It was a bleak beginning to the day with the news of the devastation in Japan coming through. Took me a little longer to get ready as I found myself tranfixed to the CNN coverage.
The sxsw shuttle was prompt and only took 10 minutes to get into downtown in peak hour traffic. Met a few of the other registrants from the hotel and will be good to hang out with them later - at least to have breakfast buddies for the next few days.
The badge pick up process was relatively painless. About a 10 minute wait while checking the overnight emails and facebook likes/comments, using the readily available and ultra fast wifi at the Austin Convention Center (to be known as ACC here from now on).
Then it was a bit of a mission to find the AT&T store located on West 5th St. Initially I was told to go 4 or 5 blocks, but after 12 blocks I was starting to get a little worried. I made it in the end, thanks to some helpful staff at the Sprint store.
So I now have a US number, and have data roaming. Cool.
The long walk was a blessing in disguise however, as I stumbled upon Lucky's Puccias (pic above), my first food truck experience here in Austin. It's parked on the side of the road and there was also what looked to be a beer garden and bar which I assumed is open later in the day. The Italian sandwich is wood fried (somewhere inside the van), and had the most awesome basil sauce. Everything was fresh and totally organic. I think I will go back.
And now, as I wait for the first session to begin, I sit here and am VERY happy with the decision to get the MacBook Air instead of waiting for the iPad 2. I have seen foursquare updates of people checking into a temporary Apple Store set up somewhere inside the ACC, and I'm sure there are hordes of nerds getting their hands on them today, but they sure do look awkward to hold!
The sessions I will be going to are:
There is also the film premier of Source Code tonight, and I need to check the Gowalla Airstream somewhere in the middle of it all. I think that will do for Day 1.