I’m alive! I survived my first day of South by Southwest! Woo hoo!
For a minute there, I didn’t think I would – South by Southwest is INSANE!
After fighting a heavy mix of traffic, rain, and hail(!) on my way to the convention center this morning, I arrived only to find crowds of people, clogged hallways, and a registration line that wrapped around the convention center.
Mix all of that with a phone that wasn’t working and my inability to locate map, and you have a mini panic attack in the making. It was too much to handle, so I found a corner, sat down, and just took a minute to breathe.
I instantly felt better. Sometimes a deep breath is all you need to calm yourself down.
The weather today really was awful. It was rainy, cold, and just very blah.
Toms + long jeans = worst decision ever. The two never dried and my cold feet and legs just kept me cold all day. Brrr….
Meg and I had these grand plans of locating one of the delicious restaurants recommended near the convention center, but the rain was too much for us to handle. We set out for one lunch spot, but ended up at the first food place we found – Cafe Crepe.
Cafe Crepe is located about two blocks from the convention center and had two things we were after – good food and hot beverages. Sold!
I warmed up with a hot green tea. (and continued to sip on hot water after that was gone)
For lunch I ordered the ‘Italian’ which was filled with basil, mozzarella, prosciutto, and tomato.
It tasted just like a pizza! Delicious.
For dessert we split the pear, walnut, brie, and honey calzone. It was good, but I thought it needed some chocolate to truly be considered dessert.
After lunch I had a little more success at SXSW.
I got my badge, figured my phone out, and found this pretty lady.
Rachel and I have sort of bonded together for the weekend. Without her, I would be so lost. The schedule setup for SXSW can be a bit overwhelming, but once you break it down by interests and panel locations – it’s not that bad. We are going to try to divide and conquer the branding and marketing panels through the weekend.
Once I found Rachel, the afternoon flew by. We found a corner and had a good chat that covered everything from wedding stuff to marketing for women in social media. It really wasn’t long before our friend Kristin was calling to tell us she was on her way to pick us up.
Kristin recently moved to Austin and was kind enough to drive us a tad out of the city center for an early dinner at Tacos and Tequila.
This is the menu I was really interested.
One cucumber jalapeno margarita, please.
(it was good, but not as spicy as I was expecting!).
The table started with chips and queso.
Two bags were delivered with the dips and queso. I reached in the bag closest to me expecting to find tortilla chips, but found this instead.
Sweet potato chips? That’s different in a Mexican restaurant. Not bad – just different. The other bag had tortilla chips, but I think my sweet potato chip consumption outweighed the tortilla ones.
For dinner I ordered a platter that included a vegetable skewer, a corn crusted chicken taco, a shrimp taco, and a black bean cake.
Everything was so good – exactly what I was craving! And that black bean cake? It was crusted in some sort of cornmeal that reminded me of a tamale without the husk – so good!
We hit up the flagship Whole Food (and I tried to dream up how I could move to Austin just so I can shop there on a regular basis – it’s HUGE!) and picked up dessert.
The Apple Vegan Harvest Cake Slice caught my attention.
It tasted a lot like carrot cake. I loved the creamy sweet frosting and appreciates how moist and airy the cake was. Yum.
And you’ll never guess where we ended up next…
What?! We needed rain boots! And warm jackets! And about a million other things we only discovered we needed once we got there.
It was cold and wet and it’s a shame that none of us had it in us to explore the SXSW night scene. We’ll hit some parties tomorrow. Pinky swear.