Tag Archives: Austin Photo Book

SXSW 2013: Austin. TX. Music. Beer. Bacon. sat·is·fac·tion.

I LOVE travel; but, when you can’t travel for whatever reason (time, fear of clowns, money, stuck cooking a rack of lamb), the most satisfying remedy is a “staycation”. Call it snobbery. Call it a blessing. Call it lucky. Call it True (or False?). Call it whatever you want; BUT… I’m calling Austin, Texas one of my Top 10 Favorite Cities in the World! And, if you haven’t already guessed by the title of this blog (Austin GlobeTrekker), I live here and I’m LOVING every minute of it! By the way… is “snobbery” a real word? Or did I just make that up? Well, it’s a word now.

Austin, TX - City Skyline from Mt Bonnell
Austin, TX – City skyline from Mt Bonnell

The funny thing about Austin, is that you rarely actually meet somebody who was born and raised here. When you do… trust me, they’ll proudly let you know. And why not? The rest of us got here and stayed. My parents moved to Austin in 1991 while I was in college. I moved here in 2000. I think that gives me the right to call Austin my “home town”. You see, there are levels of “PRIDE”. Level 1 – PROUD to be an American. Level 2 – Proud to be from Texas. And then there’s Level 3 – Mach 5 with your hair on fire yelling and screaming while jumping out of an airplane strapped to the back of a great white shark – PROUD to live in Austin, TX!

T E X A S  2 0 1 3
T E X A S 2 0 1 3

I’ve recently discovered (thanks to Lesley CarterThe Most Interesting Travel Woman in the World!) that there are a LOT of people around the globe probably reading my blog for the 1st time who may (or may not) know anything about Austin, TX. For those of you who dare to venture deep into the heart of Texas – Austin Photo Book answers that ever looming question… Why do people LOVE Austin so much? (photography by my friend Peter Tsai @supertsai).

Austin Photo Book - photography by Peter Tsai
Austin Photo Book – photography by Peter Tsai

Last year, I wrote a blog called SXSW 2012: I LOVE Austin, TX! (Please… don’t move here!). And to steal some sentences from myself (well, I guess it’s not plagiarizing if I wrote them) I especially love Austin during the month of March, when Spring Break comes to town, and South by Southwest (SXSW) showcases the best in indie film, music and interactive from around the world. Last year’s highlight was spending time with my friend Kate (aka Cinnamon, aka K-Bone) and discovering artists like – Of Monsters and Men (Iceland), Team Me (Norway) and Ed Sheeran (England). Did I mention I also saw Jay-Z at Austin City Limits Moody Theater earlier that same week? But, I digress. The fact of the matter, it was GREAT to be in Austin, Texas! I remember thinking… I’m really happy I live here. If my memory serves me well, I think the night I dropped Kate off at her house, she turned from her front porch and yelled towards the car “Hey! Same time next year?”. Oh hail to the yeah! The only question was… How are we going to top 2012? That’s the beauty of Austin, Texas. You just never know!

SXSW 2013: Breakfast @KerbeyLane with Kate - The "tradition" begins!
SXSW 2013: Breakfast @KerbeyLane with Kate – The “tradition” begins!
Kerbey Lane Cafe - Austin, Texas USA. When you've just gotta have a good breakfast!
Kerbey Lane Cafe – Austin, Texas USA

I’m not sure if doing something for 2 years in a row is considered a “tradition”; but, for argument’s sake, let’s say that Kate and I have started a “tradition” because our 2013 Friday SXSW Experience began the same as our 2012 Friday SXSW Experience, with breakfast at an Austin culinary staple – the original Kerbey Lane Cafe on Kerbey Lane. Now don’t be fooled. There are other Kerbey Lane cafe’s; but, they’re not actually ON Kerbey Lane, so in my book… you’re not really at Kerbey Lane. Ok, that’s enough Shameless Free Advertising about Kerbey Lane. Go to the original. You’ll thank me later. I highly recommend the french toast with bacon. Cuz everything’s better with bacon. In the movie business, that would be called a “teaser”.

