March, Tim’s favorite month, is always a welcome arrival.  With March comes Basketball Madness, SXSW, birthdays, friends and St. Patty’s day.  There may be no better 31 days.  We started March with a final ride at our favorite AZ campsite at Old Pueblo north of Tucson.

After a reward of Mi Tierra margaritas and showers at the quirky Wishing Well RV Park in Catalina, we began the long drive east across the Texas plains.

Mary Lynn on High Point
The last blue sky ride before heading east

 

We arrived in Austin after a 3 day drive with stops in Las Cruces and Balmorhea Springs just in time to pick up Dan from the airport.

Austin hosts SXSW, a 2 week conference which brings together Interactive (geeky tech guys = Us)  + Movies (Hollywood independents sprinkled with a few A listers for star spotting potential) + Music (hip hop, heavy medal, techno and jazz  mixing in a single venue – you never know what your going to get).

The transformation of the city as each wave of the conference rolls through is worth ticket in itself.   50,000 diverse attendees combine knowledge, talent and ideas.  And the other great thing about SXSW?  Well that’s obvious: jalapeno bacon.

 

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We wouldn't consider a trip to Austin without at least one purchase of the Jalapeno Bacon Value Pack.

 

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The second Austin must do? Breakfast tacos.

 

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and Torchy's are some of the best

 

But SXSW isn’t just about the music and food.   For the second year almost all of Alltrips comes to Texas in order to find out what’s going on in Tech trends.  This year may have been the most inspiring yet.

Highlights included :

  • Peter Diamandis who focuses on Abundance in today’s pessimistic world.  His results: The first privately funded space flight; a car that can go 180 miles to the gallon; a technique that can clean up oil spills 600% better than what was available at the beginning of the Gulf Oil Disaster.  His next goals: a handheld consumer device that can diagnose disease with the same accuracy as 12 board certified doctors, a water purifier the size of dorm room fridge that can purify sewage to the quality of medical grade H2O with minimal energy; air cleanup technology which can decrease carbon emissions by 80%.
  • Interactive mobile apps that will change how people do business by combining location, social and the world’s enormous database of all our preferences and desires.
  • Business development that focuses on not just today, but the next 100 years.
  • And of course, how to doodle!
After days of this kind of information flow, we met up each evening to share and brainstorm.  We started these meetups in town, but the awesome house that Carli had reserved turned into the ultimate place to unwind.
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The Alltrips crew decompressing after South By

 

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Don't Mess with Alltrips

 

After our 6 o’clock sessions, it was time to eat.  Barbeque Heaven never fails to disappoint with worldclass brisket and a mean Turkey Leg.   We also visited the famed Nuclear Taco stand, though for some of us, wisdom won over ego and many people didn’t partake.  I of course still needed to get a Nuclear Taco #3.

Some people never learn.

 

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BBQ Heaven - Nice Leg!

 

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Nuclear Taco Time

 

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There is never enough Barbecue

 

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The typical Austin plate - Art's Rib House

 

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Red checkered table clothes, great company, live music in the background. Yum.

 

This year’s SXSW was also the year of Costume.    I am not sure what this guy was exactly dressed as.  But we all got inspired.  It started small with mustaches and cupcakes to celebrate Tim and BJ’s March birthdays.  But then we escalated….

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Who is that guy anyway?

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Hey Hey Cupcake

 

Then after dinner comes the nightlife.   Once the Tech winds down, the music kicks up.  While Tim and I took one night off for March Madness at Bikinis, we all explored the town for amazing music.   Friends, Amy and Bracken, also came down from Boulder, making it an even better week.

 

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3000 venues still aren't enough. Bands play in the street.

 

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The Octopus Project blew Tim and Dan away

 

For BJ’s Birthday, we went big…and wigged.  It also happens to be St. Patty’s Day so all of Austin celebrated with us.  From noon on, it was a buffet of music, followed by Pete’s East Side Bar, more music, a late night cap of Hop Daddy and then music ’till 2am.

 

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Elvis Lives

 

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Wigged and Green

 

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Jack Sparrow arrives at Petes

 

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Even in wigs, we blended in just fine in Austin on St. Patty's Day.

 

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Happy Birthday BJ!

 

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Feeling like a Rock Star

 

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Captain Jack

 

Album Cover - Take 1

 

Album Cover - Take 2

 

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Cervezarita - Margarita but oh so much better

 

Sunday arrived too soon.  We all loaded up in the van and headed to the airport for dropoffs.   Then Tim and I began the drive back to Arizona.  With March Madness on the radio, we covered the miles quick.  There was still lots left to enjoy in March.