The Insta-Home Challenge: Austin

by Angela on January 24, 2013 · 0 comments

Shoot… I’m as happy as a gopher in soft dirt to be in Austin.

It’s been in the 70’s and 80’s in central Texas, and with the fresh air, congenial people, weird and artsy vibe and wide open spaces, we feel like we’ve hit a slice o’ heaven. After a tough, sick, chilly 3 months in San Francisco, Austin is surely a welcome change.

Our impeccable and updated 2-bedroom bungalow that we’re sharing with the Cordileones is in the Cherrywood neighborhood of Austin, just under a mile east of the campus of the University of Texas where The Lion King is performing. Mike and Nick ride the provided bikes to work every night, which take them a zippy 10 minutes. Good thing, because the traffic in Austin around UT is surprisingly clogged, and parking their cars would have cost them $12 per day, all month long. Wallets thank me!

I found this little gem on VRBO about 5 months back. The owners Amy and Eli are local jazz musicians, and they used to call this house their home before their family outgrew it. And they must be giants!  The funniest part of our house is in the bedroom. Folks, meet our plush, TALL king-sized bed. It rises about 3 1/2 feet above the floor. We’ve never seen anything quite like this. It takes nothing short of a pole vault to get up with my stumpy legs, and when we have Max tussling around up there, we’re on guard for potentially lethal spills over the precipice.

To give you an idea of just how ridiculously high the bed is, this is how far we have to dip down to place anything on the bedside stand (which is at normal height). It’s actually kinda laughable. Is it a Texas thing? Our bed in Houston was also abnormally high.

The front porch features a relaxing bench swing…

…and plenty of room for horseplay.

Oh, and after almost 3 months of living without each other in San Francisco, Hero and Max instantly snuggled up again.

The living room is warm and cozy, with a flat screen TV above a working wood-burning fireplace.

It proves to be the perfect afternoon napping place, as Mike and Turkey have discovered.

It’s filled with sunshine and Turkey couldn’t be happier.

The kitchen is newly renovated and functional, and with our two families, it’s always in a state of activity.

Another view of our disarrayed kitchen, at mid-afternoon.

Turkey’s also found a hiding place, or so he thinks.

The six of us share one bathroom, which isn’t ideal — but we are making it work for this city.

The dining table seats six, and our morning breakfasts are filled with communal platters of eggs, toast and cereal. This is one of the best parts of the living with the Cordileones — we just make meals for the house on instinct. It’s also a major work/arts & crafts area.

Our backyard has a low deck and space for Max to play in the dirt, although he’s too fancy of a boy to get that dirty before yelling, “Mama, I need a wipe!”

A few blocks down, a playground awaits Max.

One of the best parts of walking in our neighborhood is the aroma of barbeque smoke, wafting down from Manor Road just two blocks down. Hoover’s Cooking has both a dine-in restaurant and a food trailer featuring mouth-watering meats…

But I love how I can grab Thai outta this trailer at any time too!

Our room is so squishy and dreamy at night, even with the princess-and-the-pea mattresses.

Once I’m up on the bed, it’s hard to muster the energy to rappel myself down. Maybe it’s cause I’m just past my first trimester. I mean, why move unless nature calls? Down belay!

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