Weekly Photo Challenge: Capitol on the Edge

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This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is “Edge.”

Texas State Capitol - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

This view of the Texas State Capitol is slightly obstructed by the edge of a building on the right. I tried to use it instead of trying to avoiding it.

On a side note, I have taken the bad habit of taking most of my iPhone pics with the square, Instagram format. Habit needs to be modified.

Prohibition Creamery: Ice Cream with a Liquor Twist

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Prohibition Creamery - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

We all have little pleasures that we like to reasonably indulge in from time to time. If ice cream and cocktails are among yours, boy do I have the right place for you!

Prohibition Creamery - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Prohibition Creamery opened on July 19 and is located in East Austin.

Prohibition Creamery - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

What is so original about this place? They offer ice cream infused with alcohol. You read that right. Delicious ice cream with a twist: bourbon, sangria, tiramisu, or margarita, to name a few. According to their website, the ice cream is created from scratch, in their kitchen, with local ingredients. I loved the Signature Bourbon flavor. Whiskey Chocolate was quite good too.

Prohibition Creamery - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

The place also offers regular ice cream (without alcohol) that the bartender can help you pair with a signature cocktail, if you’d like. They also have wine and beer.

The inside is cozy and the bar is classy.

Prohibition Creamery - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

prohibition-creamery_10

Tables outside are also available in front of the creamery (on 7th St) and in the back (there are also a few parking spots when you access the place from the back street between 7th and 6th St).

The staff is very knowledgeable and friendly – in fact, it was a pleasure to see how they liked working there.

I highly encourage you to give it a try. I’m pretty sure they will be crowded most of the time very soon!

Prohibition Creamery
1407 E 7th Street
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 992-1449

A side note on Austin and drinking: Austinites like to drink. Austin is home to a University of Texas campus but drinking also appears to be in the culture. Does Austin have a drinking problem, some have asked. The city ranked among the first of America’s hard-drinking cities – and the first in Texas. That being said, drinking can be done responsibly and with moderation, which I encourage y’all to do :-)

Like a Summer in Austin, TX

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Two months have passed since my last post. There is no other way to put it: I failed again to update this blog. Work, work-related after work activities, gym, shooting range, happy hours… it’s not really about a lack of post ideas. I bet some out-of-towners had no idea one can get so busy in Austin, TX. Well, if you’re one of them, you should come have fun with us.

Here are a few updates, some of which fully deserve and will get an entire post later this month.

Austin is truly a great place for foodies. Plenty of good food and bars with incredible cocktails and innovative ideas. The Prohibition Creamery opened in July and mixes good food (ice cream, that is), excellent cocktails, and a great idea. It is offering boozy ice cream, or regular ice cream the bartenders can help you pair with cocktails. Definitely a must-try. Will definitely get its own post.

Prohibition Creamery - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

The sky has not deceived and has continued to provide excellent opportunities for oohs and aahs.

Sunrise Rainbow over the Hill Country | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Sunset over the Hill Country | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

The Capitol is going through renovations and is as gorgeous as ever.

State Capitol - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

We love our tacos at every corner over here ;-)

Taco | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Austin is a city with many murals that 1) change regularly but, 2) are not defiled by senseless graffiti.

Mural - Austin, TX | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Finally, this is Labor Day, so yours truly will be working a bit — yes, I do voluntarily make a point to celebrate labor the best way possible: not by doing nothing, that is, but by working of course!

I will stop here for today. Happy Labor Day to my American readers! Happy productive day to the others ;-)

Happy Independence Day from Texas!

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Wishing everyone a very Happy Independence Day!

Fourth of July Fruit Salad | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Whether you are traveling to see family, are joining in a Fourth of July party…

Fourth of July Parade | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Fourth of July Parade | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

…or participating in the reading of the Declaration of Independence, I wish you all a good time.

Fourth of July Parade | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Fourth of July Parade | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Fourth of July Parade | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

The few pictures posted in this post were taken during a Fourth of July party I attended two years ago in a small community in Central Texas.

And this is part of my menu for today:

Fourth of July Fruit Salad | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Wishing you all a Happy Fourth of July!

Howdy From Texas!

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I am back in Austin, Texas – Yeah! I moved back from Washington, DC in the first days of May and started my new job early in May. Life is good. I am also eager to go back to writing and blogging now that I have settled back home.

