Trip to Austin

My son, Elek, and I flew to Austin last week to see my Aunt, Uncle, cousins and a couple of friends. Below is what happened so I can remember details! Hopefully I’ll post pictures soon.

We arrived in Austin the afternoon of Wed. Oct. 9th. We drove to Barton Springs and rode the train that goes around that area. Elek played on the playground. Afterward we met Chris Jolley at the original Maudie’s tex mex. Chris came over to Elizabeth’s house for a bit afterward and we talked.

Thursday we went to the Austin Zoo and animal sanctuary in the
morning. We rode the train there as well. It was an interesting zoo
where most of the animals were recovering from something or rescues.
That night we saw the bats swarm under the bridge. For dinner we ate
Texas barbecue. It was very good, but obviously different than Memphis
barbecue. Chris and I went out and drove through “dirty 6th” street
(kind of like Beale street) where all the college aged kids go to get
drunk. We stopped on a very cool block called Rainey Street which was
full of bars made from converted houses. There was also a trailer park
of food trucks. Stephen and Ethyl got in late.

Friday morning Elek was going to help walk the dogs when Jamie bit him
on the face so we spent the morning at the doctor’s. Elizabeth bought
Elek a birthday present from a bookstore called Book People. We saw
the huge Whole Foods store in all its glory. That night we had a
family dinner with steak, potatoes, and salad. It was awesome! We hung
out in the hot tub a little after dinner.

Saturday Elek and I played 10 holes of disc golf at Mary Moore disc
golf. Afterward we went to South Congress street and ate pizza at Home
Slice. It was pretty cool because they let Elek have some dough to
play with while we waited at the bar. That area was very CROWDED. It
was similar to Cooper Young, but more crowded as there were lines
everywhere pretty much. We also got to see where Annabeth works. We
went with her to the Bullock Texas State History Museum and looked
around. We watched a 3D shark movie while we were there as well.

elek’s first sleepover

IMG_3092The other night was Elek’s first actual sleepover. We hosted Jesse from across the street. Elek happened to be in a phase where he really wanted to misbehave. Other than that, the sleepover went great.

That Friday night, the boys are edamame among other things and drank their milk. They loved playing in the ball pit that Elek got for his birthday from Nana. Elek and Jesse watched a show or two and Elek climbed the couch. Lastly, they took turns pushing each other down a small slide. They were so funny together! Jesse stayed the next day (Sat.) until around 2PM and the McRaes came and got him to keep him for the rest of the weekend.


weekend in new orleans, la

CrowdedStreetDiana and I met Mike (my college roommate) and Camie (his wife) in New Orleans for Jared Barcenas and his wife, Ezgi’s, reception/celebration. Elek stayed with my mom (we owe her big) for the weekend and had apparently come down with the flu, though we thought it was a 24 hour virus or something of the sort after Diana took him to the doctor. We almost had to turn around halfway there. We left later than we thought we were going to, but we arrived in New Orleans at exactly the same time as Mike and Camie. No really. EXACTLY. We drove under their plane as it was landing. Sure enough Mike called me 2 minutes later and we went directly to the airport to pick them up.
We had just enough time to drop by Target for a couple of things we needed and to get settled in the Biscuit Palace.

The first night we got ready and wandered around looking for a place to eat. We got some general directions for cajun food from a local shop keeper. Ralph and Kacoo’s was where we ended up eating. It looked just as good as any other place. It turned out to be sub par and I’m really upset we didn’t get a chance to try out Mr. B’s! After the disappointing meal, we walked to the party which was in a luxurious suite with a large balcony and an open bar. As you can see everyone there had a great time. We met some new people and celebrated Jared and Ezgi’s marriage.

AquariumAfter waking up and walking to Cafe du Monde (which we did make it back to), we decided we didn’t want to wait in a line that long. On the other side of Jackson Square there was another recommended restaurant called Stanley’s. Despite the almost equally as long wait, the food was amazing!

After that meal we HAD to walk off the food. With no real agenda, we walked up to the trolley station and hopped on. When the trolley came to the end of the line there was the aquarium, right in front of us. I’ve been before, but it had been a very long time. We decided to go in and luckily both Mike and I had our triple A cards with us for the discount. The aquarium is a must see if you’re ever in New Orleans.

CafeDuMondeAfterward, we got a transfer on another trolley and went back to Cafe du Monde where we ate some wonderful beignets and drank coffee (hot chocolate for me).

After a fun filled, touristy morning most of us took a nap with the exception of Diana who walked about 4 miles to get a sweater. What a great nap! We were all recharged and ready for the reception that night at a beautiful inside courtyard. The food was exactly what I love about New Orleans. Everything was perfect. The guests, the food, the dessert, the location. Later that night we went out on Bourbon Street again, but unfortunately that was the night that Diana woke up shivering. She had gotten the flu from Elek. I was sent out at 5AM in the French Quarter to find some place with Sprite and crackers. Luckily I didn’t come back empty handed. It took Diana about 6 days to recover from the flu thanks to Tamiflu. We drove back after breakfast at a 24 hour diner across the street from our hotel.

