As many of you know, over Thanksgiving weekend I traveled to Austin, Texas, for the Renegade Craft Fair at the Palmer Events Center. I went with Larissa Loden and her husband, Aaron, who had both been to Austin (including Larissa to last year’s Renegade) and raved about it for the entire time I’ve known them, which is about 1.5 years. When I found out I’d gotten into the show around September, I was ecstatic.
I couldn’t wait to see Austin, and I was not disappointed. Renegade itself was a great two-day show, and Larissa, Aaron, and I extended our trip to five days so we’d have plenty of time to get the full benefit of the warm weather, fantastic food (as you’ll see below), and overall cool vibe of the city. Our friend Kenney met us for the last three days of the trip.
Here is a sort-of summary of our excursion, in photos.
Our first night in Austin, we headed pretty much straight from the airport to Home Slice Pizza on South Congress Street. I loved the black-and-white striped umbrellas and strung lights that were overhead while we waited outside, with local beers in hand, at a picnic table for our dinner table to be ready.
I was so tired, but I couldn’t wait to experience this city for the next five days. It seems I was already in love with Austin.
What up, Home Slice? (Yeah, I went there.) This was the New York-iest pizza I’ve had outside of New York. I wish we had one in Minnesota.
The next afternoon, Larissa and I dipped our toes into the Barton Springs Pool after a long walk. The water was icy, even to us cold-blooded Minnesotans, but there were still about 12 people swimming laps in it (not pictured). We even spotted a man swimming in his tightie whities. You can’t make this shit up, folks.
We enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner, which we purchased from the most humongous-est Whole Foods in all the land (WF is based in Austin–who knew?) on a picnic bench in a park. They have a killer hot foods area, where you can also get beer, desserts, whole chickens, soup, ethnic foods, etc.
It’s funny to me that I didn’t photograph any of the killer Thanksgiving-y food we purchased, or our spread on the picnic table in the park, or even Larissa and Aaron smiling in the sunshine. But I did snap this shot of the “cookie buffet” in Whole Foods. I didn’t even purchase a cookie for my (spectacular) meal, but the choices of cookies available was out of control. I guess I thought I needed to immortalize that fact.
The next morning, I discovered that the Magnolia Cafe is so worth the wait. There’s always a long line, and we dove into it with no second thoughts. I love the “Sorry, we’re open” sign, below the main sign. And the way the hostess sang Larissa’s name over the loudspeaker when she eventually called us to our table.
My Prima Dora omellete with a gingerbread pancake on the side were both outstanding. It was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. And that’s a bold statement, coming from this breakfast lover.
One night we drove to San Antonio to watch the Houston Aeros (minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Wild) take on the Rampage. Aaron and Kenney are huge hockey fans, and since they haven’t gotten to see any NHL games this year due to the stupid strike, we made sure they got their fix. The Aeros won, 2-1! AND it was Dollar Beer Night! Woo hoo!
What?! There’s no basement in The Alamo?!
A gigantic, Texas-themed Christmas tree near The Alamo.
Them Texans sure do have state pride, y’all.
Larissa & I (The Girls) vs. Aaron (pictured) and Kenney (The Boys) duke it out in shufflepuck at a bar on Sixth Street.
Larissa goes in for the kill. She and I were victorious over The Boys in our game. I believe our win was in the stars, as I noticed before we started play that our rocks came in a bag that was numbered #26….
My Texas Icons at Renegade. I cranked out 11 illustrations the week before we left for the show.
My Breakfast of Champions the first morning of Renegade: “The Carney” donut from Gourdough’s. It was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. I am not joking. I will dream about this donut until I can have one again. This photo makes me drool.
Later that night: Even though we were full from our dinner from the Torchy’s Tacos food truck, we made room for Amy’s Ice Creams. ‘Twas *not* a bad decision. (As a disclaimer, I didn’t eat lunch that day. Just sayin’.)
My Oatmeal Raisin Cookie ice cream with a couple large oatmeal raisin cookies as my “crush in” was not overkill. No sir.
The next afternoon, we went out of our way, to Round Rock, Texas, to hit up the city’s namesake donut shop, which is one of Larissa and Aaron’s favorites. I was happy to go along for the ride (and enjoy the “prize” at the end of the trek). Does it seem like all we did on this trip was eat? I assure you, it was not. Only about 60%. Ha.
A tough decision greets you as you open the door at Round Rock. Notice the gigantor donuts in the top right corner of this shot.
The small milk carton is to show scale. Holy mama….
We opted for a dozen “regular sized” donuts for the four of us instead. We didn’t want to be gluttonous, after all.
On our way back from Round Rock, Larissa burns off her carbs and sugar with a heated game of pinball at an arcade.
I *do* wish Austin, Texas, was not so far away from Minnesota. Sigh.
The other side of the iconic Austin Motel sign (forever immortalized as a Texas Icon by yours truly).
Spotted on South Congress. Unfortunately, we did not find Mr. Gosling, so we couldn’t return him to his (wannabe) girlfriend. A shame, really.
I can’t wait to go back to Austin again in the near future, so I hope to get into Renegade again next year. All of my fingers and toes are crossed.
This is a photo collage I whipped up of us in front of the famous Austin painting that’s on the side of a building. We each stood in front of a letter and took individual photos, and I cobbled them together. How cute are we? (From left to right: Aaron, Larissa, Kenney, and CJ)
p.s. Larissa and I went for several runs while on our trip, and setting up and tearing down for Renegade–not to mention dragging our suitcases (plural) jam-packed with our wares and display pieces to and from the show and up and down several sets of stairs and all over the freakin’ airport on the way TO Austin and FROM Austin was HARD WORK (I had the bruises to prove it). We burned off at least half of our calories with those activities, I have no doubt. Just in case you’re wondering how we both still look so svelte after we got back from this trip. ;^)
This weekend is the final stop of the redshoes26 design and Larissa Loden Jewelry Semi-World Tour! Since mid November, we’ve done shows in Austin, TX; Grand Forks, ND; Minneapolis; and now, finally, Madison, WI.
Those of you in the Wisconsin area should come say hello, and check out this cool show. I’ll have lots of Wisconsin Icons, along with plenty from other states.
A friendly reminder also that this Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8, is also the Lowertown Holiday Bazaar at AZ Gallery in St. Paul. I have a few of my new Minnesota Icon ornaments in the show. These cute little guys have been very popular at my art events this fall/winter.
Happy holidays! Have fun decking your halls with cool, handmade ornaments from the Lowertown Holiday Bazaar.
The busy holiday season of art and craft shows continues for me this weekend!
On Friday, Dec. 7, from 6-8:30 p.m., head to Rigby’s Sneak Peek, the VIP night of Finch’s Holiday Time Boutique in Minnetonka, an open-house-style sale at the event at a lovely home. The Sneak Peek event is currently sold out, but if you really want to go, there’s no harm in contacting the event coordinator and asking her to put you on the waiting list….
If you can’t squeeze into the VIP event on Friday, you’re in luck the rest of the weekend, when the show is open to all, and free. From 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, come see the work of redshoes26 design, including Minnesota Icons, greeting cards, and gift tags. While you check out the art and crafts being offered, enjoy hot apple cider and cookies. We artists have each donated to The American Cancer Society to participate in this show, and have created boatloads of unique items and gifts just in time for the holidays.