Tuesday, March 31, 2009

SXSW ~ Part 1

I can't believe it has been over a month since SXSW! I didn't post back when I returned because I got home and I was overwhelmed with things going on at home, and I figured there would be so many SXSW posts people would get tired of reading them one after another, so maybe you will enjoy my post a little more since SXSW has kinda worn off a little.

I have so much I want to share with you I have decided to break it down into a few separate posts.

Today's post is about how I got to SXSW.

I want to start by thanking Walmart and Pledge to End Hunger for sponsoring my trip. It was an amazing trip that I could not have made without their help!

If you haven't heard about Pledge to End Hunger please go here and see what you can do to help fight childhood hunger in the United States. So far thanks to everyone who has signed the pledge, Tyson foods has donated 3 semi trucks full of food to food banks in Austin, TX, St Louis, MO and Indianapolis, IN. Each truck contained 35,000 pounds of food! Pledge to End Hunger is still working toward a goal of 5,000 signatures on the pledge. If you have not pledged yet please go to Pledge to End Hunger now and sign!

I attended the conference as a representative of the new Walmart program called More than Elevenmoms. This program is an extension of the 11 Moms program John Andrews and Rockfish Interactive created for Walmart. Our community is a group of parents and bloggers who help support the Walmart and 11 Moms brands. John Andrews held a contest for the members of the community and the prize was a trip to SXSW for one lucky member, ME! Thank you John, I owe ya!

So off to Austin for me! I found out I would be sharing a room with Michelle from Sparks and Butterflies, (she won the trip from a contest that was held at Blissdom) and I would be flying part of the way with Robin from Pensieve (she also won the trip at Blissdom). Prior to leaving we all shared our interests, packing lists and apprehensions with each other and found out we had a lot in common! I also found out I would be meeting all but I believe 3 of the 11 moms. I was so excited to have the chance to meet all of the fantastic women I talk to online on a regular basis and to make new friends with bloggers I did not know much about.

I met up with Robin in Dallas and we flew to Austin and her friend Lisa picked us up at the airport and took us to a fabulous local Tex-Mex restaurant for dinner. Can I just say, I could eat Tex-Mex for the rest of my life. By the end of the trip, lots of people were sick of it but I could still be eating it! Thanks Lisa and Robert for the fantastic taste of local cuisine.

Once we got to the hotel it was off to get our conference badges and meet our roomies. The hotel was great check out this view! Coming from Pittsburgh, I cannot believe how flat Texas is! I could see forever, it was like looking out at the ocean.

Walmart and Rockfish left a little something to welcome us to Austin.

I ended my long travel day with a fantastic night sleep in a comfy bed ALONE! no kids, no dogs, no snoring hubby. It was pure heaven!

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