Welcome to Taxes Y’all!

Note: All the places with “[picture]” is where I intended to put pictures for whatever was described. I’ve had this entry private for a while since I haven’t filled them up. I will – one day..

My first time to Texas was with two of my close friends. Everyone is so friendly down there and the fellas were adorable!

I don’t know if people could tell we were not from the area just by looking at us but they definitely could when we spoke. Here is what happened one of the times:

Waitress: Can I get y’all something to drink.
Me: Water (pronounced: wood-er).
Waitress: *pauses a second o.o?* Water (pronounced: wa-ter)?
Me: Yes

Welcome to Texas
Hung & I landed at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport and was greeted by Ainhi with a sign: Welcome to Texas Y’all!

Animal Style

Animal Style

Our first meal there was at In-n-Out Burgers! Not very fancy or Texan but we don’t have those in Philly. Ainhi’s friend told her something about an “animal style” burger on the “secret menu” so we tried to order that and hey! it’s real! We learned that the burger was actually made by a customer and not officially so it is not on the menu.

Our first city to explore was Austin. We drove 3 hours to the hotel, dropped off our things, then headed straight to the food truck Ainhi saw on Anthony Bordain: Love Balls. Love Balls is a Japanese food truck that serves different types of octopus balls aka takoyaki. It was perfect because I have been craving takoyaki for a while now. The truck was decorated pretty nicely with a cool old school cassette player and lots of cassettes that we could have tried out.
The 3 of us ordered 3 different kinds of takoyaki to try out: Classic, Ponzo, and Kimchi; But they only had 2 trays left so we ordered and waited in the car for the next batch to come out. Ainhi & Hung’s favorite was the kimchi one but mine was the classic. I love bonito flakes!
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After a good night’s sleep, we Yelped some places to try out for breakfast and decided on South Congress Cafe. If we didn’t already look up this place and decide on trying there, we probably would not have went in since the place looked closed from the outside. We were quickly seated and ready to eat.
Our waiter brought out some corn bread for us while we waited for our entrees. I wanted to try something new that I haven’t tried before and would possible taste better in Texas so I had the Slow Smoked Brisket & Jalapeno Sausage. It came with flour tortillas wraps and was very yummy!
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During this meal, Hung & I learned something interesting about Ainhi!; She likes to slurp up the yoke of her sunny eggs!
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It was still a bit early after breakfast so we walked down the block to check out some stores.
[pictures]

Texas 1

When we were finished, it was finally time to go see the Hamilton Pool Preserve! Hung discovered this place through an article and since we were going to be in Texas, we figured we’d go see the beauty of nature for ourselves.

We entered the address into the GPS but it took us to a different preservative: the West Cave Preserve; We’re glad it did though. We took a tour that lasted for about an hour and was able to see an amazing fall and cave.
[pictures]

Hamilton Pool

When the tour was finished, we went back to where we saw the sign for the Hamilton Pool was. This area was a self tour. We first went to see the pool which was pretty but did not have a waterfall because the water level was probably not high enough. It was also too cold for us to swim.
[pictures]

We then had to back track a bit in order to get to the river that we saw driving up. The hike was 0.8 miles which is an introduction to hiking for me and our future hiking trips. When we got to the end, the beach like area was small but the sun was setting so we had a beautiful sight.
[pictures]

On our way out of the area, we were hungry and did not know what to eat but knew we wanted something local; We happened to drive by a local looking place called Rosie’s Tamale House and decided to try it. Very good decision.
The inside looked like a school cafeteria but the food was much better. Our waiter was a very sweet older man that was very welcoming and helpful in describing menu items we were unsure of. He started us off with the house’s spicy salsa and chips and gave us a refill of the salsa because we were hooked!
Our waiter said that they are famous for their tamales (hence the name I am guessing) so we ordered a half dozen to try out. None of us has ever had tamales before but if they are like the ones we tried, I would not mind getting them again.
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I had the Willie’s Plate for my main dish that was amazing good!
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So that concludes my first full day in Texas and our first trip to Austin. The rest of the week was sent in Fort Worth and the surrounding area because Ainhi had work; Dropped her off in the morning, picked her up for lunch, and after work.

