Day 7 – Conroe, TX to Fort Stockton, TX via Austin

We had a slow leisurely start in Conroe.  It was so nice.  Nancy and Papa D were amazing hosts!  They even went out and got bagels for us while we were sleeping.  We went on a late morning walk around the neighborhood.  I’m pretty sure Nancy was cursing us for waking up so late… turns out it gets pretty unbearably hot, but she was so sweet and chatted us up while showing us her morning route around the gorgeous area.  We were surprised by how woodsy East Texas is.  It is more like what we think of as Louisiana than New Mexico.  It was really green and beautiful!

We drove to Austin to meet a friend who lives there for lunch, and then we checked out the famous South Congress Street in Austin, which is part of the “Keep Austin Weird” vibe.IMG_0316

Weird: I saw someone pushing their enormous pig in a stroller.IMG_0317

Tons of handmade very expensive cowboy boots… we saw some on sale for $2,000!!! IMG_0319We also got ice cream! Obvs.  Brendan got rice krispie treat ice cream, and I got caramel with a sprinkle of sea salt topping. IMG_0320 The vibe was definitely hipster and foodie, but it was the super expensive hipster type… designed hipster jeans, $50 t-shirts, etc.  I really enjoyed it.  I thought my brother might like it.  BUT IT IS SO HOT.  TOO HOT.  I like to eat my ice cream at my own pace, rather than competing with the speedy melting rate in the 100 degree heat.  Austin is on my list of places I’d like to spend more time in on a future trip.

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Ice cream in Cambridge

Once again I realize that I have not written about a single run I’ve been on in Cambridge, but here I am writing about ice cream again.  Oops!  I did go on a few nice runs this week while the weather was temporarily Portland-like (not current Portland, but normal Portland); that is… nice and rainy!  It was really beautiful on the Charles River in the rain.  I went out around after school time, so there were a ton of cross country and crew teams out by the river.  Nothing makes you feel old and slow like a bunch of college and high school athletes running 7 minute miles in circles around you!  But really, the run was great.  I brought my camera, but I really regretted it when I got too hot to wear my rain jacket, so my camera was just bouncing away on my rear in the pocket tied around my waist.  So… I didn’t really take pictures on my run.  I did take a few, but the light was awful. 

I did take pictures of the TWO ice cream places we’ve been to in the past few days!!! 

For now I’ll just tell you about the one we went to today… J.P. Licks.

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We went for a walk through the Harvard campus, and just when we were walking off campus I spotted the cow…

It is super cute inside with grass on the wall, bright chalkboards for all the menus, LOTS of options…

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My picture sucks, ok!! Get over it… They have tons of coffee options, ice cream, cakes, yogurt, sundaes…

I got a swirl of the oatmeal and cinnamon latte frozen yogurts in a pretzel cone!

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The pretzel cone really was just a hard pretzel with salt shaped like a cone.  It was actually disappointing… I never say this, but it was just too salty for me.  And the pretzel option costs almost $2 more, so I’ll just get plain next time.  The yogurt was AWESOME!!

Brendan got a waffle cone dipped in white chocolate with oreo cake batter ice cream.  He also loved the ice cream, but will pass on the fancy expensive cone next time. 

We are already pumped to go back, and pumped to take all of our out of town guests when they come! 

Finally, we walked home and decided we needed some more nutrients for dinner, so we went to the store to get stuff for an Italian chopped salad.  Quick and easy.

In the mix:

Romaine lettuce

Chopped tomato

Chopped bell pepper

Chopped salami

Shredded mozzarella

Garbanzo beans

Chicken

Italian dressing

We also had some wheat dinner rolls that were left over in the fridge from dinner this week.  It was an easy dinner that we will definitely be repeating soon since we have all of the extra salami in the fridge now!


Daily Dose of Ice Cream

Maybe I should change the name of my blog.  When people ask what they should do while in Berkeley, I can usually only think of food-related activities.  Like eating.  Duh.  When you look at the Berkeley travel tab on the top of my blog there are two links: one for Ici and one for Chocolatier Blue

Whenever we have company in town I inevitably end up taking them to the Mission in San Francisco to eat at Bi-Rite Deli and Creamery.  DIVINE.  Yesterday we had a San Francisco day with Brendan’s mom.   We went to a couple of sites that we had wanted to visit before leaving, and of course, we took her to Bi-Rite!

First, we went to the Legion of Honor, a gorgeous palace turned museum.  I catered a wedding at the Legion and it is on the top of my list of places to get married in the bay area.  It is so stunning, and the views from the cliffs of the ocean and the Golden Gate are just stunning.

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STUNNING, right!?  Next, we went to the Sutro Baths, which are ruins, but used to be a huge salt water swimming complex right on the cliff by the ocean.  The ruins are slightly less than beautiful, but the views are great.  I actually sat down by myself here and spent a few minutes thinking about my love for San Francisco (and crying about it). 

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Then!!!! We went to the Mission for a picnic lunch from Bi-Rite in Dolores Park, and then ice cream from Bi-Rite.  This is literally my FAVORITE thing to do in San Francisco.  I love picnics and I love being surrounded by people relaxing and eating fun food.  The people hipster watching is great!

