I had been toying with the idea of going to BlogherFood for a few years, but couldn’t get it together. This year with the conference in Austin and the fact we have family there, it was almost perfect. The problem was the Blogher Food ticket price was INSANE. Sorry, but over $400 to attend a conference and listen to people talk about things I kinda know about, and I have a successfully run kitchen already? Nah. I spent $40 on tickets to see Mumford & Sons instead. YEE-haw! Wasn’t the timing so convenient? Marcus must have received our travel memo.
We stayed at my aunt’s where the kids were treated like royalty, giving us the ability to take the city by the beer glasses and GO. I deemed the trip “Tour de Austin,” as we hit as many bars and restaurants as possible. A few spots included The Bat Bar, The Ginger Man, Dizzy Rooster, Pete’s dueling pianos, and Maggie Mae’s. Thanks to the wafts of patchouli and weed up and down 6th street, I deemed Austin “The Asheville of Texas.”
Texas heat is definitely not like the Carolinas, it’s hot as hell but the air isn’t sticky and humid. For every alcoholic beverage consumed, it’s necessary to drink half gallon of water so you don’t pass out, vomit, or scream obscenities at strangers. All things that this crowd has done at some point. Actually, Tricia did have a bonding moment with a group of strangers on this trip, but that’s a story for her to tell.
We tried out Roaring Fork for dinner, it was nothing short of a bunch of foodgasms. We shared things like beef tenderloin fondue, green chili mac & cheese, and little cornbread muffins. I’m not a huge “meat” orderer, but the filet was unbelievable. Orderer may or may not be a real word, now that I typed it, but I don’t care because that filet was the best.
We made half an ounce of effort to do something “educational” and checked out the Texas State Capitol Building. And by checked out I mean we all dragged our feet and walked to the front gate, paused to see who was was going to volunteer “eh, let’s skip this because BORING…” I can’t be a bad example for Maeve (haha) who was with us so I had to pretend I wanted to see it. (zzzzz) At least we went inside, I even took an interior picture of the dome to prove it.
Sunday before the concert we headed out to Lake Travis. My last visit to Lake Travis was in 2000. The land was green, lush and the lake was covered in boats. I didn’t even recognize it. The lake is so low that there are giant islands of dry land above the dam.
Okay, I’ll fess up, we did pop in to The Oasis on Lake Travis for some queso, chips and cheap beer before lunch. Apparently it’s an Austin rite of passage (my second visit, I forgot about noseeums sneaking around chewing on my flesh). But we had lunch at Soleil next door. Food? Amazing, classy (yet they let the kids in) fancy, all with a view.
I had a beautiful cheese plate, but after 3 glasses of wine we ordered fish and chips because alcohol makes you want to eat bad things that are not swimsuit sporting approved.
I can drive like a Texan (lunatic), and this proved to be very handy as I toted everyone around in my super sexy minivan. (thanks for the major hook up, Enterprise!) And did I mention we were going to see Mumford again? Yeah, I’m starting to sound like a groupie, traveling around the country stalking a band, maybe I’m already there….
Austin built this new Formula 1 racetrack called Circuit of the Americas out in the middle of the EBF boonies, with a 30 minute drive outside of the city, with only cows, hay and a VFW nearby… but it’s also really awesome. The Austin360 Ampitheater is located in the middle of it. They had tons of food and booze trucks set up (Titos sponsored) with a tent, beer pong, and cornhole for entertainment while you waited for the show.
Which was amazing, obviously, except the ampitheater was like being slow cooked in a crockpot with 2,000 other bodies. Whatever, it was worth it. I even kept my mouth shut, not uttering any bully words at Mary Katherine Gallagher screaming in my ear for 2 hrs like she was being murdered. Thank you, mango tequila slushie.
The flight home seemed like it was going to suck, since American Airlines cancelled our flight. But somehow they rectified it, we made our connection and ended up home on time. So, I probably won’t be seeing Mumford again this year, and we didn’t get to meet the band this time, but just before we left for Texas OUR HOUSE SOLD! We close July 9th and then we are homeless. I’m currently googling tent options, or maybe I’ll get an RV and end up back in Texas in my aunt’s driveway, because she did extend the invite.