SXSW 2013: Tumblr + Gap's SXSW FILTER On Rainey Showcase [Friday, March 15, 2013]
SXSW 2013: Tumblr + Gap’s SXSW FILTER On Rainey Showcase [Friday, March 15, 2013]
Tumblr + Gap's SXSW FILTER On Rainey Showcase
Tumblr + Gap’s SXSW FILTER On Rainey Showcase

We really only had one requirement for SXSW 2013. Get to Rainey Street and enjoy the day of live music with our friends from Filter Magazine Showcase. They served us well last year, so keeping with tradition, that was our assignment. Mission Accomplished. I’m not sure what time it is socially acceptable to consume alcohol; but, let’s just say that when we hit our 1st venue on Rainey Street, we were the only souls at Craft Pride that didn’t actually work at Craft Pride. So what is this place? Well, the name says it all. Craft Pride is a local Austin bar that proudly (and exclusively) serves craft beers made and brewed in the State of Texas. I think “made” and “brewed” is the same thing; but, let’s just leave it alone. One of the coolest aspects of Craft Pride is that 90% of the interior’s wood was reclaimed after knocking down the previous establishment. I was feeling that Texas Pride!

Craft Pride - SXSW 2013 in Austin, TX
Craft Pride – SXSW 2013 in Austin, TX

Beer Flight @Craft Pride - Austin, TX [SXSW 2913]
Beer Flight @Craft Pride – Austin, TX [SXSW 2913]
Craft Pride # 61 Rainey Street in Austin, TX [SXSW 2013]
Craft Pride # 61 Rainey Street in Austin, TX [SXSW 2013]
I’m absolutely God awful about picking out wine, and unless I use Google, I couldn’t tell you a merlot from a pinot, or chardonnay. I thought I knew beer. Boy, was I wrong! Craft Pride has 50+ Texas brewed beers on tap. Stouts, lager, Scottish Ale, and my favorite… IPAs. The thing I loved most… as soon as time permitted for us to legally be served, they took the time and courtesy to truly educate us on their selections. You can’t help but fall in love with delectable talents of a well made beer. I would highly recommend 667 Neighbor of the Beast IPA, Deep Ellum Brewing IPA, Thirsty Goat Amber, and Jester King’s Wytchmayker  IPA. Sister Kate tasted a few; but, I think she was a fan of Texas Honey Ale, and of course 667 Neighbor of the Beast and Devil’s Backbone Brewery.We started out the day the right way! So, if you’re ever in Austin, TX head on down to Craft Pride at the Southernmost end of Austin’s historic Rainey Street, ask for Russell, and tell him Cookie sent ya!

 Russell @Craft Pride - Austin, TX [SXSW 2913]
Russell @Craft Pride – Austin, TX [SXSW 2913]
Mmmmmm.... Beer! Craft Pride - Austin, TX [SXSW 2013]
Mmmmmm…. Beer! Craft Pride – Austin, TX [SXSW 2013]
What's on Tap? @Craft Pride - 61 Rainey Street [Austin, TX - SXSW 2013]
What’s on Tap? @Craft Pride – 61 Rainey Street [Austin, TX – SXSW 2013]
While we were at Craft Pride, we met a couple from Boston. Low and behold, they were “just visiting” Austin (because they heard it was a cool city) and had no idea it also happened to be SXSW until they arrived. Once again, I love travelers who take the time to ask for the “local recommendation”, so I helped where I could. Grab a cone at Amy’s Ice Cream; spend Sunday afternoon at Ginny’s Little Longhorn for Chicken Shit Bingo (or any of the dive bars on Burnet Road – La La’s, Buddy’s, C-Hunt’s, Poodle Dog Lounge); 2am Breakfast at Magnolia Cafe where the sign says “Sorry We’re Open”; stand under the rotunda at the State Capitol Building; check out the shops, bars, restaurants and food trucks on South Congress; Get a good view of Lake Austin and the city skyline from the top of Mt Bonnell; eat some real genuine Texas BBQ at the original Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX; take a short road trip for Sunday Jazz Brunch at Nutty Brown Cafe (Dripping Springs, TX); but, first and foremost, you’re already doing the #1 best thing you can do in Austin, TX… experiencing SXSW in the Live Music Capital of the World!

Texas State Capitol - Austin, Texas USA
Texas State Capitol – Austin, Texas USA
Texas State Capitol Bldg in Austin - "Don't Mess With Texas!"
Texas State Capitol Bldg in Austin – “Don’t Mess With Texas!”
Amy's Ice Cream - Austin, Texas - "A True Frozen Dessert Experience!"
Amy’s Ice Cream – Austin, Texas – “A True Frozen Dessert Experience!”
Magnolia Cafe - Austin, Texas - "Sorry, We're Open" - late night pancakes with my friends Robyn and Jaime
Magnolia Cafe – Austin, Texas – “Sorry, We’re Open”

I can’t remember the rest of the conversation with the Bostonians, because Kate came running back into the bar to tell me “You’ve GOT to check this out. They’ve got a BACON food truck on the back patio!”. She had me at BACON.

