It has taken me a few days to regroup and wrap my head around everything that happened while I was in good old Texas. Hugh says I was traumatized. According to him, I was more than a round peg in a square hole.
I am pretty sure he is right.
The fact is that I did not like Texas. There, I said it. But I did have some very fun times while I was there and so even if I didn’t like Texas per se, I have to say that it does have a certain cool factor.
When we arrived, we spent a little time in El Paso. About that all I can say is “I can see Mexico from the road”. Actually, you can also see it from the barbecue place Hugh made us stop at. He was right about the creamed corn. No joke, it is amazing.
Marfa and Alpine did nothing for me except instill fear in my heart – though to be fair, I met some real cowboys (sexy ones too!), and saw the Prada store installation in the flesh.
The two parts I liked most were our visit to Ambush Hill Ranch and then SXSW in Austin. I also have to give an honorable mention to our visit to San Antonio, which we visited right before we got Austin.
Ambush Hill Ranch was awesome. Israel and Molly, Hugh’s friends, live there with their child, and theirs is a life that is the embodiment of sustainable living. I loved learning about how they live from what they grow and what they hunt. Their life is unlike that of anybody I have ever met and I look forward to spending more time at their ranch because if it is secluded out there, it is also so beautiful.
In San Antonio I spent a good amount of time alone so despite the rain, I made it my business to go find the Alamo. I don’t know why I thought the Alamo would be much bigger than it actually was. Still, it was kind of cool. I also went to the river walk and made some friends at our hotel bar. The highlight of that part of the trip was our visit to Rackspace who was hosting a fun little shindig for the Startup Bus people.
Being at Rackspace with all that energy was insane. It had been a long time since I was surrounded by so many people who were so driven. I greatly appreciated that stimulus and hope some of that drive rubbed off on me.
Another cool thing that happened in San Antonio was that I got to meet one of the tech geeks I follow on Twitter: Mr. Robert Scoble. Hanging out with him and his wife was lots of fun and this fun extended all the way to Austin.
I had never been to SXSW and now I can’t imagine not going back. For some people the panels and the parties are the highlight of their experience. For me, it was my social media dream come true. I met so many people I can’t remember them all, and saw again some I already knew; but some are people who have unknowingly been my mentors and teachers and that thanks to social media, are now an active part of my life. With some of them I had a chance to break bread, and some others I can definitely consider friends now.
That Samsung Blogger Lounge was definitely the place to be :)
In no particular order here are some of my OMG moments:
and there were so many more!
Texas may not have been what I expected. But I came back with a stronger relationship than I had when I left (Hugh and I celebrated 11 months together while in San Antonio), with friends I never imagined I would have, and with memories I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Again, I have to thank social media for making my world a much smaller place even though everything really is bigger in Texas.