An Austin Detours family favorite right here! Sunny has a way of brightening up even the cloudiest of days with the nonstop pep in his step! Having Sunny as your guide on any of our tours is truly a unique and inclusive experience. We took a bit of time to learn a little extra about this fun-loving guy for you.
Favorite Austin Detours tour to lead?
I have two favorites, and for different reasons. First, Texas History Tour, because I am a born and raised Texan and I love discussing our history with people who share the interest. Second, Street Art Tour, because not only in street art a major part of our city’s beauty, but many of them tell a story. I share a perspective on the city that is fading away with the rapid growth. Austin is unique because of it’s creative flow, and I love that we are here to help locate and feature it!
Can’t miss local gem in Austin?
I’m going to shout out to one of my favorite music venues, The Skylark Lounge. Johnny and Mary have created such a great place for music and social setting. It’s cozy, beautifully decorated (awesome patio), and has great food and amazing music!! They have been so welcoming to every guest I bring to them, and Terry even meets them with some jokes and says goodbye when we leave. I will always consider the Skylark as an Austin gem – the city’s blue diamond!
Most interesting story about a tour or an Austin Detours event you worked?
I once had two guests on a public tour that were both from New York City. I asked what part of the city, and they both said “Upper West Side”. They turned to each other and said, “Which building?” Turns out, they lived in the same building only two floors apart and had for several years! They met in Austin, and seemed to become well acquainted by the end of the tour. Our motto is Come As Strangers, Leave As Friends, but…that was quite the coincidence!
What are your creative outlets?
I consider myself a pretty creative person. I play guitar, as well as a few other instruments. I’m a singer-songwriter. Mostly the blues, with some folk influence. When I moved to Austin, I soon started hosting the Austin Songwriter Showcase which was started by my great friend and co-guide, Jason Weems. I hosted for four and a half years before handing it off to another song-writer. I also like to make glass marbles and ornaments using a torch. Glass is one of the most amazing mediums for art. Watching it change is entrancing, and has a very calming effect.
Craziest thing that’s ever happened on a tour?
Since I am a singer-songwriter, some groups have asked me to sing for them. This is always very flattering and I always oblige even though it’s acapella. One particular time, I sang a tune, and the group was so into it, they asked for another one, and a sing-along. Fifty-five people on a bus at 11:30pm, singing songs and laughing at my banter with the guests. I felt like a late night talk show host! One of my favorite nights! Can you believe I make a living doing this stuff?