A little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll!

One of the many incredible food carts in ATX

It’s been 2.5 months…are you still there dear readers?

Here we are in Austin, TX! Even though there were many events, too varied and numerous to mention here that seemed determined otherwise, we made it. But I must tell you, not even a plane engine failing us on our final leg from Dallas to ATX was going to keep us away, not after all we’d been through! *phew*

While I have many impressions and things to share about life in our new hometown, I thought it might be easier if I just posted some photos to let you know what we’ve been up to. As a result, bits of this post might be a tad disjointed. All the things we’ve been told about Austin appear true so far…hip, young, musical, relaxed, countless options for great food, HOT (yes, the two seasons in Texas really are ‘summer’ and ‘next summer’)…

To my spectacular joy, the bats are all on holiday down in Mexico and will return in March. By then I should be ready to ‘confront’ them, as it were. Apparently when they are back in Austin they fly nightly from here to Houston on their hunts, isn’t that amazing? You see, I am learning all about them so I can conquer my fears! Dreadful, just dreadful.

Legendary Driskell Hotel, of Top Chef Texas fame

We had a soft landing at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin, where we stayed for over a month, and we sincerely must thank everyone there for their legendary Texan hospitality. Impeccable hotel. Beautiful, smiling faces. A most wonderful experience!

One of several amenities we received upon arrival
Daily morning room service – divine!

As many of you are aware, we re-located from Vancouver, Canada to Austin, TX because my husband Grant was promoted from the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver to their Austin property. He is Chef de Cuisine at Four Seasons Hotel Austin’s signature restaurant, TRIO. Steak, seafood and wine – sublime! Grant also serves as the Executive Sous-Chef for the hotel’s Food & Beverage operations in general.

Photo of @chefgrantm courtesy of TRIO

One of the lovely things about the weather being so temperate is our ability to take the children around the city. While we don’t have a car here, we manage to walk and take public transit for most of our daily activities. Public transit is $1 (nope, you read that correctly). We were totally astonished at the low price. A day-pass is $2 and a monthly pass is $30. That being said, it doesn’t seem as though the general population takes enough advantage of the greener options the city offers. We do find that too many people drive cars that are in fact way too large to transport just themselves, and that the number of cars here on the road is superfluous given the population. Mind you, this could be said of nearly any major North American city these days!

On a brighter note, if you have or are taking care of children, the Austin Children’s Museum downtown is an ideal place to spend a day of indoor activity. Without a doubt, this has been A+F’s favourite thing about Austin thus far! I have been homeschooling the children and will continue to do so until the end of the school year, to keep up the French-immersion schooling that A had in Vancouver.  I have been quite diligent in my lesson-planning and daily school schedule and I hope to share more of that with you in future postings this week.

Behind the scenes on the kitchen line
Order up!

Today is February 1st and it is a whopping 28C / 80F outside! Winter in Austin is best depicted as this:

 Lady Bird Lake
Just an ordinary winter day
Hammocks are best enjoyed together

It is also my great pleasure to share that Niko & Nonnie is about to gain a sibling! I am due in July with our third child. We are so excited to welcome a little brother or sister for A+F! Speaking of which, have you been on Niko & Nonnie’s Facebook page lately? I’m having a little baby bump contest and the winner will receive a very special Bunny & Carrot organic playset!

Here I am a couple of weeks ago…do you think it is a boy or a girl? We’ve opted for a delivery surprise this time around. I hope I’ll be able to keep to that!

How many days left til July 14th?

In other Niko & Nonnie news, the shop officially re-opened on January 15th and I am working my hardest to get inventory up, re-stock and regain the momentum I lost over the course of our travels. This is a recent little sweetie I made as part of our Valentine’s Day offerings. Don’t you want some bunny to love?

Finally, the Spring Guide from the Natural Kids Team is up! Have a look and browse items from N&N and all the other Natty Kids! http://naturalkidsteam.com/wordpress/spring-guide-2012/

Sunset has fallen over the city and it is time for me to sign off for now.

“The drawing-rooms of one of the most magnificent private residences in Austin are ablaze of lights. Carriages line the streets in front, and from gate to doorway is spread a velvet carpet, on which the delicate feet of the guests may tread. The occasion is the entrée into society of one of the fairest buds in the City of the Violet Crown.” -O Henry

Sunset in the City of the Violet Crown

As always, with much gratitude from all of us at N&N. Thank-you for reading!

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