Austin, Texas Mega Do 2 - April 19 - 22, 2012

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by Pa Kettle, May 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Pa Kettle
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    Pa Kettle Gold Member

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    Since we are less than a year away, I thought it would be time to start building some interest in next year's Austin Mega Do and give everyone as much advance notice as possible.

    The following itinerary has been set*:

    Thursday, April 19, 2012
    8:00 AM – Meet with whoever is in town for breakfast at The Magnolia Café on South Congress.
    10:00 AM – Tour Amy’s Ice Cream factory.
    11:30 AM – Lunch at Franklin BBQ on East 11th Street.
    1:00 PM – Visit the LBJ Presidential Library & Museum.
    3:30 - 7:00 PM - On your own.
    7:00 PM – 9:00 Fine dining dinner at Perry’s in downtown Austin. This is a very expensive pre-pay event. Hey, it's fine dining. What did you expect?
    9:30 PM - Beer at The Gingerman; on your own after that.

    Friday, April 20, 2012
    9:30 AM - Acquire breakfast tacos from a taco truck parked next to the bus.
    10:00 AM – Visit Austin Beerworks Brewery. $5 for a commemorative mug
    12:30 PM – Have lunch at Black's BBQ in Lockhart, TX.
    2:00 PM – Visit the Spoetzel Brewery in Shiner, TX.
    5:00 PM – Eat at The City Market BBQ in Luling, TX on the way back to Austin. Bring cash!!
    7:00 PM – Return to the hotel. On your own after that.

    Saturday, April 21, 2012
    9:30 AM – BBQ breakfast at Snow’s BBQ – hailed as being one of the best BBQ places in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine. (We will depart the hotel at 8 AM)
    12:00 PM – Visit Lake Travis. Swimming, fishing, etc. off a rented party barge with drinks, snacks & sandwiches available.
    5:00 PM – View the sunset, eat BBQ, and drink microbrews at Uncle Billy’s on Lake Travis. This is a pre-pay event.
    9:00 PM – Return to the hotel. On your own after that. Poker anyone?

    Sunday, April 22, 2012
    11:30 AM – Lunch at the Salt Lick in Round Rock, TX. (We will leave the hotel at 11:00 AM) This is a pre-pay event.
    2:00 PM – Take the bus back to the hotel. Event is officially over.
    *Note: Times and/or itinerary subject to change.

    While I appreciate that there are probably a lot of folks out there familiar with Austin who have alternative ideas for inclusion into next year's Do, feel free to send me a PM and I will track them as a possibility for another year.

    By the way, the web site that will be the source for most of everyone's information, updates, and registration has been launched.
     
  2. Pa Kettle
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    Pa Kettle Gold Member

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    Thursday, April 19th - Weather: Humid, warm. Hi 84. Lo 58

    I hope that everyone is aware that we are not providing transportation for this day's events. If you are in town for this day, you'll need to get yourself around by car-pooling or public transportation. Mackieman will have a van that may have a seat or four, but you will have to check with him for time and availability.

    For anyone arriving on Wednesday or early enough on Thursday, the registration table will be set up and manned by Mackieman from 7:00 - 7:30 AM in the lobby of the Aloft at the Domain.

    Otherwise, those of you planning to eat breakfast at Magnolia Cafe need to be there as close to 8 AM as possible. Anyone later than 8:15 may lose the opportunity to be seated with us. When you arrive, ask for the group of 30 seating on the patio. We need to be leaving Magnolia Cafe for the Amy's Ice Cream factory no later than 9:15 and earlier than that would be better.

    Speaking of Amy's, if you intend to taste their wares, be sure to bring some cash along. $2.50 should cover it, but if you want loads of extras, there may be an up charge. This tour will be short, but sweet. LOL. :D Probably no longer than 30 minutes (could be shorter depending on how inquisitive we are) and it starts promptly at 10 AM.

    Then it's on to waiting in line at Franklin BBQ. For those coming from Amy's, I expect we'll all be in line well before 11 AM, but if you are nervous about getting fed, it would be best to have someone from our group order for you to go. You can still eat it there, but seating is limited so you may be dining in your car.

    Afterwards, if you want to tour the LBJ Library, folks can start filtering over at their leisure. Here is a map outlining the events up to this point: http://g.co/maps/dm54n

    I will be manning the registration table in the lobby of the Aloft at the Domain from 3 PM - 5 PM for anyone wishing to check in before dining at Perry's.

    Speaking of Perry's, they offer valet parking for $8 per vehicle or you can hunt for a space on the street nearby. Good luck with that. LOL. :) Dress is business casual...no hats.

