Austin, New Orleans and a whole lot of car time: my last spring break

This year I had possibly the best spring break of my life, which was appropriate since it’s also my last.

*don’t forget to unmute the vine posts as you get to them

**and then mute them back, duh

Last Thursday Anna and I left Stillwater for Austin around 3 in the afternoon, which put us in Austin around 10 p.m. The 7 hour drive was….an experience.

We met up with our friend Britt and headed over to Emo’s to start our SXSW adventure off right. Icona Pop was definitely the act of the night, but unfortunately their set was only about 20 minutes long.

After that we did a lot of standing around smashed into the crowd listening to mediocre DJ’s. I’m pretty sure the last opener almost killed us by essentially playing the same song on repeat for more than an hour and a half.

But we did end up standing right next to a guy who Brittany’s sister Hillary mentioned looked a lot like Alexander Skarsgard, only to realize a few days later that it actually was Alexander Skarsgard.

The next morning Britt, Anna and I woke up and kicked our day off around 11. We parked at Whole Foods, grabbed some food and headed to the rooftop to see The Wild Feathers.

They’re fronted by Joel King, who used to be in a local band in Oklahoma called The Effects who I saw approx. 400 times between 2004 and 2008. I hadn’t listened to The Wild Feathers before so it was nice to see them live and catch up with Joel (and his parents) briefly. We took a picture together for old times’ sake. The one on the left is from 2006.

After Whole Foods, Anna, Britt and I headed over to La Zona Rosa for the Rolling Stone Rock Room. Getting in required an RSVP, which we didn’t have, but because we were early and there were only three of us the door girl let us in anyway. She is my SXSW Hero of the Weekend. Inside they were giving away t-shirts, drinks and food. We caught a set by Fitz and the Tantrums which was AMAZING.

Afterwards we had a couple drinks and hung out while we waited in line to eat at The Peached Tortilla.

I had the yume hot dog, which was garnished with onion strings and seaweed and was one of the greatest culinary experiences of my life. Anna got a burger with a fried egg on top (which promptly exploded all over her hair, but was still delicious) and Britt had BBQ pork tacos. Of course I took a picture for posterity.

After we ate, we left the Rolling Stone party and drove over to the other side of downtown. We checked out a few parties and met up with Brittany’s friend Claudia on 6th street. We spent the rest of the day Friday wandering around downtown without really catching any more music acts. We did, however, visit Brita’s “Urban Oasis” to charge our phones using a solar panel and collect free water bottles.

We also used their photobooth to take very mature pictures.


We wrapped up the day with a visit to my favorite food truck in Austin, Banarchy.

Saturday morning we woke up and headed to The Parish on 6th street. We grabbed some free breakfast and drink tickets and checked out some live music.

 After The Parish we met up with Claudia at Holy Mountain, which we snagged more free food and beer and saw sets by Kithkin and Antennas Up.

And then on the way out we walked by that dude from Entourage.

After Holy Mountain we walked over to Stubb’s, where we caught a snippet of Macklemore’s set.

Anna and Britt and I headed over to the Hipstamatic #morningafter brunch shortly next, where we spent about an hour outside in line. It seemed to take no time at all though, because they kept bringing us free stuff. Red Bull, t-shirts, coffee, roasted corn, you name it.

After we got inside we met Toast Willie Nelson and chilled out for a while, this time with free mimosas (I’m telling you, SXSW is a paradise).

Also there was a bear there.

At around 3 p.m. we left the Hipstamatic party and walked over to Mohawk.

After some time in line we got in and caught the end of Baths’ set.

The reason we were at Mohawk in the first place was to see a Scottish band called Frightened Rabbit that Anna loves. They came on next.

After Frightened Rabbit we booked it over a few blocks to see Charlene Kaye.

Charlene’s set ended, and by that time it was after 6. Britt, Anna and I headed back to the apartment to take a well-earned break before we headed back out for our final show of the night. It was at an apartment complex with a swimming pool.


The act we were there to see was Watsky, who just released an unbelievable album called Cardboard Castles (which you can and should stream on Spotify). Britt and I caught him on tour last summer and were excited to see him again live. We ended up standing directly in front of him, which was great, but also come with some hazards, as we would soon discover.

That beam would soon prove to be a hazard, as Anna and Watsky himself were about to find out.

That’s a 10 foot fall. Onto concrete.

Luckily he survived and Anna and I got a picture with him after the show.

