Austin, Texas

Carol asked me to write this blog update to let you all know about my recent trip so here goes.

The other week I was lucky enough to have a weekend in Austin TEXAS! This was my first major trip to the States, other than a quick trip across the boarder to get my visa sorted or a day trip to some of the least glamours parts of America in Rochester.

I left on Thursday as the trip was not all for pleasure but for work as well, I had a meeting at Dell head office on the Friday. This was great experience as it was amazing to see how big Dell is, the multiple buildings they have on one street, then the size of each of their buildings and the massive number of people working in each of them was mind blowing. But that was not the only thing that I was there for and was not the only thing that blew my mind. My workmates and I all had three day passes to Austin City Limits Music Festival!

Austin was stinking hot which was great for a weekend of Music, Friends and Drinking. Friday night kicked off with a crazy taxi drive to the festival in a minivan that had been converted into a karaoke studio with a pimped out sound system and LCD displays throughout. Some of the bands playing that nigh included Sonic Youth, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes and Phish and many more all across 6 different stages. The Strokes was probably my fav that night. After the first night of the Festival we all caught a pedicab to downtown Austin to meet up with more workmates at a bar. Poor pedicab driver agreed to take 4 of us which did not work out very well for him as at one point two of us had to jump out and run along side him as he had to go up a bit of a hill. Fantastic night to be drinking at a rooftop bar in downtown Austin. The thing that I liked about Austin City is that it’s a large city with a small town feel.

For my second day I made plans to do a bit of sightseeing in the morning before heading back to the festival in the afternoon. While the rest of my crew slept the morning away I got up and decided explore the sights around my hotel. My hotel was fantastic and right by the University of Texas which had some very cool buildings, including some old sorority buildings that looked like something straight out of a movie with groups of sorority girls hanging around outside. I managed to do a little bit of exploring and photo taking before the heat got too much for me and I had to head back to the hotel for a bit of lunch and then back town to the Festival. The weather was still crazy hot so with the music pumping I chose to mix my drinking wisely with intervals of plenty of water which served me well to take me in to the early morning of Sunday. I even got carded that day, made this old man not feel so old being surrounded by all these kids. After the festival we all headed for 6th Street which is the place to be for nightlife in Austin with bars, people and more live music. The night (morning) ended with all of us some big house that looked over the city from up on some hill, it was a bit of blur.

On Sunday I was the only one that made it to the festival as I was determined to make the most of my trip. The rest of my crew were still recovering from the night before. After some important gift buying for the whanau I headed down to the festival by myself. I wanted to see a couple of bands that day, The Flaming Lips, the best stage performance of the festival, with Deadmau5 who placed on Saturday night coming in second. The other band that played that night that I was determined to see was The Eagles! I do like The Eagles but not majorly, I wanted to see them more to simply say that I had seen them.

Monday was my flight home and that also had a bit of excitement attached to it. I flew from Austin to Washington and then on to Toronto. My flight out Austin was about a hour late to depart, however we made it to Washington 40mins ahead of schedule thanks to a gentleman in the row behind me who had breathing difficulties and looked like he was going to die. I can actually say that I have been on a flight where a call goes across the PA system asking if a doctor is on the flight. Anyway, the man was fine when they rushed our flight into Washington and I had a straight forward flight back to Toronto.

That’s my first trip to Texas. Very cool, nice place to visit and would definitely return again, but next time I would like to take my family, I missed them madly since this was the first time that I had been away from them since we arrived in Canada. Check out the photos and that is all from me.




Andy Karl

October 25, 2010