(1) From Vegas, I kissed Danny goodbye, hugged all our friends, and got on a plane to Austin to see my best friend. I was spending the rest of the week in Texas, and this time I was finally going to Franklin Barbecue. It was as good as people say it is. We were in line just before the Last Man Standing. The line was extra long with SXSW going on, but they guaranteed us brisket and passed out sausage while we waited.
Kay says Austin is all about waiting in lines, but waiting is no big deal when you’re with your bff (and chairs, a six-pack, and Heads Up, which was a good way to make friends in line and kept us going in the line for Jimmy Kimmel as well). Four hours never went by so quickly.
Beer and baked goods, together forever
(2) Easy Tiger is a bakery + biergarten with excellent food. I loved my garlic sausage on a pretzel bun with plenty of mustard. Also, free PBR. There’s so much free stuff during SXSW. For dessert, a tiger claw filled with Indian spices.
No gym this morning and the French press stays where we left it yesterday. It’s Saturday and I’ve been looking forward to the market all week. Jeans on. Teeth brushed. Off we go.
The Saturday Morning Market in St. Petersburg is a trek from our place in the ‘burbs of north Hillsborough, but the trip is worth it every time. We hit up the first coffee stand we see and mosey around the rest of the market in search of this morning’s pastry. A brioche-like cake for Danny. The fluffiest macaroon dipped in chocolate for me.
We head to my favorite tent, the big one for Worden Farm. Their tables are always stacked high with fresh, organic produce, but today, we’re late. They’re out of that deeply green savoy cabbage I can never get my hands on and the line stretches long and loops several times around like a garden snake. Danny gets in line. I hustle over to the greens and fill my basket with arugula, kale, and brussels sprouts. I grab a bunch of perky sunflowers and start to slow down near the kohlrabi, propped up like purple roses, when I see the radishes. The French breakfast ones with their elegant, long shape and pink and white tones.
Deborah Madison, a woman who knows her vegetables with a veracity I aspire to, says people pick up radishes as soon as they see them because they’re so pretty. And yet they often end up forgotten in a crisper drawer. Not me, I thought. I wouldn’t let these beauties fade away.
I’ll say this about Vegas. It was fun. Way more fun than I expected it to be.
The shows, the lights, the food. I loved the ease of walking around with friends, stumbling upon one good thing after the other. On our way into Las Vegas, other passengers on the plane were cheering, whistling, and chanting the city’s name. Ve-gas. Ve-gas. It was funny and kind of silly to me at the time, but now you might find me cheering, too.
There will be a lazy river, poolside cabanas, and sexy acrobats. Buffets, bikinis, and nights dancing to Beyoncé and Britney. This neon-bright respite from real life will be followed by all the tacos I could want, food trucks, and brisket.
I’m counting down the days (there aren’t many left!) until my spring break. That’s right, school’s been out for a while for me but I’m reclaiming spring break. I’m splitting a week between Vegas (my first visit!) and Austin.