BACON Food Truck at Craft Pride on Rainey Street - March 15, 2013 [Austin, TX]
BACON Food Truck at Craft Pride on Rainey Street – March 15, 2013 [Austin, TX]
SXSW 2013: Javelina - 69 Rainey Street [Austin, TX]
SXSW 2013: Javelina – 69 Rainey Street [Austin, TX]
The day continued with us walking aimlessly northward on Rainey Street. As mentioned previously, our intent… attending the Filter Magazine Showcase on Rainey Street (presented by Tumblr + GAP). The afternoon at Clive Bar was filled with music by Vacationer, Ducktails, Peace, Shout Out Louds, and Ra Ra Riot. I can tell you that before that day… I had never heard of ANY of these bands; but, there’s just something special and cool about chilling with friends and music lovers from all over the world in your home town. I couldn’t of been happier. And then it happened…

SXSW 2013: See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil
SXSW 2013: See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil
SXSW 2013: Chillin' with the LA crew on Rainey Street [Austin, TX]
SXSW 2013: Chillin’ with the LA crew on Rainey Street [Austin, TX]
SXSW 2013: Without ME it's just AWESO
SXSW 2013: Without ME it’s just AWESO
SXSW 2013: Live Music in Austin, TX
SXSW 2013: Live Music in Austin, TX
SXSW 2013: Tumblr + GAP - Filter Showcase on Rainey Street
SXSW 2013: Tumblr + GAP – Filter Showcase on Rainey Street
KATE! SXSW 2013!
KATE! SXSW 2013!

I was talking with my friends, snapping pictures (like I always do), laughing and joking around with a group of folks from Los Angeles. I put the camera in my bag and slung it over my shoulder whilst turning to take my beer back from my friend Marie. During the process, I accidentally bumped into the guy behind me. I sincerely apologized with an “Oh man, I’m so sorry bro.” He said, “No worries, it’s cool”. I started making small talk with him, and then my friend Marie says to me “Errr… Jason. You know this is Usher, right?”. To the surprise of many, black people blush. Well, at least I did! I was just having a conversation with him like it was nobody’s business. He laughed, we shook hands, and then did that brotherly hug thing. He was beyond cool, calm and collected. Just enjoying Austin, Texas and listening to some live music at SXSW. It was like meeting 007. Just cool.

SXSW 2013: It's good to be the King! (or Queen)
SXSW 2013: It’s good to be the King! (or Queen)
SXSW 2013: Enjoying life w/new friends from LA
SXSW 2013: Enjoying life w/new friends from LA
SXSW 2013: The crowd is hopping!
SXSW 2013: The crowd is hopping!
SXSW 2013: Enoying the music....
SXSW 2013: Enoying the music….

We talked for maybe 5mins longer, and then he was discovered. I politely told him it was a pleasure hanging with him. Then I realized WAIT… this is Usher! Nobody will believe me! So, I asked. Can we get a picture? Because nobody will believe me. In typical Usher fashion, he said “Of course!”. Now… the problem with handing over your Nikon D7000 DSLR camera for people to take a picture of you and Usher… there’s ZERO time to give them a crash course in using the camera. Needless to say, I took what I could get which is Photo 1 with Usher blinking. Photo 2 with my head almost getting cut out of the picture; but, between the 2 photos… you get the idea. So for my “Are You Kidding Me?” award, the recipient is none other than Usher. Buy his albums, name your kid Usher, watch The Voice. I don’t care. Whatever you have to do… support that guy, because he is truly a class act and I’ll forever be a fan.

Usher & Me (Austin GlobeTrekker) - Tumblr + GAP - Filter Showcase on Rainey Street
Usher & Me (Austin GlobeTrekker) – Tumblr + GAP – Filter Showcase on Rainey Street
Usher - SXSW 2013: Austin, TX
Usher – SXSW 2013: Austin, TX

The afternoon turned to evening, and the music progressed, as did the capacity of the crowds. After a fun-filled day of excursions on Rainey Street at places like Clive Bar, Icenhauer’s, and The Bungalow, it only made sense that we venture back to where it all began at Craft Pride. It was time for a Deep Ellum IPA and a BACON sandwich (which just so happened to have a piece of grilled chicken on it).

