#2 son came home from school one day last week excited with a big idea. He announced that he could tell time and wants a watch like his siblings have, analog display type. Every day that followed, he'd ask "did you buy it yet? the watch?".
We picked one out from amazon prime, ordered and then he watched the mailbox. He was anxious to receive his time piece. The box JUST arrived, he instructed me to get the camera, take the pics and post them to the blog right away.
The guys did put on an energetic show and sounded great. Never miss a chance to see them if you can.
Kat and I closed the evening with dinner at Trace, I had a $25 credit there.
We took the kids to eat tapas at Barlatta. We had so many delicious plates. Including empanadas,
squid ink paella,
pig foot terrine,
lobster and grilled grapefruit salad,
#1 son finds that 9th grade algebra is providing him with more HW than he can do AND go out to dinner. So he did both. He had to skip two grades to get into the class, he's not complaining and we loosened the rules so he could do his HW at the table.
The daughter and I caught Belle and Sebastian at the Austin City Limits Moody Theater.
We had a quick bite at Trace first. Yes, this is like the third time I've been there in one week.
She loves the butcher's burger. She expected to share some of it with me, but then she ate the whole thing. She was happy.
Hey look! it's Stuart. We queued up early for space at the stage.
Stuart invited a bunch of people to dance on the stage, the daughter was not interested. We just watched.
Nice MCM background...
Kat and I went to the antique auction this past weekend. There were three pairs of Italian MCM chairs I was hoping to bring home. Well, I was planning to bid on three lots, hoping to be high bidder for at least one.
I bid up to $800, but they sold for $850. This outcome repeated itself again. I bid up to $800 but somebody else was willing to spend $850 and I showed some restraint. I later did SOME research and found chairs by the same maker/designer going for quite a bit more. Then again, it's not like I have room for more chairs.
I've been working on my back yard project.
I asked two professional landscaping companies to level a section of the back yard. I figured they could bring a small bobcat or a crew of guys to knock it out. Both declined the job... So, I set out to do it myself in tiny bits. I used a shovel and a small cart to slowly move rocks, dirt and debris till the area was level.
Now that it's mostly level, I'm installing quarter inch flat steel to create boundaries for various landscape elements. Sometimes you just have to get dirty and do it yourself.
Found at an estate sale in the neighborhood, the Fun Machine by Baldwin.
It's great fun to use this analog synthesizer to make new sounds, construct a beat and fill with rhythm. Then get the right hand in solo mode. A true "Fun" Machine.
With a Burke chair placed at the Fun Machine, it definitely reminds me of Uhura at her console from the original Star Trek.
We also picked up an old piano. The new instruments have the kids practicing and playing much more than before. The area is now a bit more cramped than I'd like it. I'll need to do something to remedy this in the future.
Last week had us in San Antonio because #2 son complained about not traveling much this summer. We did our best to squeeze in a last minute out of town weekend. When we returned, he mentioned that we usually have an end of summer party, inviting parents of their friends and classmates. So we made it happen.
We had a house full of loud kids. Louder than usual as our home theater room is currently sans projector. It's normally a great place to entertain kids during gatherings.
I used the sous vide to poach wild caught sockeye salmon in olive oil, chive and lemon zest. Also shrimp in butter with garlic sausage and Dijon mustard (below). Both spent about 40 minutes at 135 Fahrenheit.
A tasting of two Gruner Veltliner. The one on the left is our regular, the right comes with a beer style cap. Slight differences and many similarities. Have yet to find a Gruner I don't like.
Sunday was the last Shock Wave party at the W Hotel pool for the summer, Shock Wave. We had a few passes and figured it'd be a great day to soak in the sun and enjoy a few beverages.
Food was also enjoyed by the pool.
Kat was so happy when they saw her running barefoot across the hot pool deck and gifted her with flip-flops.
We changed clothes and stepped downstairs where my mom and kids were waiting on us for dinner at TRACE.
All the food was good, but the desserts were a real special treat to close summer.
Some time in the past, I'd mentioned there was a revolving restaurant up there. I'd been up there in 1978, around the time the Sex Pistols played SA. Kat had never been to such a thing, and made regular requests to remedy that situation. #2 son recently filed a complaint against the lack of travel this second half of summer. He specifically requested a trip to San Antonio.
The revolving restaurant plan was falling into place. I reserved at table for lunch at The Chart House and booked a room at the Hotel Contessa. The daughter finished her college course on Thursday, we braved the chaos of I35 Friday morning making our way south.
She was happy and the food was pretty good. It takes fifty five minutes to make a full revolution during lunch. They slow it down for dinner.
We always make the HH at the Cork wine bar at the hotel.
We walked the .84 mile to The Monterey. I love that their menu is full of surprises. Some items work more than others. We sat inside because it is HOT this time of year outside.
The tomato and peach salad with coconut cream and ginger dressing was the best thing we had. That and an Italian white wine from Piedmont.
I'd planned to use UBER to get back to the hotel, but it's illegal in SA. We all walked back.
CURED! I've wanted to dine here for years. That was one fantastic Pimm's cup.
Their house cured meats and pickles are the real highlight here.
That zucchini ice cream over peach upside down cake and berry soup was pretty amazing as well.
Kat and I went for an evening stroll before dinner at Las Ramblas. It was Restaurant Week and we had a big meal ahead of us.
The manager at Las Ramblas took great care of us. He was especially excited to finally have a real pastry chef on the staff. The goat cheese cheesecake with ginger crisp and local blueberries was delicious. Everything we had was great. The restaurant week menu was an amazing bargain at $35 for three courses.
Mostly, we came to San Antonio to lounge at the rooftop pool.
#2 son is gaining confidence in his ability to swim under water.
The kids spent hours playing in that pool and it was good.
Homemade ginger beer was greatly appreciated, even when enjoyed from cardboard coffee cups.
Carrots Three Ways, have you ever seen a better plate of carrots?
We hit other usual feeding grounds while they were here, St. Philip, East Side Kings, Maria's Taco Xpress (Hippie church). No trip to Austin would be complete without some live music. We stopped at a friend's house, she's been hosting shows in her back yard. It's called the Freeway Concert Series, because she has a freeway back there... really. Just see for yourself.
TRACE at the W Hotel Happy Hour and Ice Cream Social
kat and I stopped by TRACE for HH before the White Linen Event.
We ran into Chef Nadine and Will from the W Hotel at White Linen Night, they urged us to come back to try the new dinner at TRACE. We will surely do that soon.
#2 son complained that he's not been to the W Hotel in a long time and requested that we return, with him.
As luck would have it, the annual Ice Cream Social fund raiser was the very next day. We bought our school supplies for the coming school year and bought extra as donation to gain entry to the event. It's sort of an exchange program, spiral bound notebooks for gourmet ice cream treats.
There was an endless parade of delicious ice cream treats in exotic flavor combinations.
Pastry Chef Angel Begaye.
Two favorites were the Peanut Butter and Pretzel (above) and the Churro (below). They were all good and we must've sampled at least ten varieties.
We left, walked around Downtown and the 2nd street area to work off that ice cream, then returned for Dinner with the kids.
He was happy to be back at TRACE and to have a new book to enjoy on the patio. We were interested in that teardrop trailer parked on their patio.
The Burnt Ends Mac N Cheese was really good. "Burnt Ends" is a brisket reference.
That Butcher Burger with jumbo lump crab was decadent.
Crispy Market Vegetables (left) and Melted Goat Cheese with Gonzales Mushrooms. (peeking in to the right).
All foods were from the Happy Hour menu offered 5-7 daily. This was an extremely reasonably priced meal in a beautiful location with great service.