Tuesday, October 9, 2007

To Market, To Market...

Aside from Walmart, where else can we do groceries in Austin?

1. There is H-E-B which has a location in the cross-street of our apartment complex and a location in Circle C - where we want to get a house. Wonder what H-E-B stands for? Here is an excerpt from Wiki

"H.E. Butt Grocery Company (abbreviated H-E-B) is a privately held San Antonio, Texas-based supermarket chain with over 300 stores throughout Texas and northern Mexico. H-E-B ranked No. 11 on Forbes' 2006 list of "America's Largest Private Companies" based on 2005 revenue of $12.4 billion.[1] Supermarket News ranked H-E-B No. 14 in the 2007 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" based on 2006 fiscal year estimated sales of $12.4 billion.[2] Based on 2005 revenues, H-E-B is the twenty-seventh largest retailer in the United States.[3]"

2. There is Central Market - which is supposed to be owned by H-E-B also and an answer to Whole Foods (see below). It's supposed to be an upscale version of H-E-B. The aroma in the store actually reminds me of Boise coop. The Lamar location has a restaurant with a patio and a playground for kids. There is actually another location just a block away from us which we have not checked out yet.

3. Then there is Whole Foods - which is headquartered in Austin. (They've got this beautiful building downtown!) Whole food specializes with organic and natural products. When you walk into their store, the pastries, the deli and the salad bar greets you and entices you to sample and buy. I made a mistake once of buying their grilled wild salmon and paid $$$ (greater than $20!) for it! I have learned now that I can get by with soup and bread for less than $5.

4. Up north, there is MT Supermarket - a big Asian food and goods wholesaler. Methinks it is actually mainly a Vietnamese supermarket. It was funny seeing the Filipino and Japanese food under "international" section! It is a large store, easily as big as Walmart (not the supercenter). It's just over a year old so the store is very clean!
MT Supermarket
See more at www.mtsupermarket.com.

5. Just near AMD is the Cebuana Filipino Store. It is a small store but the best things about it are: 1) it is near Al's workplace, so I could just ask him to drop by after work; 2) it carries Magnolia/Selecta ice cream and the commute is shorter (than MT Supermarket) so the it is not yet molten when Al arrives home; 3) they have frozen, clean ampalaya leaves, malunggay leaves, sili leaves and saluyut! The last item is very important to me since I don't have to clean them up and it does not rot (which has happened to me a lot in the past since for the fresh leaves, I sometimes feel lazy cleaning them up!)


Austin Real Estate Musings

Dear Husband and I have decided that Circle C is the location for us.

+ It is near(er) to work. We do not have to deal with the Y (where US-290 and US-71 split). (Am sure, eventually the Y will become a non-issue. How soon? Don't know when, so meanwhile, we do not want to deal with it.)
+ It has a nearby commercial complex. Not much but at least a nearby place to do the groceries - H.E.B. We checked it out and the place was a bit dark (similar feel as Winco). The deli looks delish! Also, they have upo and ampalaya in abundance!
+ Its streets are wide and the sidewalk is great for walking, running and biking!
+ It is very near the parks where we can do further walking, running and biking!
+ It has its own swim center and residents have access to the tennis courts and golf course.

The big thing I am not sure about is the size of the house. The Boise house was 2164 sqft and we were bouncing is a big box already then. A 2400 sqft house in Austin will already be bigger than the Boise house. How much more a 3000 sqft house???


Winnipeg Family Get-Togethers

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

3 family get-togethers in a row!!!

1. Sat Lunch at the Figueroa's
2. Sun Dinner at the Bayani's
3. Mon Dinner at the Causon's

Below is a list of who's who:

Generation #1 - representing the generation of siblings that is why we are related
Auntie Cela

Generation #2 - 1st cousins
Manang Deanna/Manong Boy Causon
Manang Lorna/Manong Rod Bayani
Manang Arit/Kuya Lino Cepe
Ria/Ody Figueroa

Generation #3
- Beltran 1st cousins
Jon/Lena Causon
Rodney Bayani (and Erin, soon to be wife!)
- Ordillas 2nd cousins
Rio, June Ann, Jed, Chikoy Cepe
Miggy, Tim Figueroa

Generation #4
- Beltran 2nd cousins
Iris Beltran
Spencer Causon


Monday, October 8, 2007

Meet the latest Figueroa!

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Timothy Titus, alyas Tim maitim (ehek, Tim maputi na raw siya ngayon), was baptized last Saturday 10/6.

Matthew Genesis, alyas Miggy and Super K, whose birthday was on Sunday 10/7 also celebrated his 3rd birthday one day ahead.