SXSW 2013: Craft Pride - 61 Rainey Street [Austin, TX]
SXSW 2013: Craft Pride – 61 Rainey Street [Austin, TX]
Taps at Craft Beer
Taps at Craft Beer

sat·is·fac·tion (s t s-f k sh n). As we made our way out of the downtown scene, reflecting on the unlikely series of events our day unfolded, my olfactory senses were on fire with the carnival smell of funnel cakes doused with powdered sugar. My partner-in-crime launched herself from the vehicle as I sat patiently awaiting her return. As Kate jumped back into the car with a white paper plate bursting with funnel cake, we smiled (actually giggled) and I could only think of 2 words to sum up SXSW 2013. bad. ass.


Amsterdam… or Austin? Decisions. Decisions.

I’ve spent the past week or so trying to figure out why I had a dream (albeit nightmare) that I was in the 80’s rock band Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night” music video. Yeah… got some great Facebook responses over that one, and NO… I was not rolling around on the hood of a Jaguar. That was actually the “Here I Go Again” video. BUT… I was shirtless – sportin’ a leather vest and a pair of acid washed Guess jeans. It wasn’t until today, the 2nd birthday of our son Jordan, that I realized exactly why.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - May 2007

As the 7 of you who actually read this blog know… I’m a real fan of looking back at where I’ve been, so I can see where I’m going. During my Senior Class Presidential speech at graduation, I said “Remember the past. Look to the future. But always live in the present.” In Fall 2001, exactly 10 years ago, I knew where I had been, the present sucked (just had 9/11, my grandad died, and I was unemployed); therefore, the future wasn’t looking too bright either. I’m not going to bore you with my woe is me story; but, let’s just say I found myself overseas in Europe looking for jobs in London and Amsterdam. So how does a Texan wind up in Amsterdam? Good question.

I amsterdam

Kind of funny how the whole Amsterdam thing came up. In 1994, I was given the most spectacular college graduation gift ever from my college friend Andy’s father. 4 Tickets to World Cup 1994 Quarter Finals in Dallas, Texas. For those of you who are also fans of football (aka soccer), you will recall that the legendary match was The Netherlands vs Brazil. Two of the most loyal and passionate football fan bases in the WORLD. Yes, I said WORLD. There we were… sitting at the half field line, singing with the Dutch, drumming and doing the Samba with the Brazilians, pinching each other to see “is this real?”. It was at that point that I made the lifelong rewarding decision that I would become a GlobeTrekker, so I could travel the world and meet people like THIS! Given the opportunity, I knew that I MUST visit their perspective countries of The Netherlands and Brazil before my life on this planet reaches its conclusion.

Canal Boats outside Centraal Station - Amsterdam

Opportunity #1. It was 1999 and I was in London on business. My British counterpart Biggin said “Hey mate! You’ve got some time before you head back. Let’s go to Amsterdam!”. Sounded fantastic to me! That was before we met up for a “few” pints down in SOHO/West End with our crazy Irish counterpart – Rory Kelly (how’s that for an Irish name?). “To hell ya arrrr! Ya comin’ back with me tar Dublin! It’s World Rugby Championship lads!”. His words… not mine. Needless to say, we never made it to Amsterdam; however, Dublin was… EPIC! I’ll never forget that journey; but, I’ll save that mayhem story for another episode.

vacant tables in the Leidseplein - Amsterdam

Opportunity #2 pleasantly presented itself just 2 years later in December 2001. So there I was, with an appetite for travel, staying with my 1st cousin Roger and his family in Northampton, England. From time to time, I would visit other cousins and family members in Leicester, Brighton, Derby, and London; but, after being in England for about a month, I had the chance to visit my Aunt’s husband’s brother-in-law in The Netherlands. How’s that for a stretch down the family tree? A tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Dutchman named Tomas. I think I was closer related to my FedEx driver than I was to Tom; but, family is family, and my cousin Roger and I were up for the “challenge”. Boarding the EasyJet flight out of Luton, one of my dream trips was about to be fulfilled. But, could I live there? That was the question. We found ourselves lodging in humbled circumstances at a 2 Star rated hotel just off the Leidseplein. In the words of my cousin Rog, it was “well dodgy”. Let me tell you something… I’m by no means pompous; but, unless I’m staying in the countryside, a national park, the mountains, or camping… there better be at least 3-4 Stars for a city hotel. Especially in Europe. Doesn’t really matter, because our room basically held our suitcases. The rest of the time… we were out and about.

