austin, day 5

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all righty, there were no tears on day 5, but there were definitely some bad decisions. gone was the self-restraint i was so smug about on days 1 and 2, and in its place was sheer gluttony. hold on to your hats.

we started the morning out with a trip to the mueller farmers market, held where the old airport used to be. when i first moved to austin, this was the airport i flew into and out of; while we lived there, they closed that airport and opened fancypants bergstrom, and at the time they just let this land sit there. now they appear to be redeveloping it, and on sundays there’s a farmers market. we had our eye on it particularly because we really wanted some red rabbit doughnuts.

when we found the red rabbit table, i’m not going to lie, it was pretty overwhelming. there were tons of new flavors we’d never tried before, and i kind of wanted to eat EVERYTHING. we ended up settling on two flavors each:

red rabbit bounty

clockwise from the top, we have the key lime pie filled (erik), coffee (erik), austin cream pie filled (me), and lemon poppyseed (me). i was extremely happy with my choices. the austin cream pie is filled with chocolate cream, and i probably should’ve taken an interior shot (for science), but i was too busy shoving it in my face. red rabbit makes my favorite doughnuts ever… they are so fluffy and perfect! gah. anyhow, once i polished that off, i moved on to the lemon poppyseed, and it was equally amazing. i tried a bite of erik’s key lime pie (delicious!) but let him keep the coffee all to himself. it was a pretty magical breakfast. i bought a sticker as well, so i could carry a bit of red rabbit with me once i was back home (on a travel mug).

we wandered the rest of the farmers market, and found some vegan tamales(!) that we sadly didn’t have room for, but after a little while we decided to grab some drinks:

far-mar drinks

there is kombucha all over austin, and erik was having a bit of a local tasting adventure whenever we were presented with new options. this particular place bottles their kombucha and sells it locally, but they were selling it right out of spigots at the farmers market (so you could bring your own jars, etc.). erik bought a jar of blueberry, and i went across the aisle to buy some watermelon lemonade. very refreshing and a good chaser to our doughnut extravaganza. we also met a greyhound (i always try to meet greyhounds when we’re out and about, i think it’s a weird greyhound-parent thing), and saw this fantastic scrabble cow:

scrabble cow!

when it was time for a proper lunch, we headed to wheatsville coop so that we could finally try the popcorn tofu po’boy. i had sampled the popcorn tofu on a previous trip, but never actually tried the sandwich. today was the big day!

popcorn tofu po'boy

this is basically a hoagie with popcorn tofu, a bunch of great veggies, and cashew tamari. the guy behind the counter recommended getting the tofu heated up first, so we did that. erik had a slight twist on that theme, the buffalo popcorn hero:

buffalo popcorn hero

this also starts with popcorn tofu (heated as recommended), but then adds veggies and blue cheeze dressing. i’m not sure if there is also hot sauce in there or not… you’d think so with the ‘buffalo’ in the name, but i can’t remember. erik said the dressing was a little more ranch-y than blue cheeze-y, but he enjoyed the sandwich nonetheless. and then because i truly cannot resist, a little side of mac & cheeze:

mac & cheeze

about halfway through this meal, i was starting to realize that i was overdoing it. first off, i probably didn’t leave a big enough buffer between breakfast and lunch, and second, that sandwich is no light and breezy little thing. ha! i was really slowing down trying to eat the second half, but i managed. i made a mental note not to eat again until i was really truly hungry, or i knew things were going to get ugly.

this was our last full day in austin, and we were starting to realize that we had to get some work done before we arrived back home for school unprepared, so we decided to spend a big chunk of that afternoon at a coffee shop. we picked the austin java that just-so-happens to be right next to austin pets alive! (the tarrytown adoption center, where the kitties live, awww), so of course we went in there first. the woman working there was super friendly and we talked all about animal rescue while she let us pet every single cat in the place. they also had an uber-adorbs litter of blue pit bull puppies (i die), so i squeezed in some puppy-time as well. we worked at the coffee shop for several hours, and then as it was getting toward sunset, we packed up and headed to town lake to see some bats! woo!

i just realized i called it town lake, because i always forget that they renamed it (it’s ladybird lake now, i guess). but anyway, it’s where austin’s amazing colony of mexican free-tailed bats live. they live under/inside the congress bridge, and you can read more about them here. they’re super great! we used to go see them all the time when we lived there, and we always make a point of seeing them when we visit. they’re a big tourist (and local) attraction, and on any given night you can see a ton of people under the bridge, on top of the bridge, or on the water, waiting to see them emerge. they fly out continuously, one part of the bridge at a time, for up to 30 minutes. we watched from on top of the bridge this time; here’s a shot to give you the basic idea:

austin bats

i took a little video, too, although this doesn’t do the bats justice:

after all that excitement, i still wasn’t sure i was ready for dinner, but erik was, so i gave it my best shot. we went to guero’s for a repeat performance, and this time i ordered a really basic version of the aforementioned lindsay special: black beans, guacamole, and corn tortillas. i have no idea why, but i didn’t take pictures at dinner that night so i can’t even remember what erik ordered! i think tacos again (safe guess). i was still in the throes of gluttony so maybe i was just concentrating on not dying. in any event, what i was able to eat was delicious as always!

aaaand then we went back to sweet ritual for our final visit of the trip. i wasn’t sure i could eat anything at all, but then i saw they had mint chip, and i relented. one scoop.

mint chip

erik had a scoop of salted caramel, and a scoop of cubano (coffee something).

salted caramel + cubano

we sat out on the patio, and i ate mine very very very very very slowly, and eventually begged erik to finish it. (it was so super good!)

ready for the big finale? i hope so. coming up on day 6: i feel the after-effects of my over-indulgence, and accidentally sabotage my last day of eating in austin. (translation: i suck)

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