December In Austin

We have not been able to find a real good pizza in Austin, even the usual brands we know from England such as Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Papa Johns etc just do not taste the same, I'm guessing its down to slightly different ingredients and definitely too much oil...then one evening when we were dining in our favourite local Italian (who do not sell pizza!) the waiter recommended a place to us thats quite a drive away but he promised had the best pizza in town, and last week we decided to give it a try Pieous Pizza

So this is where I saw on the menu brussel sprout pizza, now I am sure most of my UK/European readers will be thinking I have gone crazy but firstly I have to explain about the way brussel sprouts are cooked here in Austin have a read of this Best Brussels Sprouts In Austin. This pizza was definitely unique and definitely the best tasting to date!

Now the birthdays are out of the way its on to Christmas and of course before anything else is hunting down the perfect tree, we didn't go as tall this time as we have downsized our house since last Christmas but still there were plenty to choose from. Predictably the children fell out because one wanted one tree and the other wanted another identical tree which of course looked completely different in the eyes of a 6 year old...

A tradition in Austin from about mid November onwards are the trees begin getting decorated along our nearest highway some even with flashing lights! It looks very pretty and so unique, here is how it all started...Decorating Trees on the Highway

My parents arrived in December for their annual visit I had plenty planned for them of course, walking the dog, loading the dishwasher haha just kidding! We took them to see the Nutcracker, then one evening we watched our girls in their Peter Pan production downtown after four months of practice, they were both astounding as were all the children in the play such an amazing show for young children.

Dad had not been out on a boat in Austin so one night some friends of ours took us out on their boat to see the Christmas lights up and down the lake, it was pretty cold that night but nevertheless always fun on the boat.

On Saturday we drove to a town called Fredericksburg which is marketed as 'German Heritage, Texan Hospitality' it took about 1hr 45min to drive there with just one pit stop. The drive was very pretty, through lots of rural Texas countryside and vineyards. On arrival in Fredericksburg we headed to the Main Street, parked up and took a good hour or so browsing the array of obscure shops selling what appeared to be almost everything and anything.

Crossing a creek driving to Fredericksburg



 One evening we were keen to take my parents to Zilker Park downtown to walk the Austin Trail of Lights, we all went last year and loved it. Mum and dad were enthralled and said they had never seen anything like it, this is certainly a thing I love about being an expat showing visitors from home the sights, sounds and culture of this new world of ours...

Well thats all for now people, my next post will be after Christmas day and hopefully before New Year's eve but can't promise anything ;)

Happy Christmas to you all and no doubt I will be needing one of these come January...


Thanksgiving, Two Birthdays and UK Food

I can not believe its been over two weeks again, since I last published a post...I aimed to start publishing posts every 10 days then once a week but I'm not quite there yet #focus!

Thanksgiving has now been and gone over here in America, for those of you who are not quite sure why Americans celebrate Thanksgiving I came across this article which gives an easy reading overview: Why Americans celebrate Thanksgiving...

For us Brits the week goes on as normal except the children have 3 days off school and my husband had a few days off work, we were invited to a neighbour's house who have two girls the same age as ours which worked great. We enjoyed champagne, a lovely turkey dinner with trimmings plus a choice of pumpkin pie and apple pie AND ice cream for dessert.

Regular readers may remember we had a puppy join our family this year named Winston. Well lovely, slightly stinky Winston turned 1 years old at the end of November.

First day in his new home

This week we celebrated our eldest daughters birthday and as its at the beginning of December we always wait for the birthday party to be over before we start on decorating the house for Christmas and searching for the perfect tree.

We were excited this year when we found advent calendars and christmas crackers in our local chemist, last year we drove for 30 minutes to a shop called World Market to get our traditional Christmas extras.

I am also a member of various 'Brits in Texas' Facebook groups and I have started seeing lots of posts from other Brit expats when they have found UK products in their local stores, very helpful with Christmas coming. I almost tripped over my own feet rushing to get the last box of these from my local supermarket this week!

Next week my parents are arriving from England for two weeks, we have lots of Christmasy things planned for them of course and we'll enjoy the free babysitting for a while yay!