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It’s so creamy I want to die!  Ignore Brendan’s mom photo bombing my Bi-Rite pic.  Really, this is Brendan’s fault for taking it. 

Oh and what?  my hair is flying around kind of crazy?  Well, sorry because I refuse to adjust my greasy hair more than once or twice a day.  Must keep finger grease out of greasy hair!  At least my hair can still fly in the wind, right?  Not glued down!  This was taken on day 3 of not washing my hair.  I am trying to wash it every Sunday right now.  You can read about why I am not washing my hair here

Now I’m off to spend the day with A.Jay before I leave her!! sad…


We did a lot of… eating?!

This post is gonna be a winner.  FULL of everything Brendan (who would prefer to be called “Mr. Sexy” on the blog) and I did this weekend. 

Friday night was quite the start because… Brendan got his new computer!DSCN0111

Which quickly (instantaneously) replaced me as his best friend.  Sad smile

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Apparently, it is SUPER COOL and even has a B on it.  B for Brendan… duh…

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I started to feel pretty lonely without all of Brendan’s attention, so I put on 2 pairs of PJ pants, stole Brendan’s sticker and showed off my muscles!

Saturday was another wonderful trip to the Berkeley farmer’s market. 

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This Saturday had a very summery feel!  Then Brendan went back to his girlfriend, so I withdrew to my other true love… running!

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I french braided my hair for this run because I am getting SO TIRED of my heavy ratty pony tail weighing me down.  I also used a sweaty band to hide my slightly-out-of-practice braiding abilities!  My 5 mile run was oookay.  I hadn’t really planned to run right in the middle of the day, and it felt kinda sluggish, but I went on a less familiar route that took me up some bigger hills. 

Brendan stopped loving his computer quite so much today (Sunday), so we headed down to the trendy 4th Street area in Berkeley.   DSCN0123

We stopped for chips and guac and a fresh sparkling limeade!  yummmmo!

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I asked Brendan twice to make sure my legs weren’t in the shot.  cool.  This guac was awesome.  We were discussing the fact that we have literally never felt like we needed to be putting MORE guacamole on each chip in order to use all of it.  We didn’t even need to fight over who was taking dips that were too big! 

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Next stop was my FAVORITE ice cream place ever.  It is this local chocolate company that makes truffles, cookies, and ice cream.  They only ever have 4 flavors at the store, but OMG!  My first trip to Chocolatier Blue, I got a scoop of caramel ice cream in a chocolate chip cookie cup (literally a fresh chocolate chip cookie placed in a cup so that it cools in the shape of the cup).  I was really craving that salty caramel today, but they didn’t have it.  Instead, they had coffee flavor, which was super flavorful and salty, as well.  I can’t explain the unique salty texture of their ice cream, but it is AMAZING. 

The rest of our day was spent lounging around until we went out for Thai food for dinner!  lol. 

Today was supposed to be a 20 mile run on my training schedule, but I decided to switch with tomorrow, so that I could spend the day with Brendan.  It takes me a good 4 hours to do a 20 mile training run, and then I don’t REALLY like to do very much after.  So… see you tomorrow 20 miler! 

Hope everyone (hi mom!) had a great weekend…


I Scream for Ici!

Last night Brendan and I ventured out past Yogurtland for a special treat that we like to have too often for my non-existent income every few weeks.  We went to the super famous, super popular, super Berkeley, super lovely…. Ici! 

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Ici (ee-see) was opened in 2006 by a pastry chef from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse.  They make small batches of ice cream right there in the store every day using local dairy and seasonal ingredients.  The flavors range from the simple-but-delightful vanilla to the lovely balsamic caramel swirl.  Last night Brendan got orange-rosemary toffee.  Intrigued? 

The people in Berkeley are.  Lines can get pretty long on a nice summer evening, but it is worth the wait, and it is always pretty pleasant because it is in a fun little shopping area away from the grunge of Berkeley. 

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We probably waited for about 30 minutes last night, but it was fun.  I left for a bit to window shop next door at Lululemon, but you stay pretty occupied in line because soon after you get there a list of the flavors is passed down the line.  Then, one of the employees comes by to ask which flavors you would like to try…  You can try 2-3.  Don’t be a douche and ask for more. 

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Then they come right back out with the flavors you wanted to try!!  I ALWAYS try 3.  Last night I tried coffee, rice pudding and banana split, but I ended up getting toasted coconut because they added it when they ran out of one of the other flavors. 

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This is the super cute chalk board that they post on the tree out front with the daily flavors.  SO CUTE…

This ice cream place is not just “good for Berkeley” either.  It was featured in Gourmet’s “Eight great ice cream parlors in and around San Francisco”  as well as Travel+Leisure’s “America’s Best Ice Cream Shops”.  This is legit.

I stopped taking pictures once we got close because I am not a real blogger yet and I sometimes get too excited when I get close to the ice cream… sorry!  Check out the website though because they have lots of info, pictures of the store and the ice cream, and more reviews.  

This is a must-do when in Berkeley or the Bay.