You May All Go to Hell & I Will Go To Texas

Last month K and I flew to Texas for a statewide music educators convention. It took a while, but I’ve finally found the time to recap our trip. This is a lengthy one πŸ˜‰

Backstory: At the end of 2016 K’s business underwent some changes and I was brought on full time to oversee administrative duties and customer/vendor communication. I’d been to trade shows and conventions in the past with the company (Indiana 2014), but I had no idea how to sell our product. We had a show in Cleveland the week before Texas so I observed K in the booth and studied the carts but I was still nervous about my first time on the floor. Obviously that didn’t matter because we were headed to San Antonio regardless.

Freighting our equipment to Texas would’ve cost thousands upon thousands of dollars so K asked his welder (who also happens to be his dad, Jeff) to drive the product down in a box truck. I was uncomfortable sending his dad alone on such a long trip so I suggested K’s mom, Gail, take the week off from her job and they make it a San Antonio vacation. It ended up working out perfectly and they hit the road Monday morning. We flew out Tuesday morning.

We landed mid-afternoon, caught a taxi to our hotel, and checked on the box truck’s progress. Since they were still a few hours away we decided to unpack, check in to the exhibition hall, and wander around the River Walk for a place to eat. Conveniently, both our hotel and the convention center were right along the RW.

We stopped for dinner at a place called The County Line. The servers were a bit snippy but it wasn’t at us fortunately. After dinner we walked back to the hotel and met up with Jeff and Gail as they arrived. We got them all checked in and settled, then retired for the night since Wednesday was going to be a work day.

On Wednesday we spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon loading into the convention hall and setting up the display booth.

Around 2 pm we finished and took a(n accidental) walk all the way around the River Walk loop. We stopped into The Iron Cactus for a late lunch/early dinner, then I dragged everyone to street level to visit The Alamo.

We caught the landmark just before closing so we only spent 20 minutes wandering around. 😦

After some Starbucks we wandered back to the hotel and crashed. Set up was exhausting and we hadn’t even begun the convention.

Thursday and Friday was spent in the exhibition hall. (We encouraged Jeff and Gail to go enjoy San Antonio!) The show started at 9 am and ended at 5 pm each day. On Thursday K and I went to dinner alone at Tony Roma’s and finished up the night with some Marble Slab Creamery ice cream. On Friday the four of us went to dinner at Saltgrass with a friend who was in town for the show, too.

On Saturday K woke up with a nasty head cold. I opened the convention at 9 am alone (*gulp*) and K joined me for a few hours later on that morning. Thank goodness his parents were there. They brought him some meds and soup since we couldn’t leave the booth. K decided to call it a day around 12:30 pm. Fortunately it was a short day and the hall was set to close at 2 pm. I worked the last hour and a half alone. Needless to say, I was much more confident with the gear by the end of this show!

Tear down and pack up started at 2 pm. K stayed in the hotel room so his dad went to fetch the box truck while his mom and I tore down the entire booth. We worked until 7 pm packing up and loading the truck. It was a mere 87 degrees. Perfect weather… *eyeroll*

I needed some grub so Gail and I wandered down to the River Walk mall for food. I got K some mac n’ cheese and bought myself some Chinese takeout. It was a great way to end our trip… ha.

We flew home Sunday morning while K’s parents drove the box truck to Dallas to the instrument/equipment dealer who’d bought everything in the booth. They dropped off the truck and flew home on Monday, and I picked them up at the airport.

You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas. -Davy Crockett

My last trip to Texas was after my freshman year of high school so it was nice to go back and explore San Antonio. I’m sad K got sick but his immune system is predictably crappy. After two weeks of travel and some airplane rides I wasn’t surprised when he started hacking.

Overall, it was fun. If K hadn’t hired me I wouldn’t get to tag along/help on these trips, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to travel and hangout with him. The industry in which we work is a fun one- we always run into old friends or meet new people during these shows. There’s rarely a dull moment.

Do you get to travel for work? (Do you enjoy it?) Have you ever been to San Antonio? It seems to be the only Texas city I visit!

42 thoughts on “You May All Go to Hell & I Will Go To Texas

  1. kathy @ more coffee, less talky March 21, 2017 / 9:12 am

    I used to travel a lot for work but it gets tiring! My husband loved it, though…he’d meet me and while i was working, he’d see the sights and then come meet me for dinner etc.


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 11:29 am

      That’s like us, but swapped. K really dislikes traveling (especially for work), so I’m always the one excited about the trips. Before he hired me I told him I was going to tag along on adventures to new places like California or European countries. Now I get to come AND get paid for it. Lol


  2. Rebecca Jo March 21, 2017 / 10:31 am

    That is so awesome that you get to be a part of that just for the family aspect of it all. & good for you running the show alone! I’d just be glad to be in warm weather!!!!
    PS – love your luggage!!! SO cute!


