Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend was a fun one, but HOT. Peter was in Northern Minnesota visiting his grandparents, and Ali had some friends in town. After work on Friday, I met Ali and her friends and we headed out to the bars on Rainey Street. There's a new circus-themed bar that just opened up a few months ago that we stopped at first, and then we headed to our favorite- the Container Bar, made out of old shipping containers. It was super fun but I don't know if I've ever been so hot in my life. The outdoor bar thing is great until it's ten million degrees and all you want to do is take a shower.

On Saturday, we headed to Terry Black's for dinner so Ali's out-of-town guests could try some Texas BBQ. They loved it so much they went back on Sunday! Peter is a die-hard barbecue fan/critic so he will wait in line for hours to get the best. I'm not that dedicated, and it all tastes relatively the same to me, so I love Terry Black's because the line is never THAT long. Speaking of barbecue, we went to La Barbeque last weekend, which is a much-hyped food truck.

We only waited for about an hour, but by the time we got our food the line was probably 200 people long, and I can't imagine how long the people at the end waited. There was one lady in line eating a tide-over burrito if that tells you anything!

We all concluded that it was good, as is any barbecue in Texas, but we definitely wouldn't wait for hours. 

On Sunday, I picked up our youngest sister Kathryn at the airport. If you remember from my last post, she's spending the summer with us. She has an internship at a media company and we're super excited to have another roommate for a couple months! We immediately went to the mattress store to get her a bed (she's bunking in Ali's room) and then picked up some groceries. For dinner, I took her to P. Terry's, which is probably my favorite fast-food burger chain ever. There's one just down the road from us that we frequent a bit too often. 

Monday was Memorial Day, but I had to work a half day. I met some coworkers at Mozart's Coffee, a cute coffee shop on Lake Austin, to knock out a few hours of work. We had been there once before to see the big Christmas light show they put on every year, but I had kind of forgotten about it since then. We sat outside and for once it wasn't too hot, so that was fun! I met Ali and Kathryn at the mall when I was done working and then later I picked up Peter from the airport. 

Everyone is back to work today. I snapped this picture of Kathryn before she and Ali headed out the door for work and her first day of her internship: 

That about wraps up our weekend...I hope everyone else had a great Memorial Day! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day Weekend

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there! We had a great weekend celebrating with my mom, who was in San Antonio for a short vacation. We met up a few times for dinner during the week, and then spent Saturday on the River Walk for a few hours before their flight back home. It's starting to get really hot here, and I hear we're just getting started. I'm starting to think that if I survive my first Texas summer, it will be a miracle. Side note: I went to Old Navy today to try to get some shorts and MAN, that was a rude awakening. Time to hit the gym! Why are flattering shorts so hard to find?

Here we are at the River Walk, sweating almost to death:

Watching the boats go by. We took one of these river cruises last time my mom was in town, and it was really fun. I think it was November, though, so it was much cooler and therefore probably more enjoyable. Also, that water is quite the unique shade of...brownish green. Yuck.
We stayed in San Antonio until mid-afternoon, and then headed home for the rest of the evening. I haven't mentioned this yet on the blog, but we're getting ready to gain a new roommate for the summer! My youngest sister, Kathryn, has an summer internship in Austin so she will be moving into Ali's room in a couple of weeks. It will be a full house, and I'm sure Peter's dream come true ;), but I can hardly wait! After spending two years in Australia and missing quite a few family events, it will be fun to catch up a bit on some lost time with all of us girls in the same city.

On Sunday, Peter set out early to get a round of golf in with a coworker before it got unberably hot, which happened to be at about 10 am. Ali and I went for brunch at Hillside Farmacy, an adorable little place in East Austin.

After regrouping at home midday, we decided to trek up to Cedar Park, a suburb about 20 minutes north of Austin, to check out the first Whole Foods 365 store in the country. As you probably know, Whole Foods has a reputation for being ridiculouly expensive. While I can always justify splurging on quality meat and fish, I don't necessarily want to spend $10 on generic brown rice, nor do I care if it's organic, etc. so I usually skip Whole Foods altogether. I know they have been working on a lower-priced store for some time to lure in millenials, and the first one is now open! It mainly features their own 365 brand, and is definitely cheaper than the flagship store. It's a good start, and especially if you're into organic food, but we still feel like H-E-B wins out overall.
We got a few things, including steaks we (Peter) grilled last night for dinner that were really good. I also discovered this juice, and I can't tell yet if I like it enough to buy it again. Turmeric is everywhere right now and is suppsed to be really good for you. I read awhile back that you should mix a teaspoon with pepper in lemon juice and drink it once a day. I tried it, and then made Peter try it, and we both almost threw up. So, I gave up on it altogether until I saw this juice, which I can confirm isn't horrible.
That about sums up our weekend. This week is pretty quiet with mainly work and planning our trip to London in June on the agenda. Peter is going home to visit his grandparents in northern Minnesota for Memorial Day, and Kathryn will be coming down that weekend, so we are anticipating a busy start to the summer!
Monday, May 8, 2017

