SXSW Review from a Parent With Kids

Last Saturday morning was cold, wet and windy, not a great day for taking the kids to see outdoor music at SXSW. So a friend and my young girls changed our plans.

We chose a day-time, kid-friendly indoor venue sure to be a hit with the girls, the Austin Children’s Museum. Well, maybe it wasn’t listed on the official SXSW program, but with two toddlers and bad weather, it was our best bet. Sparkles showed my friend the train, her favorite part, and Buttercup enjoyed her new freedom, free from the baby wrap and walking on her own.

After the museum,  we decided to get an early dinner downtown. You won’t believe what we did.

Guerro’s on a Saturday night on SXSW weekend.

I never would have planned that.

But, it is true, I took the picture above, so you would know I’m not making this up. It was 5pm and we were close so we drove by. We found great parking and there wasn’t a long wait. Buttercup loved the beans and the grilled shrimp. Sparkles had trouble eating in such a busy place, but managed just enough big-girl-bites of her quesadilla.

SXSW is just different. If you didn’t know it was SXSW week, you would still know something was up. Lots of denim and black. A surprising amount of (fake?) fur accessories. Waist-length dreadlocks, short, spiky hair and everything in-between. People in groups, talking, excited, coming and going.

My friend, Sydney, pointed out the different looks our table-with-toddlers got from the SXSW folks…
– Oh, what cute little girls and how fun that they are out at SXSW!
– Oh, my, what a lot of work those little girls are and how brave for their (lesbian?) parents to bring them to SXSW!
– What kind of crazy people bring their small kids to SWSW! What a mess they are making! How many times does the [potty training] 2-year-old need to go to the bathroom? They shouldn’t be here!

I’m not kidding about the mess. Here is a picture. (I am quite a good tipper these days.)

Oh, and then there is the part when I got felt up at the hostess table. It was pretty crowded, we were all shoulder-to-shoulder, then I noticed someone’s hand feeling my butt. This is not something I feel every day, especially when my husband isn’t around, so I look over and see a woman. She is looking the other way and still feeling my but, so I told her “Hey, that’s my butt.” She turned around and was oh, so surprised! Oh, no! She was feeling around for the belt loop of her jacket and she wasn’t meaning to feel me up at all. I smile and tell her “It’s friendly here, but not THAT friendly!” She is embarrassed, but I smile, then she smiles and we go on our way.

Well, I might not get credit for bringing the girls to SXSW exactly, but we did hear Jimmy Lafave on the way into Guerro’s and we did some fun people-watching, so it might count.  As the girls get older, we’ll venture out some more, especially if the weather is better. So, until SXSW 2011, that is all from this Parent With Kids. See you next year.


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  1. Sydney

    I love this story. We did get crazy looks and I almost forgot about the touchy lady! Honestly the funniest part was the last bathroom visit with Sparkles when I paced the side of the restaurant for 10 mins with Buttercup…and the mad dash to the car!

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