I can’t end this series of IF:Gathering posts without sharing the story of me and T-Dog after the Saturday session.
Tiffany and I met in the Rochester, MN airport on Thursday morning. We had a mutual friend, Jennifer Jensen, our Noonday Collection rep, that we met through on Facebook in the IF:Austin group. We happened to be on the same flights and hung out the entire trip.
After my spiritual water boarding, (which I didn’t even tell her about, really), we decided to walk. It was beautiful. 74 and warm. We thawed as we walked, knowing we’d return to the frozen tundra the next day. I’d received a TOMS gift card at the event and so our mission was clear: the only TOMS shop in existence, right here in Austin.
Along the way, we popped into Google Fiber where I mugged for the camera and tried to look “professorial.” I snagged tons of stickers, pens and brochures to bring back to my undergraduate business students. Google Fiber exists in a few places that actively banded together and lobbied for the service. Austin was one such city. Now, residents can dump their local cable, voice and internet provider and hook into the high speed (100x’s faster than broadband) fiber optic network.
Tiffany was in charge of navigation, wherein we took a leisurely 3 mile walking detour to the Thom’s Marketplace before realizing that wasn’t the TOMS store. We strolled into the TOMS store with sore feet, out of breath from walking up a hill and hungry for dinner.
We encountered no less than every.single.speaker. from the IF:Gathering event and we tried not to be #starstruck. We were cool like cucumbers and tired like toddlers.
Because Tiffany’s feet are narrow like pencils, nothing fit her well. I tried on some boots and decided to purchase them with the help of my $50 gift card and the $15 discount for IF:Gathering attendees.
“We don’t take gift cards or discounts in the store,” said the clerk. “Only online.”
Defeated, we started out the door and toward any food that existed. The TOMS store was smack in the heart of nostalgic Austin. We ate at The Snack Bar on South Congress. Excuse me, let me be clear. We, transplanted Minnesotans, ate OUTSIDE IN FEBRUARY. It was -17 when we left Minnesota on Thursday morning. We considered this a major victory. We celebrated with cheeseburgers with avocado and I had a glass of wine.
Since we’d schlepped all the way down here and our feet were like, nope, for a return trip, we were going to call a cab. The entire time we’d been in Austin, people were poo pooing the cabbies and recommending Uber. Through the Uber app, you can request a ride from a local private driver that has been trained and verified through the Uber service. It’s way cheaper than a cab and they boast pickup in minutes.
On our last night in Austin, we tried Uber.
Manny arrived in, I kid you not, thirty seconds. He was indeed in a Toyota Corolla and had received our request via the Uber app. You pay electronically up front, so no cash is exchanged and no tips are needed.
I cannot stress this enough: PEOPLE RAVED ABOUT UBER.
Manny whipped an illegal U-turn in the middle of South Congress Boulevard and we were off for our 5 mile trip across the bridge and back to my hotel (first) then Tiffany’s (second). Twenty seconds after the deftly executed driving maneuver, Manny pumped up the jam.
Upon further examination via text message today, we believe it was Snoop Dog. I’m not sure if it was the original Snoop Dog or while he was in his Snoop Lion phase or just plan ‘ol Snoop now. Whatever it was, it was LOUD and EXPLICIT and Tiffany couldn’t stop GIGGLING!
And then it got real, yo.
The driving became much more erratic and, as we crossed over whatever river is in Austin, the following thought entered my noggin,
We’re going to die here.
After my spiritual water boarding a few hours prior, I figured that was just fine. Perhaps my family’s opinion differed.
When we hit road construction in downtown Austin and Manny started cussing and making scary driving noises, I looked at Terrified Tiffany and said casually, “so, hey, do you want to come and hang out in my room? It’s still early.” If we weren’t facing imminent death by Uber I’m sure Manny would have thought we were lesbians on a weekend romp. But, alas, he was too busy reenacting a scene from The Fast and the Furious to pay us any mind.
As we pulled up to my hotel, I’m not sure the car even came to a full stop before we were both out. We stumbled into the hotel lobby laughing hysterically and nervously. Everyone looked as us like we were freaks.
It. Was. Awesome.
I posted this status after I’d recovered the next morning.
We’re already planning to get together and cause more trouble, soon.
Fo shizzle, yo.
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