Pre #SXSW – 1st Day Austin

I spent a huge part of the day yesterday traveling towards Austin. @jetblue cancelled my previous flight plans and did offer me other options which flying of Puerto Rico where not the most convenient.

I arrived at Austin without transportation and was so happy to find one of my favorite companies Freshbooks was offering free rides towards downtown Austin. Nothing better than liking a company and getting a free ride.

My Freshbooks Shuttle took me to the Convention Center where I picked my badge. It took me a few minutes. We took a Cab to the Hotel where our cab driver decided to Bash Apple and took a socialist standpoint calling himself a Capitalist. I guess if you are driving Developers and people that survive out of developing software saying software should be free is not the right topic to welcome someone.

We arrived the Hotel where Kate received us and offered us our room. We where offered a complimentary shuttle by the Hotel to get us back to Austin. Our driver was very helpful in recommending the Iron Cactus for dinner. We where invited to sit outside on the top and get an awesome view of Austin.

Thank to @jpadilla_ I had the opportunity to follow him along to part of the Start-Up Crawl.

We had the opportunity to visit Smiley Media offices. There offices are very creative and look like a fun place to work at. The most curious part was there secret room which is behind bookshelf and you have to remove the right room to get into it. They also have a Bird’s nest and waterfalls over the various sections.

Our next place to visit was the Gowalla offices where we initially got stuck in a small elevator with 14 strangers. A good way to get close to people very quickly at #SXSW. We where greeted with special Gowalla stickers and some neat Gowalla Swag. We where received by our fellow colleagues from Puerto Rico @hectorramos & @oneedgepr (Pablo).

Pablo also walked us over to Food On the Table Meetup in which they had various options to eat.

We finished our 1st day in Austin getting a great impression of the city and the awesome people I met that where visiting. We entered the hotel room with a message from one of my favorite other brands @zappos.