Bicycles. Bicycles. Bicycles. Dam Square - Amsterdam 2007
What year was this bike made? 1946? Amsterdam 2007

My 2001 memories of The Netherlands… Bicycles. Bicycles. Bicycles. And then more bicycles. Good GOD those people can ride a bike! Pants. Skirt. Evening gown. Spandex. Doesn’t matter. They’ll just hop on and ride. And why are the bikes from circa 1946 post WWII? Not going to knock their preferred mode of transportation, because that’s the reason they’re all fit and healthy.

Clog Making @ Zaanse Schans - The Netherlands

I also recall watching a clog making demonstration in Zaanse Schans. Typically, not my cup of tea, and there would be nothing spectacular about this excursion, except in this particular situation… there was a Japanese tour bus that unloaded in front of us which added to the humor of the afternoon. Picture this… You have a Dutchman making clogs, while a Japanese tour guide translates Dutch into Japanese, and all the while, Tomas was translating Dutch into English for me and Roger. By the way, Tomas made up about 95% of the stuff he told us, because there’s no way clog making should be that funny. This was all before Tomas decided it would be a good idea to touch a smelly and nasty billy goat at Zaanse Schans windmills. Thus acquiring the nickname “Goat Boy”. Is it even possible for something to be smelly without being nasty? Nope? Didn’t think so.

Zaanse Schans Windmills - May 2007
Zaanse Schans - working windmills

Oh Lord, and what would an Austin GlobeTrekker blog be without me complaining about the weather? News flash… it’s colder than Christmas in The Netherlands in December. That didn’t help my probability for moving to Amsterdam. Sure, it’s better than the Texas heat; but, this is also why I don’t live in Chicago. The Winter man! the Winter! It’s just TOO cold.

Prinsengracht - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - May 2007

Self-proclaimed observation. I’m always embarrassed how few languages I know when I travel overseas. I know errrr… ONE. Pathetic I know; but, I always try to learn a few phrases. Plus, I’m a firm believer that a kind heart, friendly tone, and pleasant smile will get you quite far in a foreign land. Just watch The Amazing Race and you’ll see I’m spot on. Although, I was disturbingly surprised after asking for help to locate a cup of coffee only to be directed to a “coffee house”. Let’s just say two words and leave it at that… The Bulldog. Yeah… that wasn’t the kind of coffee I was looking for. I was thinking more like Folger’s, Starbuck’s, or a dirty NYC diner cup of joe served by a waitress named Mary Jane from West Virginia trying to get her life together in the big city. Well… “Mary Jane” was with us at The Bulldog alright. I must say though… I met some of the best people in the world that night. Three tall beautiful blonde girls from Iceland, some wicked cool girls from England, a couple of outrageously funny Scottish guys, 2 crazy ass football players from Baltimore, Maryland USA and me. Huh? Yeah, that was weird. Didn’t matter. We were living and loving life to it’s fullest! As my friend Stef recently posted on Facebook “Life is short, and it’s up to you to make it sweet” ~ Sadie Delaney. Good times. Goes down as one of the all-time greatest nights of partying. EVER.

Heinekin anyone? Amsterdam 2007
Amsterdam @ night

Before I get too boisterous about my partying prowess… It was after 3am, and I found myself being cursed by the Icelandic beauties as I threw in the towel, jumped in a cab, and told them I couldn’t go dancing with them at a local Amsterdam club. My cabbie was a kind and well-spoken gentleman from Turkey. “Where to my friend?”. And then it happened. I blanked out! All I could remember was that my hotel was on something straat. He bellowed a hearty laugh and said “My friend… ‘straat’ is like in English… errrr… the word ‘road'”. We drove around for hours in hope that I would remember the hotel name, an address, the location, something. We talked about his country of Turkey, and how he was there working to eventually bring his family over to Amsterdam. We also talked about 9/11, America, Europe, people, cultures, religions, life, everything. Sunrise, and I saw the movie theater across the street from our 2 Star hotel. The cab ride cost me 50 Euros or so for over 3 hours of drive time around the city of Amsterdam. A bargain in my book for an evening well spent, and inevitably, the night that I made the conscious decision it was time for me to return to America. More specifically, to live in Austin, Texas. 10 years later and here I am blogging about it. If you want to see a great representation of Austin, Texas and why I love this city so much, then please check out the photography of my friend Peter Tsai @SuperTsai in Austin Photo Book.

