Welcome back friends to my journal! After three weeks on the road, I have finally settled in Austin, TX and am loving it. This first week has been a total whirlwind of activity, errands, meeting people (both new friends and old,) and beginning to learn my way around the city. Finally got a chance to take my car to jiffy lube (was badly in need of some fluids and my back seat had become a graveyard of old kombucha bottles) and get a week past at the North Austin YMCA which I LOVE! Beautiful pool with low chlorine! (They use UV rays to help kill bacteria.)
My original plans to ease into the scene here got a bit derailed by a big huge list of Open Mic's and a tip about a Women in Music Conference (MEOW) happening over the weekend. Signed up to volunteer and found myself in very interesting and informative (though sometimes overwhelming) panels and workshops about various aspects of the music business - by women, for women. Topics ranged from busking to crowd funding. As my contribution to get in for free, I volunteered in the glass oaks room and stage managed music performances. Was a little trying, as I seemed to end up in the metal room (after working at The Brick House for 2 years and being forced to listen to metal every day, my tolerance for the genre has shrunken dramatically.) Was still cool to see how theatrical all the performers were - something I would like to do more of in my stage shows. Made some good connections and will definitely take me a few days to process all the info and follow up with all the contacts.
At the end of the conference, was feeling pretty fried and ended up going to my friend Bruce's pre-halloween Game of Thrones party. Found a Darth Vader costume in the emergency costume bin and danced to 80's and 90's pop (my fav.)
Yesterday I went out to a DELICIOUS Sunday brunch of Mexican food, followed by sweet little "Hope" Farmers Market, swimming, and then home (A "Perfect Day" you might say) Was Very, very sad to hear about Lou Reed's death yesterday. Definitely one of my hero's. Created a Velvet Underground song list and played it out with the neighbors at the village - Uke, Accordion and Banjo. RIP LR.
Stay tuned for next week's edition. Every Monday at unusual times!
Today is my first full day in Austin.
Driving into the city yesterday, I felt like I was coming home. After dropping my wonderful traveling partner Ivana off at the airport, I feel the pull of normalcy overwhelm me like a giant wave of ocean water. It is warm and cozy, and scratchy and salty and open and limitless. I want to do everything all at once, but also know that I need to remember to breath and be still. I go to find a place to swim. I try two YMCA's but both pools are being fixed. I realize I haven't eaten anything today, and instead drive to the food coop to buy lunch and groceries. It feels so good to buy groceries - things that can be refrigerated like kale and miso and chicken breast. I go to the laundromat and do some laundry - $2.50 for a load. I make plans to buy string and clothes pins to hang them on when they are wet. I can do that here - the air is still warm (even though they tell me it is chilly. I am a New Englander and have learned the true meaning of winter). I call and find a functioning pool for later. I come home and sit with Alex, and we talk about a plan, and how we will live together temporarily, and how I will help him to organize his space - a skill I have developed and that helps me feel grounded. I do his dishes and it feels really good. Today, I feel like a baby with the benefit of experience. I am starting fresh, blessed with the freedom of time and space to figure it all out and get in touch with my true purpose here. I feel like I have arrived.
I want to thank everyone soooo sooo much for following me on this journey! Can't believe these 20 days on the road have ended. I am setting an intention to keep blogging once a week, most likely on Sunday afternoons. I hope you will join me for my continued adventures in Austin.
Hey guys! This is my second to last blog post!!! Thanks so much for following me along the way for this magnificent journey. Sorry didn't get chance to blog yesterday - has been a rather busy few days. Will catch you up on the highlights:
NEW ORLEANS (cont...) :
Had a bomb lunch at Dookie Chase's - fried chicken, collards, baked mac and cheese, potato salad, shrimp, catfish fritters, gumbo, peach cobbler a la mode... delicious. Went for a walk around the Audubon zoo afterwards to walk off the calories and saw the tree of life. Met up with Ivana's friend at the free blues and BBQ in the park - ate BBQ pulled pork and grits and tried on awesome leather masks. Went to weird Possum kingdom play, but left early to go to show at Neutral Ground Coffee House. Super cute venue!!! Everyone was really nice. Total Bohemian scene.
