22 July . 2023
Kids flown the coop? Mix and mingle with Sweetwater’s Empty Nesters Group
The idea behind Sweetwater’s Empty Nesters Group is as easy and carefree as you’d expect for a group of folks who’ve entered an exciting new phase of life.
The group keeps it simple, meeting quarterly for an evening of food, drinks and fun at the Sweetwater Club or Overlook Club. Most of the members have grown children who have already left the nest, while others have teens still living at home.
“It’s a very friendly and welcoming group,” says leader Martin Frappolli. To be added to the invitation list for events, email Martin at MartinFrappolli@outlook.com.
Martin took over leadership of the Empty Nesters Group in 2019, soon after he and wife Ying relocated to Austin from the Philadelphia area.
He assumed that leading the group would help him meet friends in his new community, and he was right. “I’ve met quite a few very nice people through the Empty Nesters Group, as well as through the Men’s Coffee Club, which meets every Friday at the Sweetwater Club,” he says.
As Martin got close to retiring from his career in the insurance industry, the Frappollis started thinking about where they’d want to move. Warmer weather was a must. They considered Florida, but ultimately chose Austin because they had family in Round Rock, Houston and San Antonio.
They originally wanted to live in downtown Austin but found themselves priced out of the high-rise market. A real estate agent recommended the Lake Travis and Lakeway area, and when they discovered Sweetwater, they decided Hill Country views were even better than downtown lights.
Fun fact about Martin: he has written a well-followed pizza blog since 2011, Pizza Quixote, documenting his quixotic quest for the perfect pizza in his native Northeast and in his wide-ranging travels throughout his career.
"I came to Texas expecting to find warmer weather, great barbecue and fine Mexican food,” he said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Austin’s pizza game.”
Martin’s idea of the classic pizza begins with the crust. “Thin or thick, the crust has to remain firm and support the toppings,” he says.
One of his favorites in the Austin area is the local darling, Home Slice Pizza. “It’s as good as anything I’ve ever tasted in New York,” he says.
Closer to home, his favorites include Toss Pizzeria & Pub and ‘ZZA Pizza + Salad, both in Bee Cave. Brack’s Backyard (“flawless”) in Spicewood is another local favorite.
He’s also a big fan of Lefty’s Pizza Kitchen, which opened in Sweetwater last year, and catered one of the Empty Nester Group’s recent socials. “Lefty’s is a Chicago-based chain with pan pizzas. The pizza was fantastic and so close to home,” Martin says.
If you’re traveling, Pizza Quixote has an index of Martin’s reviews of pizza across the U.S., including many places in Texas and on the East Coast. There are even some posts from his travels in Italy.
Discover more Resident Groups at Sweetwater.
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