Temporary Stint: Home # 16

I made a big oops. I thought we had to be out of our Barton Springs house on Thursday to move into our 3-day temporary home back downtown on 6th street – we couldn’t get into our new rental quite yet. We all packed up everything (remember we had roomies at this point, so it was quite a lot of stuff in 2 cars), and in the process of driving to the new rental, I realized I was off by one day. We weren’t moving out until Friday. Pretty much everything had to be unpacked and repacked in 24 hours again. Yeah, big oops. That sucked.

Location: East 6th street. The same condo building, but not the same unit as this.

Duration: 3 days

A short walk from the home.

A short walk from the home.

Top Trip Rental was nice enough to let us stay in one of their new rentals downtown during this 3-day window, so back to East 6th and Brazos we went. The property hadn’t been stayed in yet, so it was fun to be the first to test it out.

Chereen, the founder of Top Trip Rental left such a thoughtful welcome gift for me. It was a pic of me and my good friend when we attended an event they put on at the mansion property we stayed in. Personal touches go a long way for me.

Near the house.

Near the house.

There’s not a lot to say here, simply because we were only there for 3 days and we had just lived in this area. I really loved the interior upgrades, though! One really fun night was taking our New Zealand friends to the Capital at night. Did you know it’s open at night to walk INTO? I like exploring places we’d been to a million times at an unconventional times of the day.

We didn’t even really unpack at this casa, so the next move 3 days later was no biggie at all. We were headed to an area of town we hadn’t yet stayed in: South 1st street.

More on house # 17 soon!

1 Year Anniversary: Barton Springs – Our Home # 15

Over a year ago, Cary and I decided to live on vacation rentals for 3 months (see why). A fun and adventurous idea turned into a way of living that was monumentally changing the way I saw life and how we lived each day: What was important to us. What was not important to us. When 3 months came and went, it became harder and harder to imagine going back to that life before because of the endless opportunities we were creating.

Austin Barton Springs House

Here’s our experience at home # 15.

Location:
Barton Hills (2 blocks from Barton Springs)
Duration:
1 month

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It started off terribly. After a very long travel day from our Croatia/Germany trip, we ended up at our new house as it neared midnight, only to find the lock box not working to let us in. I hadn’t been that tired in a really long time. Exhausted to the bone, and it was going to be an early morning back at work. We ended up booking a hotel room that night. It was either that or sleeping in our car. It was August. That was certainty not going to happen. Actually, let’s be honest, it wasn’t going to happen anyways. The management company reimbursed us for the trouble and all was well  by about 10 in the morning. There could be worse things than waking up in a hotel room.

Top Trip Rental

HIGHLIGHTS

Roomies! We had roommates for the first time in 4 years. They were friends from New Zealand who had just moved to Austin. They were also on the boat with us in Croatia, so we already knew we could get along well. It was actually really fun having people around. It didn’t hurt they were amazing cooks. ☺ We were also getting to see Austin through the eyes of newbies, and it reminded me of how special our “little” town is.

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Barton Springs – night swims: If you’ve never done a night swim at Barton Springs before, you’re missing a truly Austin-like experience. Let’s just put this out here: I am a HUGE weeny when it comes to cold water. Actually water in general. I much prefer sitting above the water and not being in it. But, getting in that 68’ degree water after the August heat was nothing short of awakening. It became our every-other-night routine. Cary and I have never really had a routine together, and that time was so special to me. Minus when I learned there actually are snakes in Barton Spring.

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Unexpected routines I liked: Normally routines are not something that I love (in case you didn’t get that from my previous posts – ha), but I found another routine I really loved: being kind to my body in the morning. Typically, my mornings consist of rush, rush rush. Partially because I can’t make myself get up earlier enough to not be rushed. Because we were going to bed so early during this time, I was not very tired when I woke up super early. I did yoga on the patio, ate a healthy breakfast and watched people going to work in traffic from afar, and then brought out my computer and was still ahead by 9 am. As I write this, I realize it’s a routine I should try again. 

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Another treehouse: We tend to keep finding houses that feel like treehouses. I absolutely love it. This one was nestled by a big fat tree that provided glorious shade on the porch.

The house, overall, was not my most favorite, but perfect for the time: It was a bit older than than most others and a few things went wrong while we were there, but the location and the “treehouse balcony” totally made it a great place for a month! The rental company really stepped up to make it a great experience as well. It was not by accident that we ended up so close to the coolest spring in Austin during the hottest time of the year. It made August bearable!

