travel notes

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

South Congress Cafe

In Austin, Food, SoCo, Travel, Visiting Austin on August 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm

South Congress Café

lull (ll)v. lulled, lull·ing, lullsn.1. A relatively calm interval, as in a storm.

2. An interval of lessened activity.

Admittedly, there has been a lull in my postings. But not in my adventuring. I will leave no stone unturned in my

discovery of Austin. Plunging back in:

A hot Wednesday left me in need of an air-conditioned restaurant and a glass of wine. I met a friend at the South

Congress Café (corner of Monroe and SoCo). Like everything on SoCo, the atmosphere reminded me of the Jetsons.

Quirky, off-beat, vintage colliding with futuristic, whimsical. And like the 60s TV hit, the pace and fashion of SoCo is fresh, like seeing everything in color for the first time.

We sat at the bar, which was great for two reasons. One. Current promotion: receiving 20% off food purchases. Two.

Getting to meet and interact with the bar tenders and the people coming and going.

[Side note: We met a woman eating the Caesar shrimp salad with polenta croutons which looked to die for, reading Eat, Pray, Love and got into a long discussion about the wonders of the book and the digression of the movie(Julia Roberts, I adore you, but the

film missed the entire point of the book!)].

We ordered the Spicy Sesame Tuna Tartare, (which was created in three mini triangles, instead of

the traditional solitaire tower), The Endive and Spinach Salad (topped with generous dollops of blue cheese, dried cherries, and pomegranate dressing), and

the Calamari with orange ginger red chile sauce (really fresh tasting, really good).

The wine list was long, the bartenders suave and knowledgeable, and the pour tasty! First glass: Rosenblum Petite Syrah from California. Astonishing. Blackberries. Second glass: martin ulisee montepulciano d’abruzzo. From Italy. Crimson. Leather. Smooth.

Overall, a good spot for happy hour, brunch, and dinner.



Weekend adventuring

In Austin, downtown, Faith, Food, Music, Outdoors, Texas, Town Lake, Traditions, Travel, Venues on June 27, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Looking to spend a weekend away in Austin, or just get out and explore the city? Hopefully my weekend highlights will help you plan your next adventure.

Friday evening: 

Get your groove on at a live show by The Matchmaker Band: a mo-town cover band, funky, great for dancing! 

Saturday morning: 

Stroll the Farmer’s Market on 5th and Guadalupe (9 am – 1 pm).  I bought an odd-shaped heirloom tomato, and drank a mango hibiscus iced tea. I sampled locally made Kombucha Ginger drink – I love love love Kombucha! – and this small batch was just as good as any of the bigger companies I’ve tasted. Also nibbled on yummy goat cheese from Swede Farm Artisanal Goat Dairy. 

Visit some of the downtown shops such as Finch (appropriately featured on Apartment Therapy’s blog).

 Saturday afternoon: 

Stroll around Town Lake

Grab a bite at Whole Foods Market 


Saturday evening: 

See a movie at The Alamo Draft House– one of the coolest things in Austin. You order drink and food by candlelight, and enjoy a scrumptious meal while watching a movie. This is a must-do!

Sunday morning: 

Visit Austin Stone Community Church

 Have brunch at Halcyon on 4th and Lavaca St.  A hip little spot for coffee by day or wine by night. I recommend the spinach, egg, and mushroom crepe – delicious and light! And one of the better cups of coffee I’ve had in a while.

Sunday afternoon: 

Breathe, smile, be thankful 

Flying South; All Things Austin

In Food, Mexican food, Music, New York, Tacos, Texas, Travel, Venues on June 19, 2011 at 1:14 am

Prepare thyself! This blog recently took a very distinctly Southern direction.  Audaciously, unashamedly, I will be travelling/ exploring/ reviewing all things AUSTIN for a while.

With it being the Live Music Capital of the World, and bearing the slogan: “Keep Austin Weird,” not to mention delicious food trucks and hipsters on every corner, I’m convinced there’s more than enough to keep things from ever getting vanilla around here.

I’ve been here officially for one week. Here are (just a few)of the spots I’ve stumbled upon:

Torchy’s Damn Good Tacos(a food truck in the South Austin Trailer Park Eatery) – I got the taco of the month and it was d—- good! Blackened salmon with black bean, red pepper, and corn salsa. And a poco chico. So refreshing!

Guerro’s Taco Bar  – located on South Congress, also known as SoCo (not to be confused with SoHo in New York!) Don’t  miss their shrimp tacos on whole wheat tortilla’s. And take advantage of their salsa bar! I’m usually not a green salsa gal, but theirs is a secret recipe I can eat by the spoonful.

Barton Springs Pool– the local watering hole – Once I got over the fact that this 65 degree natural pool fed springs was not an isolated, idyliic spot for musing with my journal, I enjoyed the flocks of people for sheer, unabashed people watching. This is where the hippies come. Bring your gypsie swim wrap and you’ll fit in just fine.

La Palomas – I got invited to an event at this beautiful, classic Texan events venue (Thank you Kevin @ Brass Tacks events!) Sitting atop a hill in Lake Travis County, it was stunning with the sun setting on the open barn floor. If you’re getting married soon, I would seriously consider this place. Gorgeous! And the ladies who live here and run the place are darling, hospitable souls.

Clive’s– a few incredibly nice people I met at La Palomas took me out to this little joint – and it is a definite favorite already. Stripped wood walls and string-lit patio give it a rustic barn feel. But the décor of white leather chairs is a surprising contrast and takes the classiness up a notch.

Palm Door Events – boring on the outside. Urban oasis on the inside. Attended an art show here.  It’s a new venue – I would definitely check it out.

The Driskill Hotel  – I absolutely love this place! It’s proof that every real city has a gorgeous old hotel – this is on 6th Avenue – a historic gem, and also an elegant offering amidst the dives (albeit fun dives) on 6th. The hibiscus Brasilieus Batini is a legendary mixed cocktail with ginger and hibiscus, and the crab salad sliders are um, scrumptious.  Live music on Thursdays, and half off drinks and apps 5:30-7:30 daily!

Sadly, I am sitting in a very, very vanilla Starbucks as I write this. Cliché but air-conditioned, so definitely worth it.  And a good resting place to reflect on being 25, a new girl in the city, where I’ve come from, and where I’m going. But more on that another time.

Spokane, Cairo

In Cairo, Global events, Gonzaga basketball, Politics, Spokane, Travel on March 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm


Spokane, WA, U.S.A. – Anguish and desire…the raw emotion on these girls’ faces is nothing short of electric – the camera catches them in pure transparency; no filter between what they are feeling, and what they express.

They FEEL FREE to express their feelings


Cairo, Egypt – Voters flock to polls to cast their opinion for their country’s future. It is a phenomenon.

“You can see the look in their eyes, watch their discipline, it’s amazing. It’s the changing of a whole society,” said Mohamed el Anan, 60, a banker. “People FEELING FREE to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – that’s the whole point.” (Spokesman-Review).

What is the reaction time between what you feel and what you portray? Is it instantaneous? Does it take hours – or even days- for you to verbalize what you’ve been experiencing inside your head?

Have you been listening to a dictator or a coach?

A dictator tells you what to think and say. The definition of a coach is one who guides you to realize your biggest potential.

Go ahead. Tilt the poll in your favor. Express your own ‘yes’ or ‘no.’