Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Kansas Weekend

Last year, wheat harvest was right on schedule.  This year, with a late spring - everything is behind and the yield will be light.  Some of the grain is still green (unripe)!

Fun fact: crops are rotated annually, so here is the exact same field I showed you last year - but it was being plowed for wheat and this year it has corn (harvested in September).

Another reason we went out there was really for my heart.  My grandfather (recently turned 90, drives a tractor and gets his hands in the dirt whenever he can) was just diagnosed with macular degeneration, which means he might not be able to see for much longer.  I felt compelled to get out there and spend time with him sooner rather than later. 

He's allowed to drive country roads, so we went out to the fields to check the status of the wheat, and here he is - doing what he loves - pulling wheat berries to see if they're ready and looking out over his land.

See you soon.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Workout & A Meal

Yesterday and today I met up with a small group who wanted to workout outside.  This morning, the destination was Red Rocks.
People come here to run the surrounding trails, do stair workouts, and generally people-watch.  This morning, a group of Denver Nuggets (our basketball team) were here with their trainer.  Those boys are in seriously good shape.

The view from the bottom: also, note the stairs are in the shadow of this picture, and the seats are the wooden planks in the sunshine.
What I did (all activities started from the bottom and went to the top): walked up stairs twice, box jump every other stair (jump up to step, walk up one step, repeat), one-legged step ups on the seats (all your weight on one leg as you step up - switch legs, repeat).

The view from the top halfway through my workout:
(Crews were setting up for the Widespread Panic show tonight)

I don't usually venture to Red Rocks for working out as it's a 35-40 minute drive, even though essentially it is a free gym.  Since it's summertime, and I was there with people I could chat with while I killed my legs, I'll be back!

A friend of mine is closing on her first house tomorrow, so I took her (and myself) out to lunch at City O'City.  I dream about their breakfast burrito, so I had it even though it was 1:00pm.
Tofu scramble, potatoes, pinto beans, kale (I asked them to add it in), cashew ricotta (on top!) and smothered in green chile.  Yes.
The leftovers, which I'll be eating for dinner, as they appear in sunlight.

P.S. My legs are already sore, tomorrow I won't be able to walk. ;)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Take It Outside

After yesterday's yard work extravaganza, I decided this morning that I needed to buy and plant some flowers.  Here's what they will look like:
Even though right now they look like this:
There was more outdoor time spent at the park which used to be a cemetery.
Due to the drought, the fountains are ghostly empty.
For Molly: Remy's post-walk panting face (pardon the lack of focus)

On to the eats: I tried to be conscious of my vegetable consumption and it became pretty obvious that my last trip to the store only included potatoes, an onion, and spinach from the veggie department. Luckily, I fared better in the fruit department.

Leftovers from last night's snack tray: blueberries and cocoa dusted almonds.
Five berries : one almond = OMG in your mouth.
In addition to flowers purchased:
Lunch: Asian Chopped Salad with mandarin oranges (and watermelon - not shown)
Dinner: I didn't want anything from my kitchen, nor anywhere else I could think of - thus, Whole Foods.
Salad Bar (with balsamic vinaigrette) and small Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Soup.

I hope you are doing well, and I'll see you Thursday!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Indulgent Monday

After two weeks of not posting my daily eats, I feel a little rusty!  Also, I've realized that when I don't think, I eat less vegetables.  Obviously, I was not thinking today.  Ha!

Crispix cereal with soy milk (I don't love soy, why did I buy this?)
Lunch of elementary school champions: Tofurky dog, watermelon
Dinner from the pizza bar at Whole Foods, the best. thing. ever.
Vegan Vegetable Calzone
Spinach, mushrooms, onion, artichokes, tomatoes in a spicy, gooey cashew sauce. The crust was lovely, too.

Also lovely, a friend who called and asked if she could bring a bottle of wine over and hang out.  Yes, yes you can.  I prepped nibbles just in case:
Watermelon, blueberries, and cocoa dusted almonds.  She brought a bottle of chilled Spanish wine, the variety I no longer recall. ;)  Most of the nibbles went back into the fridge, but the catch up was great.

Otherwise, it was a day of laundry, cleaning and yardwork.  Perhaps I will be more adventurous tomorrow - I'll let you know either way! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Small Town Texas

Our trip ended with some time in the same small town I visited in December 2011.  Brownwood is about two and a quarter hours from Austin, in central Texas.  We stayed with family, and generally poked around town.  Every time we're there, we eat at Steve's where I order the Black Beans and Saffron Rice.

Here's a snack I picked up:

They have a boat (in the middle, shown below), so we spent an evening on the lake.

At sunset, it was particularly gorgeous (you need to see these in the bigger size!)

The outing included swimming, wake-boarding, and knee-boarding.

Our drive back to Austin was bittersweet - I really felt like I could stay longer, but I missed my sweet little Remy.  My father brought Remy to the airport, and like any good dog, he had a jumping / squealing / lick your face episode for about two minutes.  

Thank you for reading and commenting on this five-post-long-recap of my trip! I plan to begin in-state adventures next week (I've been quite lazy this week! Ha!).  See you soon!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

San Antonio

We left Gruene and drove to our hotel in San Antonio, where we spent the night (I had toast, fruit, and coffee in morning), and then spent the majority of the day exploring.  It was pretty hot and humid - which kills my appetite, and apparently the others' as well -so  we had lunch on the way to back towards Austin (another kale salad for me).

We started with The Tower of the Americas for a panoramic view of the city.

From there we walked past the Menger Hotel - it was recommended as an option for our hotel, but once they mentioned it was haunted, I said no. Ha! I am a light sleeper with an active imagination.  ;)
This hotel is known for its beauty and historic roster of guests from Civil War generals to Teddy Roosevelt who organized his "rough riders" for the Spanish-American War to Babe Ruth.
Above: main lobby, Below: inner courtyard.
From there, we walked to the Alamo - which prohibits photos inside.
Luckily, the line moves quickly. . .
After the Alamo we walked to the Riverwalk, and hopped on for boat tour.

We left right before the traffic for the NBA Finals game (Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs) began.  When we were in the Tower, we met a guy who came all the way from France to see the game in person! Crazy!

Tomorrow: final installment of the trip

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gruene Day Trip

Gruene, TX is listed as a worthwhile stop outside of Austin.  We spent the latter half of the day there, exploring the historic section.  As mentioned yesterday, Gruene is pronounced "green" and was founded by German farmers in the 1840s.  It's mainstay is the oldest running dance hall (and former saloon) in the state, called Gruene Hall.

We ate dinner at The Gristmill (the entrance is shown below - it was in an actual old mill - no air conditioning, just ceiling fans and open windows!) No photos of my dinner, but it was a plain baked potato and garden salad without cheese.

From inside the mill, we saw a little bit of the Guadalupe River, and we hiked down afterwards to get a better view.

I'll leave you with a few more images from around the historic part of town.

(inside the store - next two images)

Tomorrow: San Antonio