Monday, Hung & I Yelped a near by place with waffles for breakfast because I really wanted waffles. We went to a place called Our Cafe Restaurant (is called Our Place Restaurant on Yelp) and had some Texas shaped waffles. I also had Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes.
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We were not originally suppose to have lunch with Ainhi today but she texted us right as we were at the entrance to the highway to pick her up. We went to Firehouse Subs and sat with her as she ate and told us about how she wished she could be on vacation with us.
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After dropping her back off at work, Hung & I went to the Cowboy’s stadium for a self-tour. Inside, I was pretty upset that the field did not have the Cowboy’s star. It was the Cotton Bowl logo instead.
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We were able to take a look at the post-game press room, the players’ locker room, and the cheerleaders’ locker room. In the players’ locker room, we were able to put on the jerseys and take some pictures in it!
[picture]

After the tour, we went to Walmart across the street to stock up Ainhi’s extremely empty fridge and get some Texas gear and postcards.
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Hung’s aunt & uncle were in from Oklahoma and wanted to take us to dinner at their family’s restaurant. Her aunt & uncle were so sweet and adorable!
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Side dinner talk was ridiculous! I taught them some things in sign language that they interpreted into very inappropriate things which lead Hung to teaching us some inappropriate gestures she learned studying abroad in Rome. We also came up with ideas on what Hung & I will be like the first time we meet Ainhi’s boyfriend. Poor guy doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into.

Tuesday was a rainy day which meant indoor activities. Caught up on some Burn Notice before picking up Ainhi for lunch at Whataburger. We wanted to try this place out because we don’t have one at home but mostly because of it’s name. The burgers were were pretty good and really big! They also had a funny saying that is exactly what my little cousin has been saying a lot.
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Hung & I then decided to check our the mall.

Dinner was at the Movie Tavern on 7th street. $8 for a movie that serves food during the movie and a theater with comfy seats and lots of leg room is totally worth it; Wish they has a bigger selection of movies though.

Wednesday was another rainy day so it was a stay at home and cook kind of day. Hung made us omelets for brunch and for dinner, Hung & I made lasagna; Ainhi made apple crisps for dessert.
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We tried the watch the Abram Lincoln Vampire movie but Ainhi was too tired and I was not that into it. Hung & I ended up staying up till 3 talking about random things.

Texas 2

Thursday morning, Hung’s cousins from Oklahoma, Lee & Phikan came down to shop but first, we went to go see the Fort Worth Water Garden that Ainhi told us about. It was pretty cool! It looked a lot nicer when the sun started coming out. We took a bunch of silly pictures then … My memory card had some kind of error and all my photos were gone and I could no longer take picture! But luckily, everyone had cameras so we still had pictures.
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Our next stop was the Elm Fork Shooting and shot shotguns! None of us has ever shoot a shotgun or done skeet shooting but we all did pretty well. It was really exciting and I cannot wait to go again!
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It was way pass lunch time and since Lee & Phikan has been in the area so many time, they took us to a nice Korean BBQ place, SSam. We had 2 orders of BBQ and one of squid. The lady cut and grilled most of the BBQ for us and boy was it tasty!; It was marinated so well.
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We finally finished all the side tasks so they were able to go to the Galleria Mall. The first store I saw when I walked in was a watch store, Mistura. The watches caught my attention and one in particular caught my eye. I love watches! Even before it became a huge necessity for fashion. I ended up getting the one I saw from the start – yellow!
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After some quick shopping, we rushed back to Fort Worth to chaperoned Ainhi’s date. She has a new boyfriend that none of us ever met so this was the time to meet and test! We went to a sushi place that had pretty good sushi. The waitresses were also very nice and very helpful in chaperoning since we filled them in about what we were doing. We had silly hand signals and other gestures that we used to communicate with Ainhi. She also could not stop glancing over to see what we were doing and at that moment, would start giggling.
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So the weather finally started looking nicer! Hung & I sent the beautiful Friday outside at the Fort Worth Zoo and enjoying the weather and animals.
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Grabbed Ainhi Sonic before picking her up and learned she’d never had it before!

Since Texas is known for their stake and BBQ, Ainhi took us to the Stockyard for dinner with her boyfriend and one of his friends. You cannot believe everything you hear.. Let’s just say I like my BBQ juicy and not burnt; Apparently “that’s how [they] like it down [there].”
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Afterwards, we wanted to see the Water Garden at night when all the lights would be on but we missed it just by a few minutes!
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We then walked downtown to a billiard and played some pool before heading home.

I woke up early Saturday morning to finish some last minute packing before we headed to meet Scott for breakfast. We ate at a “cute” place that Andrew recommended. He also said it is somewhere you would “bring your girlfriend.”
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Went back to Scott’s apartment and relaxed there until it was time for Ainhi to drop off Hung & me at the airport. What a sad sad time. But it was a fun adventure and one that we will have again!
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When we got back, my boyfriend picked us up and had a cute sign, flowers and a giant Pikachu balloon ready for me! I should definitely go away more often.

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