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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Where in the World is...the SPI FFF???

I know I keep disappearing.  All I can say is it has been quite a couple of months!  Graduation, Spa Day, parties, and now, Run to Hear.

Regular readers will know my youngest son, "the teen", is deaf and hears with cochlear implants and also has Asperger's Syndrome and a few other issues to contend with.  He has a group of friends...friends since they were toddlers... he maintains contact with, despite our moving 350+ miles away from the closest one.  They call themselves The Deaf Club, and all now have cochlear implants to help them hear. 

In 2010, a few of the girls were hanging out together and decided they wanted to pay it forward.  They wanted to give to others who were, perhaps, less fortunate than themselves.  They wanted to help a child receive a cochlear implant who had no other way to get one.

Thus was born the original Run to Hear 5K in June 2011.

Well... we just did it again!  June 23rd, 2012 was the second annual Run to Hear 5K.

I'm not going to go into a ton of detail - but we do have a website and I hope you check it out.
We've even become an incorporated non-profit entity, Run to Hear, Inc. (it's great having an attorney as one of the parents) which allows all of the donations to the organization to be tax deductible.
Just after the race at lovely Lake Pflugerville Park - the teen was
happy another 5K was under his belt!

I wrote a "Morning After" post on our website and hope you might take a moment to read it, and, to read the first page, at least, of our website.  It gives lots of information about our cause and how we use our funds to help "pay it forward".  We are already planning for the 2013 event.  I would love it if any of my running readers...or people interested in deaf individuals having access to sound... would follow our Run to Hear blog posts, either by adding to your RSS feed (upper right side of the Run to Hear main page for that option) or via email (bottom left side of the Run to Hear main page for that option).

My teen coming across the finish line at the
2012 Run to Hear 5K.

Now, while I was in the Austin/Pflugerville/Lago Vista area - I did eat out a lot.  I went to all my favorites while I was around and about for the event and all the preparatory work involved.

We stopped at Schlotzsky's for a sandwich the minute we hit town.  It is one of the things I miss most in the lower Rio Grande Valley.  No Schlotzsky's :-(   We love the location on Brodie Lane in Sunset Valley - our old stomping grounds when we lived in Austin.  I was able to stop at Michael's for a few additions to my Baking and Decorating arsenal while the teen scooted next door to Barnes and Noble for some reading material.  We love that little shopping center!  It's home.

The next day we ran errands and ate at Serrano's at the Lake Line location since we were coming into town from Lago Vista.  Excellent Tex-Mex restaurant.  Another favorite!  I usually try to hit the Texican Cafe at Lake Line...but the teen wanted a burger and the burgers at Serrano's are as good as the Tex-Mex.  It was a win-win.

After packet pick-up we were hot and hungry and we stopped at Pok-e-jo's Arboretum location for some delicious barbeque and big glasses of cold drinks.  I had pork ribs and brisket, green bean casserole, and banana pudding with a huge iced tea.  The teen had a sausage plate with mac and cheese and fries...can you say carb lover?  It was usual!

After the Saturday morning race, I was so parched all I could think about was getting a Sonic Drive-in Diet Limeade... I love their ice.  After nearly getting lost in Pflugerville (oh my has that town grown!), my friend led me to the closest one.  It was awesome...I REALLY love their ice :-)

We had an after-the-race-party at our friends' home and Sharon made the BEST chicken salad.  I am going to ask her if I can make up a batch and post the recipe on my blog.  It was so fresh and summery tasting.  Keep an eye out for that.  Everyone brought something to share and there was a ton of food - all of it outstanding!

We were so tired that evening, we barely wanted to eat.  My sister and her wife had gone to a party so we opted to eat "locally" at Tug's in Lago Vista.  The teen had an excellent burger and Mr. Flip Flop and I both had barbeque (I think I have mentioned how much I love good barbeque).  He had beef ribs and pork loin with a side of cole slaw and fried okra.  I had a very tasty brisket sandwich with a side of excellent creamy potato salad.  It was a very satisfying meal.  It's attached to a gas station, so one tends to wonder...but, like so many good "local joints".... the locals were, indeed, spot on!  My sister thinks they are some of the best burgers in the lake area...maybe all of Austin. I don't know about that, but the teen said his was very good and we liked the BBQ just fine! 

Our last meal out was in South Austin on our way out of town...we stopped at The Beijing Wok for our regular dose of Crack Chicken.  We've called their Sesame Chicken "crack chicken" since my middle son was a student at Bowie High School.  He and his friends would go off campus for lunch and said Beijing Wok's sesame chicken was as addictive as crack.  It will forever more be called crack chicken in our household.  My middle son joined us there for lunch when he found out we were going to stop on the way out of town.  Everyone except the teen ordered what we expected, and the teen ordered Shrimp LoMein.  He doesn't care for rice, so LoMein is almost always his choice at a Chinese restaurant.

We hit the road for home after 4 days in Austin and it felt so good to sleep in my own bed that night! 

So, THAT is where in the world the SPI Flip Flop Foodie has been.  I can always bring my stories around to food, because no matter where you are, or what you are doing .... you gotta eat!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!


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