The blog turned 4 years last May 6. Granted, posting has been a bit sporadic a lot of times, but it also means that I’ve now been in the U.S. for almost 5 years. I kept myself busy, and I loved it!

I’ll go back to my time in the Washington, DC area, but here are just a few of the things I’ve seen since I’ve been back in Austin.

You guessed it, gorgeous sunsets and sunrises:

Sunrise Over Lake Travis | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Sunrise Over Lake Travis

Sunset Over the Hill Country | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Sunset Over the Hill Country

Wildflowers:

Wildflower Field, Hill Country | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Wildflowers, Hill Country | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Longhorns:

Longhorn | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Longhorn | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Longhorn | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

New neighbors:

Deers | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Austin:

Texas State Capitol | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

What about you? What exciting things have you seen or done this spring so far?

Random DC: Bird Feeder in Georgetown

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The feeder is just about 10 feet away from the cat cafe in Georgetown, providing fascinating Bird TV programming for the kitties inside the cafe!

Bird Feeder in the streets of Georgetown, Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Bird Feeder in the streets of Georgetown, Washington, DC – March 2016

Bird Feeder in the streets of Georgetown, Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC

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Cherry Blossom Festival - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

This is one of the peaks of the past nine months I’ve spent in Washington, DC. I was eager to see the famous cherry blossoms around the tidal basin, near the Jefferson Memorial. They have reached peak bloom this past weekend, and that was absolutely lovely.

Cherry Blossoms near the Jefferson Memorial - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Cherry Blossoms and the Washington Monument - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Cherry Blossom Festival - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

So yes, my promise to write my first post in 2016 from Texas is now gone. The back and forth between Austin and DC has stopped until I go back to Austin for good, in a few weeks. More on this in a later post.

For now, let’s go back to spring in Washington, DC.

Cherry Blossoms - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

The Cherry Blossom Festival originates from a gift of 2,000 cherry trees that the city of Tokyo made to Washington, DC in 1912. On March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Japanese Viscountess Iwa Chinda, the wife of Sutemi Chinda, Japan’s newly appointed ambassador to the United States, planted the first two trees. In 1965, First Lady Lady Bird Johnson accepted an additional 3,800 trees. The first festival took place in 1927, was expanded to three days in 1934, and to two weeks in 1994.

Cherry Blossom Festival - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Cherry Blossoms - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

The U.S. reciprocated the gifts, sending Japan flowering dogwood trees in 1915. In 1981, DC arborists sent cuttings from the newly American cherry trees following the destruction of Japanese trees by a flood in Japan.

The cherry blossoms are of course especially impressive around the Tidal Basin, but you can find many in the entire region. According to some figures, more than 1,000 cherry trees were planted in recent years in the region.

Cherry Blossom Festival - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Cherry Blossoms - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Jefferson Memorial, Cherry Blossoms - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Horticulturists from the National Park Service monitor different stages of bud development to be able to give an estimate of when the cherry blossoms will reach peak bloom. But of course, this is not an easy job. This year, the initial forecast was for early April, but was adjusted a few weeks ago and moved forward after warmer than usual weather.

Cherry Blossoms - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Cherry Blossom Festival - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

Cherry Blossom Festival - Washington, DC | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

In conclusion, the region is incredibly beautiful when spring comes, and well worth a visit.

As you can see from the pictures, there were a lot of people (I read that 1.5 million people come to see the cherry blossoms each year), and the weather was not sunny, which was challenging to come up with good photographs. Hopefully though, they will still give you an idea of the beauty of the event.

Source of information & additional links:
National Cherry Blossom Festival
This Day in History: March 27, 1912 – Japanese cherry trees planted along the Potomac
Cherry Blossom Watch
Cherry Blossoms in 360°

I Will See You Next Year in Texas

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I had planned to write a more elaborate post to end the year, but time is simply missing, so instead of rushing something, I will write what I wanted to write next year now… which actually is just in a couple of days (literally).

I’m flying back to Texas to start the New Year there :-)

Southwest Flight | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks

I wish you all a very festive New Year’s Eve and an excellent New Year 2016, filled with happiness, health, and what your heart desires!

See you next year!

Happy New Year 2016 | Books, Cupcakes, and Cats Chasing Chipmunks