It was a wonderful weekend in New Orleans and I wish Jared and Ezgi the best! You can see more pictures from the festivities below.

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brandon dill

brandondillBack when Diana and I set a date for our wedding, we knew we would have to get a wedding photographer. We had no idea where to start. We had a couple of leads from a few friends, but each one seemed too cookie-cutter. The examples we saw of these photographers were exactly like every other wedding photo I’ve ever seen. Bland. Fortunately for us, we happened to attend a party at the Dill’s residence on Lawrence Avenue. This was the first time we met the Dills and it was a pleasure. We found out that Brandon was a photographer after that first party and we looked at his website At the party, he had a cool mini-studio set up with a white backdrop and was taking snapshots of people. By the second party we asked him to be our photographer.

He took wonderful pictures at our wedding and since then we’ve become friends. While we don’t see each other as much as I’d like, the Dills are next on our “people to have over” list. Brandon is an intellectually stimulating, talented, and funny guy who is a pleasure to hang out with. He also managed to make an appearance on the blog Cute Boys Make me Nervous. We have seen the Dills at a couple of themed potlucks which were a lot of fun. You can see some of the recipes that were made at

12We love our wedding pictures. Brandon was exactly what we were looking for and we didn’t even know it. I just want to say Thank you, Brandon Dill, for taking our wedding photos and hopefully we’ll be seeing you soon!

You can see most of our wedding pictures that he took here and here. Also here’s a gallery of some of our favorites, though it was really hard to pick.

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zach’s party and republic club oct. 16

chucksDiana’s mom, Nilda, babysat for us the other Friday night so we were able to go out. Zach and Slam had a party that Friday which we were lucky enough to be able to attend. Turns out three of us, Dave, Ben, and I, were wearing chucks. We decided to take a picture of all of them, but in an odd angle. Diana took a few, but I liked this one the best. We enjoyed posing for the pictures. Slam was playing old music videos on their large screen TV in the living room while we were scaling the walls in their kitchen.

Tiny Dancer Connie Gomez, Becky, and Amy all came with us as well. Annabeth also showed up a few minutes before we headed out. tanyadianaAs usual, Diana and I took our liquor with us. It always seems less confusing and easier/cheaper that way. Who knows when there will be liquor where you go unless you bring it yourself.

The girls were getting restless and wanted to head to Republic downtown on Beale. Usually I don’t go with something like that and prefer to stay at house parties, but that night for some reason I decided to go.
CoryTWe met Cory down at Republic along with Rubi (Diana’s cousin’s cousin) and Sarah, Rubi’s girlfriend. I think Rubi and Sarah both work down there, but that night Rubi was bar tending. The last time I went to Republic was opening night and it was absolutely PACKED. This night the people were few and far between, which through me off. It was still fun dancing, though apparently Tanya had her fill of alcohol and needed to be taken home.
Diana and I exchanged looks and discussed it with Cory, Amy, and Becky. It was time for Tanya to go to sleep. We decided it was best for her to spend the night at our house so we made our way toward the exit. Turns out there were so few people there, they locked the large entrance and we couldn’t get out. The front entrance on the corner of Beale and Second was the only one open. (Haven’t people in night clubs died because of things like this?)
TanyaWell, when we walked out, Tiny dancer got ambushed by about 4 or 5 guys who were having a good time (you can see more pictures below), which was pretty funny. We also ran into a guy looking for change for a $1 bill? I don’t know what that was about. Connie Gomez was walking and it was like another gravitational force took hold of her and drug her to the ground. Finally we got her up after that first spill, but then it was happening again and she slammed her head into a car and fell on the ground at which point I took this picture. After we got her up again, we were able to stabilize her enough to get her in the car and she passed out on our couch around 2:30AM. All in all it was a pretty good night.

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cooper young night out

IMG_2674Cooper Young Night Out was last Tuesday night despite all the rain. Brett and Sharon Ammons were hosting again this year for our block. Again the Cooper Young Night Out was sponsored by Target. The reason it was so late this year is because last year the weather was so hot that they decided to move it to a cooler date. It was much cooler this year and rainy and wet, but that didn’t stop us from having fun! Diana, Elek, and I showed up a little early to help with the preparations. The picture above is of the Huseriks’ arrival.

IMG_2677Brett fired up the grill and grilled hamburgers and hotdogs while we talked about the neighborhood and last year’s party. Everyone entered for a chance to win a new bicycle from Target. I think our odds were better this year than last since not as many people came probably due to the gloomy weather. Target also left us with some early Halloween candy, beach balls, and reusable Target shopping bags. As usual the boys played together in the ball pit, tent, and with all the other toys with minimal involvement from the adults.

IMG_2678I am hoping that next year the weather will be a bit more cooperative. This year everyone is really sick of the month long monsoon. Our family is also trying to become more involved so we can participate in more family oriented and neighborhood oriented events. Ever since Elek was born (3 years ago!), it has been one continuous metamorphosis from one lifestyle to another. Because of get togethers like these, Cooper Young is a wonderful neighborhood to live in especially if you have children.

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