The moment I have been waiting for all year...well...the second moment I have been waiting for all year. ACL! This year we drove down and met some friends who stayed with us in the La Quinta Oltorf. Ah, gotta love the La Quinta Oltorf. A great location and a shuttle to and from the music fest. Thanks to our hustler Frank. He got us there and back every time! Unfortunately, due to the over populated horrific traffic in Austin, while driving in from Fort Worth, we were delayed and did not get to see K'naan. This seems to be the going thing for us. We tried to see K'naan in May but he pulled out of the concert. But, we will see K'naan like it or not!
Friday was a beautiful day. We all had a great time. When we arrived, the gate people had a symbol on their shirts that look like the sign for Pi. Jeff started mouthing off the number for Pi, 3.14159265, and asked the gate person if that number had any meaning to them. Well, this got him a free 3 day pass, we all had single day tickets. Of course, those kinds of things happen to Jeff all the time!
On Friday the weather was cool and breezy and the newly laid grass was so green and soft. It looked like a golf course, very different than the hard ground, dirt, and little grass from years past.
Then, on Saturday the clouds came.....
Now, I love the rain...I love being outside (when it is not sweltering)...I even love being in the rain outside. But, being in the rain allllllll day long? Hmmm, but I coped and had fun. It rained all day. It would stop for a minute, and then pour down! I knew there was a chance of rain before we left on Friday. We even had a stop to get ponchos on our list of things to do before we left. But, since we were running late we scratched that and figured we could just get ponchos when we got there. Well, come to find out, all the ponchos in the entire Austin area were sold out! Not a poncho to be found! Why you wonder, well, there are people that bought all the ponchos up and were selling them for like $10.00 at the festival!! Price gougers! Ugh. So, we knew that we did not want to spend $10.00 on a poncho because we wanted to spend that on food and booze while in the fest (the food was fantastic!) :-). So, what would any clever person do? Go to the dollar store and purchase plastic table cloths! The table cloths were festive colors of red and green, I found them in the Christmas section. So...once we got into the festival, we just tied that table cloth around our necks and popped open our umbrellas. Did we look like superhero's? Yes, yes we did. Did we feel ridiculous? Well, honestly we were having so much fun we did not care.
Then, there was Sunday, the aftermath.....
On Sunday we had lunch at Kerbey Lane Cafe with a friend who moved to Austin a few years back. This place is to DIE for. If you are ever in Austin, I highly recommend it. There are so many fantastic places to eat in Austin and this was one of them. I had a baked potato omelet and french toast. They even have pumpkin french toast there!
After lunch we made it into the festival. I should have heeded the warning signs as we were walking to the festival entrance, people were covered in mud up to their knees. I thought, surely it is not that bad. As we were getting closer and closer to the entrance, I could hear the Toadies...oh, excitement kicked in. Then, there was a smell, a very horrible smell. The smell of well...to keep it politely, feces. We just brushed it off to the porta potties needing to be cleaned. But surprisingly, they were usually nice and clean....well except for Friday when people were using them as trashcans and they were full of toilet paper and beer cans.
So, we get through the gates, I had a melt down for about 30 minutes (If you ask Jeff it was longer). Why did I have a melt down? Well, all that green grass from Friday and Saturday was gone. Completely gone and all that was left was mud about 3 inches deep. I was confused when I saw this, almost as if I were at Woodstock and not ACL.
After struggling to keep my flip flops on, I gave in and walked barefoot, yes barefoot in the mud trying to maintain my balance so I would not slip and fall. Mud started to build up between my toes, and it only got worse, way worse! Like, to the point mud was almost up to my knees.
Then...there was a moment of complete bliss....Ben Harper!!!
A little Ben Harper snippet, remember this is armature video! :-) :
I fully, well, I would be lying if I said fully...none the less, I recovered (for a moment)! Mud, what mud? This is Ben Harper! Melt.......
Then, we squished our way over the see Michael Franti and he put on a fantastic show! I am actually glad that we even made it to his stage. I had to foot ski down a hill and then walk over a piece of ply wood to get there.
More ameture video, Michael Franti:
While enjoying Michael Franti, the smell of, well what I mentioned earlier, kept lingering and this is when I had the realization that ultimately, we were squishing through cow manure all day because that is what was under the top layer of soil. Mmmm, good times. Nothing a bit of hand sanitizer can handle. Yes, there was lots of hand sanitizer used on this trip.
Oh, and then the moment have been waiting for the minute I purchased my tickets....Eddie Vedder! Oh. He practically sang every song from Ten and I felt like 14 again. It was wonderful. I was melting the more and more he sang with a huge smile on my face...and then I realized I was really just sinking deeper and deeper into the mud. I was so in awe, I did not get a good shot, but I took just a fragment of footage on my camera.
Our friends had to leave right after the fest on Sunday. So, Sunday night Jeff and I recuperated from the fest. On Monday we took it easy and before we headed back to Austin, we stopped over to Torchy's Tacos for lunch, yum! It was a very fun end to a very fun weekend. I love Austin. It is a fantastic place.