Hung out some more in NOLA yesterday - got some delicious and much needed (though rather expensive) kale caesar salad, wheatgrass and veggie juice at a funky little cafe while Ivana visited with some friends - a fiber artist with an AMAZING 4 story studio. Also checked out a sweet little junk shop and picked up some new earrings and car decor (I don't have walls, and after the addition of my phonograph pencil sharpener, the dash started looking a little bare.) Got in a bit of a funk - probably from lack of sleep and impending change of getting off the road and landing in Austin, which carries many emotions, mostly positive, but also of some loss and fear. Felt a lot better after going to the farmer's market and starting to prepare some delicious dinner at her friend Lauren's house. Felt soooo good to cook and eat unprocessed food! We also picked up some home made popsicles for dessert - chocolate and avocado cream. Yummm....
Been thinking more about the upcoming year and things I want to do, and am actually feeling really excited more than overwhelmed, which in some ways is a first for me. Booked my first gig in Austin at the Butterfly Bar for November (Yay!) and did some research about massage programs in Thailand. Think this is something I definitely want to do for a few months later in 2014. I am staying in a cluster of houses called the Louisiana Himalaya Association, so it may be a sign :)
Been spending the morning writing post cards and doing various internet things. Planning to get world famous bread pudding at commander's palace, and maybe busk a bit. Have plans this evening to see a play - The Opossum Theater (or something like that) and then my final tour show at Neutral Ground. Leaving for Texas tomorrow! Looking forward to returning to NOLA one of these days for more exploring and playing. Definitely way more to see here than can be accomplished in just a few days.
p.s. Show me some love from back home if you got it! Comments would be much appreciated at this time :)
Got into New Orleans late last night - another long stretch of driving - about 13 hours on the road. Ivana and I had a nice time talking, listening to music, and pickin up some yummy frozen yogurt along the way. Slept in and headed out to walk around the French quarter. New Orleans has such a magical vibe to it - feels a lot more like a little town in Havana then a us city. Have been really impressed with the architecture, particularly the doors. Have the last official show of the trinity tour tomorrow night at neutral ground coffee house. Wild. Feeling excited to land in Austin and see folks/start to figure out things. Please enjoy the doors!
Just arrived in New Orleans, LA after a full day of driving! Will catch you up on the last day and a half....
Last night was another successful evening with our new crew of Nashville friends, aptly named Team Treehouse after the restaurant we hung out at the night before. Walked around Vanderbilt neighborhood and had a yummy lunch before picked up our new friend and fellow musician Jody (jodymulgrew.com) who also agreed to put us up for the night. Headed to Puckette's Open mic contest in Franklin, TN, where we met up with the rest of our gang - John, April and Chi. This was a much more laid back, family atmosphere than bluebird. We ordered a bunch of apps (including my first taste of raw oysters!) and had a grand old time, with our friend Chi winning the night! Afterwards, we were directed to Kimbro's pickin' parlor which was waay more my scene....
Kimbro's felt like hanging out in someone's coop living room. We all signed up for the open mic (getting 3 whole songs, instead of just one!) The music was a bit more indie/folk, which was a breath of fresh air for me after hearing one country song after another and feeling a little out of place. I knew I had truely found my niche by the mural of Billie Holiday on the bathroom wall.
We had originally planned to go to Graceland on our way to New Orleans, but by the time we got to Memphis it was already pretty late and we still had a ways to go. We ended up having a bangin' lunch at a Jamaican/southern style joint and walking around the city. Super interesting vibe - a bit gritty, but also touristy. Was super excited to pick up my first dashboard decoration - a perfect match to my new shoulder tattoo!
Stay tuned for more tales from the road. Officially hit two weeks yesterday, and have another 4/5 days to go!
