Everything’s bigger in Texas! Even the road construction…

For those of you who may not know… I’m currently in Austin, Texas.

This weekend is the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and should prove to be a much needed vacation.

img_8667.jpgWe started our journey a couple hours late. Leaving Manhattan around 1pm, but we did make excellent time. I slept on and off for the first major leg of the trip, catching up on sleep from my all-nighter the night before. My first conscious jump back into the trip was at our first stop… Braum’s in Moore, Oklahoma. The Limeade was phenomenal, but apparently their ice cream & shakes are really where it’s at.

Once arriving in Texas, we started to mosey towards Austin. We also encountered some INTENSE road construction. Mind you this was around 11:30pm. The road condensed from 3 lanes to 1. We managed to crawl through at a snail’s pace, even to a complete stop at several points.

After a quick pit-stop at a Valero gas station… (which btw gas was only 2.65 a gallon. a nice change from the 2.91 I paid before leaving Manhattan) I took over the wheel to finish out the last leg of the journey.

We pretty much arrived and crashed out immediately.

Today has been far more relaxing and enjoyable… Not to mention serendipitous and random.

We grabbed lunch around 1pm at Shady Grove, a neat little eatery near the ACL music fest. After lunch we waited around to meet up with some other KS buddies who were heading to the festival. We traded numbers, got some coffee, and went our separate ways.

Jenn and I took a nice driving tour of the city of Austin getting confused and lost with all the traffic and one-way streets along the way. Eventually we managed to make our way to Whole Foods (located at 6th & Lamar!).

We spent almost two hours parousing the store, but had a wonderful serendipitous experience while there…

As we wandered through the wine section… we noticed they were featuring the Rolf Binder wines. We had their 2005 Riesling on the menu at 4 olives, but have since run out. In any case, the salesperson working, Kristen, informed us that Rolf himself was there. We turned around and sure enough, the wine maker and owner, Rolf, was standing directly behind us. Rolf has been involved with wine since a VERY early age, and has a very unique and elegant style to his wines. After a short meet & greet with him, and discussing our involvement with his product, Rolf took a picture of Jenn and I, and informed us to check his website within the next few weeks. Very exciting!

We then picked out a nice selection of foods to prepare our dinner: Lime & Cilantro Chicken, Saffron Orzo, Fresh Zucchini and Fresh Squash, but what were we to drink? Ideally I wanted to hunt down a nice viognier, but a riesling did just the trick. We picked up a bottle of Rolf’s riesling, and I also decided to make an investment and purchase a bottle of his 2004 Hanisch Shiraz. While a little pricey, it has received excellent reviews & ratings from Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate. I also made sure to have him sign the bottle. This is a wine I probably won’t “pop” for at least 5 more years.

After that, we came back to the house (which belongs to Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Sturich) made dinner, and enjoyed a nice relaxing evening in.

Everyone else just got back from the festival a couple hours ago, and we sat and enjoyed some more wine out on the deck, a 2003 Campo Viejo Rioja. Also quite nice.

This is definitely turning out to be a nice relaxing, and much needed vacation!

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