The last day of 2016 took us to two new places: Houston and Austin, Texas. Technically we pulled into Houston late the night before and slept in a Lowe's parking lot, but we woke up in Houston and that's what counts.
When we left New Orleans early due to a guaranteed rainy New Years Eve, we drove 6 or so hours to get to the east side of Houston, where it rained all morning on us anyway.
We only had one thing on our agenda in Houston: go to Crossfit Uncontested for a workout. This particular gym is co-owned by an incredibly inspiring double amputee athlete whom I follow on Instagram. I really wanted for us to meet Zack Ruhl since we were rolling through Houston.
But of course, as luck would have it, he wasn't there and we never got to meet him, but we did get to meet the other co-owner Warren Randle and do a workout with him. He was such an incredible host to us. We were the only ones there except when his buddy Mo came by.
After the workout I knew we had to eat BBQ in Houston so I asked the guys where they would go if they only had time for one epic meal in Houston.
Best BBQ in Houston
Next thing you know we are loading up in Warrens Jeep in the pouring rain and he is driving us into the city for lunch.
I'm pretty sure Warren ended up driving us to Triple J's himself because, well, it's in the hood. This was some legit, downhome barbecue made by a bunch of southern brothers. They were busy too!
I think we all had the tender pork ribs (best ever!), savory green beans, and BBQ beans. Warren made sure we got their 2-layer sweet cream cake that reminded me of carrot cake and was definitely not keto.
Let's go to Austin, baby!
Warren made our morning in Houston perfect and we left for Austin feeling good and ready to see our friends for a New Years Eve party.
Our old friends Claire and Danilo bought a house in Austin about a year ago and were hosting their first NYE party with neighbors, coworkers, and two sets of California friends (that includes us, even though they didn't know they were having us over until the last minute).
A quaint group of about 30 people who became new friends, tons of unique food, clear skies, a forest bonfire in their backyard, sparklers, a proper countdown to midnight, and Fireball shots (none for me thank you) and I'd say we had an incredible New Years Eve!
It felt so good to spend New Years Eve with people we love. Originally we wanted to do it in New Orleans just to experience something different. We never do stuff like that. But since it didn't work out, I'm so grateful we were able to connect and spend time with Claire and Danilo whom we haven't seen in years.
Start the year with yoga!
The first day of each new year is significant to me, even if only symbolically. But energetically I find that it's important to set the momentum off in a positive way.
So Nick and I began 2017 with a 2-hour yoga practice at Eastside Yoga here in Austin completing 108 Sun Salutations with their community.
It rotated through five teachers, in a packed, well-lit room. We were sweating and moving in unison, breathing in unison, and all sharing a space that held the spirit of our individual commitments to loving ourselves fully in the new year.
For me, it got really challenging in the last 6 of the 108 salutations. Mentally I was ready to be done, and I could tell already that my shoulders would be sore the next day. But up until the end there, I was focused and feeling good! I'm so proud of Nick for joining me and being a strong neighbor who never gave up or even took a break.
Happy New Year all! To repeat what one of the teachers said several times during the 108 salutations, "No one is more deserving of your love and affection than you are."