McKinney Falls State Park

I went to McKinney Falls for the first time ever last week, and it was really fun. The surprising thing is that it is not that far from Austin at all. I think it took us less than 30 minutes to drive out there. As you can see in the picture above, this would be a great place to come and swim, although, we didn’t swim that day, we just were hiking. I am just creepy and took pictures of other Austinites swimming.

We left after class on Thursday and hiked all over the park. I believe we hiked a total of about 4 hours and since I was wearing my heart rate monitor we burned about 1800 calories (not much elevation change at McKinney Falls so it wasn’t too vigorous of a workout). Some of the trails were paved, like the one above, these double as bike trails, but some of them were more rustic. In fact, we got lost at one point in the park… I will get to that in a bit.

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Cookie Dough Cheesecake Brownie Bars

I went out with my friend Cara on Tuesday to look for bluebonnets so we could take those classic “in the bluebonnet” pictures with our dogs (ya, I know, we are cool), alas, we waited to late into April and only found dead bluebonnets. However, we were able to find one field of yellow and red wildflowers that turned out to be pretty awesome. I am posting a picture below of Lincoln that I took there, and there are more on Facebook. He is such a goof. Tomorrow I plan to go on a hike at McKinney Falls, so I will try to post about that later. School is winding down, and I am finding myself doing more non-school things than school things… I guess that is the senioritus in me. The end of the semester will be awesome though because I only have one final, which basically means I can spend all week doing whatever I want… so it is going down. I have to try to finish all the things on my Austin bucket list before I head off to California Land. Here are a few things that I plan to do in the coming weeks: Go to a jumpoline park (apparently this is supposed to be really fun), go to Hamilton Pool (which I’ve been to before, but I think it is awesome), go to Pedernales Falls State Park, eat lemon poppy seed pancakes at Kerbey Lane, and do some stand up paddle boarding.. and I am sure I will think of more things (I will try to make a list soon). I might like to go to Enchanted Rock again one last time because I love that place. I am envisioning a sad post in the future when I leave Austin for good. It doesn’t feel real right now.

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Farfalle with Walnut-Tarragon Pesto, Mushrooms, and Peas

I went to my first crawfish boil on Saturday, and it was fun! I think it is a lot of work to get out just a little bit of crawfish meat, but it was still good. I had my friends there to teach me how to open it up and all, so it was a successful crawfish boil. Also, on Saturday Samuel and I went back up to the place that I mentioned we went hiking in August when it was dry, and I have a new picture of what it looks like now… flowing water and all.

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Creamy Carrot Soup with Parsley Oil

The weather in Austin lately has been divine. On Tuesday I went out with a couple of my friends (and Lincoln) to the Greenbelt for a hike and it ended up being a really awesome day. I went hiking here with Sam last semester, and the photo below shows you what the creek used to look like. We used to be able to walk in the creek bed. However, thanks to the rain this year there is water here now, and I am really excited to come down here to swim!

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(Really) Good Stuff

Ya so I grew up calling this stuff “White Trash”, but I suppose (Really) Good Stuff is more socially correct. blah. blah. blah. Whatever you call it… it is delicious. It’s addictive. It’s high cal. It’s probably not nutritious. But after that healthy salad I posted about, I need to balance my life out with a little bad, its all about feng shui people (or at least that’s my excuse to Samuel). You won’t regret it. I got this specific recipe from an old recipe booklet from one of my high school friends Kathleen. She used to make us snacks all the time, and I would think to myself, “man I wish I could cook like her,” and now look at me, all my high school dreams come true. Ya, I know. I dream big.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

The other day I was watching some cooking shows on food network, and Sam walked in and said, “They should make a ‘Shit Food Network Chefs Say’ video”, (like the viral Shit Girls Say Youtube videos) because… its true, all of them have their weird sayings and phrases that we constantly make fun of. Don’t get me wrong… I still love their recipes.

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Cheddar Popovers

Graduation. Most of the time I’m really ready for school to be over. I want to move on and experience new things, see new places, and meet new people. It’s the restless side of me. I didn’t realize this until I moved to Denver for the summer, but I really just love to move around. I like change. However, occasionally I really don’t want things here in Austin to end. I’ve made a lot of great friends and still have many things to see and do here in Austin. I guess I don’t really have a choice though, my job is in California… and I am extremely pumped about it.

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