Since I can’t share a photo of my running route in the dark, I’ll show you one of Austin in daylight. Enjoy!


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Concert Review: Snow Patrol in Austin, Texas

I have been lucky once more. I got to see Snow Patrol one more time this year. They were performing at the Austin Music Hall this week as one of their very last tour dates of their Fallen Empire Tour. I love their music, their sound and their lyrics. Though this was the third time I saw a performance of the Fallen Empire Tour, it was as great as the previous two I saw earlier this year in London and Cologne. I love the smaller venue and the Austin gig has probably been my favorite just because of this.

In the end, In the end
There’s nothing more to life than love is there?

[In the End]

Just take the hand that’s offered
And hold on tight
This isn’t everything you are

There’s joy not far from here, right
I know there is
This isn’t everything you are

[This isn’t everything you are]

These accidents of faith and nature
They tend to stick in the spokes of you
But every now and then the trend bucks
And you’re repaired by more than glue

[Lightening Strikes II]

Snow Patrol was supported by Jake Bugg and the concert was co-headlined by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. I missed Jake Bugg, but saw Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. I actually and somewhat surprisingly quite liked him and his band. Their songs were pretty Oasis-esque, but that’s not a bad thing at all.


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Just a regular taper run

I know I am running in Austin, TX, when during the run, someone starts to scream and jump up high. It’s a real bonus if that someone is not me. And it wasn’t me this time.

I am back in Texas, visiting my old home for a short while. Next weekend I will be running the San Antonio Rock ‘n Roll half marathon with my Team in Training running team. I have been a part of Team in Training since 2009 and this is my sixth season as an active member. I have been mentoring a flex team (which is a team that doesn’t meet up locally as opposed to the local teams that meet up for training runs each week) and I am looking forward to meeting my mentees next week at the race.

Back to my run on Saturday. This was the last long team run before the race and as part of tapering it was a 6-mile run only. Our coach decided that a hilly workout would be a great part of a taper run. But I think, he just really picked a hilly run for me, so I could appreciate the humidity and heat much better.

The morning greeted us with humidity in the 90%es and a fog that would shame London to the ground. I missed the meeting point as I couldn’t see where my rental car was taking me (the car and I are still working on our relationship…).

After the screaming and jumping episode (please take careful note – it wasn’t me this time!), because someone nearly stepped on a dead snake (welcome to running in Texas!), we had just a regular run, where we nearly got lost once, got overtaken by the runners who ran 8 miles, were in desperate need of a porta-potty and found a stinky one at a construction site only to turn around a street 100 yards up to see a gas station which probably had nice and clean restrooms…

How I miss running with the team!


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Running with the team

I finally made it to Austin, TX. In time for the warm weather again. First things first, of course, so today I met up with my Team in Training running team and joined their 2-mile time trial. This was a good test of how well I can run right now in the more than slightly warmer and sunnier weather conditions (compared to freezy and rainy London right now). All in all it went well.

The best part of training with a team is – of course – the after-track happy hour and I got to know a new Austin establishment, which opened after I left the city. The Monkey Nest. I can wholeheartedly recommend the flat bread pizza with prosciutto, onion and basil. I little heavy on the cheese, but perfect after a good work-out.

It’s great to be back running with the team in Austin. 🙂


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7 things…

I am not feeling the love for running (or doing anything for that matter) this weekend. Yesterday, I cut my 10-miler short to 6 miles as I was stumbling over stones on the uneven towpath. Apparently I missed the royal barge at Richmond pier since I didn’t run this far. Oh well…

So, while I am lazy-ing (new word, go with it…) around, I figured I could respond to MedalSlut‘s tag on the 7 things I am totally into right now. Not sure I can come up with seven, but maybe I am going to surprise myself?

  1. Green – my running path is totally green and overgrown. I wonder who maintains the towpath actually? Anyway, yesterday during my cut-short run it felt like a jungle out there. It was humid too, so for a short moment I pretended to be in the rainforest somewhere…
  2. Blue – I already shared with you my photos of the bluebells in Kew Gardens. I have seen other blue flowers and they just look magnificent. Maybe the rain was good for something after all?
  3. Red hot sun – ok, I haven’t really seen much of the sun. But I would be totally into it, if the sun showed! Having had 5 great summer days in Austin, TX really made me miss the sun even more here in London. So I can’t wait for my trip to San Diego, CA.
  4. Actually, that makes Austin, TXnumber 5 on my list of things I am TOTALLY in to.

    Rudy’s BBQ

    I miss running past dead snakes (ok, I am lying…), but I miss running with my running buddies and then having a huge Texas-sized breakfast. London breakfast is not cutting it so far…

  5. San Diego, CA – Currently planning my trip to San Diego. Other than running the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon with my team, I will also catch up with some friends who live in California. I have been to SeaWorld before, but it was a rather short visit, so I am thinking of hitting it up again. Any other suggestions on what to see in San Diego?
  6. My new Canon dSLR camera – I bought the camera just over a month ago and love it. It takes awesome photos and I spend probably way too much time looking at my photos and taking photos. But it also allows me to do all the London tourist sights again, so I can take new photos with my new camera.
  7. Photoshop– I love that I can change my own interpretations of my photos and be an artist (small time artist).

    London bridges

    I have known how to use Photoshop for much longer than I had a good camera. Now the combination of good camera and Photoshop will let me try out new things. I am thinking artsy Christmas cards… Keep a look out later this year…

I guess these are my 7 things I am digging right now (and mostly always). Now, I am supposed to tag 7 other people, but I will leave this for another time. I just caught the itch to run a few more of my photos past Photoshop…

Have a great Sunday (or rest of it).


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Be warned about pre-flight margaritas…

It’s been a weird week.

I traveled back from Austin, TX to London on Monday/Tuesday. And let me tell you what maybe not to do.

As I was waiting for my flight from Dallas back to London and already missing my Austin friends (yeah, guys, I miss y’all), I looked down at the complimentary drinks ticket I got in the AmericanAirlines lounge. And thought, “what the heck”.

So, I ordered a last margarita for this trip (more margaritas on my next trip). Now, I have had my share of margaritas, but this one was out of the ordinary. A full pint glass of margarita and I am not sure what was in it, but after a few sips I was already all happy with the world (well, not quite happy about leaving my beloved Texas…, but you know what I mean). By the time I finished the drink and reached the gate, I was drunk!

I don’t know how drunk, but the guy sitting next to me on the 9-hour flight avoided all conversation with me… I fell into a drunk sleep before we even rolled away from the gate. I woke up for dinner and then… of course… I couldn’t sleep for the rest of the flight. I sobered up at this point and was totally mad at myself. I am usually a good sleeper on a long flight and don’t suffer from jet-leg (mostly).

AA didn’t show good movies in the cheap seats, so I finally settled for the Iron Lady and was happy I didn’t see it in the theater. Meryl Streep is great, but I don’t like the way the movie portrayed one of the most powerful women of her time. You may not agree with her politics, but she is a female pioneer in politics.

I am digressing though…

Not having slept much during the flight made me arrive in London pretty groggy. I threw all my own rules out of the window and took a daytime nap and set myself up for bad jet-leg. I have been working night hours this week (most productive time of the day) and slept all pre-lunchtime morning hours.

I am blaming the margarita!

So, be warned! Very potent margaritas in the AA lounge in Dallas, Use this piece of advice however it works for you…

I have only been out for a short very slow run today and am tackling 10-12 miles tomorrow. I may be walking some. But hope the fresh air (no rain this weekend in the forecast!) will blow my jet-leg away.

Happy Running!