    I'll meet up again with the group at the Gingerman at 9:30 PM for a nightcap and we'll call it day for the official events of the Do for Thursday, but feel free to explore the Warehouse District, SOCO, and/or 6th Street. Just don't stay up so late that you miss the bus on Friday. ;)
     
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  3. Pa Kettle
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    Friday, April 20th - Weather: Humid, warm, overcast cloudiness. 40% chance of rain beginning mid-late afternoon. Hi 81. Lo 63.

    Regrettably, our day is not going to start off exactly as planned. Due to a family emergency, the Snappy Snacks food truck is not going to be able to meet us at the charter bus. However, I have arranged for them to deliver 60 pre-made breakfast tacos, so we will still get fed. I have also asked for TexasYankee to swing by Round Rock Donuts and pick up 4 dozen regular/chocolate donuts plus one of their Texas-sized donuts. For $2, you can purchase one taco and one donut, first come, first served from the following selections:

    bacon, egg & cheese
    sausage, egg & cheese
    chorizo, egg & cheese
    potato, egg & cheese
    al pastor
    regular donut
    chocolate donut

    Please, just one taco and one donut until we know everyone's gotten something. After that, whatever is left will be up for grabs at $2 for one taco and one donut.

    As a reminder, the charter bus leaves from the open-air parking lot just north of the Aloft Austin at the Domain at 9:30 AM. If the parking lot is full, the bus may have to park on the street perpendicular to it, but regardless of where it is actually parked, I don't think it will easily missed.

    Please also remember that the City Market in Luling only takes cash. No credit cards or debit cards. They do have an onsite ATM, but - frankly - I wouldn't take the chance that it's full and it will definitely slow you down, so try to come prepared ahead of time.

    For those of you driving yourselves, here is map detailing driving directions for today's events: http://g.co/maps/92mya

    See the Do web site for approximate times at these locations.
     
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  4. Pa Kettle
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    Pa Kettle Gold Member

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    Saturday, April 21st - Cooler, sunny. Hi 75. Lo 56.

    Okay guys and gals, today is going to be a long one and it starts early, so I hope you get a good night's sleep.

    The bus will be ready to board at 7:30 AM. We will be having breakfast (BBQ) at our first stop, but if you want coffee, yogurt, fruit, et al for on the way, the Aloft has a grab and go. I can't stress this part enough...the bus leaves promptly at 8 AM, so don't be late. Snow's BBQ is an hour and a half away in Lexington, TX and we need to be there no later than 9:30 AM. I'm hoping we can pull out from Snow's by 10:30 AM, but a lot depends upon how busy they will be when we arrive and how quickly we can all eat and all get back on the bus.

    When we leave Snow's, our next stop will be Spec's Liquor and Fine Foods. This needs to be a quick-hitter. The less time we spend shopping, the more time we can spend on the lake. If you did not order lunch to take on the boat, you can certainly remedy that here if you think you'll be hungry before 6 PM. Word to the wise...buy whatever liquid consumables that you think you can polish off in 2 hours. There will be ice chests and ice provided by some of the locals. You just need to remember which one you put your stuff into. :)

    Speaking of Aquaholics Water Craft Rentals, we have use of the Party Barge from 12:30 PM until 4:30 PM. It takes 45 minutes travel time to Aquaholics' marina from Spec's, so do the math: leave Snow's at 10:30 AM > 1 1/2 hour drive to Spec's = 12 Noon. 30 minutes at Spec's > 45 minute drive to Aquaholics = 1:15 PM. Add another 45 minutes to get our stuff and ourselves on the boat and we are looking at shoving off at 2 PM. That's still a decent 2 1/2 hour boat trip on Lake Travis, but if we lollygag along the way, the less time we'll be on the lake. But, if you can live with that, so can I. If you ordered lunch, see Mackieman once we are afloat.

    By the time we are off-loaded at the marina and get our stuff and ourselves back on the bus, it will probably be between 5:00 and 5:15. It is a 30-minute drive over to Uncle Billy's at the Lake. Since there are really no facilities to change other than the bathroom on the bus, I recommend using one of the many bathrooms within the Oasis/Uncle Billy's complex. We have a room set aside for us at Uncle Billy's from 6 PM until 9 PM. We will be there in plenty of time to view the gorgeous sunset, eat, drink, and be merry. We will be enjoying a pre-selected menu of:

    Appetizer Course: Red Neck Road Kill (A rather large pile of homemade potato chips covered in cheese, chopped beef, jalapeños, and salsa.
    Main Course: Brisket, sausage, and pork ribs served buffet style (but not all you can eat).
    Mains will be served with potato salad, mac & cheese, and glazed carrots.
    Dessert is not included and will be billed to you directly if ordered.

