Austin Shenanigans: SXSW & St. Patty's

Oh, how did it take me 26 years to finally experience the awesome weirdness of Austin, TX?!

For my spring break {and a half} I spent the first half with my wonderful Oklahoma friends who recently reside in Austin. Luckily, I scheduled this vacay during the perfect timing for the music portion of SXSW!

Thanks to my long lost Africa sista, Alex. She and her roommate, Katie, were the best hostesses during my stay. They definitely gave me a great tour of the city and were down to do pretty much anything to show me a good time. Here's a little bit of what we got ourselves into:

The FADER Fort
This was a really cool venue. If you've never experienced SXSW, it's pretty much a city-wide event with different music venues everywhere. Different big-name companies sponsor some of the bigger venues and create a particular atmosphere, which really enriches the experience. Alex and I spent the majority of the day relaxing on the turf with other friends and enjoying people watching and ping pong. The music performances were pretty diverse, but I really liked all the groups. Once we decided to have a change of scenery, we walk around and made it to a cool restaurant downtown called Hangers, with a really cool rooftop with it's own stage. 
Canadian Blast
The next day, we walked around more of the downtown/"Dirty 6th" Street area and watched a band called Paper Lions performing at the Canadian Blast venue. A little self-given, but the performers at this venue were from Canada! I was pretty impressed with their tunes, so we stayed through their whole set. From there, we walked around and checked out other small bar venues, but the music didn't really fit our taste. Alex and I enjoyed exploring all the other festivities going on. We made our way to Butler Park {way early} to see Foster the People perform! They had a great performance and sounded awesome.

Saturday ended up being a little dreary, but a perfect day to check out the Austin Beer Garden Brewery Co. and the vintage antique shops, restaurants and more SXSW music venues in the South Congress {SoCo} area. The tasty beer and pesto pizza went well with the stringed lights and wooden wobbly table we found to sit outside as we listened to the heavy metal rock band inside the brewery.
The SoCo area is really cool. The district is very quaint and it seems like anything and everything goes. We grabbed some chocolate coconut rum ice cream from Amy's Ice Cream that was to die for; so delicious! 

St. Patty's Day
The Pint House was the first stop of three locations where a small group of us met to celebrate the Irish and non-existent Irish in us all. Regardless of the fact that this celebration was on a Monday, this didn't stop a good crowd and a bagpipe to entertain those with green attire. We continued on to the Shoal Cross Event Center for traditional entertainment with even bands and dancers. To end the evening, we all headed downtown to Fado Irish Pub. The inside was packed as well as the two street tents for food and endless amounts of beer. It was such a fun time. We even ran into Mr. Guinness! 

All in all, I had such a great time and Austin is an amazing city with much to see and do. Thanks to all my friends, including new ones, who made my stay so enjoyable! I hope to see this scenery much more in the future!



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