Hey Guys - sorry not to post anything yesterday, but after reading my update I think you will understand why:
After a relaxing evening by myself at the Oliver Hotel in Knoxville, I Drove into Nashville, getting in around 12pm to meet up with my new travel companion and car/housemate Ivana! Getting into the South and uncharted territory, it is definitely a relief to have some companionship on the road. Nashville has lots and lots of trucks and intersecting highways, and is definitely not a walking city. Took me a little while to get my baring, but as the day progressed, I began to understand and appreciate it more and more and more.
Walked around Centennial park for an hour as I waited for Ivana to finish shopping at Trader Joe's (and pick up some jerky - my favorite high protein road snack!) There was a cool man made lake, as well as a replica of the parthenon. We embraced at the McDonald's parking lot near by and headed over to our gracious host, Anna and Dave's house. Hung out for a bit and then drove over the the famed BlueBird Cafe - which apparently became more famous recently because of the TV show Nashville! We were an hour early, and there was already a line 3 lanes long! I was ready to give up, but Ivana encouraged us to stay and I am SOOOO glad she did! We not only ended up getting in and able to play my one song (40 people in the open mic!) but also made some awesome new friends who joined us for a magical evening. Outside the venue, we met a mando-playing cab driver who told us where the party was in East Nashville. We caravanned over to 5 points and bar hopped, ending up at a new place called Treehouse. They had delicious cocktails and tapas (my drink had egg white foam in it) and shmoozed with some pretty big names in the country music biz! (Anyone heard of Pam Tillis...?) We then went back to the car to pull some instruments - coincidentally running back into our mando-taxi friend who joined us for some pickin' outside the restaurant! OK Nashville, I'm sold. What a truely magical evening :) XOXOX
After a really fun and rather lucrative show last night in Horse Shoe (with the most delicious pumpkin cheesecake ever!!!) I had my final evening with Lynne and her family. Left this morning with a piece of apple pie for Tennessee! First time ever in the state. Stopped in Gatlinburg for what I thought would be an afternoon adventure, but turned more into a short rest stop. Lots of old southern folk who could tell instantly that I wasn't from these parts. A lot of tacky art, much of which was Christmas themed, and not really anywhere to walk around. Ended up getting some yummy free popcorn and apples, though, and stayed for a couple tunes from the band featured to your right. Then headed west for Knoxville!!!
Had one of my first biddy mishaps of the trip trying to connect with my air B and B host and ended up getting a sweet hotel room right in town (Thanks Mom!!!!!) While thinking of my predicament, was helpful to refer back to the movie, thinking to myself ***SPOILER ALLERT***** (Scroll down to read) Am meeting up with my friend Ivana from High School in Nashville tomorrow and we will make the rest of our way together. Is nice to have some time to myself tonight, and am also looking forward to having company (and safety in numbers :)
*******"If Sandra Bullock can get herself out of space, I can get myself out of this little mess"
Had a fun show at firestorm yesterday with Lynne. Sold some zones in bulk which was very exciting. They have us nettle tea and delicious fresh baked corn and blackberry muffins. Went back to Lynne's musician friends house and played some bluegrass, made pizza an watches the directors cut of little shop if horrors. Went to see her friends play at the farmers market in black mountain. Got a quarter peck if apples for the road (leaving for Tennessee tomorrow!) currently hanging out waiting for folks to change their guitar strings before going to mr. Frogs creole kitchen for some fried chicken and green tomatoes! Ate my first Halloween fortune cookie. Last show in the Carolina's is tonight at the horse shoe cafe. Lookin forward to my free pulled pork and slaw sandwich ! Xoxo Katie
After an awesome breakfast of homemade biscuit and fig preserve jam, am on my way with Lynne to Asheville to play an early show at Firestorm, a cool indie cooperative bookshop and community space. We will spend the night in town before heading to Horse shoe for my final show in the Carolina's on this trip. We ended up going contra dancing at warren Wilson last night - SUPER fun. The scene there definitely rivals the one in greenfield. Felt really good to move my body after being a bit more sedintary than usual. Also had some time on my own yesterday to walk around Greenville a bit more. A very cute town! Ok more tomorrow. XOXO Katie