After the show we grabbed dinner with some friends at Magnolia Cafe and headed home.

I should also mention that Saturday was Britt’s birthday, so naturally I had a gift for her.

Here’s all the free stuff I picked up during the weekend:

Sunday was a much more mellow day for us. Britt, Anna and I met up with Pat and Tina, who I lived with last summer, and went to lunch at Chuy’s. After that we headed downtown, met up with some friends and caught a ride on the Tito’s trolley for a couple hours.

Pat and Tina gave Anna and I their tickets to see Vampire Weekend’s taping of ACL Live, which is basically the best thing to ever to ever happen to us. Keep an eye out for the episode, it’s set to air sometime in October.

ACL Live was a unique experience because the artists get a little more flexibility than they do at a typical live show. For example, Ezra flubbed some lyrics at the beginning of one song, so instead of making the best of it they just restarted the song. They also played Diane Young twice, the second time it was the last song of the encore because they “thought they could do better.” Two of the new songs we heard that night were released Monday.

When we got home we pretty much went straight to bed because, whoops, we’d decided to drive 8 hours to New Orleans the next day to see Watsky on his next tour stop. We also were going to meet up with our friends Molly and Jessica who both live nearby. It had been exactly a year since I’d last been to New Orleans on spring break with my family.

When we got into NOLA we met up with Molly at Gumbo Shop. Unfortunately Jess got really sick as soon as we got into town, so she had to leave to go home and came back to pick us up later.

After dinner we walked over to the New Orleans House of Blues and got in line for Watsky.

The show was, as we expected, phenomenal. Totally worth it.

After the show we walked over to Cafe Du Monde for beignets. Because it’s physically impossible to go to NOLA without going to Cafe Du Monde.

We wandered around the French Quarter after we’d finished and then walked Molly back toward her car. Conveniently the venue was on the way back, and we were walking by just as Watsky and his bandmates were packing up their bus.

Jessica came back to pick us up and drive us back to her apartment in Houma, where we slept for way too few hours before waking up at 5 to drive back to Austin.


We were a little worn out when we got back to Britt’s apartment, so we didn’t do much for the rest of the day besides get some neglected work done, watch Watsky’s entire YouTube series and spend the evening at Anna’s friend Maureen’s house watching Bomb Girls on Netflix and eating Chinese takeout.

When we managed to get up and around the next morning, Anna and I went to Mags for breakfast before our Very Exciting Plans for the day.

The plans? Tattoos. I’m pretty sure I’ve been intending on getting my lightning bolt tattoo for about 7 years at this point. It’s a nod to Harry Potter, obviously, but also is a nod to all the friends and experiences that becoming so passionate about something has given me over the years. My tattoo took about 2 whole minutes to start and finish, and didn’t hurt at all. I’ve had blood drawn that hurt worse.

Our tattoo artist was Justin (, and I can’t recommend him highly enough. We got in touch with him after Britt referred us and he’s amazing, along with the added bonus of being an incredibly nice guy.

Here’s Anna murdering my hand while getting arrows tattooed on her feet:

Next up for the day was meeting up with Tina again and having her give Anna an official tour of Austin since it was her first time visiting.

That evening Britt, Hillary, Anna and I went to the Alamo Drafthouse to see Silver Linings Playbook and have dinner. It was there that tragedy struck.

RIP, my friend. You were much loved.

Sadly, the next morning was our last in Austin. Anna and I packed up and then Britt joined us for breakfast before we left.

We made a quick IKEA run on our way out of town because Anna had never been. Somehow I got out with spending less than $20, so I’m calling it a win.

We also stopped in Ft. Worth at a vegan bakery and restaurant to meet up with our friend Elisa, who I FINALLY met in person after knowing her online in various capacities for the past 4+ years.

I had vegan spaghetti and meatballs and it was AMAZING.


Then it was back on the road and back home.

I’m dragging my feet about going back to reality, so I came to Tulsa to hang out with my parents for awhile before heading back up to school.

This spring break was definitely one that I’m going to get sad and nostalgic over constantly FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. I’m sad from just recapping it in this post. But I’m moving to Austin in June and I’m already counting down the days. Also, counting down the days until I can see Watsky again. But that wasn’t really the point I was trying to make here.

Oh well.

1 comment
  1. Hi Emily, Since you mention tattoos, What do you think about First Female Tattoo Artist Starts a Cultural Phenomenon?


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