by mssinglemama on March 17, 2009

On Saturday morning I slipped away in the middle of the night to jump on another plane.

This time Benjamin had to stay behind.

I let him fall asleep in my bed so I could watch him drift while I packed. He spent his last few moments awake begging me to stay, “Mommy, take me with you. I want to go to Texas too.”

“Not this time, baby, but some day soon.”

Texas is a place Benjamin only knows from the pictures he’s seen scattered throughout the house. They’re tucked in places where I’ll see them every day, constant reminders of a time when I was completely in love – not with a man, but with a place.

Like the one on my dresser mirror of my knees wrapped around the edge of an inner tube floating down the Guadalupe River. And Benjamin’s favorite, the picture on the fridge of my sister and I beaming in a self-portrait we snapped before heading off to a concert.

Texas, it seems, will always be tugging at my soul and begging me to come back.

I told Benjamin stories about the days ahead while his eyes grew heavier.

“You’ll be at your daddy’s, then your grandma’s and then Mommy will be home.”

Rather than actually packing outfits I was just shoving all of my favorite tops and pants into the suitcase hoping they’d all look okay together. I had run out of time. Turns out leaving for a trip, even a work trip, means more work on either side of the deal, before you leave and as soon as you get back.

But it was worth it.

The SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin is the most well-respected gathering of geeks (self-professed digital obsessed professionals like myself) on the planet. Needless to say, it was just a little crazy. I spent the days hopping from panel to panel and the nights buzzing from party to party.

Like this one.


alltop party

Where I had one of my favorite beers (without a cigarette)


and then sat on a hay stack to hear the band.


Then I kept walking along South Congress so I could window shop.



Drool over these.

allens boots austin

And take a few more pictures.

jo's coffee austin

austin motel

I have more stories to tell but I’ll have to save them from another day. I’m absolutely exhausted. And tomorrow is a big day – a very big day – it’s Benjamin’s third birthday.

We’ll be taking it easy.

Just me spoiling him with hugs, kisses, cake and presents. But come Saturday we’ll have a few guests invading our little place. I invited them all. I just forgot to factor in their height, weight and body mass – there’s no way everyone is going to fit.

Should be interesting.

In the meantime, tell me about your favorite place on Earth. Come on. We each have one.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Holed Up
February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm
Austin, here I come?
March 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm - In Texas…
April 9, 2012 at 10:08 am

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

JennyD March 18, 2009 at 4:04 am

Am I really the first one? Is the cool or creepy? Let's go with cool.

My favorite place on Earth is my family's lake cabin. I spend a lot of time wound up, bouncing from place to place, kid to kid, etc. When we make it into the cabin's driveway I almost instantly unwind.

I love laying in a hammock with my eyes closed, listening to the water and my family, feeling the warmth of the sun, and knowing that I don't have anywhere to go, anyone to lead, or any decisions to make.

I also love that I can go for a whole weekend with my hair in a messy ponytail and face make up free.

Two sunny days and I'm a new woman, wife, and mother.


Sheila March 18, 2009 at 4:29 am

Very cool! Can't wait for the rest of the recap, and a very happy birthday to your little guy! One of my favorite places is Monterey, CA … just a beautiful, breathtaking place to visit and relax.


TsQuest March 18, 2009 at 4:33 am

Yep, you know how they say… "I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as quick as I could"… that's me! I've been here 20 years now and I do love it. And Austin is just… wow. LOVE tubing down the Guadalupe and LOVE me some Shiner Bock too! (Though now I'm loving a Blue Moon too.) There are also so many great little towns outside of Austin that I adore as well. The hill country is a fabulous place to be.

But since I live here, I have a few other favorite places on earth. Like Tankah Bay, Mexico; Port Douglas, Australia; San Fransisco, CA; Park City, UT …and I'm hoping to add some European destinations when I travel there next month! Yippee!

I'm glad you had fun.


PhenomenalMama March 18, 2009 at 11:39 am

Sounds like you had a fabulous time in Texas. I totally loved reading all your tweets "from the road".

As for my favourite place in the world…all I know is that I haven't been there yet. When I find it, I'll let you know. 🙂


Canadian Bald Guy March 18, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Sounds like you had a great time. I've only been to Texas once, but it was a great visit. I'd love to hit the SXSW Festival one day.


Greg March 18, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Happy birthday, Benjamin!


LisaD March 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I have always wanted to go to SXSW! Hope you had a blast!!

I have 2 favorites: I love my parents' lake cabin in Northern MN. It's so peaceful & relaxing up there. When I go up there, I pretty much live in my swimsuit during the day & pjs at night. My other favorite place is Paris. I went there last summer, while I was recovering from a severely broken heart. It was a huge turning point in the healing process for me, and I have such wonderful memories of wandering through the streets. I went by myself and figured out that I actually really love traveling solo.

