Saturday, September 17, 2011

Austin City Limits

It went smoother than we both thought. It's still amazing to think we're in Austin for the music festival and we'll see Stevie Wonder tonight. Kanye last night was great, and interesting. Definitely more of a show than a concert though we were so far back it was hard to see too much. The large video screens on each side definitely helped.

We bought tickets 3 months ago, planning to come, without working out many details. We got one ticket right away as a PDF, but the other was a wristband that didn't come until last week. I had to email and call the guy a few times, and he sounded legit, but until it arrived in the mail I was worried.

We booked flights, hotel, and car a couple months ago, getting most things free from mileage we've earned over time, but we hadn't done anything with the kids. A few things didn't work out, but my Mom said she'd love to see them, so after delaying a couple more weeks, I finally booked them for an unattended minor flight to Virginia Beach.

Horses taken care of, Tia's building done just as we were getting ready to go, things have gone smoothly. I got the kids to the airport early and on time and checked them in. It was smooth, and nice that Delta had them both fly under one fee, rather than a fee for each. They were excited and left on time, leaving me with a few hours to work in the airport before Tia arrived. They boarded before she came, so I got on the plane to be sure my bags fit, with her arriving about 5 minutes into boarding and us meeting on the plane instead of in the airport. Smooth flight, easy directions to the hotel and a quick run for me before we headed to the festival.

It's big, supposed to be 65,000 people a day, and we wondered what it would be like. It's at Zilker Park, a large botanical gardens, and we parked about 5 or 6 blocks away, paying $20 for a spot in a lot. We walked over, starving, and looking for food, both of us hoping that my bracelet, and her printed PDF ticket would work. They did, and it was pretty slick. The wristband is an RFID chipped tag and you put your hand next to a security scanner as you walk in. They also have bard code readers, scanned Tia's ticket and then gave her a wristband.

We were in, and searching for food, which was all congregated in one spot. Unlike the stages, 6 or 7 of them spread out, in sight of each other, but facing slightly different directions. Surprisingly the music didn't blend too much and sounded good. We ate, had a few drinks, and caught most of a great Sarah Bareilles set. She used more profanity than we expected, but she sounded great. We caught a bit of a couple more acts, including a DJ/light show called Pretty Lights (from Colorado), before walking to one of the larger stages. Kanye v Coldplay at the other end of the park. We skipped Coldplay, and saw Kanye go, doing his hits, adding in a few I didn't know, and even doing a short version of "Run This Town" with only the chorus and his rap in it.

People really started to stream out around 9:45, and we stuck until about 10:10 when the show ended, joining the hordes of people streaming out of the park. It's kinds of amazing to see so many people there, and having relatively good behavior. There were a few passed out people, a few jerks, but overall they were better behaved than the crowds as most sporting events I've seen.

An easy drive back to the hotel and I'm not sure what happened. I know I fell asleep and woke up to find Tia sleeping. I was laying next to her, watching some TV and not sure what happened.

Back to the festival today. Both getting some exercise, and now time to head out for lunch and music.

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