Getting adjusted to life outside of grad school, starting my big-girl job, moving into my own place, and traveling for friend’s engagement is just a fragment of my last few weeks…. anyhoo, I’m back. I’m here. Let’s go!
I sit on an uncomfortable, yet reliable chair in my new living room, as I am still waiting for my couch to be delivered (hopefully soon!) and thought I’d share a snippet of my trip last weekend to Austin.
Back at the end of January, I received a phone call from one of my dear friends from college who was planning to propose to his wonderful girlfriend in March. As a part of the engagement plan, Zac, was recruiting some of his friends to be present as part of the surprise. I got this call while grocery shopping and could not contain my excitement as I’ve been waiting on this moment for a while now. Might have dropped some apples in the produce section (clean up on isle 3!).
Zac and his now fiancée, Haley live in Austin. Not even coming to mind at this point in the planning stage that SXSW was the same weekend as the planned proposal. I’ve lived in Texas for almost 22 years now and have never been to SXSW. I think people that don’t live in Texas have this idea that everyone goes to these festivals because it’s close, it’s convenient. What most people don’t know is that Austin is a 4 hour drive from Dallas. This being said, I made the 4 hour trip this year, and it was sooooo worth it.
I arrived in Austin on Saturday morning and met up with my sweet friend Rachel to explore a bit and catch what we could of the tail end of SXSW. We met up at Starbucks after paying $15 for parking (I hate city parking… gosh), and loaded up on warm coffee. Austin experienced a hail storm and major drop in temperature the night before we came into town and neither one of us was prepared for the chill (Especially Rachel, but her romper was cute).
We ventured out to the streets, relying wholeheartedly on our phones to tell us which direction to go. Once we found our way a bit (basically by following people in SXSW lanyards) we came upon a few cool events. We heard about a free pass SXSW offers to get into some of the not-so-exclusive events so we checked out a few of those, including a vinyl fair at one of the parks.
We met a few vendors and discussed some cool exclusive releases they were selling. Rachel made it away with a cool jazz album that featured the great Louis Armstrong. This particular album won’t be released for another month and it’s on blue vinyl, a pretty cool find. I walked out with a soundtrack for the movie Kiss Of The Damned, which from the trailer looks like a sexy, more violent version of Twilight, but it stars Milo Ventimiglia (aka Jess from Gilmore Girls), so I couldn’t say no… right?
We ventured over to the famous 6th street and heard a few bands playing at some bars. We found our way over to the Austin Convention Center where there was a Flatstock event happening with loads of artists selling their amazing gig posters. I was in heaven. They were all so beautiful. I think I said ‘these are so cool!’ in every booth we entered. We even ran into a professor from our college that is a graphic designer and makes gig/movie posters on the side. Shoutout.
Grimey’s Nashville had a stage set up in the convention center and we got to see a awesome set from Cicada Rhythm… pretty much my newest obsession. A cool acoustic folk group with a unique sound and great tunes. I really loved just sitting there and watching them play with the small group of folks that took a similar interest. Check them out for sure!
In the next convention room, there was a video game exhibit. Completely out of our comfort zone and range of knowledge, Rachel and I skimmed the outer aisles of this area. Saw some interesting characters, literally, I think there was a Little Bo Peep running around.
By this point in the afternoon, we had to head back to our hotel to get ready for the engagement. Everyone nervously gathered in the planned destination and the soon-to-be bride was so thrilled/excited/surprised. She said YES too! 🙂 We spent the night celebrating and playing drinking games I still don’t know the rules too.
The next morning, our group met up for a delicious breakfast at Galaxy Cafe. The house breakfast was lit and the coffee was even better.
After breakfast, the happy couple treated me by taking me over to Waterloo Records. I spent some good time going through their collection and made it out with 4 new records, Ray LaMontagne’s new album Ouroboros, Lapsley’s debut album Long Way Home, Hinds Leave Me Alone album, and Sound and Color by Alabama Shakes because it was one of my favorite albums from 2015. Basically I spent too much money but had a blast.
So yeah, that was last weekend. Great friends, a happy proposal, and some great music. It definitely made me want to check out the full week of SXSW in the future. I might just have to donate a limb on the black market to be able to afford it.
If you went to SXSW this year and heard some cool bands/artists, let me know in the comments!