Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Weekend Road Trip!

Worked all night Friday and stayed until Saturday morning after rounds. Came home just in time for Little Gym's with Ryan and Avinash.
After a grocery stop for snacks and a quick shower at home we drove down to the rental car place to meet up with Garima, Sameer and Hunaiza.

After all that, not to mention all the drama of planning around all of our busy schedules, we all piled in our roomy rented minivan and headed for Austin!

First stop was Zilker park, we had read about it a little online, but I had no idea it was so huge. We got there just as the nature park was closing, but we got to see some of the beautiful mosaics and we hiked down one of the nature trails.

Afterwards we trekked around the rest of the park, looking for a place to play badminton. I have to admit, I was sooo cranky at first, but we ended up finding a huge playground for Avinash to play in next to a gorgeous open field. Avinash had the best time running, sliding and climbing all over the jungle gym. Then Ryan and I played gladiator on the balance beam and took turns on the kiddie zip line contraption.
Playing badminton turned out to be tons of fun, even though Ryan and I are total novices. Because the birdie is a lot lighter than a tennis ball and not really that dangerous we let Avinash wander all around the court. He was our 'roving handicap', who would also get easily distracted by dogs or other kids passing by, ha! We split up into boys versus girls but since Sameer is so much better than all of us we made them play against the wind. And yeah, we managed to beat them in a best out of three, then five, then seven, ha! Our whole strategy was to aim at Ryan, it totally worked even though Sameer tried to hit every shot by the end. We played frisbee too, which was so thrilling since we had such a huge field to play in. It was just an exhilarating feeling running through such a huge, windy, sunny field. Nothing like Houston, so beautiful. It was such a fun day, fun but exhausting. We thought for sure we would all be sore the next day.

We stayed the night at a really gorgeous 4-star hotel near the UT clocktower. My awesome friend Sandra suggested all of these great places to eat in Austin and we ended up at Mother's cafe. Moving to Houston was a shock after living in Philly and New York given the lack of culinary options, especially for vegetarians. Austin is so much more vegetarian-friendly and the cuisine seemed more adventurous overall too. Mother's was an all vegetarian place and the dishes were all so interesting. It was a definite shock to have more than one item on the menu to choose from. The best thing though was the artichoke enchilada with mole sauce.
Rich, flavorful and a definite hit of chocolate with it. Somehow it was not that satisfying for the meat eaters however, oh well.
Her brunch suggestion was a universal hit however. We had originally planned to go out dancing or something after dinner, but we were all too tired. I actually fell asleep immediately after getting back to the hotel. Luckily we got an early start the next day and made it to South Congress Cafe right before this huge crowd hit. Four words: carrot cake french toast. No, five words: carrot cake french toast heaven. No wonder there was a huge crowd. We all loved it and of course, even though we also got a spinach artichoke omelet and strawberry pancakes, the only thing Avinash would eat was the french toast. He is definitely a baby with a discriminating palette.
Our next stop was Schlitterbahn. The forecast was for rain, but by the time we arrived there was not a cloud in sight. Everyone else must have been scared away, because the lines were nonexistent. We rode Masterblaster, Black Knight and Wolf pack over and over again for at least an hour. Avinash rode everything but Master blaster, but the water was a little too cold compared to what he is used to. His favorite thing ended up being the Congo lazy river because he got his own inner tube which he could stand up in and the hot tub. He loved it! and when he saw other kids playing around he squealed and started trying to splash them. The kids were older and kind of just ignored him. Poor baby, so cute.
It was crazy how much stuff we packed into less than 48-hours.

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