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Ben, ACL, and Birthday, Oh My!

What a weekend. Let’s see, it was full of great bands, hot Austin weather, rain downpours and mud, a lot of Mexican food, not much sleep, birthday drinks, and a missed flight home.

I arrived in Austin on Friday at 2pm and headed straight to the ACL festival at Zilker Park for the first night of the festival.  It was an eye opener at the crowds and concert stages but I got to see Tegan and Sara, Florence and the Machines, M83 and The Black Keys.  I tried some disappointing and expensive Korean style tacos from a food stand called Chi’lantro.  After the last show at 10pm we walked down Barton Springs and stopped at a restaurant called Austin Java for some snacks before heading home.

Salt Lick’s chopped brisket sandwich at the festival. Ehh.

On Saturday we headed to their favorite place for tacos, Taco Deli.  I tried their fish taco and their chicken mole taco, both of which were excellent as well as their fresh salsas.  Proved my Southerness by taking a shot of Habanero salsa.  We started the long trek back to the festival for Day 2.  This day offered The Whigs, Metric, The Shins, Jack White, and Gotye.  However, the unusual Austin rains created a very unpleasant atmosphere for watching the music and I found myself regularly retreating the “football tent” to watch the games instead.  We actually left before Gotye and Jack White in order to change clothes and go out for dinner.  We went to a nice little café called Kerbey Lane where I got a pretty decent chicken sandwich and my first ever crinkle cut sweet potato fries.  We headed to downtown to Kung Fu, a bar offering up a table top Ms. Pac Man to challenge Ben to a duel.  I won easily both times, setting the high score with my first game, and then reset the high score by a lot in the second game.  Ben was stunned and impressed and I was in all of my glory.  We then headed north to the legendary Trudy’s for my birthday Mexican Martini.  It was a good drink, basically just their homemade margarita served in a shaker with olives.  It was a great drink to ring in my 26th birthday at midnight.

Taco Deli; one fish taco and one chicken mole taco…and gobs of delicious salsas + a shot of habanero salsa.
Ben and Dominica at Kerbey Lane
Kerbey Lane Cafe burger and sweet potato crinkle fries.
First high score, decent.
Second high score, extraordinary.
Given up
Winner winner chicken dinner
My very own and free Trudy’s Mexican Martini. Strong!!!
Ben and I at Trudy’s at midnight of my birthday.

Sunday didn’t go quite as planned.  I had really wanted to start with the famous pancakes at Magnolia Café but after watching a few episodes of the original Batman cartoon the line at the Café was way too long.  We headed to the park area and stopped for shwarama sandwiches at the Kabobalicious food truck.  Their were delicious and something I love but hadn’t had in a while…but I am still craving amazing pancakes.  Sunday was the best day of sun and music.  The lineup included Freelance Whales, Needtobreathe, The Civil Wars, The Lumineers, THE AVETT BROTHERS, and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS.  They were all great but the last two were especially amazing.  I have now seen the Avett Brothers twice and both times were phenomenal.  And the Peppers are awesome and legendary with so many great hits and put on a great show.

Chicken shwarma sandwich, extra spicy, from Kebabalicious food truck on my birthday.
Bud Light stage with Needtobreathe performing on Sunday.
Austin from Zilker Park.
I love you Avett Brothers!!! And I snabbed a great standing position to see them.
Drummer from Red Hot Chili Peppers joins the Avett Brothers. I thought he was Will Ferrell at first.

I think that I had 20 hours of sleep over the past four night and even though I got to the Austin airport pretty ahead of my flight (at 6:15am) the security gate line was so long that I missed my flight by mere minutes.  Major bummer since everyone was leaving Austin post festival and instead of getting back to Seattle at a decent 10am I didn’t get back until 6pm…and had to reschedule my birthday lunch at the Pink Door with the girls.  Grr.

Chelsea

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