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Party Hoppin’ at #SXSW

by Meghann on March 12, 2012

aka eating my way through #SXSW one party at a time ;)

Now THAT was a fun day. The clouds cleared, the sun made its presence known, and I saw blue skies for the first time in three days. Thank you, Austin – I think I may have fallen just a little more in love with you. ;)

My morning began with a 3 mile run on the gym treadmill and a bowl of Cherry Chobani, apple, and Kashi Go Lean Crunch.

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My team had a meeting with the Chevy CEO at 10:00am (such a great guy!), then we were on our own for the rest of the day. The sun was just starting to peep through the clouds, so I decided to take my time heading to my sessions and soak up all the sun and warmth that I could.

On the way I spotted the Today Show’s ‘Munchie Mobile’ which was handing out free breakfast until noon.

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Which would you pick?

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I selected the ‘Fresh N’ Fruity’ as my mid-morning snack. The toasted coconut added a nice crunch to the fruit.

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On the next block I found a coffee shop and bought a non-fat latte. Yum. :)

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And then I found the StumbleUpon lounge

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And then Foursquare

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Foursquare was handing out breakfast tacos. I grabbed a sweet potato one and ate it during my next session. Breakfast tacos seem to be on every menu around here! I’m happy I finally got to try one.

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My first session was very meh. It was hosted by an online magazine and the description was a bit different than what was presented.

My second was about the psychology of narcissism and how it affects brands. It was very blogger focused, which was ok – I was just expecting it to come from the brand’s side a bit more.

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I met up with Rachel after the narcissism panel for lunch. She was on a bit of a time crunch, so we decided to keep it easy and eat at the bacon-cone place we had discovered in the convention center the first day.   

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They add bacon pieces to the waffle cone batter (yum) for a sweet and savory cone, then fill it with things like eggs, chicken tenders, tater tots, etc.

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My bacon waffle cone was filled with eggs, bacon, and tortilla chips. It was amazing. :)

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I was on my own for the rest of the afternoon. This was my last full day in Austin and the sun was shining for the first time since I’d been there – I just couldn’t spend it in conference rooms. I wanted to explore!

So, I party hopped. And it was awesome. ;)

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Google Village is more of a street than a village. Google takes up 4-5 house along Rainey Street and they give each house a different theme (Android, Places, Discovery, and Development). Each house is a basic party house with something different to offer.

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I zoned in on the vanilla ice cream sandwiches at the first house.

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And was happy to rock the google sunglasses they were handing out, since the sun was officially out in all its glory.

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I found some salad at the Discovery House and made myself a cup – I’ve been missing my greens!

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I also spotted Hey Cupcakes! at the Blackberry House.

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Really? All for me? ;)

I had about 1/4 of the carrot cake. It was good, but the lemon one from yesterday was a zillion times better. I should have just grabbed another one of those. ;)

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I wandered the streets a bit after leaving Google Village, but eventually made my way to the Nike+ party.  

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Nike had turned a parking lot into a big outdoor play gym. They had basketball, soccer, dodgeball, and skateboarding going on.

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When they asked if I wanted to join in on a game of dodgeball, I said yes! Of course, that doesn’t mean I was good – I was out fast!

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I went across the street to the Spredfast lounge to find a restroom

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But ended up finding good beer (local craft brews rock)

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And a fun photo booth to play with.

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Now all those parties were great, but I think Bing takes the cake.

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We had to register a chipped band with our Facebook page.

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Then we could ‘scan’ the band around the party to instantly ‘like’ things on Facebook.

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Like this.

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It also made it easy to instantly upload photos to your Facebook page. They snapped a photo with a camera that was attached to an ipad, then I scanned my wristband to an adapter on the ipad and it instantly went to my Facebook feed.

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Pretty cool, right? Also, a little scary.

The Bing party was full of free drinks, free food, and fun activities.

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Libboo had a booth set up in the tent where you could create a sock puppet.

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My guy needs a name…

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If you tweeted a photo with your puppet, Libboo was donating $1 to the National Literacy Trust. They also pledged $1 for every RT. (You can RT mine from this link ;) )

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The food trucks were in the back.

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I ordered the spinach and cheese empanada from the mmmpanada truck, but ate less than half – it wasn’t great.

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And despite already having one ice cream sandwich and some cupcake today, my sweet tooth was still going crazy for the Cool Haus custom cookie ice cream sandwich truck.

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I ordered one butterscotch and one red velvet cookie with sea salt caramel ice cream in the middle.

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Wow. Just wow. I ate all of it. Then debated getting another. Too bad this truck isn’t closer to Tampa or Orlando, I would totally hire them for my wedding!

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One last party…

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Done. I’d say I did retty good. ;)

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By that point it was late, my legs were tired, and I needed vegetables. I caught a Chevy to Whole Foods and got my veggies in while resting my legs.

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It was after I finished my dinner that I realized how horrible Austin cabs are to get a hold of and ended up being stranded at Whole Foods for close to 2.5 hours. Luckily I was able to sweet talk my teammates into giving me a lift home when they were done doing what they wanted to do. :)

I had sooo much fun today. Even though I was party hopping by myself, I didn’t mind it – it was actually more fun that way. I wasn’t afraid to introduce myself to new people, I didn’t have to worry about leaving too early or late, and everyone was so sweet and welcoming. It was awesome. :)

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