The thing you have to know about SXSW, like any other event, is that it has an official start and an official end. By the time we reached Sunday, SXSW had officially ended and it was time to pack up and go home. Which is exactly what we did. After some jumbling of arrangements, Kristen and I ended up driving back with our new friend and room mate Giulian.
We started our day getting provisions at what was the largest (and coolest) Whole Foods I have ever seen. Apparently, we were at the company headquarters! Next was a “must do” trip to Waterloo Records. Think of Amoeba but on a smaller scale with marginally cheaper prices. Kristen managed to walk out with 3 or 4 cds while I, on the other hand, walked out with necklaces. Apparently, I was all musiced out. And yes, I made up that awesome word.
Next, we had breakfast right next door at 24 Diner. Can I just say that I have never had such amazing food from a “diner”? Everything was fresh made with local produce. They even make their own sausage (even veggie) with all sorts of tasty good for you stuff. They even had frittatas. When was the last time you saw a frittata on a menu? Hmmm? Anyway, this place was magic. There is no other word for it.
Now with our stomachs full and provisions in hand, we began our trek back to LA. The drive started out easy enough. We decided that 3 hour shifts would be the best use of our time/energy for our journey. It also gave us a chance to sample some of the new music we acquired at SXSW. Next thing I knew we were playing a game of, “better or worse?” As in, is this track better or worse than the last one we listened to? It was quite entertaining and sparked a bit of chatter about the musical landscape. Needless to say, there were a few duds but there were far more gems.
After going though 3 cds and a shift change was still looming, the ipod came out. Now, if you know anything at all about Kristen, you know she has a vast music library. I mean, anyone who goes through it would be surprised to see some of these artists on the same device. But I digress…
Our new traveling partner and co-pilot, had taken command of the ipod and the next thing we knew the sounds of ABBA filled our ears and we were singing along to Waterloo (among others).
Perhaps the most disturbing thing was after the second shift change (my turn!). We came upon a guy from Oklahoma with a F-250 pulling a trailer, no tailgate on his truck, and his unchained cattle dog riding on the toolbox in his truck bed. This guy went speeds of 75-90 mph with his scared dog out in the open. It bothered us so much that each of us called 911 hoping to watch this guy get pulled over. Alas, we had to pull off for gas and we lost him. I’ve been hoping that he was pulled off somewhere and we just missed it.
Now it was dark and with the thoughts of the scared dog ebbing from our minds, we started the dance party yet again. Our trip continued on in a similar manner and I was very sad I was unable to video the dance party going on in the car…
We made it to New Mexico and Arizona in what seemed like no time at all. Perhaps that’s because I was the only one (trying) to get some sleep in the car. I remember dozing off in New Mexico and waking up in Arizona. Funny how that works.
We had been hearing reports from friends in LA of some major rain and wind that was back there and we found that we were not exempt from that terrible weather. While rolling though Arizona, the winds had picked up and were blowing the car around. A little while later, it started to rain. I’m not talking the “rain” everyone gets worked up about which is a basic drizzle. I’m talking about a solid downpour. I’m not going to lie, I was a little scared. But we made it through the storm just fine and somehow made our way back to California. None of us really got much sleep during the drive. I think I got the most of the three of us. Giulian would doze off then wake up with a jump. Kristen pseudo fell asleep when she was in the backseat but didn’t really sleep. We drove straight through from Austin to Los Angeles in 21 hours, where we hit another storm. I was asleep for this but apparently there was thunder and lightening in LA from the storm. Crazy weather. Even crazier for us considering we just came from a hot dry desert.
Finally, we arrived at our destination in LA, weather clear, smelly, running on fumes (us, not the car) at a glorious 7 something in the morning. And that my dear friends, was the aftermath of SXSW.