Saturday, September 18, 2010

Texas our Texas Part 3

I continue with Ryan and my favorite places in Austin. (I promise that I will start writing about Lancaster soon :)

5. Tree House Italian Grill

This place is so yummy and has a very cool atmosphere. They have a patio with a very large oak tree growing in the middle of it. I love Italian food and it has a romantic feel. Honestly, we have only been here a couple of times, but it is very special to us. We went on our first "real" date here. It was a double date with Les and Nicole Williams. It was a very interesting and funny night to me. A couple funny memories:
1. As I am looking at the menu trying to decide what to order, Ryan very awkwardly turns to me and announces that he will pay for my dinner. He hadn't made it very clear if this was a date or a "hang out" so he wanted me to know he was paying, which in turn was suppose to clarify to me that it was a "date." He is so smooth :)

2. I had no idea, but Ryan wanted this night to be special and he wanted to dress nice. He had texted Les asking him what he was wearing. Ryan has many, many gifts and talents, BUT when it comes to fashion he is pretty clueless. Apparently, Les and Ryan had decided he should dress nice for this date. Ryan asked his roommate Steve Husmann if he could borrow something nice to wear. Steve let him borrow a very cool tan sports jacket. The only problem is that Steve is a few sizes larger that Ryan. I remember walking through the door and realizing he was trying to dress nice, but his jacket was very large on him. It was really funny!

Les and Nicole. We love you two!

6. Mozarts

One of our favorite coffee/hang out spots for sure. Mozarts is located on Lake Austin. They have an awesome wooden deck and great coffee and desserts. We didn't have internet at our apartment while we lived in Austin, so this was one of my favorite places to go do internet stuff and read. The view of the lake is beautiful.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Texas our Texas part 2

This is part 2 of a series about our favorite places in Austin, TX. As we made the list of our favorites, we quickly realized most of them revolved around food. We do enjoy food and especially bakeries and coffee shops. However, I am proud that our next place has nothing to do with being unhealthy but the complete opposite!

3. Town Lake (Lady Bird Lake)

The reservoir was formed in 1960 by the construction of Longhorn Dam at its easter boundary by the city of Austin. The western end of the lake is bound by Tom Miller Dam, built in 1939. The lake was created for several reason, including the need for a cooling pond for the Holly Street Power Plant. The reservoir was also envisioned from the beginning as a recreational venue for the city.
I think it has done a great job as a recreational venue! There are miles of trails to walk, run, and bike. We have also gone kayaking a few times and love that. The trees and lake are beautiful. Although you are in the middle of the city, you still feel like you are surrounded by nature.
Here is a link explaining more fun things to do around Town Lake if you happen to be in the area and want to make a day of it:

4. Austin High School (AKA Austin Stone Community Church)

We love being a part of The Stone (that is what the locals call it :) We have learned and grown so much while being a part of this group of believers. When I (Kristin) moved to Austin, I started going to the Stone and then after Ryan and I got engaged we decided to go there together. They have really great pre-marital counseling and that was a big deciding factor for us. The Stone's vision for combining truth and being a catalyst for renewal in the city is also something we feel really strongly connected with.
Here is the Stone's website. I love how passionate they are about Jesus, the city, good teaching, the world, and community.

More to come.....

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Texas our Texas"

I have realized a strange phenomenon happens when a Texan leaves Texas. It seems that their love and devotion increases. I (Kristin) have left Texas before and experienced it myself, but now I am experiencing it in a new way through Ryan. For example, before we moved he didn't really show that much Aggie pride, but the last few weeks I have heard more A&M chants and songs than I have in our entire relationship! It's been crazy. Anyways, in honor of our love and longing for Texas, we wanted to dedicate a few blog posts to some of our very favorite places in Austin. So here are a couple. (Disclaimer) Most of the destinations include food and beverage. These are in no particular order.

1. Whole Foods

I never imagined that one of my favorite places in Austin would be a grocery store, but oh this is no ordinary grocery. Everything here is fresh and organic. I could wonder around this store for hours. I also love watching the people who shop there. Most of them seem fit and organic and there are always many, many cool tatoos. I would love to know their stories.
We started a little ritual of going to Whole Foods on Sundays to get tacos after church. They are so delicious. Here is a picture of them. If you have never been to Whole Foods, you should!

Yummy produce section!

2. Upper Crust Bakery

(Excluding Mr. Youngblood's cinnamon rolls, which I barley remember because it has been so long!) Upper Crust has the best cinnamon rolls I have ever tasted. They are unbelievable. Upper Crust is a cute little bakery with all kinds of cookies, cakes, desserts, chai and coffee(according to Ryan). We started a little ritual(also on Sundays) of going to Upper Crust in the mornings and getting cinnamon rolls and drinks and reading scripture together. Great times!

I was trying to take a picture that would look so good you would have to go there and taste it! I hope it worked.

Austin, Texas we do miss you and your delicious food! However, we ARE discovering some very cool places up here in Lancaster...stay tuned to hear more!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hello World (from ryan)

Well, this is it! My (Ryan's) first blog post EVER! I'm a little nervous because Kristin is an EXCELLENT blogger - it's really fun to read her stuff - so feel like I've got to live up to the bar she has set.

But anyway...

We have lived in Lancaster for 3 weeks now. Here is our new home - sweet huh?!
Notice, it is a beacon of MAROON in the middle of two poor, burnt orange homes - surely a symbol of hope in the midst of despair! People live in row homes (or terraced houses) up here. So neighbors are VERY close and we love it.

We also went to NYC this weekend to see my sister and her husband. Here we are in front of the Rockefeller Center

As it has been said: "Each man reads his own meaning into New York." (Meyer Berger) From my extended experience in NYC (2.5 days), I agree. I read into it this: it is the most amazing mixture of cultures I have ever seen! In fact, Jessica and Matt (my sister & her husband) live in Astoria - home to the largest population of Greeks outside of Greece! And there are many other cultures clustered throughout the rest of the City.

One other interesting cultural thing we got to see is the location of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero. If you haven't seen it, here are a couple of pics:

Welp, hope to see you back here often!