I don’t even know where to begin. In fact, I almost didn’t. It was just too much. I could have filled an entire post each day, but, then, I would have spent our entire weekend getaway writing and that defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Because there’s no way to capture it all, I’ve selected a few highlights.
Lessons Learned in Austin, Texas February 2011.
1. NAHBS is awesome.
The North American Handmade Bicycle Show was awe-inspiring. I don’t care if you are a roadie, a hard-core mountain biker, a recreational cyclist, a commuter, or even anti-cycling; you must attend a show if you ever have the chance. Combine 150+ incredibly talented and passionate bicycle builders into a convention hall with their most prized works, and you can’t help but smile. The energy was contagious, the people were as friendly as can be, and the environment somehow homey.
Don’t believe me? Check out the Vanilla Workshop set-up.
They were serving fresh, pressed coffee. At a bicycle show. And it was darn good!
2. Our tandem is pretty darn cool.
Did I mention that our very own tandem was part of the show?
Going through the custom design process as Cyfac’s first US tandem was a labor of love, but it turned out to be incredible! I don’t care if it didn’t win “Best Tandem,” it will always rock in my book. (Although I must admit that it was rewarding that even the guy whose tandem won seemed surprise and commented that our tandem was amazing.)
3. No matter how many bikes you have, you can still get bike envy.
If I had unlimited funds and lots of patience, I would own a Vanilla Bicycle … in five years, which is their current wait list!
Seriously. They think of everything, and they get it right.
4. I am a sucker for cute little people and puppies.
Moving on . . .
5. I could eat gingerbread pancakes every single day for the rest of my life.
I honestly can’t imagine ever getting sick of them. Given that no one in Dallas seems to understand their greatness and that we waited nearly an hour to eat them at Magnolia Cafe (every morning that we were in Austin, I might add), I seriously need to expedite my replication of this recipe.
6. Austin is 100% as fantabulous as I remember.
I have a seemingly irrational level of affection for Austin, Texas. I often wonder whether this is just me longing to recapture my youth; whether I have the grass is always greener syndrome; or whether the city has changed so much since we lived there 10 years ago (gosh, I’m getting old, I really though it was five!) that it wouldn’t be the same. For better or for worse, this weekend answered all those questions for me, and confirmed that I’ve got to figure out how to move back there someday. (Or Portland or Boulder, but seeing as Austin is in Texas, this seems like a more realistic goal.)
The Austin vibe is real. I’m not talking about the “Keep Austin Weird” marketing hype or the Longhorn football (both of which I could do without). I’m talking about the authenticity. The laid-back, relaxed approach to things. The kindness of strangers. The appreciation for nature.
The emphasis on life instead of livelihood.
With this renewed passion and energy, I think I can sustain livelihood here in Dallas for at least a few more years until we knock out our financial goals and can make a move to somewhere with more of the life we want to live.
Until then, here’s to appreciating the life – and livelihood – you’ve got and taking the time to smell the roses … or gingerbread pancakes, as the case may be. 🙂
xoxo ~your busy little B