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Trip Report SxSw - Austin Texas 2012 - Oh my!

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This could be a while.. still catching up on major sleep depravation!

I have a family member who has been in the music industry for over 20 years and invited me to accompany her to SxSw this year as I now live in Dallas Texas. I helped her out with an industry event she hosts in San Diego in Feb. and the timing worked out for me to join her ...so off I went on Wed. after dropping off my almost 15 year old for a flight to the North East to visit family while Momma went south...

The ride from DFW area was pretty easy - but there is indeed nothing much between here and Austin. I waved to Baylor in Waco and continued south. The drive took about 3.5 hours and there was not too much traffic.

I was arriving before them and checking into the townhouse rental and going to the grocery store. I also had a room reserved at the Marriott Courtyard by the convention center - which I was able to get on points - on Sunday prior to arrival. I have NO idea how that worked out but was thankful it did..in the end it REALLY ended up helping out.

I arrived at the townhouse that she had rented early - check in was at 4:00 and I got there about 1 pm. The cleaning person was there and was super nice - the place was right 1rst street - and it was "okay" - it had 2 bedrooms,1.5 baths (the powder bath was in the galley kitchen area with the washer and dryer in the same space) - upon arrival the woman said that I could drop off my things, and that she would be done in a few hours - but that the people had left a HUGE mess for her to clean up - including BLOOD every where on one of the beds??? Okay. Did not need to know that ....and went onto be very graphic about the blood. Okay. :-?

I let her know that the rest of the party was not arriving until 7:00 so no worries on hurrying I was headed over to the store and to the Marriott Couryard to check into my room.

Austin was buzzing! It was very busy already and crowded. I was thankful that I had my GPS and got to the Marriott no issues - it is in interesting property as it is literally attached to a Residence Inn as well... We are Platinum Marriott reward members and have stayed at many properties but have never seen that :) - They were VERY nice at check in, they had given me a nice corner room on the 9th floor with two queens (not doubles) and the lobby was up to date - they gave me breakfast coupons for Champs which is attached - there is also a full service starbucks in the lobby.

I headed up to the room and chilled out and worked on homework (see; I know boring) for a few hours and then headed back out to get to the grocery store and back to the townhouse to met my traveling companions.

I could not get to Whole Foods - which is in downtown due to how the roads were blocked and gave up and ended up at HEB which was up the road from the condo. It was 7:00 pm by the time I arrived back at the town house the the cleaning woman was STILL there - the laundry (towels) were still not complete and I told her I would be happy to finish them up and off she went.

My traveling companions arrived and we headed straight out for a movie that a friend of her's was the executive producer for ... it got all jumbled up as it was the wrong address - we went to the address for the showing that was earlier in the week... this was the beginning of a very frustrating evening. We headed back into downtown and had to get over to see some of her contacts at a Warner brother's event - LP http://www.lprock.com/bio.html was someone she needed to see - we finally figured out where to go and were able to get in the VIP area - I felt pretty bad - the lines for people outside who had purchased badges and wristbands did NOT seem to be moving - this was a something I noticed most of the time I was there...and while I did not purchase a wrist band (open to only Austin residence) or a badge - as my companion put it - we were going rouge - I could not imagine my frustration if I had! They are NOT cheap...

We get escorted back stage - offered some cool goodies bags full of Tigi products (nice!) and free drinks - but guess what? We were too late...missed LP - .... we were both pretty hungry and wanted some place quiet (ha!) to eat and catch up before the next place we had to be .... we ended up at http://congressaustin.com/second/ which was decent - nothing great but good and it felt good to sit down - by now it was after 9:00 pm. There is a LOT of confusion that I will not get into but we were pretty unclear on where to go and where she was supposed to be et.

After dinner we ended up back at the Marriott for a bit to wait for our other two companions - they had a REALLY hard time getting to the hotel as the streets were very blocked off by this hour.

We walked up to 7th street to the next event she needed to be... it was getting pretty late and the people were getting very drunk/drugged up - we were at a club that I really would not darken the door of in normal circumstances - listening to a white rapper saying things that I could not repeat here or any place in a SMASHED room full of people - it was horrible - i went out back where there was some reprieve from the madness - it is getting later and later and I am more and more tired - my options were to walk back alone which was a little concerning to me based on the condition people had been when we arrived... and I learned new terms "rollin' on X" (yeah I had never heard that) Witnessed girls getting in a fist fight - just not my cup of tea.

I guess I should add - I am a suburban Mom, 44 years old, currently pursuing my bachelors degree in psychology with an emphasis in crisis counseling from a Christian U. This was NOT my scene.

I finally decide that walking back to the hotel is better than being where I am but at this time the others said no way to letting me walk back alone - it was now a pure fallin' down drunk feast with people passing out in the streets, vomit, someone urinated in front of us... (see: about 2 am)...

I am toast and ready to drive back to Dallas in the morning - Austin had not impressed... I slept at the hotel alone and the others headed back to the townhouse

Day two... the sun will come out tomorrow... we hope :-? Ghosts, Willie Nelson and Grammy party ...

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