texas

Dorothy Does Austin

Many moons ago in a land far far away i resided in not only the same state as my mother but the same city, and under the same roof for a time. Now that seems like light years ago but leave it to mommie dearest to never let you get too far away. My mom Dorothy came to visit Austin last month, this wasn’t her first visit but every time she comes she acts like it is, she’s so excited and happy to be somewhere new that it reassures my soul that not everyone is lame.

The first place we went to visit was one of my favorite places in Austin, the Hope Outdoor Gallery, or as its sometimes  known as Castle Hill or Baylor Street Art Wall. I try to come here at least once a month if not more, i obviously love graffiti so this is like a little piece of heaven for me.IMG_6948

My mom throwing up a hand, so proud of her

IMG_6960DSC_0646To my surprise she actually seemed to like it!

DSC_0642IMG_6959

After that we were starving so we went to the Lockhart,TX  otherwise known as “The BBQ Capital of Texas”. Lockhart is such an adorable small town about 30 mins from Austin.

DSC_0681

DSC_0675

 

 

DSC_0671

DSC_0684

There’s 4 famous BBQ joints in Lockhart to choose from, my coworkers suggested Blacks.

DSC_0693

The food was amazing, I always get more than i can eat so i can look forward to it later. My  friend Shannon and her mom Estrella even came to join us! #momdate

DSC_0695

One of my moms favorite places to go when she visits is by far Barton Springs, not only is it beautiful its really relaxing and its so freaking hot here that you have no choice but to love the water.

DSC_0699

DSC_0703

On our last evening we took a walk along Lady Bird Lake which is my #1 place to go in Austin. Its my favorite place because when i first moved here and didn’t have a lot going on i would come here all the time and sit and write A LOT. I never wrote outside of my bedroom before i moved here and i also never felt as lonely so Lady Bird Lake was a place for me to go and clear my head, it was literally and figuratively there for me. *cue Red Hot Chili Peppers “Under the Bridge”*

IMG_6967DSC_0727

DSC_0719

We ended the night and her visit at The White Horse on the east side in my neck of the woods where my friend Claudia taught her how to two-step, it was adorbs, i still cant do it!

DSC_0738

 

This visit was especially unique because i  feel like for the first time i showed her my Austin, the first 2 visits we did the Soco things and 6th street, we  saw a movie at Alamo, ate from food trucks, now i like doing those things but i don’t find myself doing those things all the time. I wanted to show her my real life here.

IMG_6983

 

Although i was frustrated because that’s what she does to me i appreciate her coming here so much. I know that parents encouraging and loving their kids unconditionally seems so normal but its not, i am beyond words fortunate to have a mom that loves me and doesn’t push me to do or be any other way than myself, she is always supportive and so excited for any crazy thing I’m doing or any new place I’m going. We’ve def had our ups and downs, but i know that she really loves me because she is there for me, even though she isn’t here.

Road Rules

Remember that show on MTV years ago?! So good! Well dudes and dudettes its been a couple weeks now that Ive been back in Austin since my road trip, before  i left i did  a little research about roadtripping  but not so much because i  knew that i would learn more than i could ever be prepared for and i prefer it that way anyway. Here’s a few things I’ll remember for my next journey on the open road.

1. Take Advantage of Places

Realize that you may never come to this place again so take as many pictures and do whatever you have the urge to do, i lost count for how many times  i pulled over or drove back to something i thought was cool because i will  probably never see it again. Take your headphones out of your ears when walking around a new place and truly be there, hear and feel the place you’re at. Albuquerque was the biggest city i went to and although it is far from a bustling metropolis i was happy to be around so much civilization. I got my car looked at, went to the post office, and gave my car a much needed break by walking a lot and using public transportation.

IMG_5793

2. Don’t Hesitate to Get Gas

Most of my trip was driving on beautiful back roads which i love BUT they can be very very long. At one point i had only half a tank of gas and could only see mountains and desert even in the far distance, i started to freak out a little but after 30 mins i found a major highway and got off on an exit to get gas. I cant imagine breaking down in the middle of nowhere especially for something so minor and being alone and it getting dark outside, i always did like the damsel in distress  scenario but who would hear me sigh?

