Alex and I got to Austin on Tuesday afternoon.  It is, ah, much bigger than I remembered! We are staying with my friend, the amazing Donna F., who is treating us like royalty!

We started the house-hunting process right away, and discovered that this is going to be tough.  We thought we’d found a great house in South Austin this morning, and I even heard the property management lady tell the realtor (over speaker phone) that she would hold it until she got our paperwork.  Then he called me a few hours later, after I’d already gotten money orders made out and spent money faxing forms to Gaylon, and he had already faxed them back to the realtor, to tell me that she had rented it right out from under us!  Wow.  That was a really tough blow.

We have a few other things lined up, and are praying hard that we will find the perfect house.  We don’t need anything as big as what we have in North Carolina, and we can live almost anywhere for a year, right? *sigh*

However, in the meantime, Alex got on the internet and found a really awesome lunch spot for us: Shady Grove.  It is a Tex-Mex Burger Joint not far from Zilker Park (Austin City Limits) and it was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!  I had a green chile cheeseburger, and it made my lips burn!!!  Yes!!!  We both loved the funky-cool “Keep Austin Weird” vibe, too.  We felt right at home, after all, we are from Asheville!

Then we went with Donna and her fiance, Dave, to a place called Central Market.  Now, we have Whole Foods and Earth Fare back in NC, and I love them.  But this place was like Earth Fare on mega-steroids!!!  We found so many awesome items.  For example, I can’t wait to try their sausages (like the one with cherries and pecans!) or the mushrooms!  Finding just the right mushrooms for the pierogi at Christmas is gonna be very easy from now on. 😉  Alex found the “real” Dr. Pepper, made with Imperial Sugar, instead of corn syrup.  He is a true blue “Pepper”, and my cousin, Branden, got him hooked on the “real” Dr. Peppers years ago.

Tomorrow, we are planning to look at some more houses, and we have an appointment Saturday morning to look at one up in the Brushy Creek area that looks very promising.  Alex and I also decided that the best remedy for our stress and discouragement is to spend some time in Eucharistic Adoration, so we are planning on finding St. Williams up in Round Rock tomorrow and doing that.  We know it won’t necessarily make things easier, but it will definitely give us strength. Gaylon and Faith (who now wants to be called Abby) will get here tomorrow afternoon.  I am very much looking forward to that.  I feel so much calmer when Gaylon is with me.  We will probably head downtown and check out whatever is going on down there tomorrow night, too.

Even though our home here in North Carolina still has not sold, we are going forward with our plans to move to Texas in August.  Therefore, I have been spending a lot of time browsing homes for rent online.  In fact, it is sort of my new obsession!  I can’t help it.  There is so little I can do right now, and so looking on line for potential abodes sort of dispels, if only in a virtual sense, my feelings of powerlessness.  The houses are all sort of starting to look the same though. . .

I do wish that leasing agents would do a few things differently.  First of all, I think they should post as many pictures as possible.  And next, following through on that theme, the pictures should be clear.  Not taken with a cell phone.  Those end up being either very pixelated or blurry, or, worst of all, tiny.  Also, the pictures need to be of actual living spaces.  The most important of those being the kitchen.  I am amazed at how many folks don’t bother to include a picture of the kitchen!  I have also seen pictures of windows.  Well, I do like my houses to have windows, but just snapping a shot of a window doesn’t tell me much about the room it’s in.  But even more surprising to me is the number of pictures I have seen of doorknobs and ceiling fans, and even flower bushes!!  Really?  Again, those are all good things to have in a house (especially doorknobs!) but overall, they don’t tell me much about the house itself.

So, this is a frustrating process for me at the moment.  In just a few short weeks (three, to be exact) I will be driving down to Austin to find a home, and I know that will make me feel much better.  Well, except for the fact that I corresponded with a realtor down there today, and she told me that rentals usually only last one day before they get rented, so looking online now probably won’t help me at all in three weeks.  *sigh* Now I am going to have to find a better way to spend my time.  Packing, perhaps?

Image: djcodrin /

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