I was hoping the trip to Austin we had planned for our only little mini vacation to celebrate New Year's together would be a great one. A memorable one. And boy, was it!
That didn't happen.
The weather every day was rainy, drizzling, misty, and/or just overall very abnormally cold for Austin this time of the year. It didn't help that most people we came into contact with who had lived in Austin for a while kept telling us "It's NEVER like this here! This weather is crazy!" Thanks for reminding us...
BUT! Our time spent together was much to be enjoyed. The city brought to us many adventures, new things to see, and of course the food did not disappoint. There was not one bad meal we had during our stay the whole 5 1/2 days in Austin. Our taste buds were tempted with new, quirky dishes and flavor combinations I had never dreamed of being put on a plate together.
Here's just a short recap of some of the highlights of our favorite Austin bites:
The pork was fantastic, but I have to say it was the rolls as an appetizer before our meals that blew me away! These have got to be some of the best rolls I have ever had. Rosemary herbed rolls, I believe they were. I just called them little balls of heaven. I must try to recreate these at home.
When you're sitting in what looks to be a sports bar with multiple TV's with the volume turned up to the max for football bowl games, a huge bar taking up most of the restaurant space...you don't really expect a 5 star meal.
This was an occasion where you do not judge a book by it's cover. Gourdough's is known for it's donut desserts and entrees. Yep, donuts.
Wade opted for the Mother Clucker (yes, that's what it was called). Fried chicken on top of a sweet, honey glazed donut. And a side of fried okra.
The donut was fabulous. The soup was fabulous. Two, four, hell, I'd say a billion thumbs up to Gourdough's!
You guys should definitely go check out her blog, The Bikini Experiment sometime. She has a lot of great healthy living tips. Lauren and her boyfriend, Scott, ended up recommending we try out the restaurant Vino Vino together.
Dinner was, yet again, out of this world. Wade and I split a mixed greens salad, candied pork belly, and a grilled pork chop with a bacon succotash. Wonderful evening with friends and food.
One of the art pieces we came upon took up an entire room. It is titled "Missions". 600,000 pennies, 800 communion wafers, 2,000 cattle bones, 80 paved stones, and black cloth surrounding the exhibit make up this art piece. It was beautiful. Just the way the light shone off the sea of pennies and reflected upwards onto the hanging cattle bones was enough to make you stare.
We walked around the remainder of the museum holding hands and ended at the gift shop which is where I began spreading the news to my parents and then others. Followed by our first meal together as an engaged couple--lunch at Moonshine Grill.
The main theme or words I could contribute to 2014 in my own life would be "letting go".
What I mean by this is letting go on trying to micro-control every aspect of my life. I've never been a patient person by nature, but these past 12 months basically forced me to let go of trying to control the future and just let be what will be.
I could not control that Wade moved away from my home back in June this past year, three hours away to start a job, and I knew I would not be following him.
I seemed to not be able to control my career and job opportunities and struggled for months to find something reasonable.
I had no control over my father being diagnosed with cancer.
But you know what? Stressing over those things I had no control over...it's just not worth it. Lesson learned. You cannot change certain situations or unexpected events that may occur in your life, but you can change the way you react and, most importantly, adapt to those situations.
I do not know yet where we will be living. I have a wedding to plan in the near future. I have career changes ahead of me as well as new career goals and fields of study I'm looking into.
2014 was the year of Letting Go. But I believe 2015 will be my year of Transition. I'm ready.
What would you choose to be your one word "theme" for the year 2015?