IMG_5336

This view is woe

3. Small Towns

I went through so many amazingly quaint small towns/villages that were so full of character. Mora, NM and especially Madrid, NM which isn’t far from Santa Fe is so cute and adorable i had to get out and take a few pictures, it was one of the few times on my trip that i wish i had a partner in crime to share the experience with. Tinkertown was another stop  i loved! Perfect places to stretch your legs and roam!

image

DSC_0439

image

DSC_0443

DSC_0451

DSC_0450

image

image

DSC_0462

IMG_5812

IMG_5820

IMG_5831

IMG_5836

image

 

4. Always Take the Scenic Route

I chuckled every time i saw a sign for a scenic route because for this east coast girl every route out west is a scenic route, i would gasp on my way to the grocery store if i lived out here. Alas there are some designated routes and look out spots specifically for you and your main squeeze to pull over and make googly eyes at each other.

DSC_0436

DSC_0419

DSC_0428

5. Don’t Sleep Anywhere You’re Not Comfortable At

I slept in a lot of different places on my trip and most of them were fine, my favorite was of course the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast in Santa Fe but i loved the White Sands Motel in Alamangordo as well. The night i slept in my car near Four Corners National Monument wasn’t the best but it was far more comfortable than the place i almost stayed in Albuquerque, it was called the Downtown Inn and i could tell by the looks of things it wasn’t the fanciest but neither am i and i had driven almost 6  hrs straight and just wanted to pee and take a shower but i couldn’t because there was a dead roach next to the toilet…..and in the main room. I live in the south, i see enormous National Geographic sized roaches far more than what i would like to so i know what a freshly killed roach looks like, these things had definitely been laying there dead for some time and i decided that i didn’t want to stay there and more importantly that i didn’t have to. I got in an argument with the lady at the front desk because she refused to give a refund even though i had only been in the room for 30 mins, long enough to haul my stuff in ( a girl on the road has a lot of stuff) but its not about the money, i told her the place is gross and went to a nice regular hotel that was pest free. Feeling comfortable where you lay your head is far more important than traveling on a discount rate.

DSC_0396

6. Eat Hearty

Okay I’m not going to lie most of the time i did have Popeyes and Chic-fil-a on deck  because its quick and easy (and mouthwatering) but whenever i reached whatever destination i was heading that day i treated myself to a real meal, my favorite by far was this wonderful blueberry waffle and granola at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast in Santa Fe!

image

7. Don’t Rely on Technology

I just got a new phone less than 2 weeks before i peeled out and the GPS on it is far better than the one i had before, i cant imagine using that old phone to get to all the places i went but one thing i didn’t imagine either was not being able to use this great awesome new phone. For a long time i had no service at all and had to use an actual map, its  a  big piece of paper with a bunch of squiggly lines on it and some words. If it wasn’t for said map i wouldn’t of made it to Monument Valley or Taos. *Mentally patting myself on the back* I have a brain and i use it sometimes woo hoo!

IMG_5821

8. Learn Something About Yourself

One of the main purposes for taking a long journey is reflection. Spending so much time away from everything and everyone familiar allows you to think about so much more than the grocery list. There is  no way to come back from a road trip and not realize something you either had no idea of or weren’t sure of before, for me i realized that i really love Austin. I actually just got all warm and fuzzy inside writing this because i do! Its obvious i mean i decided to move here away from everything i know. I often doubt my decisions so to know that i love where i live, at least for now, is an awesome feeling and makes me feel even more confident in myself as if i didn’t already driving across states and such. I’m in a Lone Star State of mind.

IMG_6124

 

Marfa Madness

So yesterday i started out on my southwestern road trip, i told  myself that i would post everyday but i was so incredibly delirious last night after driving over 7 hrs from Austin, TX to Marfa, TX that i could barely brush my teeth. The ride although long was beautiful. One of the first places i stopped to stretch my legs was in Alpine, TX right next to Big Bend National Park.

