Week three has us settling into our (self) designated roles: Lee as Driver/Dumper/Rockstar, me as Navigator/Accommodation Finder/Book Seller and Kai as the self-proclaimed “Boss.” Kate is still putting up with us all and rounds out this crazy crew.
As anyone who has toured or traveled much can tell you, the key to happiness and sanity is flexibility. Unfortunately, that directly contradicts the necessary mantra of the Do-It-Yourselfers: control freaks get it done. Finding the balance is my personal quest. I’m better at it with coffee in my system. Luckily, efficiency is my greatest asset and being a mother has taught me to hone that efficiency even more. I do my best to research every stop, chart the quickest safest routes, find fun things to do, and still get all my work finished. We’ll get ‘er done, I have no doubts about that … I just hope not to inspire homicidal fantasies in those around me in the meantime.
Austin was our longest stop yet, giving us a full week in one place—enough time for three shows and a quick flight over to Nashville for Lee to get his NACA on. We also had a chance to check out downtown, both for shows and to take Kai to another children’s museum. I’m pretty sure he’s going to see every museum across the country.
While Lee was away, Kate, Kai and I took to some shopping and playground hopping, generally enjoying a couple days with nothing official to do. We caught up on some much-needed housekeeping, emailing and girl-talk, and met some of the neighbors. Meeting the neighbors is quickly becoming one of my favorite things. It’s a great way to get to know the area, get tips on parks to stay at, hidden gems to seek out, restaurants to try, and the anthropologist in me loves hearing about how other people live and think. It’s like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get.
For Austin favorites, we loved Zen, a Japanese/Texan fast food chain that has fresh meats, fish and veggies ready to cook on demand and make into rice or noodle bowls. You can even get steak sushi, which makes Lee happy. And they carry our favorite chili paste, Sambal, which bumped it up a couple extra notches. We also tried Threadgill’s, the first Austin restaurant to get a liquor license post-prohibition, and the venue that claims to have broken Janis Joplin. I say claims because we’ve been at this long enough to know no singular thing or venue breaks an artist, but I’ll admit it makes for a better story. It was my first taste of southern food and I rather enjoyed my pecan-crusted chicken with creamed spinach. After Lee finished his meal (and mine, Kate’s and Kai’s) he proclaimed “I’m gonna get fat on this tour!” Good thing a lot of these parks have gyms.
Our break time is now officially over and we’ve got a busy week ahead of us as we make our way to New Orleans—an exciting stop since none of us has been before. We’ll spend a few days there and we’re looking forward to good gigs and fantastic food! Anyone with recommendations on things to see or places to eat, please comment/message/facebook/twitter us and we’ll do our best to try it all.