It is 4:30 p.m. CST, and I am finally in Austin, TX.

This is my second venture to SXSW, and as a now seasoned veteran I was sure I had it all figured out. I had learned from my mistakes last year; I was ready to make SXSW my bitch. I’d get in around Noon, then hit the convention center, then buy a wristband, then see the Diddy interview, then hit the COMPLEX Complex to meet up with my editors, then do some artist interviews, then meet up with Internet friends and mob through the night’s showcases in jubilance, then Jhene Aiko (who I didn’t even know would be there) would walk up to me on 6th Street and say, “Wow, Bauce Sauce. I remember that tweet you sent during that Drake concert about wanting to use my thighs as ear muffs, and I would like for you to impregnate me,” then I’d call my wife and she would be like, “I have no problems with this.” It was a perfect Wednesday timeline. The only issue? I still actually had to get to Austin, TX.

This journey started at 4:30 a.m. EST when I arrived at the Greenville-Spartbanburg Airport for my 7 a.m. flight to Chicago. That flight got delayed until 9 a.m. because of the Windy City’s weather, which then only gave me a five-minute connection window. Deciding it wise to stay the hell away from, I rerouted through Houston… a flight that left at 11 a.m. Before the day even began I’d be in an airport for 6.5 hours. The only issue? The bar didn’t open until 10 a.m.

I had only eaten one chicken biscuit that morning. I settled on some Country sampler platter which consisted of a pancake that tasted like a stale Peep, and grits that really should have been advertised as a soup. It cost $15. I also ordered chocolate milk, and the way the waitress mixed that Hershey’s syrup you would have sworn she graduated the Migos Hurricane Katrina Wrist University magna cum laude. The bar finally opened, and I was able to procure two delicious drafts of Thomas Creek Amber Ale, a local favorite. That cost me $13.

I arrive at Houston Airport irked, and immediately drink a beer to make me happy (Alaskan White for $7.50). It sort of works. During my layover I had the opportunity to waste $10 on the worst burrito I have ever had in my life. Pappasitos’ wrappers are worse than Mackelmore. The burrito was baggy like your dad’s tighty whiteys.

On the plus side, they have 24 oz Coronas for $10, which is apparently the best beer deal in the Houston Hobby Airport according to the janitor I asked in the bathroom. I spent $22 total here. So, here I am preparing to board my flight. The only issue? I’m not even buzzed, and I’ve shelled out a total of $57 on beer and awful food.

But, now I’m in Austin—more specifically I’m at the Noisey Jansport Showcase—and, I’m bedecked in badges and wristbands. The journey was worth it. Beers in hand, I spent the night being showered with the sweet sounds of Cloud Nothings, Kurt Vile, The Orwells and more.

Although it’s not my go-to genre, the vibes are chill. This is where my day has led me. This is where SXSW wants me to be. The notes reverberate off the open 30-ft rock face surrounding the venue. I’m in another world, and it feels good to let go… to go along with the universe’s plan. Someone just randomly handed me an Illmore wristband, a veritable golden ticket. I guess the universe is rewarding me; I suppose I’ll go along. After all, it knows what I need better than I do. Can’t wait for day two.

 Written by @BauceSauce