Texas, Tito’s, and Tish

The pool at the Fairmont Hotel- Austin, Texas.

Long-time friends and soon to be friends gathered poolside at the Fairmont Hotel, in Downtown Austin, to soak in the sun, cool themselves in the water, and sip on some tasty Tito’s Vodka cocktails. The scene was reminiscent of pool lounges found in some of the swankiest Vegas hotspots.

Letitia Frye and Mark Holland in the lobby of the Fairmont. 

Toasts were quickly made in honor of “Auctiontainer”, Letitia Frye and her generous philanthropic boyfriend Mark Holland. Letitia’s necklace of 179 diamonds sparkled brightly in the noonday sun as a reminder of the humanitarian award she had been presented at the St. Jude’s- A Night in Monte Carlo in Phoenix, Arizona last April.

Tears, Tito’s and Tish

During the auction that raised over $170K for St Jude’s Research Hospital, Holland had the winning bid for the necklace which included a trip to Austin for Letitia, Mark and 10 of their closest friends sponsored by Tito’s Handcrafted Vodka. The trip included a night out in Austin aboard the exclusive Tito’s Party Bus.

Friday night kicked off the weekend with a dinner at Perla’s. The seafood was divine, and the conversation was electric as the dozen people got to know each other better. The night ended with a nightcap at the Fairmont Hotel’s Rules & Regs bar which boasts spectacular views of the Austin skyline. The drink of the evening was, of course, Tito’s Vodka.  (My favorite was the clean and refreshing Tito’s and Topo Chico).

During the day Saturday, members of Tish’s crew were on their own to explore Austin and some of its unique restaurants and sights. A small group of us sat dockside at the Hula Hut watching boats sail by on Lake Austin while having a spot of lunch. If you make it to the Hula Hut, ask for the Stuffed Avocado, but be prepared to share.

Two of the members of the crew were paramount to pulling off the weekend’s festivities. The first was the charismatic tour guide, Courtney Bennett from Tito’s. She kept the party moving with her infectious energy and effervescent smile.

L-R Carey Pena and Courtney Bennett in front of the Tito’s Party Bus.

The Fairmont Hotel is one of the hottest new destinations in Austin, yet somehow the lovely and capable Patricia McLemore of Patricia Travels was able to secure some beautiful rooms and suites for everyone attending the two-day soirée.

Patricia McLemore enjoying a Tito’s Cosmo aboard the Tito’s Party Bus.

Everyone gathered for snacks and drinks in the hospitality suite and an impromptu poker game. The classy media maven Carey Pena, shared with me some of her struggles and triumphs as a media entrepreneur. I also had to pleasure of meeting, one of Tish’s proteges and former contestant on the television series Survivor, Yve Rojas who talked to me about how Tish found a video of her on YouTube, and then took her under her wing and helped her become the highly successful auctioneer she is today.

Yve and Letitia getting ready for a night on the party bus. 

The party was ramping up, and unbelievably there was a noise complaint about our small party. Blame it on the Tito’s. It was time to board the bus.

Don’t get too excited, because not anyone can secure a ride aboard this Texas-inspired mobile bar. It can be seen at different events to promote the brand when patrons are invited for a signature cocktail. However, nights out on the town are reserved for charity auction winners and those who demonstrate Tito’s charitable spirit. The inside is decorated with tin embossed tile ceilings, cowhide accents, a soft leather lounge area in the back and horse saddle seats in the front.

Saddle seats for those brave enough to ride them.

A variety of different Tito’s cocktails being served at the bar.

First on the tour was dinner at Eberly. The standout out dish was the cornmeal hushpuppies on a bed of jumbo lump crab, andouille, and green lentil jambalaya.

Rainey street was thrumming with co-eds and participants from the gay pride parade that had occurred earlier in the evening. The venues were full, and the streets were packed. We enjoyed cocktails and music while we made our way to our final destination of the night, C-boys Heart and Soul, a small venue blues bar that has hosted some of the music industries greats. We danced to the smoky blues of the Jimmie Vaughn trio with their special guest Soul Man Sam Evans. Jimmie Vaughn is the older brother to the late Stevie Ray Vaughn. One person asked what Soul Man Sam was looking at when he sang, to which I responded, “Probably God.”

Sunday morning was bittersweet as people gathered at the Revue restaurant for brunch and then made their way to their flights home.

Letitia dancing for a charity she believes in. 

What is next for Letitia after this bucket list weekend? She will be dancing for the organization One N Ten whose mission is to serve LGBTQ youth and young adults and enhance their lives by providing empowering social and service programs. She is doing this not only because she has supported organization many times in the past, but to also honor the memory of Holland’s son Aksel.



In Tito’s Veritas!