Austin Photo Book - photography by Peter Tsai

Sometimes I wonder “What IF… I had moved to Amsterdam? Or even London? What would my life have been like?”. Life isn’t made out of “What If’s”. As the great Jedi Master Yoda once said… “do or do not there is no try”. Yeah, I just referenced Star Wars. Now where was I? Oh yes. Life isn’t made of “What If’s”. For example, my childhood friend Josh (aka JR) is moving to Montana to become a fly fishing guide. That’s where JR belongs! In a river bed with a fly reel in his hands, soaking up God’s great landscape in Big Sky Country. How cool is that?

Graffiti or Art? Amsterdam 2007

It’s like my good friend Brooke (from Sweetwater, Texas).  She made the conscious decision (many years ago I might add) to move to New York City. Recently, she was here in Austin on business, and had the opportunity to combine it with a little pleasure by hanging with us – her friends. Effortless fun. As much as I’d LOVE for her to move back to Texas… she’s a New Yorker now. I’m proud of her. Happy for her. She’s exactly where she’s supposed to be. Look for an upcoming guest blog entry from Brooke on Austin GlobeTrekker soon – she’s in Iceland right now. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for THAT trip! Looking forward to hearing the adventures of the Wolfpack in Iceland. You can check out Brooke’s hysterical tales of life in New York (and beyond) on her blog  – Costly Sunglasses.

Amsterdam row house - May 2007
Amsterdam 2007. Yes... more bicycles.
Now comes the irony. May 2007. My wife(Anna) has a business trip to Amsterdam. It was during our 1st year anniversary (May 15), and she was 5 months pregnant with our first son – Cameron. I knew I could only go for 3-4 days; but, the opportunity to celebrate our anniversary together in one of my favorite cities in the world presented itself, so I was on that airplane as fast as possible. Landing at Schiphol Airport, I took the 15min train ride into Amsterdam and walked out of Centraal Station with a sense of comfort and fond memories. I walked across the street to our 4 Star lodging (Victoria Hotel) and began to tell my wife the stories of my visit in 2001.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands - May 2007

The tours of Amsterdam in 2007 were a lot different than in 2001. Sure, we checked out The Red Light District. Just one of those tourist things you have to do. But, just like Sixth Street doesn’t define Austin, Texas, neither does The Red Light District define Amsterdam. If you should find yourself heading to The Netherlands, be sure to check out Zaanse Schans for the windmills, clog museum, cheese factory, as well as touring the beautiful villages and authenticity of the Dutch Countryside. Had some of the best fish of my entire life in the fishing village of Volendam.

Drunken Sailors? Volendam, The Netherlands 2007

If you’re staying in Amsterdam, don’t be afraid to be a tourist and take a “Hop On Hop Off” canal ride around Amsterdam, witness the historical courage of Anne Frank at Anne Frank Museum, see the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, take in Dam Square, experience The Flower Market, and eat the best pancakes in the world at The Pancake Bakery on Prinsengracht 191. YES, I said best in the world. No joke.

Anne Frank Museum - Amsterdam 2007
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - May 2007

And if you happen to be walking around Amsterdam on a quiet Sunday morning… make it a goal to find the Begijnhof – the only inner court in Amsterdam founded during the Middle Ages (1346). Definitely a calming and moving place. One more thing… take an afternoon or early evening stroll, and have a drink (or meal) in the really cool neighborhood of Jordaan.  Notice any similarities? Hmmm… Jordan. Jordaan. Coincidence? Me thinks not.

Begijnhof - Amsterdam 2007
Amsterdam 2007 - Begijnhof founded in 1346

As I mentioned at the beginning of the blog, I’ve spent the past week or so trying to figure out why I was in a Whitesnake video; but, it wasn’t until today, the 2nd birthday of our son Jordan, that I realized exactly why. The ever-looming answer… because that’s not where I was supposed to be. God provides the map. Use it. Or don’t. But, one way or another… you’ve got to make a decision. Right here. Right now. THIS is where I’m supposed to be. That was my decision. Austin, Texas with my wife (Anna), my boys (Cameron – 4, and Jordan – 2). You’ve just gotta find your place in this world. Literally. Mine is right here in Austin, Texas… For now. Travel well my friends! CHEERS!

watch out for that tram! Amsterdam 2007