October is one of my favorite months with the Exceeding Expectations kids. As you all know, our top priority for the kids is, and always will be, education. That said, every October we participate in two athletic events that I feel are significant in laying the groundwork necessary for them to be successful in the academic world and in their adult lives. The first of these events is the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) triathlon, aptly called “The Best Day in Triathlon.” Here’s a brief overview from their website: “In 1994, three friends started a triathlon fundraiser to help one man regain his independence after a tragic accident left him a quadriplegic. From one came many, and Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) took root in the belief that sports and an active lifestyle are a pathway to more in life. Since that fundraiser 25 years ago, CAF has been committed to breaking the financial barrier that individuals with physical challenges face to participate in sports and live a healthy and active lifestyle.” Participating alongside challenged athletes in a very tough race gives our kids an additional perspective on their own lives. The racers on the course with them face obstacles that they
Tag Archives: Austin
We keep flagging Hawaii deals because so many crop up week after week. Our favorite Hawaii special this week is a Kauai package through www.offtohawaii.com that includes: five nights at the Sheraton Kauai Resort on Poipu Beach and roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles (departure dates: May 28, 29, 30, 31) or San Francisco (departure dates: May 28, 31). The total cost is $839, a 40% savings on regular rates. (Via Travelzoo) It’s a one-day JetBlue sale extravaganza! For today (May 17, 2011) only, JetBlue is offering one-way fares starting at $29 for travel between May 24 and June 22, 2011. Choose from various destinations such as New York City, Nantucket, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica, Bermuda and lots more. Book at least seven days before travel and depart on a Tuesday or Wednesday for the lowest possible fares. Sale ends at midnight today. (Via Smarter Travel) Vancouver Island is a great destination for 3-day mini-vacations. For Memorial Day weekend, the lovely Inn on Long Lake is offering the third night free after the first two paid nights. Breakfast is complimentary, and you have the option to enjoy the meal on your private patio. Own a pet? Bring the precious thing with you because the inn
If you’re flying through Austin airport, consider yourself lucky because it’s an all-around awesome airport! Some of our favorite amenities include: Salt Lick Bar-B-Que, located at the West Concourse. The airport location is a smaller but no less delicious version of the family-owned restaurant in Driftwood, a short drive from Austin. Amy’s Ice Creams, located at the West Concrouse. Amy’s is a Texas favorite, with locations in San Antonio, Houston and Austin. Get a scoop (or two) and you’ll understand why Amy’s ice cream has won so many awards. Art exhibit, located at the Barbara Jordan Terminal. We love treating ourselves to a walk-through of the art gallery, which portrays “literal and symbolic references to the region’s geography, landmarks, history, diverse cultures, and the spirit of the people.” Live music performances, located in the center of the terminal building on the concourse level. There’s always music in the air at Austin Airport, thanks to the talented musicians that take the stage. It makes us want to hang around at the airport for hours!
We attended SXSW Interactive for the first time ever and boy, what a wonderful geek fest it was! The highlights of our trip included: Making new friends with lots of smart people Handing out complimentary one-hour Wi-Fi access passes Being a part of the community to rally support for Japan’s earthquake and tsunami victims Indulging in Austin BBQ and food trucks Listening to inspiring keynotes and speakers. Our top three picks: Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of consumer services, on Google maps for mobile and location services. Blake Mycoskie, Founder of TOMS shoes, on the genesis of TOMS shoes and tips for attracting loyal customers and good employees by making them feel they’re a part of something bigger: Part I and Part II. Scott Belksy, author of the book Making Ideas Happen, on cultivating creativity and unleashing great ideas in an organization. We couldn’t find a good video of his presentation at SXSW but here is the exact same talk he gave at TED 2011. Thanks to the city of Austin and cheers to Boingo friends, old and new! Here’s a video of Boingo superfans giving us some love.
The annual SXSW (South By Southwest) festival in Austin kicks off this week, and we’ll be attending for the first time. Suffice it to say that while we’re very excited, we’ve also heard enough about the event to know it’s quite a chaotic scene. So we tapped into the wealth of information available online for advice on getting the most out of the event. If you’re a first-timer, check out these tips from from veteran attendees: Plan your sessions: There is a seemingly endless number of sessions to attend, and they’re scattered all over the place. Put together a calendar of must-attend sessions and map it out so you know the best route to get from one point to another. But factor in some spontaneity: Commit to a few sessions/events but otherwise be open to the unexpected. Keep an eye on Twitter for realtime activities that crop up. Get to know the layout of the conference center and surrounding area: If you’re arriving early, walk around the conference center and familiarize yourself with the landscape. Cross-pollinate: Don’t settle into groups of people you already know. Get outside of your comfort zone and meet new people. Be outgoing and introduce yourself