I’d arrive in Tejas on a friend of a friend’s birthday night, so there was a celebration to begin. I was stoked to hear that the evening would entail swinging by the White Horse, one of my favorite places in Austin. A pretty hip honky-tonk dance hall where I’ve never seen music that I didn’t love. It was here I first heard Leo Rondeau whose Bangs, Bullets and Turtle Mountains album I listened to devoutly while crossing the country two summers ago. The sweeping sound of couples two-stepping and the Bomb tacos from the food truck outside are things that I adore about the White Horse. From here we’d venture through the streets where the nearing SXSW (South by Southwest) madness had already begun. South by So-What in my opinion this year as the crowds were pretty daunting. I was so thankful for the break from driving! We’d make our way to the Grackle, a fair dive bar where despite loving seeing my girlfriends killing it in a game of pool, I’d fall asleep in utter exhaustion leaned up against the wall. A comfy cot to crash on, while I wouldn’t even make it into my sleeping bag to retire, offered a most transcendent night’s sleep.
Delightful new friends cooked a delicious birthday breakfast. Arepas, a South American flatbread made with soaked corn flour, were brought to the table as we assembled breakfast sandwiches with bacon fried eggs, avocados, cheddar and whole grain mustard. Also tres leches and conversation of a new friend’s travels in Brazil mining tourmeline and other gemstones (Link to her lovely Etsy… https://www.etsy.com/shop/CAVALESTUDIO) were enjoyed amidst the sunshine in a yard where chickens roam free. A stroll about South Congress, comprised of some of the coolest shops, is always very necessary. Experiences of the afternoon included listening to a lively Brazilian group rockin’ Tesoros, cocktails at the Snack Bar and of paramount priority, perusing Uncommon Objects. I find the energy of the shop Uncommon Objects enthralling; to intuit such unique touchstones arranged in such chromatically clever and intriguing installations. I’d purchase a perfect, just a little bit bigger than an Altoid, Pastille tin for my jewelry.
I’d take take the back seat on the ride from Austin to Houston. It made me smile to see my best friend and her boyfriend having fun driving together as they live in New York City and rarely get to do so. Houston was a place on my journey where a bomb was dropped and as dramatic as that sounds, it was the mile marker at which my relationship with a guy who I’d been with for the most of 11 years had ended. We finally arrived at the imminent and long impending point where a separation was necessary and just like that the hindrances of personal growth which we’d been inflicting upon one another were dispelled. I was amazed that we’d reached such an agreement, yet at the same time with what we’ve been through think that we can achieve absolutely anything together. I was dizzy that night and even into the next morning. While this realization would take a few days to set in, it instantly changed dynamics of my adventure.
Chelsea, singularly experiencing my existence for the first time in years, really, in my grown life, yet feeling extremely comforted by the collective nature of the Universe that one is so embraced by while traveling.