It's only day 1 of SXSW but it's already been quite the trek! Left work around 4pm on Wednesday to go stay at a Gatwick hotel, avoiding the 3-4am start required if I'd tried to leave Cambridge the morning of the flight. Wise move as I managed to get up at 6:30am, feeling fairly refreshed and headed to the airport. Now the flight to Dallas was the first leg of the journey. Long, LONG flight, but thankfully I had this nice old couple next to me who were quite easy going with the whole get-up-and-walk-around routine that's required on a flight that length.
Get to Dallas and... well golly gee*, we've got ourselves some snowdrift! It was heavy wet snow, enough to affect landings and result in plenty of cancelled flights around the region. All flights for the Dallas-Austin leg of the journey were cancelled, and bookings for the next day weren't looking too promising, with nothing until 8pm, and no hotels with free rooms anywhere nearby. Cots at the airport, oh joy.
Thankfully, I ran into this lovely bunch of people from Brighton, notably Niqui and Aral, who were in the same boat. We ended up steering clear of the magical mystery bus that had been raised as a potential option, with airport staff having no details on the situation, and opted for a large taxi who was willing to drive all 8 of us and our luggage to Austin.
Needless to say, porters at our Austin hotels were surprised by the arrival of Dallas Fort Worth taxis, but we were relieved to no end to all find beds and showers after a very long day.
As for today, so far I've had a huge American buffet breakfast, the first proper meal in quite a few days, seeing as I had a tummy bug before I left which left me with no appetite whatsoever. I've also found the CVS Pharmacy nearby (500 Congress Ave @ 5th St) and stocked up on water, drinks and headache tablets. This was a first, quick, successful reconnaissance mission.
Now time for mission #2, getting my pass. I can see the convention centre from my room, and people are starting to bimble in, so might as well head over!
Then mission #3 will be meeting a lovely bunch of girls at Las Manitas a bit later. Looking forward to meeting follow Twitterers and geekettes.
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(* ok, i don't know if they say that in Texas, I just felt like saying it)