SXSW, A FILM PREMIER AND A WEEKEND IN AUSTIN TEXAS:

I started writing this post on Friday night and all I kept saying was how could this trip have been a week ago already! It felt like we just got back. We had such a wonderful time. I was numb for a few days after. A thousand hugs to my friend Kate for staying over and watching our fur babies!
Austin TX is a great city. None of us had ever been there before. It's contemporary yet quaint, picturesque with a hip small town vibe juxtaposed against a modern city skyline. It's also the home of a huge annual film and music festival called SXSW, (South By South West), and that's what brought us to Austin.We were there for the premier of  'WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY'. A film about the untold story of Emily Dickinson, found through published letters which alter what history has lead us to believe about this famous poet. It's a comedy staring the amazing Molly Shannon as Emily and my daughter, Dana Melanie, as young Emily. This film manages a political message as well as the ability to tug at your hart strings as you're laughing out loud. That's quite a task pulled off by director Madeleine Olnek, a true creative genius, and a wonderful cast. If you're interested in reading about the film this great review in IndieWire nails it better than anything I could write here. There's also a shout out to Dana and her co-star who plays young Susan, Emily's lover, calling the young actors 'Excellent'.  The screening was held in the beautiful Paramount Theaters, 1100 seats and it was full!
After the excitement of the Red Carpet and all the Press and seeing the film for the first time, and loving it, my daughter had a lot of people come up to her on the street to compliment her performance or ask to take her picture. I'm always stuck by how moved and humble she is when this happens to her and I'm confident that she will always be this way, even when accepting her future Oscar, and making her brilliant speech, you know the one where she profusely thanks her wonderful Mother (heehee).
 
Most of the action was downtown which is made up of some amazingly old gorgeous stone buildings reminiscent of the wild west, after all it is still Texas.  Which also explains the picture below of the no guns sign, and that was on the door of a bank no less! The main road is Congress Street, at the end of Congress is the beautiful Capital Building built in 1852.
Over this bridge is called 'South of Congress' which is a really cool neighborhood with hip shops, lots of vintage, great restaurants and coffee shops.  And the food! Austin has great food, who knew? We're forever spoiled for Tacos after visiting Taco Deli on the recommendation an Austin Instagramer. And food trucks are very popular. At the after party for the film there was a taco truck, I had a veggie taco which was amazing. I'll never look at tacos the same again, I wasn't even a fan of tacos! I'd go back just for the tacos. OK enough about Tacos. We also visited Barton Springs which is this beautiful park with a huge 'pool' which is really a river that was freezing and a little to murky for me but it's where everyone who lives in Austin goes to swim, hike, bike, run, bring their dogs, etc.
 

It was fun walking around a city at all hours too, not sure how it would be without a film festival as there was so much action and so many festival goers. I clocked about 18,000 steps every day on my fitness pal, which of course meant more tacos :)





The real Rocky Mountain High. Till Next time Austin!



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