Oh shit, the blog! Good lord we’re behind. I didn’t realise that holidaying was such a full time job. We’re not even getting paid for this.
So following on from Coachella we flew straight to Austin because we were starting our SOUTHERN ROAD TRIP. Cos what would a trip to the US be without haulin’ ass down route 66 in a drop-top Cadillac. Except in our case we were doing interstate 10 in a Hyundai. Just like in the films.
So the plan was simple (because we didn’t organise a thing), Austin-New Orleans-Memphis-Nashville over 10 days. Mary and Kosta joined us in Austin 3 days after we arrived, which we had spent with couchsurfing host AJ, a Grade-A chunk of lad who is officially the wisest 22 year old either of us have ever met. We collected a few times over the next week and a half so to save both your and my time, I’m going to dot point this shit.
Describe it in a 10 word sentence: A cooler version of Adelaide in March with more variety.
Recommend something to see please: Food trucks have become a real institution in Austin over the years and the area that they congregate – SOCO – is a super cool joint. The city’s unofficial slogan in ‘Keep Austin Weird’, and this is the area that most lives up to the tagline. Made even more so by the hot rod convention going on the weekend we were there. Also Rainey street is a party street that the locals go to, and it’s just a series of converted houses. It felt like we were skipping from house party to house party the whole night. Mint.
Tell us one thing that happened there: We went to Untapped beer festival 15 minutes out of town while we were there. It had over 200 breweries offering tastings of their entire ranges – for a fiver you could buy a tasting card for 12x 60ml cups and you just wandered round filling yours up. It maybe had 5000 punters attending and there were live bands to keep you occupied. We noticed though that the beer tents were starting to pack up about 3 hours before the scheduled finish. Just before the headliners started there were maybe 20% of the original tents still serving. Mary and Kosta were on their way to pick us up by this point so we were relieved that we weren’t missing out on anything. As we were walking out the front to meet them though thunder and lightning came from nowhere, and a gentle breeze turned into a gale. We ran the last 500m to the car and jumped in just before it started drizzling. As we got in we noticed an F150 with about 12 lads in the tray heading off too (apparently legal in Texas?). When we got 200m down the street the rain came pelting down. I’ve never seen anything like it. We were going about 15kph, but could only see about 5m in front of us so we still felt like we would crash and die. This went on for about 15 minutes until we waited it out at a servo and drove back to town in “normal” heavy rain. God knows what happened to the festival-goers and stalls that were still at the grounds, or the lads in the back of the ute for that matter.
Star Rating: 4 ½
Describe it in a 10 word sentence: A sweaty, wild, musical joint with history out the arse.
Recommend something to see please: New Orleans is famous for Bourbon street – the party street that everyone goes to for their cheap beers and loose times. Which is fine – if you’re in the mood for a grimy Saturday night, brilliant. The only problem is it STINKS. Just sitting water everywhere that you know isn’t just water. You also have the hustling side of things which comes with that sort of place. So instead, there’s Frenchmen’s street. It has awesome live blues and jazz in every bar, and less of the piss-where-you-please clientele.
Tell us one thing that happened there: We were wandering around the rich part of the French Quarter one night looking at the unreal architecture and old white couples on horse and cart tours when we spotted a mint old house on the corner of a couple of main streets. The curtains were open so we peered inside and it was CRISP. It looked as though there was a plantation owner still around who hadn’t touched a thing since 1850, just kept it tidy. We couldn’t decide whether in was a museum or an art gallery until we walked around the other side of the house and a man was standing in the doorway. ‘So do you run this place?’ I asked. ‘I own it’ He said, ‘wanna take a look?’. So we followed him in, and it turned out that this was his holiday house. Chip was a semi-retired 60 year old lawyer from a few towns over with an accent that made you felt like you were swimming in chocolate. He told us on good authority that he had the highest ceilings in Old New Orleans, and his ensuite was once an entire house. We took a couple of happy snaps of us faking the high life before things got a bit rapey and we high-tailed it out. No Chip, I don’t want your special home-brew lemonade.
Star Rating: 3 ½