DSC_0020

DSC_0026

I truly believe that every place in the world has character but i got the strangest unsatisfying feeling pretty much as soon as i drove into Marfa. I love small towns almost as much as bustling metropolis’. Texas is full of them, from Johnson City to Fredericksburg, but Marfa …..have you seen “The Hills Have Eyes”? honestly? There are countless boarded up houses and business’, stray dogs and cats, NOWHERE TO EAT and no people! What in the marfa fuck is going on? I read that a lot of places are only open on the weekend which is weird to me. It does have character though, just an eerie, strange, ghost town like energy about it that isnt very inviting.

IMG_5039

Random fake Prada store in the middle of the desert

#tuxedomouse in Marfa

#tuxedomouse in Marfa

DSC_0039

the only faces i saw while in Marfa

IMG_5059

DSC_0087

DSC_0084

IMG_5061

On the way out of town i drove through another equally creepy small town even smaller than Marfa. Ladies and gentleman, Valentine, TX!

DSC_0043

DSC_0052

DSC_0065

Such a good photo op!

Such a good photo op!

DSC_0063

DSC_0079

DSC_0064

DSC_0074

Sandstorm!

Sandstorm!

When the horses start mean mugging its time to leave, im out!

When the horses start mean mugging its time to leave, im out!

So yeah im missing Austin right now but its okay. I took a beautiful drive through the Guadalupe Mountains and im spending the night in Carlsbad, NM. The 4th motel i went to had a vacancy so i took a shower and here i am. The road is life. #Heartonthehighway

 

Lone Star State of Mind Part 2

BBQ. Enough said, im all ears (and mouth) when it comes to hearty, juicy, messy food, the less dainty the better. This past Sunday me and a few ladies ventured out to the beautiful Texas Hill Country to the amazing Salt Lick BBQ. I’ve had Salt Lick before but i had never actually been there and wow it is an experience, its like a compound, a whole community of like minded eaters.

IMG_4953

The Salt Lick has a winery as well so why not treat ourselves to a bottle of wine or 3

IMG_4872

 

IMG_4882

Seeing this as soon as you walk in is more of a tease than any strip club could ever provide

IMG_4879 IMG_4880

We were practically acting like cave women cussing and grunting about how good everything was,  or maybe that was just me

IMG_4883

the definition of torture is how it felt to stop eating long enough to take this picture

After we indulged we took a walk around the compound

IMG_4890

is that a living gnome in the garden smuggling wine?

IMG_4892

10 points to spy the living gnome in this picture!

We even took a stroll in the vineyards! Who cares if the gate was closed, we gave ourselves a tour!

IMG_4936

IMG_4920

Drinking wine at a vineyard!

IMG_4908

full of glee!

salt lick 6

Reveling

But for real we didn’t just run up and down the aisles screeching obscenities and drinking wine from the bottle, sure we did that but we admired the beauty and scenery, i have never been to a winery before and it was amazing to see how immaculate the grounds were and actual grapes on the leaves, grapes that get turned into wine!

IMG_4931 IMG_4915

Salt Lick BBQ being amazing is nothing new, i know i probably sound like that one guy who claimed a whole country and got a holiday out of it but it was really awesome and such a Texas experience y’all! Did i really just say y’all? haha. What also made the day so special was spending it with these ladies, i can definitely roam if i want to but sometimes even i want to share an experience and im so happy these ladies came along to roam with me!

Sashay away

Sashay away

 

Chante , i'll stay

Chante , i’ll stay

Okay, enough with the RuPauls Drag Race references, im allowed one every post!  Carry on, children!

 

Lone Star State of Mind Part 1

In the year or so that I’ve lived in Austin Ive had so much fun and done so many things that i never have before because there is SO much fun to be had here but i keep hearing about all these cool places outside of Austin that are not only fun but also really beautiful. A few weeks ago me and my friend Lauren aka Lo went on a little road trip to the Hill Country to see what really is deep in the heart of Texas.

1st rule of road tripping is to rock down to Electric Ave

1st stop on a road trip is always rocking down to Electric Ave

 

Bluebonnets are the Texas State Flower and just like everything else about this state Texans are very proud of them and on our little trip i saw them for the very first time!

