Anniversary Week in Austin

In October we took a trip to Austin, Texas to celebrate our twelfth wedding anniversary. The trip was booked to coincide with the  United States Grand Prix  at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Unfortunately it also coincided with Hurricane Patricia. After most events were cancelled on Saturday, the weather managed to clear up just enough for the Sunday race and the post-event Sir Elton John concert.

After spending the weekend cold and wet, we spent much of the week relaxing. There was plenty of eating, and we also checking out some of the tourist sights such as the Congress Avenue Bridge bats, the Blanton Art Museum at the University of Texas, and the Graffiti Park. We also took bikes to go shopping on South Congress Street and, on Thursday, left the city limits for a small hike in the hill country.

Saturday – rainy day at the track

Rainy Saturday

Melissa trying to stay dry on Saturday.

Sunday – race day

Qualifying and pre-race activities

Race time


Sebastian Vettel

United States Grand Prix

Final lap of the race.

Post-race activities


Final view of the tower from the concert.

Our Monday adventures

Walking along the Colorado River on Tuesday

Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail

View from the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail.

Blanton Art Museum and Stiles Switch BBQ


“Stacked Waters” by Teresita Fernandez in the atrium of the Blanton Art Museum.

Watching the bats emerge from the Congress Ave. Bridge

The evening sun from the river boat tour.

The evening sun on the buildings of Austin from the river boat tour.

Shopping along South Congress Street on Wednesday

Allens Boots

Thursday adventure into Hill Country

Driftwood, Texas
Graffiti Park

Graffiti Park
Friday – waiting out the storm

Year of Shows

During the course of conversation, an acquaintance mentioned his New Year’s resolution was to make a better use of Seattle’s great music scene. He admitted to making good use of the area’s outdoors, but not leveraging varied offerings under roof. His idea was to attend a show once a month for the calendar year, in an effort to “get out more” and take a chance on things he may not have done before. Co-opting the idea, we committed ourselves to attend two shows every month in 2014. Well, we did it.

Expensive? Not really. The beauty of living in this city is a vast majority of these tickets were under $15, with a good portion being free. I found that we shifted our disposable income from dinner out to shows, without really thinking about it, and were better off for it. I can’t say we’ll keep the habit up, but it was a great way to force ourselves to get out and take a chance on things. While I wouldn’t consider every show a success, I do think we found some really great music we wouldn’t have otherwise. If you have the means, I highly suggest getting out and taking a shot on cheap/great local music.

Oh, and Vaudeville Etiquette. :-D

January | Vampire Weekend (at the Amazon Post Holiday Party)
January | The Maldives, Ganges River Band, and Lonesome Shack
February | Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes
February | ChiChi! featuring The Can Can Castaways
March | Little Shop of Horrors
March | Big Head Todd and the Monsters
March | The Guessing Game and Strong Suit
April | Tango Alpha Tango and Vaudeville Etiquette
April |  The Women, the Flesh & the Devil
May | Tango Alpha Tango
May | Lana Del Rey
June | Vaudeville Etiquette and All the Apparatus (and some others but we left early)
June | Tacocat , Campfire Ok, and Built to Spill
July | Vaudeville Etiquette
July | Vaudeville Etiquette (yes, again)
August | Cloud Person, Pocket Panda, and Vaudeville Etiquette (yes, again!)
August | David Gray
September | Tango Alpha Tango and The Stone Foxes
September |  Vaudeville Etiquette and Rocco DeLuca
October | Vaudeville Etiquette
October | Paloma Faith
November | Rusted Root
November | Joss Stone (at the Cowboys game in London)
December | Vaudeville Etiquette
December | A Christmas Story, the Musical