Day Trip: Fredericksburg

Blog Revival

I haven't posted in forever. Don't fret, though...I'm in the process of renaming/redesigning the blog, so it's not going away anytime soon! For awhile, I didn't post much because I thought my life wasn't interesting enough post-Australia. Which may be true. I work full time now, and my day-to-day life isn't nearly as novel as it used to be. But then I realized that I like having a place to look back on all our pictures and adventures, however mundane they may be. Plus, the blogs I like to read aren't necessarily about earth-shatteringly interesting topics all the time, it's just fun to see what people are doing. I suppose blogging in itself is a little bit self-indulgent, but whatever. If people find it boring or don't care, then they don't have to read it!

So, I've got a few new names for the blog I've been tossing around (since we haven't been 'Down Under' in over six months) but any ideas are welcome! Please send them my way :) 


Day Trip To Fredericksburg

On to our latest day trip: Fredericksburg! If you have no idea what/where that is, you're not alone. I hadn't heard of Fredericksburg until a few girls from work mentioned that they attended recent bachelorette parties there. Basically, it's an adorable little old German town about an hour and a half straight west of Austin with TONS of vineyards and wineries. You could definitely make a weekend out of it, but it's also a pretty easy day trip from both Austin and San Antonio. We headed over on a Sunday morning, and since most of the wineries don't open until noon on Sunday, we didn't have to leave particularly early, which was an added bonus. 

Wildseed Farms

Our first stop was this adorable flower farm a few miles east of the main drag of Fredericksburg. Ali was googling around and found it somehow, but it's quite the attraction. In the late summer and fall, Wildseed Farms has amazing sunflower fields. According to Instagram, at least. We stopped into the cute garden store to look around and check out the spring flowers. It was the cutest little place, with tons of old people milling around. It was basically a grandparent mecca, and since we're old at heart, we fit right in.

 We mainly saw poppy fields this early in the season. They were so pretty!

We aren't gardeners by any means. Actually, we've never gardened anything. I'm currently on my longest streak of keeping a plant alive, and I think it's been six months. The point is, you don't have to be a flower fanatic to appreciate Wildseed Farms!

We drove straight into town and were pretty hungry, so we had lunch at a really good burger place and looked around a little bit. We must have been really focused on food because I took zero pictures. After checking out some shops, we headed to our first winery, Barons Creek. The weather on this particular day was perfect. It was chilly in the morning, and then warmed up nicely in the sun, but it wasn't hot and there was no humidity, which we cherished, knowing that we'll be dripping sweat in a matter of weeks here in Texas.

Barons Creek Vineyards

There were some cute villas in the back of this vineyard that you could rent out, and a really pretty patio area popular for weddings and events. The whole place was only a year or so old, but I foresee it being a popular weekend getaway!
We did a tasting inside, purchased a bottle of their white wine, and the headed out to the courtyard to enjoy the weather. It felt very Tuscan for Texas!

Grape Creek Vineyards

We headed over to Grape Creek Vineyards as we made our way back toward Austin, and it was hoppin' (that would have been a good brewery pun). There was even a private deck for wine club members, and we are all seriously thinking about joining. These people were LIVING. 

We grabbed a glass and sat near one of the fountains enjoying the weather, admiring the array of dogs people brought, and listening to the live music.

 We then headed over to look at the vineyard for a few minutes.

It was a great day, and we are already planning a trip back to hit up a few more wineries, see the wildflowers in bloom, and check out an alpaca farm in the area. More to come :)


Welcome! I started Laura and Peter Down Under in July 2014 when my husband and I moved from the States to Melbourne, Australia for his job. I blog about expat life, our travels, food, and whatever else comes to mind. Follow along on our adventures Down Under!



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