10pm, Wednesday 4th March, Ben E White Boulevard, Austin, Central Texas, USA
Evening folks, just checked in to the trusty La Qunita hotel around the corner from the Austin airport, and that would be smak bang in the middle of Central Texas – where a storm warning is now in effect as an arctic storm descends on the area. It’s a fitting end to a mad day! It all started on the wrong foot first thing this morning as we drove off from the Houston hotel for our work day in Austin. I was so tired – asleep with my eyes open really – and I left my backpack in the reception area where I’d checked out. That would be my back pack with my iPad, my GPS unit, my camera, my antibiotics….yes folks – the essentials. We stopped at Weikels bakery and truck stop at the legendary hamlet of La Grange – made famous by the ZZ Top boys – because that’s the spiritual home of the fluffy Texas cakey things called ‘kolaches’. We were picking up a stack for our Specs retail store sales folk masterclass and Austin trade calls, and that’s when I realised that I was one bag short! Oh no! We couldn’t go back as its a two and a half hour drive from Houston and Austin, and we had to be at the masterclass by 10am, followed by a tasting with the Austin Wine Merchant crew, then a trade lunch, then the Specs consumer class at the flash Arbor Walk store. Only option…..I’d have to hire a rental car in Austin, drive back to Houston after the consumer class finished at around 8pm – I’d rang the hotel, and yes the bag was at reception, still with the iPad intact – then come back to Austin by 2am at best……just in time to get to the airport by 5am for the 6.46am flight to Louisville, Kentucky. That’s the next stop on our road show. I was the dopey idiot that didn’t check all my gear was on board, so I was resigned to my horrible fate – especially knowing that the weather was forecast to deteriorate.
But little did I know that the good luck fairies were about to step in. Our distributor man in Austin heard of our drama, and offered to do his ‘knight in shining armour’ thing – jump straight on the road and go to Houston, pick up the bag, and come straight back – 5 hour round trip!! I nearly cried, bought him a present, paid for the gas, and that’s why I’m able to belt out this blog post tonight on my iPad – tucked up in bed after the Specs consumer tasting – alarm set for 4am, and fully expecting 5 hours sleep! And….the weather has gone ugly on us very rapidly, arctic storm warning in place, and every possibility of our plane not leaving tomorrow. Is there an up side?? Always!! The folks at the consumer tasting tonight told me that Salt Lick BBQ have a pit out at the Austin airport, so if we’re delayed, at least we get to eat a fabulous lunch while we wait for the weather to lift!!
So here was our day in Austin, TX folks….
Thanks to the Austin Wine Exchange for putting our Bush Vine Grenache on their superstar under $20 tasting table
Thanks to Easy Tiger Bakehouse for the support – fab spot downstairs for our local trade lunch and tasting
And thanks Specs Arbor Walk – tremendous wine class venue in the Deli, and thanks for having the 2010 Signature on the shelf! We won a lot of hearts and palates with that tonight. Thanks also to the hardy souls who braved the weather to be there…..we’ll definitely be back to do it all again
See y’all for now, and keep your fingers crossed that we’ll be able to fly, as they’re expecting 5 inches of snow overnight in Louisville, Kentucky – and that’s where we’re headed.