After 5 days of clouds and drizzle, the weather forecast was sunny for Tuesday. I was sure it was shining for Dolly Parton, since I would get to see her in action that night.
I wrapped up some design work for a client, and headed out to see some sights around Austin. The first stop was HOPE Outdoor Gallery, where I hiked to the top of the concrete construction and was surprised with the fantastic view of the city that accompanied the bright and colorful graffiti landscape. There were several artists at work while I was there, and although I got a little muddy climbing around on the structure, I called it a win since I didn't slip and fall on my rear. :-)
Next on my agenda was Mount Bonnell, the highest "mountain" in Austin. At 785 feet above sea level, it paled in comparison to the 8,000 and 9,000 foot mountains I've been admiring. It did, however, provide a nice view of the Colorado River and several different areas of the city. I also enjoyed a peaceful picnic lunch there.
I drove around the corner from Mount Bonnell to visit Laguna Gloria, an outdoor sculpture garden at an historic estate affiliated with The Contemporary Austin, the galleries of which I had visited last week. The gardens were lush and peaceful, and a lovely setting for the artwork.
Following Laguna Gloria, I walked around the Barton Springs area of Austin. I took a gander at the Barton Springs Pool, which is fed by springs and has a temperature that is supposedly good for year-round swimming. I didn't see many takers on that in the low-60s weather, which had also turned cloudy. The water at the pool and on down Barton Creek was the prettiest color of turquoise blue.
I returned to my apartment for a little down time, and then I was off to the Frank Erwin Center to see Dolly! I was so excited when I arrived in the city last week and discovered she was playing, and she certainly did not disappoint. She performed two sets, a total of nearly three hours of entertainment. During that time, she played acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, dulcimer, banjo, and violin. What a lady!
Dolly may have missed her calling - yes, she is a legendary singer, but I also think she's part comedian. It was definitely one of the most genuine and amusing shows I have ever seen. A couple of my favorite Dolly quotes: She thanked everyone for spending their hard earned money on a ticket to come see her, because "it costs a lot of money to look this cheap!" Later, she informed us that she was a "self-made woman," and that she "has the doctor's bills to prove it!"
She interwove many stories from her life and about her songs with the performance which made it more than just a concert. She also talked with heart about her upbringing in the Great Smoky Mountains and the recent tragic fires there, and her wonderful Imagination Library project which we are so lucky to have in my hometown.
I've never seen so many white, glittering rhinestone-encrusted things in my life as I saw on stage with and on Dolly. Come to think of it, I'm not sure if that was sunshine I saw earlier in the day. Maybe it was Dolly's reflection.