I am safely returned from Austin! The conference was good, and the city was fantastic. The only other place in the states that I’ve enjoyed as much is Chicago. Maybe it’s because of all the extra people and chaos around the SXSW festival, but the amount of music and amazing food (two of my favourite things) was unbelievable.

Friday morning I discovered the wonder that is the breakfast taco at Cicso’s Restaurant Bakery! In the afternoon it was to the Museum of The Weird, and then to a (terrible!) laptop music battle. The idea was really cool: A dozen pair of musicians battle, each one gets exactly 3 minutes, crowd decides which ones move on to the next round. Unfortunately, the music was (seriously) horrible and (even more seriously) boring. I would love to sign up for next year and kick some ass.

Saturday morning was more delicious breakfast, and Saturday night was a party full of wonderful and weird entertainment. A lot of fun until the lineup for the washrooms became longer than the lineup to get in. Ended up at a place called The Jackalope, which is quite likely the most awesome bar in the world. Pulled pork quesadillas are like a sex party for your mouth.

Had lunch Sunday with the WordPress crew, and then a night drive to Driftwood, Texas, where we made a pilgrimage to the best barbeque in a day’s travel: The Salt Lick. I tried to take photos of it, but there was no way to capture the scale of the place. It’s two or three huge buildings, with a parking lot the size of Rideau Centre. Serious fucking food. (Also, serious fucking drinking: Driftwood is in a dry county, so it’s BYOB — there were families there who brought massive coolers-on-wheels full of beer and whiskey.)

Spent a beautiful Monday day walking around South Congress, which is what Queen Street West would have been if everyone there listened to psychobilly instead of post-punk.  In the evening was the EFF party, which reminded me of the Dark Carnivals, except with cooler vendors and less interesting visual artists. The headlining artist was Ian McLagan (formerly of the Faces [with Ronnie Wood, Kenny Jones, and Rod Stewart], aka The Modfather), and we snuck backstage to hang out with him for a few hours after the show, where he gave us many drinks and told us hilarious stories about Bob Dylan and Billy Bragg. Stopped by the Casino El Camino on the way back to the hotel for a delicious dirty cheeseburger (and to say hi to The Amazing Mr. Lifto) before calling it a night.

Then Tuesday a brief stop at Austin’s finest haberdashery, a bunch of hours on a couple of planes, stopped by Zaphods for the last few hours of the night, and (finally) home.

How was your week?