Around 7:30p, we were all rounded up, herded into two large tour buses, and shuttled into downtown Austin. We all went to a bar called Oslo for the night. More fruit, more cheeses, some fajitas, and a WHOLE lot of alcohol was there to be had by all. And who were we to turn it down? I quickly learned that my buddy, Raymond Padilla, had a new greeting for me every time we were within reach of each other. Instead of "Hey, how's it going?" I was greeting to "CHAPMAN!! You're in!!" followed up by a random shot being passed my way. Over the course of the night, my drinking broke down as follows (in no particular order):
- Rum & Coke (x1)
- Corona (x2)
- Tequila shots (x3)
- Jaegermeister shots (x2)
- Lemon Drop shots (x2)
- Irish Car Bomb (x1)
- Margarita (x3)
- Bottled Water (x6)
Needless to say, I was just a bit past even MY tolerance. And by the time things started winding down, just about everyone was three sheets to the wind or close to it. Thankfully, I've got a bit of a "killswitch" in my head which stops me from ever drinking to the point that I forget what I'm doing .. or do something I KNOW I'll regret later. The fun part was being the one person coherent enough to remind everyone else what they did that night (Heh).
So, a group of us pile in to the last bus heading back to the hotel. We stopped off for food (Taco Cabana!!), and went about our merry ways ... singing Bon Jovi, Prince, and even some Barry Manilow along the way. And just when you think the night is done, the bus dies on us. So we're stranded roughly 15 miles or so (at least) from the hotel for at least an hour. Some of the guys even took it upon themselves to try and fix the bus (which actually means no more than they pushed a bunch of buttons). We tried to encourage the bus to start with a heartfelt rendition of George Michael's "Faith", but to no avail. Eventually, we made it back to the hotel around 4:00a. I stayed up for a bit before crashing and woke up feeling fine. Unfortunately, not everyone else could say the same.
This morning I headed out of the room for the final round of demos and such, and the conference area was like a wasteland. Very few people were there for breakfast around 9:30a. Slowly everyone dragged themselves in and shared experiences from the night before. While it seemed like everyone was doing this to have fun and share with others, the truth of the matter is it was simply a way for everyone to figure out exactly what they had done. And when the cameras started getting passed around, and photographic evidence was unveiled ... then the collective "I did what?!?" set in. All in on, it was a hell of a good time.
Now I'm sitting in the airport, anxious to get back home to Jacksonville. So naturally there have to be problems. Apparently Atlanta (where my connecting flight it) has been pounded by some thunderstorms today, causing a ridiculous number of delays. My flight into Atlanta will already be running about 1 hour and 20 minutes late. Factor in the fact that my original layover had me in Atlanta for only an hour and suddenly you start to see where my snag is. Plus, I think my flight into Jax from Atlanta is the last flight heading there for the night. So I'm waiting to find out what's going to happen and when (or if) I'll be getting home tonight after all.