I’ve got the Austin itch….

Don’t worry,  it’s  not some strange disease that stems from too much Shiner Bock, queso dip and swimming in Barton Springs. It may be contagious though.

I want to go to Austin so bad I can’t stand it. It is one of my favorite places on the planet. I can honestly say that arriving in Austin makes me happier then arriving in any other city. NYC has some power over me, but nothing like Austin. You get off the plane there and you are greeted with live music and taco carts, even in the morning….AHH breakfast tacos, *sigh* You go out and grab a tacky turquoise cab courtesy of Roy’s Taxi and the adventure begins.

The last time I was in Austin, I arrived at 2:30 in the afternoon on a Friday.  I picked up a rental car and drove towards Zilker Park.  I remembered there was a Whataburger right there and stopped to get some grub.  Took my burger to the picnic tables by Barton Springs and just sat there, ate and smiled. The late March air was warm and sweet and intoxicating. After a walk around the park and recalling the last time I was there during the ACL Festival and how it was quite a different place, I hopped back in the car and set off to drive. I just drove and drove and drove. I got caught in rush hour on Capital of Texas Highway and even that made me happy.

After my hours long driving around Austin, I parked near La Zona Rosa, my ultimate destination to watch the live recording of my favorite band’s new live record.  Since it was so close to Sixth Street, I set out just walking around and ended up needing a cocktail. I strolled into Katz’s Deli and hopped into a seat at the bar. The bartender was just starting her shift and was in the lovely mood that I come to expect in Austin. There are no strangers there. There are some strange folks, but they only add to the happiness. So I ordered my Tito’s and Tonic and we started chatting. She opened a fresh bottle of Tito’s for me and we talked about how awesome it is that this great vodka was made right there in Austin and how H.E.B had some great juices to use as mixers with it. Good times.

Once I was nicely “titoed up” I strolled a couple of blocks over to La Zona Rosa. Reckless Kelly is a huge reason I love Austin. I have met some great folks through them and they are some of the sweetest and most fun guys you will ever know, musician or not. The crowd that night was thick with die hard fans. Folks were there from California, Florida and even England. That is how beloved they are!  Luckily I had met some “Millicaners” earlier and they saved me a spot up front by Cody, where I always like to be!  The show, well, it rocked. Nearly two years later and I am still trying to understand the wonderfulness of that night.

After the show and some post show drinking at the bar next door, the party moved to “The Shed”–if you are an RK fan, you know what that means. The party continued until all hours of the morning. I had a 7 am flight, so I had to leave around 5:30 and as I walked out there were people who were just arriving.

So—even though I spent only 17 hours in town….it was glorious.

But I didn’t get to have migas, or Amy’s Guiness Ice Cream. I didn’t get to go shopping on South Congress. I didn’t bar hop on Sixth Street. I didn’t swim in Barton Springs or see the bats. I didn’t get to have late morning coffee at Mozarts’s on Lake Austin or go shopping at Central Market. I didn’t get a stomach ache from too much Sweet Leaf Organic Mint & Honey Green tea or take a short trip to eat meat at Kreuz’s 
in Lockhart. All of these are reasons that I must go back. I must go back to Austin soon. I would love to take a road trip there with a couple of girlfriends (to help me look at all the cute Texas boys) and Noodle (because he would LOVE it there) and just hang out for a couple of weeks. Being cool, even though it’s almost always hot there. Eating good food. Talking to great people and just remembering that this is one of the best cities on the planet.

However, for what it’s worth, Nashville will always be home……..

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