Friday, September 20, 2013

In And Out + A Restaurant Review

I am fully understanding the meaning of the phrase "TGIF" right now. I have had one crazy week, and though this is only the beginning of a crazy two months, I am more than happy to be sitting on the floor of my room typing this blog post. It's been a day, but before I go into details, let's start with a review of the restaurant Dylan and I went to last night.

Benji's Cantina

First of all, Dylan, in an attempt to turn me into a better decision maker, made me choose the restaurant that we would go to for dinner. Fun fact: I learned just yesterday that teachers make approximately 1,000 decisions/day, and though some might be very insignificant decisions, I still need some serious work on my decision making skills. Second, we decided that if we are going to make these Thursday night dinner our "thing," we are going to try out new-to-us restaurants that are nicer than your average restaurant. In my mind, the criteria is a restaurant that invites clothing dressier than my usual Nike shorts and t-shirt. I know this will make my mom breath a sigh of relief knowing that all of those Anthro purchases are actually being worn.

Anyway, the moral of that very long story is that I decided to surprise us with a trip to Benji's Cantina on West Sixth Street. It is a relatively new restaurant, opening just this past May, and it has received some stellar reviews on Yelp. Dylan and I both tend to lean towards Mexican food whenever we're deciding on a restaurant, so I figured this would be a safe bet. They accept reservations, and because I didn't want us to have to wait, I went ahead and made reservations for two for 7:00pm. We timed it pretty perfectly and walked in at right about 7:00pm, when we were seated at a booth and presented with menus immediately.

This picture doesn't capture the coolness (word?) of these leather menus
We started with some made-at-the-table guacamole before ordering our main dish. We had each decided on a plate of our own, but once we were told that they are famous for their fajitas, we knew it would have been a crime to pass them up. We went with half beef, half chicken; corn tortillas for me, and flour for Dylan. We wanted to make sure we were getting the widest variety possible, obviously.

The fajitas made quite the appearance when they were brought to our table, so I obviously had to snap a picture. Once the picture taking was out of the way, we got to work on our fajitas. The chicken and beef were both so tender and juicy and delicious, and I am so glad we went with the fajitas. I loaded my tortilla with guacamole, fajita meat, grilled vegetables, pico, and salsa, and my stomach was just so incredibly happy. Dylan and I made sure there was nothing left on the table before calling it a very successful night.

I worked on a little bit of homework once we got home, going to sleep just before midnight, and waking up early to get started on my mountainous pile of reading I have to do this weekend. I ate my usual scrambled egg white breakfast just before leaving on my bike for my 9:00am class.

I mention my bike because Austin is currently experiencing some very unusual rain. I woke up in the middle of the night to a steady rain, and though it was sprinkling when I left for class, it was a very light sprinkle, and I didn't think much of it. I even brought my swim gear with me in an attempt to be optimistic about the weather. Well, the rain picked up substantially, and I was pretty wet by the time I got back home. I still wanted to squeeze in a quick, and I mean quick, workout before I went to Westwood, because my uncle and cousin are in town for my cousin's art show, and I wanted to be able to see them if at all possible. More on that in a bit.

I completed probably the quickest workout in the history of my exercise life, but I think they are going to become more commonplace this semester. And I didn't know how long it would take me to get ready to go to the school, so I wanted to have more time than feel like I was rushing around. I immediately hopped on the treadmill upon my arrival at the gym, completing my 20-minute treadmill workout. That workout has you running fast, covering 2.5 miles in just 20 minutes, but quick workouts have been proven to be very effective, so let's hope it's doing something! I walked for a little over three minutes to cool down, and then I headed over to the free weight section of the gym for a very quick arm (and squat) workout that looked like this:

I haven't given my arms a good workout in probably over a week or two, so though this isn't a very involved workout at all, my arms were still feeling pretty worn out. That's what half marathon training will do to you!

After my workout, I headed home, jumped in the shower, and got ready for my second day at Westwood. Because of the rain, I left a few minutes before noon, but I still managed to get there with more than enough time. I simply opened up one of my books and started reading, taking a lunch break at about 12:25pm. Before leaving the Clubhouse, I heated up some of my chicken and pineapple vegetable dish, stuck it in a Tupperware container, and rushed out the door. So, I enjoyed that - which is really one of my best recipes, I have to say - along with a couple of lil' cuties.

I observed my three hours of sophomore English classes, and I discussed with my teacher that I will be teaching my first lesson either on Wednesday or Friday of next week. This is her on-level English II class, and they are just starting John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, so I will be making a trip to the bookstore to purchase that so that I can read it and prepare for my lesson this weekend. It is all happening so quickly, but I'm hoping to come up with some good hands-on activities that will keep the class engaged.

And after battling a torrential downpour on the way home, I will again be heading out to attend my cousin's art show in downtown Austin. My cousin is 27 years old, and he has spent the past seven or eight years traveling all over Europe modeling for some big name companies like Marc Jacobs and Burberry. My Granny was so proud of him, purchasing every single magazine that featured even one of his ads, and I haven't seen him in about five years, so I am excited to see him and my uncle tonight at the show. Art shows aren't really my thing, but I guess it's always a good time to try something new!

And that concludes one hectic Friday. I have a feeling that I am going to sleep like a rock tonight. Have a great evening!

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