IMG_4183

 

 

Driving, gossiping, and exploring can sure make a girl hungry so where else do we decide to dine but the Grand Central Cafe otherwise known as the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre house! Yes ladies and gentleman, you too can wine and dine in the very same house that Leatherface and his family once called home, how cozy is that?!

This place isn't anywhere near as cheesy as i wanted it to be but it does come equipped with a cute waiter and good southern comfort food!

This place isn’t anywhere near as cheesy as i wanted it to be but it does come equipped with a cute waiter and good southern comfort food!

 

The neighborhood behind the Massacre House (i don’t care about the real name of the restuarant is it’ll always be the Massacre House anytime i refer to it) was so serene and beautiful that we had to take a walk on what i’m pretty sure is private property

was there once a tree house up there? so cute!

was there once a tree house up there? so cute!

 

anyone remember that cartoon where the baby duck keeps repeating "water do gown the hooole"?? oh im the only one, okay nevermind moving along....literally

anyone remember that cartoon where the baby duck keeps repeating “water do gown the hooole”?? oh im the only one, okay nevermind moving along….

not quite a much of a dendrophiliac as Denise Fleming but i do love and appreciate the beauty of nature

not quite a much of a dendrophiliac as Denise Fleming but i do love and appreciate the beauty of nature

 

Me and Lauren stumbled upon even more natural beauty at Longhorn Cavern State Park, not to sound so much like the 80’s valley girl that i totally am but it was really cool you guys!

 

the cavern stays around 68 degrees so in other words this is the cool place to be in the summer in TX

the cavern stays around 68 degrees so in other words this literally is the coolest place to be in the summer in TX

 

IMG_4214

 

On our way back to Austin i could not help but pull over multiple time because there is so much beauty and character when you’re driving not on an interstate but on a road and in this case a  Farm to Market or Ranch Road.

I've only seen these kind of signs in the southern states, i dig them

I’ve only seen these kind of signs in the southern states, i dig them

 

.....and this little gem! Such a cute building? house? brothel? whatever it is used for i appreciate it!

…..and this little gem! Such a cute building? house? brothel? whatever it is i appreciate it!

 

I hope Texans don’t take this the wrong way but i almost forgot i was in Texas, this truly is a big beautiful state  full of so many things that surprise me all the time, BUT don’t let the southern hospitality fool you, they are always quick to remind you…..

IMG_4248

 

 

 

From East to SXSW

My feet are throbbing, theres a knot in the back of my neck   between my shoulder blades thats  incredibly tense, the crevices under my eyes are dark and deep , my laundry hamper is projectile vomiting every garment i own, food in my apt is scarce and traffic is so heavily congested I’ve had to park a mile away and leave hours early to secure a spot anywhere in this town, this ladies and gents could only mean one thing……SXSW. Sure,  it was a week ago but my body is still trying to recover. I don’t mind sacrificing  for fun, I’ll die for a good time, in fact i have many times. I’m like a fun martyr. Fun is something i stand for, ill march in Washington, ill go to the the moon, i’ll do almost anything, just let my people rage! South by (that’s what they call it around here, saying the whole phrase South by Southwest is too much for laid back Austinites) so yeah South by is something of a clusterfuck, there’s tons of people coming to the city i live in which i think is pretty cool! *Insert corny thumbs up here* No honestly, I’m not one of those people who wears a shirt saying “Welcome to Austin, please don’t move here”. I hail from the east coast and 85% of the people Ive met are from somewhere else just like me so Ive come to realize that finding a real live Austinite is like finding a precious stone, a four leaf clover, or bad pizza, its just so rare. I cant complain about an over saturated environment because not long ago i was one of those visitors taken by this town so much that i had to stay, it happens. I intern for the Austin Chronicle and was able to snag a music wristband which makes a world of difference when trying to see specific shows so you can kind of plan out your south by schedule. The Chronicle has a booth at the Austin Convention Center for the trade show and it was so much fun walking around snagging free t shirts and checking out new gadgets and business start ups, an adult playground especially for techies!