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When people ask why we are doing this, one word now comes to mind: Opportunity. For this summer, it was the opportunity to get the hell out of Austin’s 100 degree weather as much as possible. I made it 21 days being gone. I’ll take it! I always hear people say, “I would be totally fine skipping Austin in the summer.” Having the opportunity to actually do that – or some of that – is really special to me.

To find more information about this home, visit this link with Top Trip Rental.  You couldn’t get much closer to Austin City Limits Festival. 

-Cierra

Heart of the Life Music Capital of the World: Home # 13

When I first moved to Austin after living in Washington state, I was 13 years old and would ask my mom every once in a while to drive down historic 6th street at night just so that I could feel the pulse of the city. Coming from a small farming community, it was somehow comforting to know that there was always excitement happening nearby. To this day, I still drive down East 6th street to get the dose of comfort: Knowing that as life’s routine happens, I’m still only a quick drive away from people living life in the moment. It’s a good reminder for me to appreciate where I am.

Naturally, when a vacation rental became available on East 6th street, one of the few residential buildings on this strip, we had to take advantage of the unique opportunity. Let’s be honest, East 6th street wasn’t a place we were ever going to want to permanently live. Why not make a fun experience out of the place that gives this city its pulse?

So, welcome to LiveVenture home # 13:

Location: Littlefield Building on Brazos and East 6th street – across from the historic Driskel Hotel.
Length: 3 weeks

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The upstairs 2nd bedroom looking out of historic 6th street.

I knew we were living in the heart of downtown when… I was at a new friend’s house and wasn’t sure how to get back to the freeway, so instead of driving around aimlessly, I put ‘Austin’ into the GPS so it would take me towards downtown. Once I found the freeway, I would just turn the GPS off. By the time I hit the downtown area, I had my music turned up and my convertible top down; I didn’t actually hear the GPS until I was 1/2 block away from our house. The GPS lady says, “you have arrived in Austin.” My home was literally where the GPS considered Austin. 

It’s been interesting to see the pattern of the city: what the daytime workforce looks like, what the afternoon happy hour group looks like, what the young party crowd looks like, and the after 2 am group who just wants to party a little more…(those complimentary ear plugs from the management company were a blessing. ) I realize 4 things while living here:

  1. Our city really does party seven days a week, and live music is really played almost all day on each of those days.
  2. There is quite the homeless community. And I do mean community… There are clear “cool places to be” and “popular” people.
  3. Between 2 & 3 AM really truly are dangerous times to be on the road. It was terrifying watching how many drunk people walked out of the bars at 2 AM and most likely hopped in a car.
  4. Austin really is still way cool. In a 21 day span, with no planning of calendar of events, we ended up downtown in the heart of two massive events: the X games and the Rot Rally.

HIGHLIGHTS: 

X Games invading downtown.

X Games invading downtown: Check out the guy in the air.

X Games invades…unexpectedly: We took a night stroll to the Capital to find the X Games set up with only the event organizers and the skate pros practicing for the kick-off of the festival the next day. We had no idea there was this even happening downtown less than 24 hrs away. It was the calm before the storm and we got to see their intimate practice. It was pretty awesome to actually see the event packed with people the next day.

Top Trip Rental, who manages the condo we were staying in, extended an offer for us to stay in another property for one night for a fun experience. This was just a wee bit different: 4,000 sq feet, 2 car parking garage, and an indoor pool for starters – literally on East 6th street and hidden among the bars. One would never expect it there. We were able to bring a few friends and toast to unique experiences, complimentary of my new favorite rental company (hats off to them!). I also went back for a party and met mermaid friends in the pool a week later. Check out the blog about that here. 

A night out on the town: college-style. Who says 30 is a drag? Ok, a lot of people, but I’m determined to still have fun. While I like to have fun, I would not put me in the “partier” category. But you put me living on 6th street and with a friend (new to Austin) who hasn’t experienced it much, it’s a recipe that had to be mixed up. We started with the Rot Rally and closed down Maggie Mae’s with a dance party on the roof. I haven’t done that since college, and most certainty wouldn’t be able to do it often, but it was one night to remember. And one that I wouldn’t have done if I didn’t live a couple blocks away.

