Austin and SXSW – Part 1
I started writing this post right after I got back from SXSW, Austin, TX but… Life Happens…
I just got back from attending SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas and all I can say is WOW! South By SouthWest is a two week long festival/conference/party in the heart of Austin, a cosmopolitan city. From what I hear, over 250,000 people attend this festival every year. This was my first time in Texas so I was really looking forward to it. 7 days is a long time to be away from home and work but we wanted to make it into a mini vacation as well so we stayed a few extra days to explore Texas. I now realise that not only did we not explore Texas, when you go for a conference you shouldnt expect to see the city 🙂 Unless of course you’re twenty somethings… Cause guess what? After the sessions were over, there were parties everywhere! Complete with drinks, music, live bands and good food! Us oldies however couldn’t wait to get back to our cute little cottage to the apple of our eye. Who was a champ by he way. We had an awesome babysitter, Lauren (thanks Leslie) who looked after Dia while we were at the conference center. Was stayed in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood for the duration of our stay. So close to downtown and yet so quiet. We loved it here.
About the interactive conference. I didnt really go with any expectation so I was completly overwhelmed and amazed at the magnitude of it all. Just the line for picking up our badges was a couple miles long snaking all the way around the conference center. It took us two hours just to get the badges. That said, it was beautifully organized with food stalls and refreshments everywhere and since we were indoors and had good company time just flew.
If we were a little more organized we could have picked our badges a day before and saved ourselves a little time. But we were out having fun enjoying the “Tropical” weather. Here are some photos from our day with Leslie and Scot.
Sniffing the Texas Mountain Laurels – umm.. Grape Coolaid anyone?
Doves at the Zilker Park. Dia loved them!
Enjoying an afternoon Cuppa Joe at Dominican Joe’s.
While Gagan hung out at the Startup Village I was mostly at the Intercontinental which was where most of the marketing and branding panels were held. There was some excellent speakers, some of whom I’ve started stalking. Dr. Pradeep and Derek Halpern to name a few. There was even an interesting panel about why women blog which I enjoyed quite a bit. Oh, and I learned a new buzz word – “Social!”
Every single panel and seminar I attended, focused on social media and social networking and social sharing and social progamming and social partying. I get it, but wouldnt it be nice to look up from your phone every once in a while to say Hello to the person seated next to you? But then again I am OLD.
I met a few nice people at the conference. Check out dishenvy.com, a new startup about rating dishes. (Not restaurants) Cool. At the blogging panel, there was a woman seated next to me who, did not have an iphone! It’s a miracle! She and I started talking and turns out she is also from Boston and works at the MIT Media Lab, one of the most awesome of labs I’ve ever been to.
We took a break from the conference to drive to Waco (yes, that’s the one!) to meet up with some of Gagan’s college roommates. They were driving from Dallas and Houston with their families to meet with us. Despite the crazy weather and traffic we had a great time! And since Dia was the youngest kid in the group, she got a lot of attention from the others which she absolutely loved. And we got tons of babysitters. Here’s the thing about old friends. Even if you haven’t seen them in the last 10 years, you just pick up where you left off. It was great meeting you guys and getting to know you.
I’d been wanting a pair of cowboy boots for a long time and since we were in Texas… Gagan spotted this huge boot store – Cavenders close to Temple, TX on our way back to Austin. I was blown away. I wish I had taken photos but I must have tried 20 pairs after settling on these ones. The sweet salesgirl with the cutest Texas accent was super helpful. I so adored her snakeskin boots! But for now, I am calling these mine 🙂
Wow, I’ve had a lot to say! It’s getting too long so next up. PatternReview party at TexStyles and other fabric shopping report…