October 19, 2011: SpiceWorld 2011 Kickoff

Medifast Status: Day 170, Down ~63lbs

I had to go into the office this morning and get as much work done as I could.  I am into my insanely busy stretch that is going to last for a few weeks.  I am going to be exhausted when this is all said and done.

At noon Dominica drove Andy down to the office and he piled in to the Mazda with me and we hit the road to drive down to Austin.  It was a nice day for a drive and Andy got a chance to really see Texas out on the open road.  He had his camera at the ready taking pictures as we went.  He got a lot of roadside Texas.

The drive down was nice and we got a chance to really hang out.  This was the first that we had really gotten any time to hang out together.

We got to the AT&T Executive Training Center and I got into my room, no problems.  It is a nice room and it has a view of the courtyard where the SpiceWorld conference will be so that is very nice.  I like being able to easily keep tabs on what is going on in the conference like this.  So completely different from the last two years.

Then I drove Andy down to the Omni downtown where he is staying.  We got him checked in and then he returned to the AT&T with me to hang out until it was time for the beginning events.  We had a bit of time to kill because the entire strategy today was to get to Austin early during “lunch” set up and work from the hotel for the afternoon and then catch up with the SpiceWorld kick off events later on.

At four thirty Andy walked downtown to meet up with the SpiceLeader dinner at Frank or something like that.  I was not clear as to whether or not I was invited to this event and not having gotten a formal invitation I felt like I would be crashing to actually just show up so since I still had work to do I stayed at the hotel and worked until just after seven.  Then I walked downtown to the warehouse district myself and joined the real kickoff party at Six.

After brief hellos when I first arrived I actually ended up going up to the third floor and hanging out with a smaller party going on up there for much of the evening.  That ended up being a really good time and I managed to hang out with some really cool people that under normal SpiceWorld circumstances I probably would not have gotten a chance to hang out with.  It was fun and relaxing.

After the party on the top floor wound down I came down and hung out for maybe an hour or a little less in the main party area with Grey, Andy and some of the other long timers.  John arrived quite late and was just ready to go out when everyone else was calling it a night.  So John and I went out for dinner and drinks with the girls from Unitrends – no need to make an early night of it at SpiceWorld!

We found a good place for food.  Austin is one of the few places where you can actually eat late without much of a problem.  It is actually incredibly wise for the vendors to hang out late and actually do the party activities with the attendees because the most connected and influential attendees are spending time with each other during the off-hours of the conference.  SpiceWorld is dramatically more social than normal IT conferences.

After dinner the four of us went to Touche’s.  It was at Touche’s on the first night of SpiceWorld 2009, two years ago tonight, that I first managed to get a Flaming Dr. Pepper.  We ordered a round of them since the girls had never been to Austin before and this was there chance for the real experience.  The girls did their Flaming Dr. Peppers and headed back to their hotel so that they could crash for the night.

All this time I have been watching Katie’s flight status.  She was supposed to be getting in around eleven and had a shuttle to take her to the hotel.  She was hoping to be able to join us at the first bar before the party ended.  No such luck.  Due to heavy rain delays in New York she has been on the tarmac at JFK for hours.  So since she was not going to be in any time soon John and I stayed at Touche’s for a while.

Katie’s flight was just getting later and later and she was not expected to get into Austin until nearly two in the morning.  So from Touche’s John and I went on briefly to Coyote Ugly.

After Coyote Ugly John went back to his hotel and I started back to mine.  I had a hard time getting there, though, as I was unsure of exactly where on sixth that I was and I first went south instead of north and then when I finally went north I did not realize how far east we had been in downtown and I went the wrong way to get back to my hotel.  All in all I’m guessing that I walked nearly four miles.  At least I managed to get some exercise.

By about halfway back Katie was at the hotel and emailing me to see where I was.  At least I was on email so we knew what was going on and I knew that she had managed to get in and she knew that I was walking around Austin getting some exercise.  It was not cool out either.  It is much warmer in Austin than in Dallas.

By the time that I finally called it a night it was roughly five thirty.  Welcome to SpiceWorld!

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