Dada and Auntie Cela (alyas Lola Isa) thinks that Miggy's eyes have a glint of mischievousness in them; while Tim's eyes are mellow. Judge for yourself!


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Shopping for Austin Real Estate

Our real estate agent brought Al and I to different subdivisions yesterday, Friday, for an overview. We managed to cover the master-planned communities near the Dripping Springs (HD) area. Today, we continued to look around the Circle C (SW) area and went back to the HD area as well.

Some observations:
1. The smallest house in these Austin communities are bigger than our Boise house.
2. For the same amount, the Austin houses are bigger than the Boise houses!
3. The property tax in Austin is the real shocker! Boise is at ~1% while Austin is at 2-3%!!!
4. The house elevations (stone, bricks) in Austin make the brand new houses look older :(

Some Pros and Cons
HD Area
+ nice hill country views
+ nice amenities
+ feels more wide open
- high property tax
- 290 has no island (partially with middle lane)
- long commute to AMD
= no information re flood zone (is it safe to assume it is not in a flood zone since it is in the hill country?)

SW Area
+ nearer to AMD, downtown
+ established community, nice amenities too
+ near to establishments!
+ lower property tax
- feels "creepy" because of the dense, mature trees
= out of the flood zone but still near it

What is important?
- Location wrt workplace, school, worship
- Amenities
- Resale value - Location, Amenities, ISD quality


Friday, September 28, 2007

From Idaho... to Texas

I have been for some time contemplating on blogging our relocation from Boise, ID to Austin, TX... here I am finally! I'll start from today and try to recall the last few weeks in more details later. Meanwhile, here's the chronology of life moving fast-forward recently:

Aug 13, 2007 (Mon) - Al and Rela tender resignation from Micron

Aug 30, 2007 (Thu) - Rela's last day in Micron

Aug 31, 2007 (Fri) - Boise, ID-to-Vancouver, BC
Sep 01, 2007 (Sat) - Vancouver-to-Sidney/Victoria, BC
Sep 02, 2007 (Sun) - Sidney/Victoria, BC
Sep 03, 2007 (Mon) - Sidney, BC -to-Anacortes/Seattle, WA
Sep 04, 2007 (Tue) - Seattle, WA-to-Seaside, OR
Sep 05, 2007 (Wed) - Seaside/Portland, OR-to-Boise, ID!

Sep 09, 2007 (Sun) - Columbia Heights Baptist Church's Fall Round-up and our last Sunday

Sep 11, 2007 (Tue) - ABF trailer is spotted in Boise, ID. Friends help load our house stuff into the 28-ft trailer

Sep 13, 2oo7 (Thu) - Boise, ID-to-Moab, UT
- Manigsaca's leave Boise. Stopped over at Thanksgiving Point, Lehi, UT. Stayed overnight at Moab, UT.
- ABF picks up trailer.
- Boise house is listed for sale.
Sep 14, 2007 (Fri) - Moab, UT-to-Albuquerque, NM
- Went to the Arches National Monument. "Conquered" the Delicate Arch!
Sep 15, 2007 (Sat) - Albuquerque, NM-to-Abilene, TX
Sep 16, 2007 (Sun) - Abilene, TX-to- Austin, TX


Friday, June 8, 2007

4th Anniversary

Today is Al and my4th wedding anniversary!

The weather has cleared up after 4 days of gloom. Nice weather for gardening so Al planted the last of the lavender and he called it our Anniversary plant :)

Funny...we both got greeting cards both at Angstrom (Micron's store).

Al's card had 2 lovey-dovey cats on the front; while inside, the dedication goes like this:

Dearest Rela,


We can do anything!!!
By God's grace and will...

Happy Anniversary.

Love you!

My card was more serious since I remembered that Al gave me a serious card on my birthday - more on that another time. Anyway, the dedication goes like this:

For My Husband With Love on Our Anniversary...

Dearest Al,

The best times I've ever had in my life have been with you...
the most fun and laughter, the sweetest moments, the greatest closeness...
you're my partner, my lover, my friend,
and every day I'm thankful to be sharing my life with such a wonderful man.

Happy 4th Anniversary.

Much Love,

Dinner was at Carrabas in Eagle, Idaho which we previously were not even minding until we went to Orlando, Florida last March. We finally took a closer look at it then since my cousins Bob and Marilyn Yamnitz' store was in the same complex as Carrabas. We discovered it was an Italian restaurant and so we added it to tour mental list of places to check out when we get back. Soup was very good - I think it was minestrone! Pizza was burned. Ambiance was just ok.

Great day to simply celebrate God's goodness in our lives! Praise Him!!!


A Few of My Favorite Songs

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