Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Austin

Sunday, Sept 25 - Guest blogger Britta Schumann (9/23-9/25)

Sunday morning again came too soon and there was a rush to get Jeff to the airport. After getting lost in the Texas countryside with no sign of the airport, we pulled into a roadside piñata stand to ask for directions and were amazed to find the owner drunk and useless at 11 a.m. Jeff did miss his flight, but rumor has it he is home safe and sound in Atlanta.

Laura also headed home, so the four of us left standing grabbed a quick bite at IHOP to start the day. Adam and John headed back to the concert and Tucker and I decided to further explore Lake Travis. We found a nice park shaded by tall cottonwood tress to relax in for a bit, but the temperature was 109 degrees, so getting out on the water was crucial. We had hoped to rent a sailboat, but the wind was slow, so we opted for a wave runner instead. I couldn’t tell you the amount of horses under its hood, but it was a powerful ride. We were fired up to see what it could do and after racing around the lake for a bit, the G-forces got the best of us and we both went flying off into the lake!!

Back on land, Tucker and I enjoyed a 4 hour dinner back at the Oasis, watched the sun set over the lake, and listened to some good live music (this is Austin after all). It was a great way to wrap up the amazing weekend in Austin!

Saturday, Sept 24

The next morning we were a little slow to get moving. In the process of picking up the next days concert tickets, Adam knocked his wheel cover loose and we ended up pulling into a random tire garage for help. The mechanics got quite a kick out of the five of us all pilling out of a little VW Golf! After getting it tied on again, we were starving until we finally found a Mexican restaurant without an hour plus wait for breakfast/lunch at 2:30 pm. It was a good thing too, because one of us (Tucker) gets a little grumpy when he is hungry! Of course, Jeff managed to spill salsa on his pants which added a little comic relief. I just met Jeff this weekend, but for those of you who know Jeff, I was told this is NOT a surprise.

Adam is an international food connoisseur and after lunch, he announced that he had a surprise for us and pulled into Amy’s Ice Cream. This place serves homemade ice cream with toppings crushed into it and they have loads of fun doing it! The guys behind the counter wear goofy hats and bang on the ice cream with drum beats to soften it up. I was impressed by the guy tossing the ice cream up in the air from under his leg and catching it over his shoulder. Tucker even got his topping for free because the guy flung it across the room to him and he caught it in a bowl. Nicely done Tucker!

After Amy’s, we drove out west of Austin to the Oasis Restaurant which sits atop a limestone cliff 450 above Lake Travis. It has a series of wooden decks that hang out over the lake. My friend from high school, Laura, came down from Dallas to join us there and we all relaxed in the shade and had a couple margaritas while we enjoyed the view.

Back at the concert again, we were surprised to discover there was even more dust than the day before. The clouds were so thick that from one stage we could not see across the field to the others, and the photos we took at night look like we are in a snow storm. That night we got to see Jet, the Drive-By Truckers, Oasis and Widespread Panic. I can’t speak for the group, but personally, I thought widespread panic was hot. They mixed jazz drums, salsa beats, cowbells and congas for a great set!

It is interesting how certain songs make you think of certain places in your life or memories you have, kind of like a theme song. This trip, our theme song was The Killers “All Things That I’ve Done”. We played it often and sang it loud, but the highlight was Adam standing up on the bus on the ride home from the concert and singing “I got soul, but I’m not a soldier” while dancing in the aisle. Apparently, he lost a bet with Laura!

After the concert, we headed out to 6th street to meet up with a couple of John’s friends and celebrated John’s birthday. After some pint slinging and swing dancing, we called it a night and went to grab a cab. The Austin cab scene is like nothing else I have ever seen. You can stand in the street waving cash at an empty cab with the light on and the cabbie will look right at you, pull away and then pick up someone else 200 feet down the block!! UNBELIEVABLE!

Friday, Sept 23

Tucker picked me up in downtown Dallas, and after surveying all the damages he has done to the X-Terra since the last time I’ve seen it, we headed south to Austin. We had been a bit nervous that the hurricane would hit Houston and barrel inland dumping rain on us, but luckily this was no longer likely. The sun was out and it was over 100 degrees…welcome to an Indian summer in Texas!

In Austin we met up with Tucker’s friend Jeff Weekly again (whom you might remember as the last guest blogger) and his friend Adam Spigel from Dallas. Adam has platinum status at the Marriott and hooked us up with a room for the weekend which we packed full. This was huge considering any open rooms in Austin were full of hurricane Rita evacuees. (Thanks again Adam!)

Austin is a huge music oriented city, so to kick off the weekend we headed to Threadgill’s Home Cookin’ Restaurant which was an old gas station famous for live music. It is said that this is where Janis Joplin developed her country and blues rock-n-roll style and became famous. We had chicken fried chicken, cornbread, red beans and rice and $1 Lone Star beers to wash it all down.

This weekend was the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park. The line-up was really solid, check it out! http://www.aclfestival.com/ Zilker Park was set up with eight stages as well as loads of bar tents, shops and food. We got there in time to catch the end of the Allman Brothers, Keane and The Black Crowes. Due to the lack of hearty grass in Texas and the wind from hurricane Rita, the festival air was incredibly dusty. Just before the show ended we sprinted out to join thousands of others in line to board the shuttles back to downtown. They had a huge caravan of coach buses waiting outside for fans, and the line to board the buses snaked back and forth for at least a mile through a huge maze of fencing. The only problem was, for those of us who had had a beer or two, snagging your shirt on the fence was easy to do!

Jeff was feeling the need to freshen up, so Tucker and I headed out to 6th Street ahead of the group. We found Maggie Mae’s, a great chill bar with live music and a rooftop deck to hang out at while Jeff showered and changed into his legendary “Journey” T-shirt. I have to admit, we gave him a hard time for having to prep before coming out, but having girls sing “ Don’t stop believin’… Hold on to that feelin’!!!” at him across the bar was worth it!!

When we walked back out onto the street when we left, I was amazed at the number of people partying in the streets. We headed to get a cab and strolled into a club pumping out dance music and thought “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”… so we did!

3 Comments:

At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice catch Tucker! She's a hottie. But where did she come from?????

 
At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That chick is a BABE

 
At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Adam said...

Britta, great job reporting on Austin. Good times !!!

 

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