Thursday, October 3, 2013

Amy's Austin City Limits Greatest Hits

We are skipping ACL this year.  This is shocking to our friends & family, as Scott's love of live music & music festivals & my willingness to go along with him are kinda legendary. Between Utopia Fest & Hardly Strictly, we figured we'd have our fill of festivals. But, with ACL starting tomorrow & the weather forecasting 78 degrees on Saturday (!) I am starting to wish we were at least making it out for one day. I love being a part of such an Austin cultural experience.

 The Cure & Depeche Mode are an indelible part of my preteen & teen years. I almost wore out my pink Sony boombox listening to Boys Don't Cry.  I've possibly never felt cooler than showing up for school in 8th grade in my Depeche Mode concert t, after seeing them play at Arco Arena.  In honor of ACL weekend, I am reflecting on a few of the highlights in my seven years at the festival.

2006-We are new to Austin & of course ACL is on the top of our to-do list. It's was hot. We met up with some friends from California & headed first to see Ben Kweller & witnessed first hand the bloody nose/tampon incident which is now total ACL legend. I ate my first Mighty Cone. And when I was done, I made Scott buy me another.  An auspicious start.

2007-This one is really hazy. Ethan was 5 weeks old. Scott somehow talked me into attending one day. We probably saw Spoon & Lucinda Williams & Steve Earle. But maybe not.

2008-This was the year we figured out how restorative a swim in Barton Springs can be. Vampire Weekend was so fantastically fun. A-Punk was just starting to get play on KGSR, so I was so jazzed about seeing them live. I loved every single song & the album became my running mix through the winter & spring. John Fogerty was great & the Creedence songs totally took me back to some lovely childhood memories. Other musical highlights: Alejandro Escovedo, Blues Traveler, Drive by Truckers, M.Ward & Gogol Bordello.

2009-The famous mud pit one. Y'know what? We weren't there! I didn't think we'd skipped a year, until I started writing this post. I remember now that Hardly Strictly was the same weekend & Scott had to make a Sophie's Choice. And chose correctly, I would say. That 'dillo dirt situation was pretty nasty.

2010-Of course The Strokes were awesome. JJ Gray & Mofro was a fun surprise. Also, Band of Heathens & Charlie Mars. This one is a little hazy too. I'm pretty sure there was a Mighty Cone, Sweet Leaf Mint & Honey tea & Lonestars. I really think I've only ever had Lonestars at ACL.

2011-No memories of this one. Did I send Scott without me? If I was there, it was just for one day. It was probably hot.

2012-No one talks about this one being muddy. And I'm sure it wasn't muddy like 2009 was muddy. But, it rained while we were watching the sublime Micheal Kiwanuka & I spent the rest of Saturday feeling like the muddiest person out there. My flip flops managed to kick mud up the back of my (cute) dress & (new, cute) backpack. Alabama Shakes ran out of time before playing their big hit, "Hold On." The crowd was incredulous. Musical highlights include: The Civil Wars (they have really great chemistry. I thought they were married. And they are, but to other people. A little awkward.) The Roots were so fun (even though their set was in the middle of my mud-induced low self esteem.) We'd seen the Avett Brothers play several times in cozier venues, so I wasn't expecting to be blown away, but I was. Gary Clark Jr!!!

If you are headed to ACL this weekend (or next) have a lovely time. Enjoy the cooler temperatures & think of those that came before you in the hotter, dustier years. Save some room in your schedule for new discoveries. And totally get a Mighty Cone.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Big News for Austin's Airport

Things I love about Austin's Airport:
  • Friendly Staff
  • Compact size
  • Reasonable security lines (although not so much on Monday mornings)
  • The Salt Lick baked potato

Things I do not love:
  • The questionable use of the name: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
I don't know about you, but every international flight I've taken out of Austin has required stops in Houston, Dallas or New York. 

That will change in March when British Airways starts non-stop service between Austin & London. Yay! It kind of feels like the world just opened up a bit more.

Judging Books by Their Covers

I was browsing in a bookstore on vacation recently & was absolutely dazzled by the gorgeous book covers. Here are some of my favorites:

Aren't they gorgeous? I think I'll read them all & see how well I do judging books by their covers. So far, I've finished  Beautiful Ruins, Where'd You Go, Bernadette & Rules of Civility. Up next--Love, Life & Elephants.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

This Lovely...Healdsburg Life

Greetings from the oh-so-lovely California Wine Country! This is absolutely one of my favorite places on earth for the natural beauty, the food & wine culture & most of all because it's home. It is a well documented fact that I love Austin, Texas & for this time in my life, it's a great place to be. But I will always feel a pull to the rolling golden hills of Northern California.

This time, we are in town to celebrate the milestone birthday of a dear friend. We are staying at the stylish (clean lines, gorgeous light, Public Bikes) Hotel Healdsburg. I can highly recommend both the hotel & the town of Healdsburg.

For eats, we hit Campo Fina, Oakville Grocery, Dry Creek Kitchen & Barndiva. The standout wineries were Jordan & Lambert Bridge. My favorite moments were riding bikes on the plaza, the picnic lunch at Lambert Bridge & the big tray of breakfast delivered to me in bed by sweet Scott each morning.

Thank you for breakfast in bed, honey!

Don't mind if I do ;)

Jordan Winery. I'm pretty sure I need to move in

Our wheels for the weekend

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Grocery Shopping in Austin

I love grocery shopping. It is my favorite ever errand & much too enjoyable to even call an errand unless, rather than a solo outing, one or both of my children have managed to stow away & join me. Even shopping with the kids in tow is actually getting really fun these days. E is a champion cart pusher & Lila, like her mama, likes to read labels.

Austin is a great grocery town. I am working on a Whole Foods/Central Market comparative analysis (bar graphs! Venn diagrams!) Plus, my beloved Trader Joes is opening in Rollingwood in a hot minute. Of course there are farmers markets everywhere & even HEB beats the average grocery store in my former hometown.

Check out this story from Thrillist about the new Mueller HEB. It looks awesome enough to warrant a drive across town to check it out.

How about you? Do you enjoy grocery shopping? To me, a cart full of fresh, healthy foods is a cart full of inspiration & promise.

Beautiful cherries at a market in Paris

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Lovely Birthday

Happy Friday!  Today the kids & I are swimming with friends & tonight we got a group heading out to Benji's Cantina for dinner & then on to the Plain White T's  at The Belmont. I'm sure to be a cheap date after the juice cleanse :)

And since it's my birthday, I might reread this memoir about growing older.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Juiceland Cleanse

I picked up a few key phrases in France. Je voudrais une baguette, Je voudrais un verre de vouvray, Je voudrais un petit dessert. Loosely translated: I want, I want, I want...delicious things.

It's one of the best parts of vacation, discovering that joie de vie, relaxing the standards we set for ourselves in real life. It's lovely. And when we come home, it feels good to get back to our healthy habits. This part,this readjusting to real life, has been a bit challenging for me this time around & it's time to clean things up a bit. So...

It's time for a Juiceland Cleanse. Austin has it's share of great places for juice. I love Juiceland ( because of this amazing concoction called the Ninja Bachelor Party. I crave it. Seriously Amazing. Sadly, the Ninja Bachelor Party is not a part of the "Level Two" cleanse, but I am looking forward to trying some new juices. Since I'm doing 3 days this time, the cleanse will be all wrapped up in time for my birthday on Friday. Cheers!