Happy Birthday Drummer Boy

IMG_8075Austin, TX was the place to be late May as we celebrated our Drummer Boy’s 13th birthday. It was a celebration to be sure with all the fixings but most importantly awesome community. There are a number of precious people and families in Austin, TX who really care for us when we roll through. Many of them have children who love our son and we couldn’t have asked for a better stop to celebrate his life.

IMG_8047The celebration kicked off the night before the big day at our Persian friend Mehrdad’s home. We met Mehrdad last spring at a house concert that we performed and he kept in touch with us, often times sending little notes of encouragement. When we returned this time, we were so excited to see him and when he found out it was our son’s 13th birthday he was even more excited. He was so happy that he invited us to his home for a special Persian meal and to meet many in his community. The food was amazing and the conversation was even more fantastic as different folks shared their stories. We learned about the history and traditions of their Bahá’í faith, as well as, the persecution they faced in their homeland of Iran. They shared their journeys of coming to the US and gratitude for being able to live and worship peacefully now.

Dony Wynn, Torchys Tacos, The HollandsThe next day, the BIG DAY, was full of adventure, starting off at one of our favorite Austin taco stands, Torchy’s Tacos where we met our friend Dony Wynn, who last year spent time mentoring our son, encouraging and sharing musical talents.

We fell in love with this ol’ fella after hearing his amazing story growing up in New Orleans, his time as a professional drummer in the rock and roll world, working out the meaning of life as a hermit and now finding passion in the visual arts.

From there we went to a matinée and saw the action packed Spider Man 2 and of course, enjoyed movie theater popcorn.

IMG_8093We concluded our festivities at Zilker Metropolitan Park, which is situated near downtown Austin. It’s a fantastic park and the home to Barton Springs watering hole.

With temps of 90 degrees we were ready to cool off in the fresh spring water. The kids went to the free side of the park and found a large tree along the bank to climb on and jump into the water.

They frolicked for about two hours and then rallied for Texas BBQ from Green Mesquite BBQ, which was just a mile down the road from the park. It was awesome! We ordered take out including a variety of meats for about $60 and everyone brought a salad/drinks to share.

The evening wound down with a red velvet cake that the Malik family made, at our sons request and one last swim. Honestly, we could never have pulled off such a fantastic birthday without our friends, Mehrdad, Dony, The Maliks, The Heikkilas and the Newells. So thankful for community!! In the end, our Drummer Boy felt loved and appreciated. This will be one to remember!

Austin, TX

IMG_8113On a side note: A few months ago we asked our little Drummer Boy, what would you like for your birthday and he responded confidently and quickly, “a Bob Marley CD and a bag of chips.” What? He totally stopped us in our tracks and we all just looked at him dumbfounded. First off, we were totally expecting some expensive video game request and secondly, he had never shown interest in Reggae or anything acoustic before. I mean, he plays in our Folky/Americana acoustic based band but has always drifted towards heavier sounds. For the first time, our little dub step, metal core son was speaking our language! Who knows how and when kids pick stuff us, but the request totally cracked us up and we couldn’t resist.




Kinfolk in Zigzag

It was 7 pm before we arrived in Zigzag, OR, a little town in the ski fields of Mt. Hood. It was dark and snowing,  we were in unfamiliar territory and we were hoping we wouldn’t miss the venue. Then we came upon the Skyway Bar and Grill, set off to the right with twinkle lights through out the courtyard singing for us to come in. The forest was thick around the edges and the parking lot full of vehicles. We could feel the excitement in the air even before entering the building. An eclectic mix of stained glass windows, tin roofing, a crackling fireplace surrounded by a huge mural of a skiing woodland scene, and ancient decor mixed with remnants from pop culture welcomed us as we entered the front door. Tracie the owner, with her husband Tom, smiled and declared “the band is here!” We were met with smiles and hello’s. It was like coming home after a long long journey.

It didn’t take us long to settle in. The Skyway has 4 1/2 out of 5 stars on all of the food websites and we were excited to eat. We had a delightful server who walked us through the menu, which looked delicious. We ordered the Pulled Pork sandwich with the mystery BBQ sauce (it changes and this time it was a orange tequila sauce) and hand cut fries. I love it when a dish brings back a feeling of warmth and well being and this one did just that. My first bite took me back to 12 yrs old in Muskegon, MI at US 31 BBQ. A fond memory with family, a feeling of home.

After our dinner, we were ready to take the stage and Tom was our guide. A gentle and kind soul, Tom helped set us up with everything we needed. He was a delight to work with and even graced us with a harmonica solo during our favorite, Wayfaring Stranger.

Tracie and Tom have the real deal going. They don’t just invite you into a venue/dining experience they invite you into their home. All ages are welcome at the Skyway Bar and Grill. We look forward to visiting with our new friends again.