Monday, September 15, 2014

Utopiafest 2014

Was Utopiafest fun? Let's ask Clementine:

Clementine, 21 pounds of PARTY.

It was a blast! After a few of years off (2011 Utopiafest post here), we decided to brave the festival with the kids and our hostage grandma Pat. Yay for Pat! Not only was she game for some RV camping with an infant and a spider monkey in a toddler costume, she researched things to pack, assembled them, and made a bunch of food! YAY FOR PAT!

We rented a large RV from Cruise America and stocked the fridge with yogurt, roast pork with green beans and baked beans, fruit, applesauce pouches, guacamole, breakfast burritos de la Costco, homemade chocolate chip oat cookies, and beer. And C's favorite, CRAH-KAH (crackers). We ate like kings. No $8 pulled pork food truck sandwiches for us! (I did have some late night avocado fries - that's right, deep fried avocado wedges - but they're weren't good. Surprising, no? Avocado is the one thing not improved by frying.)

Driving through Hondo:

Arriving at camp.

Luke, Pat, and C were out to explore when I snapped this pic. I reached down to grab a diaper and snagged my pinkie toenail on a cushion, wrenching it from the nailbed. A large, ominous dark red blood drop formed. So there I was, not 35 minutes into our festival weekend, breaking out the first aid kit to tape down my toenail. C recently lost her big toenail after a mishap in July... maybe our family will never have the full 40 toenail complement at any one time.

Josie says: Please let it be over.

Pat and a napping C.

Beautiful cloudscape.
RV times:

Who needs toys when you have 40 water bottles? (A-WA! she shouts.)

After settling in a bit, Luke and I ventured out with C in the Ergo. Then the skies opened up and we took cover under an uninhabited sunshade in the middle of the festival grounds. Because it was a sunshade and not a waterproof tent, we were misted continuously but spared the sheets of rain coming down. After a few minutes we ran to a big tent. C, trooper that she is, was still listening to the music, and said YAY! and clapped at the end of songs. Probably the cutest thing ever.

After the deluge the event staff rolled out hay bales. Mud + hay.

After the rain:

Josie says: How much longer? Sheesh.

Festival feet.

Moments of being an unhappy, don't-wanna-nap camper:

It rained more on Friday night and Luke heard someone petitioning the RV area for shelter (tent camping was free): Hey, there are a lot of people out here who need a place to sleep! [Sorry, dude].

On Saturday the weather was cool and overcast, perfect. The grounds firmed up a bit but were still pretty muddy in places. We put C in her sleeper and shoes so she could run around. The bands I liked that day were Holiday Mountain, Wild Child, and Ruby Jane. Around 10 pm we saw Kishi Bashi - it was really special to see him up close (we were at the center front of the crowd, just feet away) and hear him perform Bright Whites, a song that has special meaning for me. He and his band were incredible musicians.

Clapping at the end of a song:

Ergo dancing. [Band playing is Crooks]


Attendance was about 1600 people, with lots of kids and families. As in 2011, there was a great mix of people - old, young, neon-bodysuit-wearing, cowboys, etc. Texas friends, I recommend this experience!

This might be my favorite photo of the weekend.

Beard flowers.

On the hill overlooking the festival grounds. Wearing all of my clothes because I don't know how to pack.

We woke up and got outta Dodge early on Sunday morning and were back home by 11 am. The RV was emptied, dishes washed, shoes de-mudded, and laundry washed, folded, and put away by 7 pm (the last item usually takes me a day per step). Then pizza, football, menu planning for the week. Gonna get crazy and stream The Roosevelts tomorrow.

Thanks Utopiafest- a great weekend powered by a-wa, Pat Concierge Services, and the friendly folks of the hill country!


  1. I've never heard of UtopiaFest but is sure looks fun (and I love that part of Texas). I'm also madly curious about your RV rental. I'd love to rent one some day. Are they challenging to drive?

    1. Colleen, it was great! My husband drove the RV and he is used to driving a huge passenger van, so he did not find it too intimidating. I confess - I did not drive it! But I would have... what I never want to do is pull a trailer. Scary!

  2. Looks like fun. I've never heard of UtopiaFest before.