New brews

Sara and I went to the new (512) Brewery in South Austin yesterday to try a sample of their three brews.  There were a ton of people there, but we got in line and into the actual brewery in about 15 minutes to claim our three 5-ounce pours.

They were sampling the three beers that they currently produce – a pale ale, an IPA, and a Belgian-style witbier.  We got our three little glasses and moved outside under a tree on a little grassy island in the parking lot.

I started with the IPA (seen in the back) because that’s generally my least favorite.  But maybe as I continue to try them, they will grow on me.  It was okay for an IPA… hoppy and astringent as expected.  But I could almost detect a flavor beyond that hoppy, Listerine-like taste.  The pale ale (front left) was also a little hoppy but had sort of a fruity flavor to it as well.

By the time I got around to the wit (front right) – usually my favorite – it was a little lukewarm and so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped.  It was also missing the orange flavor that I was expecting, but after watching the news later I found out that it’s because the brewer uses grapefruit peel instead of orange peel during the brewing process.  But I can’t say that I agree with his choice.

Sara’s friends Karen and Bruce came out to meet us, and we sat and drank and chatted for a while before they decided to go find beer to drink inside at another place.  I opted to head back north and spend some time with the dogs and watch the Olympics.  We did to go Flying Saucer later, and found out that they will be carrying (512)’s beer soon.  But I did have an Avery White Rascal and got my witbier fix, anyway.  🙂

Kara-oke

Last night we went to Austin Karaoke and had a great time belting out some tunes.  We met up with Todd, Rachel, Kara, and a few of Kara’s friends… it was kind of her going-away party, and we were glad we were invited to participate!  It was the first time I had ever been to the kind of place where your group gets its own room and does its best to operate the remote and select your favorites from the small selection of English songs in the book.  But it was a lot of fun, and the “BYOB” policy was cool, too!  It was nice to see Todd and Rachel in town, and we made plans to do brunch next weekend.

A visit from Sherman

Steven came down to Austin to do some work and met up with us a couple of times during his visit.  On Wednesday, we met him at Flying Saucer and introduced him to one of our favorite hangouts.  We sat and talked with him for quite a while, enjoying some tasty brews and shooting the breeze on the patio.

On Thursday, I got off work a little early and Ryan picked me up to meet Steven at Things Celtic, the local Utilikilts outlet.  Steven wanted to check out their selection and get a t-shirt, and Ryan actually tried on a couple of Utilikilts!  He looked pretty good in them, and who knows… maybe one day down the line we can get him one.  Until then, though, he said he’s happy in pants.  🙂

Steven got his t-shirt and we decided to go to Freebirds for dinner.  I haven’t had a Freebirds burrito in a long, long time… I got a veggie burrito with black beans and guacamole, and enjoyed every bite of it.  Well, I couldn’t enjoy it all at Freebirds, but I did enjoy the rest of it at home tonight.  It was a nice treat, and well within my plan for today.

It was nice to see Steven and visit with someone from back home… he’s headed back up to Sherman on Friday, no doubt to tell tales of Ryan’s goatee and how much we like Austin.  🙂

Quote of the day

Ryan and I decided to start a new way to delve deeper into our marriage and explore our feelings for one another.  He was listening to a song this morning and sent a line from the song to me and mentioned how much he liked that line.  After we talked for a few minutes about what it could mean, he came up with the idea that we could pick a line from a song every day and discuss it as it relates to our marriage, our lives, whatever. It will be a neat way to explore our musical tastes and our relationship at the same time.

This week we’ve got some interesting things ahead… tomorrow will be a very long day for me, as I will be going in to work at 9am as usual, but staying very late to cover for one of the other producers who needed to take a personal day.  I don’t mind, because Ryan has to work his evening shift tomorrow, too, and my boss told me that I could just keep the overtime.  So I won’t be missing any quality time with Ryan, and I’ll get to make a little extra money.  I just hope I remember to do everything that he does.

I’ve started a tumblelog at sarahsmile.tumblr.com, which is importing from this blog’s feed as well as some other sources (Twitter, my Weight Watchers blog, Vimeo, etc.).  I just thought it would be a fun way to catch all of the little things that happen in between my (sometimes infrequent) posting on this blog.  Feel free to check it out!

Date night

Ryan and I seem to be falling into a nice little pattern of having dinner downtown once a week. We went last Tuesday for my birthday, and went today because we just didn’t have any leftovers to eat. But it’s been really nice… I get to go downtown, which is off of my beaten path, and avoid the usual traffic on 183 (I still hit traffic on Mopac closer to downtown, but at least it’s different traffic!). And we get to spend some time together, trying a new restaurant, and walking around downtown. Tonight we went to Wiki Wiki Teriyaki on Congress, and we were the only ones in the whole place – which was just fine! It was good food, pretty inexpensive, and after we ate we walked down to 6th and back to San Jacinto, then back up to 10th so Ryan could go back to work. It’s warm, of course, but it was a nice walk. I always feel very metropolitan walking downtown in my work clothes with Ryan. 🙂

I got home and watched House (a rerun… but still good) and then tried to hang our towel bar in the bathroom. But our stud finder has found its way out of the toolbox, so I can’t hang it properly and it won’t stay in the wall (not that I left it… I just couldn’t hit wood). I wouldn’t have hung a Kleenex on it! So, I may have to buy another stud finder, but hopefully I can call it home soon… I think I know who has it.

Ryan and I will be meeting up at Flying Saucer when he gets off work for a pint or two… a nice nightcap for this warm day. I can’t wait!

It’s all good in our neighborhood

I got home a little while ago from visiting Vino Vino with Sara… her treat for my birthday. I had a really good time, and it was nice to just sit and chat with her. I’ll definitely have to take Ryan to VV sometime soon… if only to read their slick descriptions of the bottles for sale.

I had a pretty stressful week at work, so it’s been nice to keep things pretty low-key. I’ve mostly been watching TV, unpacking some more, and relaxing. Things are feeling more settled at home, which is nice, but they’re not completely settled yet. I’m still trying to figure out where things are in the kitchen and the dogs are still learning the rules and remembering what it’s like to live in an apartment.

Ryan and I have gotten out to explore the neighborhood more, little by little. We’ve also visited the local Flying Saucer, and Ryan’s started tracking his beers in the system so that he may be able to achieve another plate on the wall here. I think we may be able to strategize it better since he’s been through the process once before in San Antonio.

We’re really enjoying trying out the local restaurants, drinking local – or at least regional – beer, and trying to learn about what’s going on. I’m hoping we can get into the cultural scene soon, too… instead of just the food and drink scene. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Another year older

Well, I have a lot to catch up on, but I won’t do it here. I figure this blog is more about capturing the present to review in the future than just rehashing the past.

I’m glad to be here in Austin… I’m enjoying my job, and I feel more at home since Ryan moved down this weekend. We’re still swimming in boxes, and I have yet to cook anything in the apartment, but we’ve explored a little bit of our neighborhood. Sunday we had a lovely, leisurely brunch at Kerbey Lane, and it was just what the doctor ordered. We also got to visit Woody’s Pizza (part of the Little Woodrow’s empire I guess) with our friends after unloading the Uhaul Saturday night.

Today’s my birthday, and Ryan is working his regular (late) shift. I was able to drive downtown and have dinner with him while he was on a break, which was nice. It was really cool strolling down Congress and soaking up the late afternoon heat under the watch of the state capitol. I’ve always been fascinated by its presence and I look forward to visiting again sometime.

I think we’re far from settled, but we’re getting there. I hope things shake out soon!