    There will be a cash bar with a bartender in the room. You are responsible for any beverages purchased for your personal consumption. While any manner of drinks can be ordered, Uncle Billy's is a micro-brewery and has some tasty beers and, frankly, some I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole, but that's just me. ;)

    At 9 PM, we'll be vacating the room and heading back to the Aloft Austin at the Domain. We should be there by 10 PM and the night is yours from there-on. We don't board the bus on Sunday until 10:45 AM, so you get to sleep in. :D
     
  5. Pa Kettle
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    Sunday, April 22nd - Cool, sunny. Hi 77. Lo 54.

    Enjoy sleeping in Sunday morning. The bus will be in its usual position at 10:30 AM and we depart for the Salt Lick in Round Rock precisely at 11:00 AM.

    For those who are wondering, we should be back to the Aloft Austin at the Domain by 2:30 PM.
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    Have you selected the hotel yet? Will Starwood/SPG be involved like last time? (I really hope so.)
     
  7. Pa Kettle
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    Pa Kettle Gold Member

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    I haven't made a decision yet, but it will probably be either the Aloft or the Westin at The Domain.

    Regrettably, no. And probably never again. :( I can't keep burning bridges at our hotels in Austin if we are ever going to land a deal for any future Do's and it was just too much of an ordeal to include the CCC. Those will probably have to remain unique to the first one.
     
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  8. MSPeconomist
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    I'm sorry to hear this. I thought the CCC visit was great, as well as the participation by people from Starwood/SPG.

    Do we know who you are (under another username)?
     
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  9. SPG Champion
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    SPG Champion Official Representative

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    SPG might be sponsoring one of the events on the itinerary. I don't have confirmation on that as yet, however.

    Gosh, I hope so. Check out Pa Kettle's signature line. ;)

    Best regards,

    William R. Sanders
    Social Media Specialist
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

    spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com
     
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  10. MSPeconomist
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    Of course, my suspicions are confirmed. After posting I noticed SPG employee in the first line of your signature but not the aka information in the second line. I'm glad you're organizing this again. Will there be issues this time with limits on the number of participants for either everything or just for certain events?
     
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  11. cheepneezy
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    I'm definitely interested. :cool:
     
  12. Pa Kettle
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    It's a little early to commit entirely to a definitive answer, but some consideration has to be given to the venues chosen, so the smaller ones were selected for Thursday because I figured that there would be fewer people who could make it in on that day. With that in mind, we may find ourselves limited at those venues if more than they can accommodate express an interest.

    Last year, we were able to negotiate a couple of consecutive tours when that became a problem and we'll try to do the same this time as well where possible. For instance, both the Blue Bell Creamery and Spoetzel Brewery have tour limits that may require us to book them consecutively to accommodate everyone. However, trying to seat 60 people without a reservation at the Oakridge Smokehouse Restaurant and at City Market in Luling is going to be challenging.

    As far as Saturday is concerned, I think the limit will be 90 people. That is the capacity of the party barge we are looking at and the size of the room we are going to hold at Uncle Billy's. Of course, 90 folks eating at Snow's BBQ on that morning is going to be challenging as well.

    So, all told, I think our capacity is 60 - 90 people on the weekend events and who gets in will be decided on a first-come, first-served basis determined by who registers and pays first.
     
  13. lili
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    Breakfast BBQ and Party Boat got my attention. What great additions to an already great event. Consider me definite.
     
  14. Pa Kettle
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    :cool: I might add that with all the traveling we'll be doing outside of Austin, everyone should get an eyeful of what Texas' spring wildflower season looks like. Provided we get any cooperation from Mother Nature, these dates fall right at the peak of the season.
     
  15. MSPeconomist
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    Good. A few years back, I visited College Station during wildflower time and it was very pretty.
     
  16. SpecialK
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    I'm in. Again - volunteering any assistance Teh Committee might need - don't make it math related and we should do just fine. :D
     
  17. violist
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    IN! (yay)
     
  18. Pa Kettle
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    LOL. I promise not to foist any bad Texas wine on you this time. :oops:
     
  19. MSPeconomist
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    I'm in and I'll try my best to arrive for the very beginning this time.
     
  20. Jubileesmom
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    Haven't been to Austin in eons, might be fun. sigh, memories.
     
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  21. MSPeconomist
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    Memories? This sounds like you have some good stories to tell us.
     
  22. Jubileesmom
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    Lol, like the one where we almost lost a boat trying to get it into the lake. Strangers (males) came and helped us in exchange for coming out with us and waterskiing with us. Ahh ya.
     
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  23. Pa Kettle
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    Yikers. If it involved math, I'm not sure I could launch one of these. :oops:

    Regardless, once we know what kind of collateral assistance we are going to need, we'll let you know.
     
  24. Pa Kettle
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    Mackieman did a site visit to the Oakridge Smokehouse Restaurant in Schulenburg, TX recently and reports that while the food is not likely to be that overwhelmingly memorable, it will fill an empty stomach. And, that might be the most important thing for mid-Friday afternoon.
     
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  25. Mackieman
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    This is indeed true. I think the fact that they have the ability to handle a decent sized group of folks is important as well.
     

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