Monday, September 26, 2011

Maman's in town

Gui's maman arrived on Friday for her first visit to Texas. She'll be here for a couple of weeks, but we've been making the most of her time here already. This past weekend, we drove out to Lockhart for some good Texas barbecue and later that night we had a blast playing some intense games of bingo at the old VFW. We spent all day Sunday brunching with friends chez nous and enjoying some sun poolside before chowing down on a plate full of tacos.

We've been trying to cram in everything we love while she's here and this week we're planning a trip to Barton Springs, some divine dining at Uchi and hopefully a trip out to Fredericksburg and Gruene (pronounced "green"), where she can enjoy some small-town fun. Gui and I are both working most of the week, so she's been exploring a bit on her own, too. During a few of her walks, she's noted that everyone here has a dog, people go running at any time of the day despite the record temps, and folks say "hello" when they pass you on the sidewalk. So far, I'd venture to say that I think she rather likes Texas.

Monday, September 19, 2011

East Coast

Over Labor Day weekend, Guillaume and I had the opportunity to spend some time exploring Philadelphia and Shelter Island, NY before spending an evening in New York City where his gracious aunt and uncle welcomed us into their beautiful home. Much of our time was spent on-the-go – in a train or car or on foot – but it was a welcome change of pace from our current car-centric lifestyle.

Philadelphia was lovely. We spent an entire day walking around town, indulging in sidewalk cafes, street art and fancy supermarkets. We ended our day trip with a dinner at Tria – a local wine bar that we had stumbled across on our way to the hotel. The food was stunning, the service was correct and the beer and wine menus took us back to visits in Belgium. A clever concept, executed to perfection.

The bulk of our weekend, though, was spent taking in the island life of one of Long Island’s most north-eastern land masses, Shelter Island. We were thoroughly spoiled by Gui’s aunt and uncle who let us squat on their beachside vacation where we ate inappropriate amounts of lobster, tasted amazing local wines, basked in the sun on the Atlantic and hung out with the quirky locals. I managed to get in a Long Island iced tea during a lunch break at the local biker bar, and it was honestly too strong for this Texas girl to finish. Long Islanders are no joke.

Before hopping the train back to Philly to catch our afternoon flight back home, we spent a night in NYC, walking around Tribeca and SoHo on a mild, late-summer evening. Spending time in the city made me nostalgic for big-city life; for urbanity; for Paris. I never knew I could love living in a big city before I lived in Paris, and now I almost feel like there's no other place that feels more like home.









Philadelphia







Rocky




Statue of Columbus sculpted by Gui's great-great grandfather


Tonton et tata





A New York view