I went to Austin last week to visit family and friends. It’s been almost four years since my wife and I moved up to Seattle. Time does slip away! But I have to say it’s always good to walk into Austin’s warm embrace. The place keeps changing, as all places do. Restaurants and clubs open and close, new towers rise in downtown, speed limits increase (70 on IH 35 and 80 on the toll way–yes, I said 80.) Being the foodie I am, I hit some of my favs. Migas with chorizo at El Rincon in Pflugerville, the office special (egg salad and bacon) at Thundercloud Subs, BBQ at Green Mesquite, Rudy’s and Salt Lick. This time around we went to a new restuarant to us, the Salty Sow. We ate outside (something that’s hard to do in Seattle unless it’s summer), had some beautiful food (the pork belly was awesome) and carried on with our waiter and others. Hey, it’s Austin.

The Texas Relays, a college track meet, was going on over the weekend, so Sixth Street, which is the main party and live music drag of the city, was especially lively. In addition to the college crowd, a large assembly of motorcycles and tricked out cars also roamed the area. We found ourselves in a traffic jam downtown at 1AM.

The old adage about how you can’t go back home just doesn’t seem to apply to Austin for me. I’ll go back again and again. Yes, for the BBQ, but mostly for the people, the music, the heart of the place. My character, Nick Sibelius, leads a rather tumultuous, crazy life there. The least I can do is drop by his airstream occasionally with a couple of ice cold Shiners.

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