It can be difficult to come up with a steady stream of blog post topics, but there is nothing like a week of great experiences (and a week off from work and blogging) to renew your creativity and inspire a number of new ideas. I could probably come up with about a dozen posts or more just based on trip to Texas – we spent three days taking in the sights and sounds at the Austin City Limits music festival and another three days exploring Austin and the Texas Hill Country – but I think 2 or 3 posts might do the trick 🙂
The festival was great – it reminded me of our last “festival” experience (Woodstock ’99) except much much better. The ACL festival was extremely well organized. They had free water and, most of the time, there was no line at all at the water stations. They also set up mister stations to keep you cool in the 90+ degree weather. There were plenty of porta-potties too, which were usually stocked with toilet paper (a wonderful thing for the ladies). Not to mention, the music was awesome – a few highlights for us were Joe Bonamassa, Beck, David Byrne, Shooter Jennings, and Jamie Lidell, among others.
The only negative was the dust – after thousands and thousands of people trampled over the already dry grass in Zilker Park, by the last day, we had to walk around with bandannas and medical masks over our faces so as not to breathe in all of the dirt flying around. It was pretty gross.
Many of the experienced ACL-goers (the festival has been held for the past 7 years) brought tall sticks with a little bit of everything hanging off the top to mark their territory and make it easy for friends to spot them in a crowd. We saw Texas and American flags, witch hats on the end of sticks, Spongebob balloons, bungee jumping baby dolls, t-shirt flags, and a number of other crazy markers. I often found myself with an eye to the sky to check out these cool creations.
Besides the music, the ACL attendees alone were a source of entertainment. I’ve always been a fan of people-watching and this festival attracted a mix of characters. There were parents with kids, young teenagers, old hippies, and rocker-dudes covered from head to toe (seriously, there were tons of people in jeans and long sleeve shirts, which baffled me given that I was sweating my butt off in shorts and a tank top). There were lots and lots of cowboy hats and I caught myself thinking to myself multiple times that Dan and I might just be the only ones without tattoos!
One night as we were leaving the park, we even saw a couple of old guys with a mega-phone preaching to the exiting crowds about our need to be “saved.” Just as these god-loving fellahs were about to hoist up a big sign, one determined young lady battled the old men in protest. The crowds gathered to cheer her on as she wrestled the sign to the ground. It was crazy.
In addition to the music, people, flags, and dust, there were, I’m guessing, over 20 food stands from local businesses (including Stubb’s BBQ). None of the food was that great – I didn’t have high expectations given that the food was sitting outside on a hot day and not cooked-to-order – but it did the job. Then, of course, there was beer and plenty of Texas Tea. But, after the first day, water became my beverage of choice. It was a key to our survival – and survive we did!
Stay tuned…I also plan to post about our adventures outside of Austin!