40 Acres of Sun

7 Apr

rlarecordBack when I attended the University of Texas here in Austin, one of the most exciting events each year was the 40 Acres Fest. This was because, for one night only, a usually shockingly popular artist came to campus and played in front of our main tower, for free. The lineups were always incredibly diverse, meaning that one year, I was able to see Common, and the next, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. (Other performers have included Little Richard, Girl Talk* and the Roots.) This year, Chiddy Bang was the headlining act, so we made no plans to stay late. But Zack and I figured a great daytime activity could be biking up to campus and seeing what the festival had to offer in the way of daytime activities.

*That Girl Talk show a few years ago was my only experience with 40 Acres fest. I took a stage dive. I was more well-behaved this time.


This is actually far more advanced than what I had to use.

First up: I was sucked into a fishing game by miniature plastic charm rocking horses in adorable pastel colors. I paid 25 cents and was given a coffee-stirring stick, a rubber band and a paper clip, and was told to make a fishing pole. I crudely wrapped the rubber band around the end of the fishing pole until it was tightly on there. I then bent the paper clip at one end to form a hook, and looped the other end through the rubber band*. Stuck it in the water, and snagged my rocking horse charm. It’ll be a necklace eventually – very, very satisfying.

*Caitlin crafted this fish pole before I even realized what the game was. She’s a crafty lass.

Zack loses at hula hoop Vine 

Zack was then entranced by Little Cutie tangerines, which led to an epic hula hoop battle where he performed honorably, but decidedly lost. At least he tried — I flat-out refused.

Zack climbs the rock wall Vine

Some kids then tried to convince us to buy flaming hot Cheetos covered in melted cheese, but ew, no thank you*, I’m not a college student anymore so that kind of food is just a flat no. Instead, we saved our stomachs and Zack signed a waiver so he could climb up a rock wall. He killed it, making it up and back in well under 5** minutes. I think you can tell by the vine, his favorite part was repelling back down***.

*Not enough sandwiches in the world. OK, there are, but not while walking around.

**Two and a half minutes, tops ;).

***It was fun, but easy. I probably should have asked about the repelling down. I just kinda launched myself off the wall and assumed the rope would hold me up. 


Caitlin paints the record vine

As we tried to find something better suited to a wimp (aka me), we spotted a table where they were letting you paint a vinyl record for $1 that went to cancer research. Sold! I decided to make it Rock Love Austin-themed*, and was pleasantly surprised with how well it came out**. We ended up hanging it in our bathroom as actual art, which makes me smile.

*My idea, but all Caitlin on the execution. All she needed was one quick glance at the logo and did it from memory as I vined it.

**Like I said, she’s a crafty lass.


We circled around to snag a free Blow Pop*, and then got sucked into an area where there were tons of inflatable games like that giant velcro wall where you try to stick yourself up to it, and basketball. We went for a live-action Angry Birds game instead, which Zack again dominated**, knocking down all but the last low level of boxes.

*Caitlin and I had a discussion on whether Blow Pops or Tootsie Rolls were better. I’m firmly on team Blow Pop.

**She’s being generous. I was just OK at this, but it was fun. Cool concept.


On our way out, Zack stopped by his second game of bean bag toss. He’d done a different booth’s version earlier, making the two hardest levels all three times he tried*. This time, baked goods were at stake, but Zack once again hit both throws he was allowed to go for, so we each walked away with delicious treats. I opted for a cake ball that tasted like an inside-out Oreo*, and Zack went with a brownie/cookie concoction that was bliss.

*My bean bag toss game was tight all day.

**Caitlin graciously let me have a bite. Good lord, that’s a perfect cake ball. Did Buddy make that one?


Although I ended up with a crazy awful lobster sunburn (my white skin was no match for the Texas sun and I stupidly forgot sunscreen), it was an absolutely perfect daytime activity and, perhaps more than anything, Zack and I enjoyed our bike ride around town, whipping around and up crazy hills and everywhere. We especially loved showing off our new Nutcase bike helmets — Zack upgraded to this red one*, and I, of course, went for the sparkly silver disco ball pictured above. We can’t wait to wear them all summer long!

*The color of Caitlin’s sunburn


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