After arriving, the first order of business was to walk down Congress Avenue,
hang a right on 6th Street,
and grab a bite to eat at the 1886 Cafe & Bakery inside The Driskill Hotel.
I read the evening away and woke up excited, knowing that the reward for shivering through the next eight hours would be a reunion with my good friends. The reward was sweet because we hadn't gotten together in several years. We had a great time reminiscing over a delicious meal at Eastside Cafe.
The evening disappeared, and the next day promised only three and a half hours of shivering before I could check out and catch up with another good friend and her two girls. We (or maybe it was just me) gobbled up lunch at Threadgill's and then enjoyed great conversation on the ride to meet my mom.
(Note the lingering evidence of surviving the conference room: a sweater despite the 98-degree weather.)
Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of me with my mom. But we had a great time taking in the Friday night festivities in my hometown. The evening was full with a stroll through the farmers' market, a yummy dinner at a new restaurant, a quick listen to a live band, and a dash to the rodeo (only to find out that we'd already missed the one event we wanted to see). Saturday was leisurely with nothing on the agenda and was a perfect day finished off with a homecooked meal.
With such wonderful friends and family, I guess my only complaint should be that the conference isn't held more often.