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Alright, Alright, Alright

Austin, TX Nov 1-5, 2023

Remember last years Alabama tale? I do. If not here it is This year Austin, Texas. Hook em' Horns! The best part about being part of this trip is it has so far and will probably in the future take me to places I have never been. Going to see the Longhorns at the University of Texas was planned before the summer. Deposit placed and spot secured. This trip is becoming quite a popular one and blessed to be a part of the original crew. I grew up watching Austin City Limits on PBS, and always wanted to get to the Moody, The Continental Club, The Whitehorse, Broken Spoke - all classic old time country music venues, where so many of the greats got their start, or played early on in their careers, the good kind of country though, outlaw country. True 2 step Texas shuffle dance halls and barns where people come up to you and ask you to dance whether you can or not, and the best part is NO ONE cares, just there to have a good time. So many great people that we met over the weekend, mostly transplants from all over the country and tons of visitors from all over the world. They all asked "what brings you to Austin", the simple answer was "BBQ, music, and football, in no particular order!" In fact, the first question was by the US customs officer at the airport before I even got on the plane, when I gave him the answer, he laughed and said "got room in your bag for me?" You can't talk about just the music here, the BBQ was equally amazing, as soon as I hit the hotel, 7 min walk took me to Terry Black's - 1 beef rib the size of Canada, and a brisket sandwich later, I was near heaven. Mouth watering right now, cannot express the love I have for smoked meat. It's close to music, not quite, but close, if you made me choose one, bbq or music, it would be the latter, but my god a good sammy is so close. You also can't just gab about the bbq and music, football is top of mind for so many. We were lucky to catch Friday night lights in Leander, a suburb of Austin. The Vandegrift Vipers, one of the top teams in the state was playing and it was senior night, all the dads of the cheerleaders did a halftime dance with their daughters, the football players walked on the field with their dad's which was all very heartwarming to watch. Reminder that this doesn't happen north of the border, so everything about this experience was inspiring, lovely, and downright 'Merica! The Longhorn game itself was a good one, 30-27 in overtime, a victory for the home team - the tailgating was again off the charts, the level of enthusiasm of the fans, players, the band is eyepopping and promising. Promising because so many people come together for a common theme, in a world right now that is divided on so much, it was special to be in one place for a common goal to cheer on a team that you love. Football, music and bbq, don't really mean all that much in the grand scheme of things - what matters is the love that we should have for each other and being present and being able to live a life of freedom, free from violence and hatred and all the nonsensical bs that clouds our minds. But maybe BBQ, football, and music in no particular order is what we DO need more of. I can tell you that this weekend felt incredible, soothing, comforting as my heart was full and my mind was clear. Of course, being able to sleep is always a blessing - one that I don't take for granted.


First night for me was at the Carpenter Hotel - long boring story - but I ended up here solo as my pal booked another place without letting me know. He told me he didn't sleep very well, so I lucked out! (the next 3 nights we had a vrbo or whatever you call it - more on that later) King bed in a purely cement room - the hotel was an old meeting hall converted. Just on the south side of the mighty Colorado River and Ladybird Lake, really convenient neighborhood. 2 exceptions unfortunately, made the stay a little unpleasant. First is when I arrived early for check in, they told me that 4 PM is standard check in but they can make "a" room available for 35$. I was tired from the early morning flight and wanted to get settled a bit, the cash that I took out of my pocket went directly into hers. Did I just get scammed? at a hotel I had a reservation at? Did not set the mood right. What I also discovered at about 6 am was that my room overlooked the parking lot, which wasn't an issue, the issue is there is a doggy day care right on the other side of it. Oy vey! Who takes their dogs to day care at 6 am? F***! If I were to stay there again, unlikely, but for all those who want to book it, make sure your room is on the inside or on other side and don't check in early if you can avoid it. What gave the hotel a bit of slide up the scale was the mattress. 5⭐

doggie day care walk to the room


All latex all the time! Suite Sleep out of Boulder, CO. A small manufacturer opened about 20 years ago with a goal for sustainable products and all natural and organic themes. Latex is that and more. I am a huge fan of it as it really is the best for the environment but even more is that it can last a really long time. Harvested from the rubber tree, latex is a beautiful rich material that can be molded and cured with ease to form so many types of comforts. There are too many combinations to speak of and also different processes that the manufacturers go through, however, they all seem to have a natural conforming feel to one's body that allows that on top feeling like a traditional innerspring mattress, but also has that real ease on your body, whether on your back or side. This particular mattress was a 6" core, probably a medium firmness with a 3" soft top layer. Finished beautifully with a wool cover made where else? Canada of course. I will do some digging on this and get back to you if you like. All of the accessory bedding items by Down Inc. out of Michigan, who have some presence in other boutique hotels too. What a great surprise for me - never do I choose a hotel based on the mattress, as I'm the only one who reviews them, so tough to find info on who has what. I would also never book a hotel based on the mattress, I just hope where I choose is well equipped!


As you can imagine with all the shenanigans, not much of it. But when it happened it was pure. The first night at the hotel really was an amazing 7 hrs, minus the woof interruption. 3 more nights of little sleep, in part to an early kickoff time on Saturday and an early flight home on Sunday but again it was deep when it happened. The house rental also provided some cozy nights even though the temperature of the house was about 65. Cool nights, mean cool sleeps and deep dreams. Tuft and Needle was the bed I got to lay in on a well supported slatted base. All the linens and bedding were in great form - mostly West Elm and soothed a tired body well. It was my first T&N experience and it didn't disappoint. As you are well aware, I am a fan of foam, soft latex being my first choice, obvs. A softer memory foam has the capability to enhance and conform and solidify a nights sleep. Not sure which model and what year it was from, but on the softer side. These bed in a box companies manage to change their lineup all the time and you never know what you're going to get. I guess why they have the 100 free night trial. Not my thing and that's a whole other post, but this satisfied. As if the weekend needed anymore goodness, I really got super gravy here with my mattresses at both locales.


Get here soon and often! I feel like I explored this city and didn't even make a dent. Hit multiple bars, saw tons of live music, saw 2 football games, ate at multiple restaurants, went to play golf at a pitch and putt - Rainey St, West and East 6th till late. Unfortunately the timing did not work to catch a taping of ACL, but will be back. The energy and glow of the city was really impressive and makes sense why so many corporations are making their home there. Indeed, Dell, IBM all employ lots of young, vibrant energetic folks. I just can't tell how in love I am with this place and I have a feeling I will be back soon even with so much more to explore. 😁🏈🥩🍗🦃🙏🎶💤

Alright, Alright, Alright String Cheese Incident Friday Night Lights

GREAT RELATED LINKS Saw a band here at outdoor amphitheater and at intermission had great BBQ This is a blast and a great way to spend a few hours!


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