So here's what we did!
Friday Night - Casino Night
Friday Chris got a Rare Austin e-mail about a charity event being put on by Lifeworks. They were having a casino night at the Seaholm Power Plant, which is a place we've been meaning to check out. The "it" place to be for New Year's Eve seemed to be the Seaholm Power Plant this year. We figured, "Hey why not!?" It was "cocktail attire" for the ladies and black tie optional for the guys. There were a few a few Aston Martin's parked outside on display but it was too dark to see them with the one spotlight sitting on the ground next to each one. Drinks were included and we got $5000 of pretend money to gamble with. It was a lot of fun! There was a band and raffle tickets that you bought with your pretend money (or you could buy some more chips using the conveniently-located ATM). There was a raffle going in which you could win Gypsy Kings tickets, machine gun lessons (!!), dinner at some great local restaurants like Uchiko & Paggi House, among other things. A friend of mine happened to be a dealer at one of the craps tables so that made it even more fun. I'd never played for more than five minutes. I don't think I'd ever been to a "casino night" event at all actually. It's so much better than gambling with my own money. We had a few margaritas, some wine, and a Maker's on ice (that's me, not my lightweight hubby), gambled enough for two raffle tickets, and danced while we waited for the raffle drawings. We did not win anything (boooo!) but all in all, a great time!!
Saturday Morning - Crazy Austin Food Fun
Saturday we got up early for the Gypsy Picnic trailer food festival. We went with a group of friends and I think it's safe to say we all stuffed ourselves. Eric & Iris had to be back home early for Santiago's nap time, which turned out to be a great thing because the lines got long. By 2:00 when we left, people were standing in lines for over an hour at the most popular food trailers.
Now, just a bit about the food trailer scene. If you haven't seen any of the shows popping up on TV these days featuring them, you need to find one (show or trailer, but trailer if you can). Austin, being so proud of its "weirdness" has a lot (a LOT) of them. We had one at our wedding (Phoebe's Mud, the super fun coffee and smoothies truck!) and the ice cream sandwiches that everyone has raved about at our wedding were also from an old converted mail truck, now called CoolHaus Ice Cream. There's one called The Mighty Cone that sells fried stuff, but it's not just your same old fair food fried stuff. Mighty Cone is owned by Hudson's on the Bend, a high-end restaurant just outside of Austin that serves mostly wild game -- so you can imagine the quality of the food you're getting from their trailer. There's one called "mmmmpanadas" which we sampled and I recommend. We got kolaches from the ZubickHouse trailer that weren't your typical Czech Stop kolaches. We ordered two: Roast Duck with Truffled Sweet Potato Mash & Braised Lamb with Herb Goat Cheese (below). They were both terrific. Needless to say, these food trailers aren't messing around when it comes to goodness. Mmmmm!!
Saturday Night - Houston & Dinner with Mandeep
On Saturday we came home, fed Eva, and headed to Houston. We are going to re-vamp our office (and paint it not green) soon. We're also really in need of some new office furniture. I got on Ikea's website and put together this elaborate plan involving 3 desks, a printer cabinet, and 6 legs. It turns out, the Roundrock Ikea only has the legs and two of the desks. Ikea doesn't ship store-to-store, so to get the missing pieces, we had to drive to Houston. This was a quick trip, but it was a road trip and those are always fun (unless Chris is driving and there's traffic). As an added bonus, we got to meet my old roommate, great friend, and recent bridesmaid up for dinner. We went to Gigi's in the Galleria, which was right across the street from our hotel (thank you Priceline). It was yummy, and I'm glad we got to catch up! We've both had pretty busy lives lately.
We had a small fiasco with the hotel a/c, which kept me up almost all night and Chris woke up to the noise at 6 AM and called the front desk. Too late at that point. By 10, we were checked out and on our way to find breakfast. If it wasn't for Daylight Saving Time being over there's no way I would have been up, showered, and out of any hotel on a weekend by 10:00 AM. We got our stuff in the car (after we found it, oops), and headed to the place we'd found using Yelp. It turns out, losing the car and the confusion that ensued started off our morning date with Karma. We headed the wrong direction for a while before I realized it (bad navigation skills much?), so Chris pulled into the left-turn lane to do a U-turn. We decided against it, and waited for the other lanes of traffic to go ahead so that we could go straight. The car next to us started honking and the man driving was waving his arms around, pointing at the side of my car. Confused, I turned around to see if my fuel door was open and saw a pair of sunglasses hanging on my door handle. Someone must have picked them up in the parking garage and, assuming they belonged to the car next to them, hung them on my door handle. Since we had gone the wrong way and had to turn around, we decided to drop the sunglasses off at our hotel. I ran in and gave them to the front desk, and then we were on our way again. I felt like we had continued someone's good deed of hanging the sunglasses (which were actually really nice readers with a matching sunglasses clip on the front) on my door. If we hadn't gone the wrong way we wouldn't have been stopped at that light, and that guy wouldn't have honked, and we wouldn't have been driving right past our hotel again. So there, universe. Hopefully someone asks for those glasses at the front desk!
After breakfast we fiiiinally made it to Ikea. We wandered around for a good hour. The Houston Ikea is HUGE! Then we got our stuff and loaded into the car, which took another 30 minutes at least. The long desk barely did not fit into my car with the seats folded down, but we had come prepared and bungee'd the trunk closed. We taped some padding onto the desk box so the trunk didn't ding the desk, and headed home. When we got here, Eva was so so happy to see us.
And that was our weekend! Next weekend, painting the office!!