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 11:32 am

      Hahaha! We don’t necessarily call it a family business, but K, myself, and my father-in-law are all in it so it technically is… (Well, plus the two other full time and one part time guy!)
      I think I might’ve screamed when I saw that luggage at Marshalls. There were three sizes of suitcases and one carry-on bag. It took every ounce of self control to just walk away with ONE suitcase and the carry on πŸ˜‰


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 11:33 am

      I think so, too πŸ™‚ K went there in Nov. 2015 with an employee and they did NOTHING outside of the trade show. Dinner and drinks on the RW, but no trip to the Alamo or anything. Ha- not on my watch, bub!


  3. A Mindful Migration (@MindfulMigrate) March 21, 2017 / 11:30 am

    I’ve only been to San Antonio once for work and didn’t really get a chance to explore. I did have dinner on the Riverwalk though, which was really nice! I love your luggage. It’s super cute and very you! Hopefully K is back to normal because colds always suck but especially suck when you’re traveling and trying to work!


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 11:38 am

      It took him a while, but K bounced back πŸ™‚ Winter always tends to knock him off his feet.
      I’ve been to Texas twice and each time I’ve only visited San Antonio, lol. I hope I see more of the state someday!


  4. StephTheBookworm March 21, 2017 / 11:50 am

    Wow, aside from K’s illness, this sounds like it was an awesome opportunity! I love that he opened his own business and has been successful with it and that you get to work with him now… very inspiring!


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      Thank you! It was a fun trip πŸ™‚ I am SO much happier here than I was in my last job (which wasn’t a bad job… I just didn’t feel fulfilled!). I feel like I have emotional stock in the company and it pushes me to work hard and love what I’m doing!


  5. Kelly @ Noodle to the Rescue March 21, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    First of all – I LOVE your luggage! So cute & fun.
    I’ve never been to San Antonio but would like to go sometime – The Riverwalk, The Alamo. My only visit to Texas was a couple days in El Paso (& I got got food poisoning)… So wouldn’t mind giving TX a 2nd chance (but not El Paso). Austin also looks neat.
    Tony Romas and Marble Slab sounds like an excellent combination.


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 12:10 pm

      Got it from Marshalls!
      I think Austin looks good, too! I’ve been to Texas twice and both times I stayed in San Antonio. I’d like to visit another city in that state someday, lol!


  6. Karen March 21, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    We are currently stationed in San Antonio…it isn’t my favorite place I’ve ever lived but I do appreciate what the city has to offer. You’re lucky it was only 87 degrees! Ha. πŸ™‚


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 12:12 pm

      Ha. That’s probably true… 87 degrees in a box truck was pretty miserable, though! Lol πŸ˜€


  7. Amanda Bumgarner March 21, 2017 / 2:13 pm

    So obviously I don’t talk specifically about what I do on my blog, but I work for a choral membership organization that is very, very similar to TMEA except on a national level, not a state level. That is cool you were a vendor. My business trip a few weeks ago was to Minneapolis for our national convention, but I work at the national office so I’m a staff person, not an exhibitor, although we did have a large hall of vendors and such. Small world! Glad you had a good time. We went to San Antonio for a few days of our honeymoon, actually, and I’ve been to San Antonio a few other times πŸ™‚


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 12:16 pm

      Wow!! That’s too funny! We do some national/regional conventions like PASIC or Mid-West in Chicago around Christmas, but Texas is such a huge market for our industry so we knew exhibiting at the state-level would payoff, too πŸ™‚ OMEA is an easy one for us, as well.
      I don’t prefer Texas in the summer, but a February trip was perfect!


  8. Gillie March 21, 2017 / 2:16 pm

    San Antonio is one of the places I would like to go. Thanks for sharing.


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 12:16 pm

      It’s a beautiful area- especially that River Walk! Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 12:17 pm

      The food was Texas has never let us down with food πŸ˜‰


  9. Jana @ Jana Says March 21, 2017 / 4:41 pm

    The only part of Texas I’ve been to is Waco. And Austin for a few hours. But I’m going to Dallas for almost a week in October for a conference. I’m semi-excited.

    It looks like you were able to squeeze in some fun along with the work! (Also, I’m hungry now after looking at the pictures)


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 12:20 pm

      I’ve been to San Antonio/Texas twice- never any other cities. I’d like to visit Austin someday! I am NOT a hot weather girl so I have to limit my trips south to winter months πŸ˜‰ Haha!


