Day 17

Here’s me, frowning into the sun at Austin Amtrak station.  I wasn’t really that frowny, just had the sun in my eyes.  I wasn’t as euphoric as I had been exactly 1 year earlier though either.  Then I was humming “Homeward Bound” to myself.  This time I knew I was only just half way through and I had as much of a challenge ahead of me as I’d had getting this far.

St Patrick’s Day for me started with breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausage with the Higginbottoms and then my first bus ride (still $1 even that far out) into Austin.  It was interesting to see everything getting “weirder” as we got downtown.  Also had my first little ride through the UT end of town.

I spent the morning sitting in the Chevy Lounge at the conventiion centre. Recharging my device and personal batteries and getting a little writing and tweeting done.  I got talking to @hiphopchronicles (who lives in Ealing, of course) when we were approached by a booth babe for a backpack manufacturer called Slappa.  I had to ask her twice to be sure that’s what she was saying.  We explained that that word had some connotations for English ears.  She was a little surprised, but didn’t seem worried.

It became clear to me sitting in that corner, watching music artists being interviewed that there’s a real opportunity for some consulting at the crossover between the festivals.  The music people are crying out for help with understanding how to use these tools to support their work.  Some more of those social media “experts” should stick around and pick up some big-haired or well-blinged clients instead of hopping on a plane straight back to whichever coast they came from.  Hmmm….

I managed to find Nat and Julia for a goodbye thankyou and hug before I walked through the crowds of green-clad music fans and got a health power-up by eating  at Whole Foods and stocking up for the journey ahead.  Then it was over to the railway station to sit and wait for the hopefully not too late train.

Which is how I came to be frowning into the sun.

We rolled out of Austin only half an hour later than scheduled.  However, I’d somehow gotten onto the kiddy car.  I shared my 3 hours or so down to San Antonio with little Luciano and his sister and their grown-ups.  They were all excited  but only the kids were screaming in the high-pitched way that goes right through you.

Off at San Antonio to wait for the Sunset Limited coming through from Los Angeles.  It was on time.  If anything it was early.  It didn’t stay that way.

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman