I have been feeling a little bit of writer's block. This is something I hadn’t expected – not being able to write about food because all the food is so good it just feels normal. I’m not sure if that makes sense. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am in my complete and utter food comfort zone. From snacks to cocktails there are no mysteries in Austin. All of it’s good and because I am here for a limited amount of time, I am only eating the good stuff.
Much of our time here so far has included play dates. I love play dates and I love play date food. The Austin play date diet includes the following: fresh fruit, cheese, and either crackers or some healthful bread (from one of three places – Central Market, Whole Foods, or the Wheatsville Coop). Frequently there is peanut butter, but never, ever is there Jiff. And, oh my goodness, the juice boxes here – we have gone from sugar as the first ingredient in Santo Domingo to sugar occasionally being an ingredient. These are sweepingly ridiculous generalizations based completely on my socio-economic and educational status and that of my friends. But, in my Austin world, that’s what kids (and moms…and here in Austin, dads) eat on play dates.
Tonight we went out for sushi. All the tables around us had kids – ranging in age from two-ish to mid-teens. One table was three moms and four toddlers! I love it. Austin is not the only city, I know, that treats kids like grown-up eaters, but it is certainly something that Austin does well. Austin is insanely kid friendly. I remember in DC struggling because I couldn’t find restaurants with playgrounds (except for fast food). But here, you can go eat a real meal and there might very well be a playground, or a fountain, or a big green grassy area.
And yet, despite all the ease with which living and eating (and everything else) happens here, I am starting to miss “home.” We have all taken to calling Santo Domingo home. I got my four-year-old a new electric toothbrush today and he said, “Well, I’ll keep using the one I’m using now here in Austin and use the new one when we get home.” Now that Jeremy has left we refer to Daddy as being, “Home in Santo Domingo.” It doesn’t quite feel like vacation here, but it doesn’t feel like our old life either. What ever it is, I am enjoying the in-between. Nice here. Will be nice to get home. Just kinda’ good all around – perhaps makes for boring blog posts, but asi es la vida.