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View from the patio of the storm.

Sometimes all you need is a bottle of wine.
People watching is amusing. People watching on your balcony with a bottle of wine on 6th street with your favorite person in the world? Well, that’s down right delightful.

An incredible thunderstorm rolled in one night. Sure, Austin has big storms all the time. I am known to become wide eyed and stick my head to the window, being mesmerized by the lightening. With historic 6th street in the forefront of one of the larger storms I’ve seen in months, my storm watching was taken to the next level. Amazeballs!

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Right: Stephen F. Austin Hotel with the best view in town.

Being a tourist in our own city. There were too many great bars to name all, but a stand-out night was enjoying one of the best views in Austin: The Stephen F Austin Intercontinental outside patio. It also just happens to be where I had my first internship in high school. Easily walking to the Capital and the Congress Bridge to watch the bats was also great fun. I had so many places I had planned to visit, but time simply ran out. Another LifeVenture stay down there might be in our future. Perhaps not during the Rot Rally, though. 🙂

Going from our Creek Cottage (home # 12)a complete serene home, to East 6th Street was a big change. But as dramatic as the change was, we eased into it quickly and started enjoying the new home right away.

This location and home truly exemplified the reason we are living this LiveVenture: to live life differently and to notice and appreciate our surroundings.

Until the next adventure,
Cierra

Creek Cottage: Home # 12

This is the first house that we’ve returned back to during this LifeVenture, and with good reason: it’s our creek cottage getaway. And while it had no washer and dryer and no full kitchen (gasp!), it is completely serene.

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One morning when the light was hitting just right: looking outside my window. This photo didn’t even need a filter.

At night, all you hear is the buzz of crickets and croaking of frogs. We timed it just right: this was during the month of crazy-storms, which filled up the almost-dry creek bed to a lovely constant trickle. One entire wall had windows, so the weather was just right and we could open the windows and hear nature all night. It felt pretty darn good on my soul.

Location: Cuernavaca – about 20 minutes from downtown
Length: 1 month 

 

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On the left side, the creek down below. On the right side, the kitchen area, bathroom, office, closet, and extra bedroom.

Highlights:

I’m a big animal fan. BIG animal fan. I see an animal and I revert back to a 6 year old kid. “A BUNNY!!!!” So, this place is a match made in heaven for me. There was not a single day that I didn’t see deer either on the way home, on a walk or outside our front door. On a typical day, we would see about 15-20. Usually a new born baby was in that bunch. Nursing baby deer are way cute. We had a turtle friend in the creek, lots of bunnies, and even saw a three rare owl sightings.

 

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Checking out a different ‘hood: It was nice to visit restaurants that we wouldn’t normally drive to because they were far from downtown, like Lola Savannah and The Grove (on 620) with an expansive view and  Baguette et Chocolat with the best crepes in town.

Kitty loved making animal friends! She’s adorable. Enough said.

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Owl and kitty cuteness.

Like a bucket-list: thousands upon thousands of lightening bugs.  I recently visited Puerto Rico and experienced the bioluminescent bay, where the water reacts to movement by glowing. (If you ever get a chance, it’s absolutely incredible). This experience was like that: completely magical – like there was no way what I was seeing was actually nature-made. For about 1 week, perhaps when the weather was the right temperature and there was just the right amount of moisture in the air, lightening bugs came out of the forest bed and lit it up. They would start at dusk and the magic would get stronger for about 15 min. and then die down. The less you moved, the more bright they became and their lights would start pulsating together (apparently a mating ritual). Who knew bugs could be so mesmerizing.  It was so amazing to have an experience like that at home! Side note, I’m a very good lightening bug catcher now.

My favorite near-town park: I’ve mentioned it in the last post, but it’s worth another mention: Commons Ford Park. I spent a lot of time hiking, walking, and even doing a little bit of yoga on the riverside. It has one of the most beautiful wildflower fields… (and it scoots up against Michael Dell’s massive Ranch 6D, which has more land than all of Zilker Park and is right on the water. No joke. Insane, but gorgeous and protected from the massive developments near it.)

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After a month of living :20 minutes from downtown, I started to feel like we were living a bit in the boondocks, so we went and shook things up. Yeah, that’s right. “Dirty 6th” street was about to welcome it’s next tenants.

It was party time! But more on that soon…