Austin is weird, and they are proud of it. Our neighbor to the north is home to the massive annual event that is SXSW, and each year, it is the place to be for anyone who is even remotely interested in technology and the wonderous possibilities of the future. I was there this year as an #HOUSxSw Ambassador on behalf of Station Houston and Houston Exponential representing Houston’s strong community of creators and innovators. If you’ve never been to Austin and are not familiar with the phrase “Keep Austin Weird,” the month of March during SXSW might be the perfect time to get familiar with this quirky part of Texas, which also happens to be the state capital. There is never a shortage of things to do in Austin, but during the massive annual event known as South by Southwest (SXSW) you can multiply your options by a couple dozen points of interest.
Los caminos de la vida no son como yo pensaba. Como los imaginaba. No son como yo creía. The journey of life is not how I thought it would be. It’s not how I imagined it. It’s not what I thought it would be. This song came on the radio at one point while we were driving along the southern rim of the Grand Canyon a few weeks ago before the end of 2017, and it put everything into perspective. The last time I really listened to the lyrics of Los Caminos de la Vida by La Tropa Vallenata I was headed to the cemetery in the funeral procession for my father. I remember thinking then, that life is too short to not do the things we want to do. I wanted to bring my father to the Grand Canyon. He left before I ever could. His passing was one of those things in life that hit me like a ton of bricks. I never imagined his time with us would be cut short, or so soon. And yet it was.
You can do a lot of things in New Orleans. The one thing that will take some effort on your part is not having a good time in the Big Easy. Especially around Mardi Gras season. As the locals will say, laissez les bons temp rouler. Let the good times roll! We were in the Crescent City just a few weeks ago, right before all the official Mardi Gras festivities began. Although, in truth, sometimes it is hard to tell when Mardi Gras is happening or not in New Orleans. I mean when we were there we went to at least four different parades and observed and heard at least another half dozen taking place around us. I think my favorite was the Mardi Gras parade dedicated entirely to pets. Yeah, as in perros y gatos decked out in Mardi Gras garb and riding floats along one of the main roads of the city with their owners tossing beads to onlookers.
Enchanting. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think back to the three magical days we spent in Sedona – welcoming the new year and officially saying, “Hasta la vista, baby” to 2017. It was everything we expected and more. The beauty of the red mountains staring at us from every direction, the quiet and peaceful sounds of crystal clear water cascading down Oak Creek. The picturesque drive to get into Sedona was full of excitement, revealing one beautiful scene after another as we hugged and curved through majestic mountains to arrive at our final destination. We were literally at the edge of our seats with anticipation to arrive at this peaceful oasis.