Visiting family & San Antonio adventures
A few weeks ago, Nicholas' family visited us in Austin (of course, they're my family too)! Whenever we have visitors, we take them to our favorite spots, and usually explore some new ones with them.
Bob, Karen, Katelyn, and their two dogs drove all the way from Northwest Indiana, so after a long day in the car, we had to get chips and tacos at one of our favorite taco places. The puppies liked the chips, too ;)
On the fourth of July, we chose low-key pursuits: the pool and not-quite-enough sunscreen—eek! That second part wasn't on purpose. Still, it was a relaxing day, and Katelyn and I even got a reluctant Nicholas to take a picture with us.
Whenever we go on vacation, or we have visitors come to town, we try to maintain a healthy balance between restaurant meals and homemade meals. This visit, we ate a few homemade suppers at our apartment and we had breakfast at home most mornings. Each time we have out-of-town visitors, I'm surprised by how fun it is to set more than two place settings at the table!
On Sunday, we went hiking at Pedernales Falls State Park. It's about an hour's drive, and well-worth it.
And then, early in the week, we went on an overnight adventure to San Antonio. We stayed in a hotel on the Riverwalk, and we walked a lot. Every time we visit San Antonio, we walk somewhere around 10 miles in a day (referencing all of two times we've visited, of course ;) According to the suggestions of a few born-and-raised San Antonians (thanks, friends!), this is what we did:
Walking the Riverwalk: it's touristy, but it's something worth experiencing, and especially picturesque at night (blurry photo aside).
Market Square and Mi Tierra: Mi Tierra serves excellent authentic Mexican food in the best atmosphere (think Christmas in July + live music from los trovadores strolling throughout the restaurant).
Bakery Lorraine and Local Coffee: two adorable establishments right next to each other, serving really good baked goods and coffee, respectively.
The Alamo: (because it's another site worth touring) and just a short walk from our hotel.
Gosh, I love having a sister. Katelyn stayed on our couch, which meant the week felt a bit like an extended sleepover. How cute is she??
Aside from quality family time, this week afforded some "stay-cation" time with my favorite person and his surprise cheek kisses.
Back in Austin, we did more(!) things:
- Paddle-boarding and kayaking on Lady Bird Lake. I tried paddle boarding for the first time, and really enjoyed it.
- East Austin Succulents (because when visitors come to town, you just have to take them here)
- Happy Hour at the Salty Sow, plus some of the best desserts I've had in a long time (the kind you do not want to set your fork down when they're still on the table)
- Lots of coffee made with our Aeropress. It's definitely one of my new favorite methods to brew coffee.
- A trip to IKEA
DeVries family, am I missing anything? Probably. Whew, I'm tired just typing all of that out, but it's the best kind of happy-tired, you know? Exactly how we felt after a wonderful chaco-wearing, good-food-eating, sunshine-filled week with family.
Starting sometime in the fall, I made a point to be a bit more creative and find new to us trails to hike on and explore. Since then, we have found several new favorites for when we are in the mood for a hike, regardless of the season.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.
More green than the sky: A July beach day
A few weeks ago, our little family of four made plans with my father- and sister-in-law for an early Saturday morning at the Lake. When we arrived in the eight o'clock hour, it was breezy, in the low seventies. At this particular beach and time of day, we had our pick of spots; only a few families were there before us. I chose a spot pretty close to the water and Coop dumped out his new beach toys out of his mesh bag and got busy building and digging. Soon enough, Nicholas, who had been parking the truck, and my SIL and FIL joined us.