The Austin Chronicle booth at the trade show! download our app people!

The Austin Chronicle booth at the trade show! download our app people!

 

Word Press booth at the trade show!

Word Press booth at the trade show!

i had no good reason to take a picture other than the backdrop made me feel like i was on a red carpet *coughs (where i belong) *coughs

i had no good reason to take a picture other than the backdrop made me feel like i was on a red carpet *coughs (where i belong) *coughs

 

Check out my little video i made at the New York Times booth!

http://social-gen.com/nyt/index.php?s=1&e=172&id=2295

The next day on my way to the bathroom i came across this and made $20!

IMG_3743

 

Although the trade show is really fun  i really enjoy getting lost and just being out there on these mean streets. There’s endless amounts of people watching, free food, beer, t shirts, stickers, cd’s, anything you can get your hands on. I wont have to buy another air of sunglasses for 5 years.

IMG_3680

Here i am trying to look cute with the Subway girls, eat fresh and free!

Here i am trying to look cute with the Subway girls, eat fresh and free!

More importantly than the freebies is the music, i mean we are talking about Austin right? I cant go anywhere without the smell of BBQ or hearing local live music and the music during south by brings in the biggest celebrities!

IMG_3948

Having a wristband or the even more coveted badge gets you into venues a lot faster than those without, it is a world of difference not having to wait in a mile long line.

I saw MGK and 50 cent on Tuesday night

50 Cent

MGK opened for 50, Ive known who he is for years but didnt hear his music until this show, he is such a talented performer who is clearly met to be on stage.

Caught the last bit of 2 Chains at Stubbs

Caught the last bit of 2 Chains at Stubbs

Tech 9, one of my favorite rappers from Kansas City! So happy to see him and Calico!

Tech 9!

This is Illya Kuryaki & Valderramas, they're from Argentina. I have no idea what they were saying but their sound was so amazing, i've never heard funk music in another language before, they were amazing!

This is Illya Kuryaki & Valderramas, they’re from Argentina. I have no idea what they were saying but their sound was so amazing, I’ve never heard funk music in another language before!

 

The Chronicle threw a day party and of course there was live music, this here is Magna Carda!

The Chronicle threw a day party and of course there was live music, this here is Magna Carda!

 

Bright Light Social Hour doing their thing!!

Bright Light Social Hour doing their thing!!

I even got my nails did at the party! Dont mind the wrinkled hands, check out those cool designs!

I even got my nails did at the party! Disregard the wrinkled fingers, check out those cool designs!

Pi in the Sky! Not sure of the significance but it was cool to watch!

Pi in the Sky!

I even got to see a living legend, a guitar god, rock royalty. SLASH.

I even got to see a living legend, a guitar god, rock royalty. SLASH.

#NEVERFORGET

#NEVERFORGET

 

Sharon Needles, winner of Drag Race season 4!

Sharon Needles, winner of Drag Race season 4!

Even at Home Slice where i work there was music! Right in our parking lot! #MXTS

Even at Home Slice where i work there was music! Right in our parking lot! #MXTS

For shits and gigs

For shits and gigs

The best part of South by for me wasn’t the planned out shows i saw, it was the serendipitous encounters with celebrities and its so weird because i NEVER see famous people ever! My first was Jimmy Kimmel at Home Slice, then Lady Gaga at Rain……

Hey Steph!

Hey Steph!

But the best and happiest moment came later on, after a late afternoon of stalking facebook, twitter, instagram, running all over the city (mostly the gayborhood) and bombarding a police offer that he had taken a picture with earlier i met him. HIM!!

IMG_3841

ANDY COHEN!!! Ive loved him for so long and was  practically on a scavenger hunt collecting clues  all over town trying to find him i finally got a hold of one of the only men who have held my heart. Desperation, shame, psychosis, all those things go out the window when it comes to true love! So yes my SXSW experience this year may have been exhausting  but it was one of the most fulfilling times of my life, and a fastidious girl like me cant say that too often. So the next time you are ready to poop out of the party just chug some Vitameatavegamin and stay strong (or conscious). Keep calm  and rage on!

IMG_3843