Happy Birthday to Benjamin!!!


Lori March 18, 2009 at 2:35 pm

My favorite place on Earth is Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, OH. If you ever have a chance, go. I've never found a place so utterly beautiful and serene. I love it so much some of my ashes will be scattered there when it comes time.


Nakia March 18, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Cool pictures. I want to go to SXSW!

Happy Birthday Benjamin. The third year is definitely alot more fun than the previous years. (IMO)

It's funny. As much as I spend my spare time dreaming of a life elsewhere, my favorite place in the world really is San Diego. Could be that I just haven't traveled enough yet. There's this particular coffee shop, downtown, that is the best place. They've got an outdoor area with fairy lights all over the place and cutesy tables that are nice to sit at and people-watch.


littlemansmom March 18, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Sigh….my favourite place on earth! Florence, Italy……. I was there when I was 24….it was magical, it was warm and inviting, it was the most relaxed I've been in my life, it was pure perfection……I wanna go back…..


thewarriorpoets March 18, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Love Texas, love Austin.

Not too far from Austin is Enchanted Rock near Fredericksburg. Climb to the top and you'll get one of the most beautiful views of Texas hill country you can get outside of a hot air balloon.

That said, my most favorite place is probably just Millenium Park in downtown Chicago on a hot summer day.

Happy birthday little Benjamin!


Lucy March 18, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I love Austin! I went to college there (St. Ed's) but I haven't been back in years. It was nice to see some familiar sites in your pix.


newsinglemama March 18, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Montreal, Canada – it's such a vibrant and sexy city, I love it!


Pisceshanna March 18, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Ha ha Texas. I'm a Coloradan, so we have a love-hate relationship with Texas. We consider Texans invading locusts who come to feed on snow and elk hunting, but end up stranding their Hummers on the sides of mountains, and mistakenly shooting cows in someone's backyard. (No Offense Tonya! We also have that bumper sticker in Colorado)

I have met some really great people from Texas, so I can't say I buy into the Colorado snobbery completely.


Keeshabee March 18, 2009 at 5:19 pm

My favorite place on Earth so far is Miami, FL. I am a tropical gal, and the beach is my sanctuary. I remember those nights laying in my bed, listening to the sweet and serene sound of the crashing waves. It was the best! I dream of heading back there some day.


Nikki March 18, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Oohhh…floating down the Guadalupe is one of my favorite memories. :O) I lived in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for 5 years. I miss the heat. Crazy, yes. But with all this rain…I sure could use a litte Texas sunshine injection.

Other favorite places to go? Tropical. Anyplace. But St. Vincent is my absolute all time favorite tropical place so far. Can't wait to go back.


Dawn March 18, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Sounds like a great time. Hmmmmm…Id have to say at the vacation cabin my ex and I had north of Toronto on a beautiful quiet lake.

BTW I knew our kids were close in age..I just didnt realize THAT close. Happy Birthday little guy!


Cordelia March 18, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Austin, for sure, Austin.


Heather March 18, 2009 at 11:17 pm

The beach. Any beach, really.

I've been seriously seriously seriously considering moving to Austin. I think I'd love it, but I've never been. Crazy, right?

I just can't shake the urge to move away from Atlanta. (As much as I love it.)


Ms. Single Mama March 19, 2009 at 3:55 am

Yeah… start with a visit! But you'd probably love it… can't see why anyone wouldn't.


Heather March 18, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I might be in a twisted mind-frame right now… but am I the only one that thinks the Austin Motel sign looks like a big midde finger … or a giant erection.


Ms. Single Mama March 19, 2009 at 3:56 am

Totally does. AHHHH! So funny.


Bad Mummy March 19, 2009 at 3:52 am

I just spent a week in Seattle. Am hoping that I come back in the next life as a Seattle-ite. Besides there, there are parts of the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario that make me weep for its beauty. The Former Mr and I used to rent a cottage up there, but I'd like to return and do the camping thing with The Mook.

Noticed this about Seattle too…SO MANY NEON SIGNS! Is this an American thing?


Angel March 22, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Austin, Texas? VERY cool! That's where I live! I wasn't in town though. I was in South Padre Island for Spring Break. I hope you loved our city. I adore living here! And SXSW is magnificient (even when you live here and have been a billion times….LOL). Next time you come to Texas, give me a shout and we'll definitely hook up for some good music and fine boos.


movin down the road March 28, 2009 at 12:13 am

Oh soooo cool. My guy, J, lived in Austin for ten years and just put his house on the market after being up here for three years. Seems he's staying here for good…heh heh. BUT we are planning a trip down and I cant wait to see what you saw! (he is in the music industry, as is his bro, so will have good tour guides!)


Amanda April 19, 2009 at 6:43 am

I knew there was an underlying reason I instantly took a liking to your blog – Shiner Bock rocks. So does Texas. You do too 🙂


Leave a Comment