  10. Charlotte March 21, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    You know, nothing like a crash course on public speaking and exhibiting and meet-and-greets to give your confidence a boost πŸ™‚ sounds like you really found your groove towards the end of the convention–that’s great! I don’t get to travel much for work but I wouldn’t mind–and I’ve never been to San Antonio though it’s certainly on my list! Glad you were able to see some sights while you were there πŸ™‚


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 12:21 pm

      No kidding! I now know WAY more about the carts we sell πŸ™‚
      My old job had 0 opportunities for me to travel so even a trip once or twice a year is an upgrade for me πŸ˜€


  11. mysideof50 March 21, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    I’m from Houston. Glad you had a good time in San Antonio? Were you at TMEA?


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 12:22 pm

      The River Walk is just too gorgeous to be denied. We were at TMEA!


  12. Laura March 21, 2017 / 9:32 pm

    I’ve never been to San Antonio but I’d love to visit someday! The Riverwalk sounds so fun! That’s great that you guys get to travel together. I have to travel a bunch for work, but it’s always to my company’s headquarters which is in a little city in central Pennsylvania, so very boring. Matt’s traveled to Chicago and NYC for his job, but this summer he is going to VEGAS and I am going to meet him out there and we are going to travel around and do some sightseeing. I’ve never been farther west than Ohio so I can’t wait.


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 12:48 pm

      Ooooh! Vegas sounds so fun! I’ve never been there before!
      I think most of our travel will be in Indiana, Ohio, and Texas for the next few years, but maybe a show in California or Chicago, too! πŸ˜€


  13. Elyse March 22, 2017 / 12:09 am

    I love that you and K work together now! I bet it’s a great experience. Your work trip sounded fun and exhausting…lol I’m pretty sure that’s most work trips. I thankfully don’t have to travel for my work I think I would never recover from the trips.


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 1:05 pm

      We don’t travel often, but I enjoy it when we do πŸ™‚


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 1:06 pm

      Ooooh… thank you! Chances are we’ll be back for another convention or a customer soon enough! We’ll check out Amy’s Ice Cream next time!


  14. texerinsydney March 22, 2017 / 5:31 am

    San Antonio is really one of the best cities to have a convention because everything is so convenient location-wise. SA is one of my favorite Texas cities. I’m annoyed that there were “snippy” wait staff. We Texans are supposed to be friendly and hospitable!


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 1:08 pm

      I LOVED having everything along the River Walk. We had gorgeous weather so I was itching to get outside every chance we could!
      They all just seemed like they were having a bad day… It was only that night at that restaurant. Everyone else was great!! πŸ™‚


  15. Alexandra Consolver March 22, 2017 / 10:25 am

    This sounds like a mostly good trip! Bummer about the head cold and I also eye roll myself when everyone’s enjoying icky hot weather. Ew. We went to San Antonio once on a big TX road trip. It was fun, but toward the end of the trip, so I feel like we were a bit tired. haha Glad you guys had a fun trip. πŸ™‚ And also, now I want to eat all the food…! XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


    • Louise March 22, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      I feel like you need energy for SA- there’s so much walking with The Alamo and the River Walk and everything. I’ve always been exhausted by the time I’ve left that city! Lol


  16. Olya @ The Siberian American March 22, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    So fun you get to go on work trips together now! I really like San Antonio, but I haven’t been in years! My brother is doing an internship there this summer, so I’m going to try to visit him (though it’s miserable there in the summer. It’s way hotter/more humid than where we live).


    • Louise March 24, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Both times I’ve gone it’s just been really, really pretty. Although, I will say I enjoy the February weather WAY more than the August weather πŸ˜‰


  17. Julie Hood March 22, 2017 / 9:56 pm

    So many thoughts–first of all, I love what you guys are making!!!!! How cool you got to go to this convention and promote his biz & the product. (And how cute are his parents!!). Secondly, I’m so proud of you guys for making his biz so successful. Way to go, girl!


    • Louise March 24, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Thanks, Julie! It’s taken almost 5 years but things flow so well now! Trade shows are a lot of work but we’ve been getting better and better at doing them! (Thank goodness! Ha!)


  18. chelsea @ the new wifestyle April 1, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    awww i loved reading this! and YAY for you – glad you got more confident by the end of it! i find selling awkward as hell but then always remind myself “we have a product that will improve lives – it’s not like i’m selling something that doesn’t work!” and you must be pretty darn good – selling the whole booth out! that’s amazing! go teaaam!


    • Louise April 4, 2017 / 7:42 am

      I am sooo not a sales person, but you’re absolutely right about believing in the product. I really think the stuff we sell is the best on the market. We sold the booth before the show even started πŸ˜‰ But I’ll be happy to take credit for it. Hah!


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