Monday, October 25, 2010
The Vinyl Life
For any disappointment I experienced on my actual birthday, this weekend made up for it and then some.
Friday night was a girl's night at Cafe Medici. Cappuccino and some of my favorite Austin girls is a great way to spend an evening. We chatted about husbands and babies and recipes and who knows what else until someone finally looked at their watch and saw that it was past 10! Time to go home to our hubbies.
Saturday I got up early to have some quiet time. Afterwards, I wanted to spend a little bit of time researching something for my book. I'm working on The Gate, so I had an idea to look up the security gates at the White House as an example of a type of gate the offers pretty intense protection. But thewhitehouse.gov website captured me. Andy woke up and joined me just when I was beginning to get into the bios of the first ladies. We had coffee and I forced him to listen to a review of all of our Presidents, some of their wives and their most noted achievements. It's amazing how much fun I had doing that- evidence that I am indeed turning into my father, which is not a bad thing. :)
After the Presidents, it was time to get out for a while, so we packed up the bike and the doggies and headed out to my new favorite mountain biking trail- Muleshoe Bend Park. Here you can see the doggies waiting patiently in the car while Andy and I got our last minute odds and ends together for the 'venture.
The day was perfect for a ride- breezy and in the 80's. Andy hung out with the doggies while I biked the 6.5 mile loop. I had a blast, as always. Mountain biking is like riding your own roller coaster.
On the way home, we stopped for grape soda and candy, our standard snack after we go out weekend warrioring. But we usually come home and shower, crash on the sofa, eat junk and watch football for the rest of the afternoon. But Saturday we had another mission to accomplish...
For my birthday, Andy gave me a card with a stack of cash. Before anybody criticizes my sweet hubby for not being romantic, I'll fill you in on why. For a the past few months, I've been letting Andy know my wish list for birthday and Christmas. Two major things have been at the top- clip-in pedals and shoes for my mountain bike and a turntable. We've been doing a little research concerning these items. There's been a trip to REI to look at pedal prices and, on a separate afternoon, we visited a list of stores that sold turntables, starting with Best Buy and ending with two super eccentric local Austin stereo stores. Andy had saved up enough to get me started with either gift and, in the card, told me I had to choose! That was tough, but I decided that Andy and I would both enjoy the turntable together, and that was top priority. So, Saturday we got back from the park around 3, and saw that Austin Stereo, one of the eccentric shops mentioned before, closed at 4. We plopped our stuff down and headed back out and down to Burnet, where the shop is located.
Austin Stereo, like so many local Austin businesses, is like something you'd see in a movie. It's a tiny hole in a wall, filled from bottom to top with refurbished stereo equipment from the 60's and 70's. Andy talked in some electronic language that I don't understand to the shop's owner, an extremely knowledgeable man who typically emerges from the back of his shop, specialized eyewear propped up onto his brow- he looks like he has a microscope strapped to his forehead. But he got us all set to go with a Sony from the late 70's, something about quartz inside and calibrating and all that stuff, who knows, I just wanted to give the man my envelope of cash and take my prize home. Eventually, after he gave us lots of appropriate and useful information about our new toy, I did just that.
With turntable in tow, we decided it necessary to go immediately to Waterloo Records and find some music to play! Waterloo is another quirky local Austin vendor, and it's usually packed out on the weekend. Andy and I puttered about the vinyl section, trying to figure out what to select. We went with two favorites- "The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place" by Explosions in the Sky for me, and "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" by Simon and Garfunkel for Andy. We also got a random Christmas record and a strange Japanese techno version of Stranvinsky and Debussy from the 99 cent bins! (By the way, if you have any suggestions for records, please let me know! I am so ignorant about good music!!)
Finally, after all that running around, we made it home to relax. I took some pictures of my fall decor, finally. We enjoyed our pumpkin spice candles and some pumpkin ale while we listened to records and worked on our puzzle. I wrapped myself up on the sofa in the quilt my grandmother made and took a two hour nap while Andy watched TV, my feet in his lap and the dogs curled around me. It was divine.
Sunday was equally delightful. We took it easy in the morning. I made us fried egg and sausage sandwiches, which we enjoyed with coffee before working on our puzzle just a little more before getting ready for church. At the Stone, Matt talked about having faith that God is able to do the impossible. Infused with hope, we headed over to Central Market in good moods to procure some ingredients for some recipes I'm going to try this week. I love Central Market- even more than Whole Foods. We tasted different samples, and I kept wandering from this display to that display, until finally Andy had to steer me toward the things I actually came for- sage and pappardelle pasta. We made it out with a few other things, though- a butternut squash, two figs, "holiday" grapes, Near East wild rice, plus the sage and pasta- all for under $20 which is a good day at Central Market.
We went home for lunch and football, and, after watching the Browns solidly beat the Saints (no affiliation with either team, but it was a good game) we decided it was time to complete our last weekend project- pumpkin carving. We had already done a little pumpkin price checking before coming home, but ended up realizing, after visiting a youth group pumpkin patch and a nursery that the best deal on pumpkins was back down at Central Market. So we headed downtown again, and purchased two good specimens. Such a journey required some sustenance, though, so we stopped at Amy's ice cream on the way home, where we feasted on an "Elvis" (Mexican vanilla ice cream, Reese's peanut butter cups, bananas and hot fudge) and a "Deathstar" (Mexican vanilla, peanut M&M's, Kit-Kats, and hot fudge).
We had a few things we needed to take care of- phone calls and emails- when we got home, but we eventually got to our carving. Andy did two bats- a tribute to the Austin bat colony, perhaps, OR he could have been inspired by a terrible low-budget horror movie about deranged bats we watched for a few minutes after the Browns and Saints. I chose an owl. I'm into owls right now. We put them in our fire place and lit the candles inside and enjoyed the "spooky" glow for a little while.
So, that was our weekend! Lots of fun. I'll take a bad birthday again next year if the following weekend is this much fun. :) Thanks hubby for being such a fun friend. I love you!