Adventure day: A walk down Congress

One weekend in April, Sophie and I were in the garage getting our exercise on together, as we’ve been doing with some regularity this spring, when she asked what I had planned for the rest of the day. Charlie was busy and Cynthia was busy and I said, you know, I need to work in the yard and stuff. “I really want to have an adventure day.”

Adventure day, you say?

When we lived in Chicago, Cynthia and I or Mary Braitkrus now Potter and I would frequently and somewhat spontaneously declare “Adventure Day,” and proceed to wander, having as much fun on as little money as possible by just forgetting our watches, moving our feet, changing our location, and opening our eyes. To this day those were some of the most memorable days of my 20s.

We don’t do enough of that these days.

So I mowed the lawn, took a shower, and Sophie and hopped in the car and drove to Congress Avenue, where we came upon a car pulling out of a perfect parking spot, made available for us right in front of our favorite coffee shop, Medicci, between 2nd and 3rd. (For you non Austinites, an available spot in this stretch of Congress on a Saturday afternoon is a rare find, and a damn good sign if you’re looking out for omens and whatnot.)

After a coffee, we ambled through the Second Street District, licked some windows (figuratively as the French might, of course), browsed through Urban Outfitters (Soph is 14 for a few more weeks anyway), and then crossed the river on the 1st Street bridge. We cut over to Congress and headed south, where crowds of hipsters, yuppies, hippies, and us normal folk (tongue in cheek) flood the sidewalks, shops, restaurants, bars, and food truck parks.

What a blast we had. We dropped into South Congress Cafe–an old haunt of mine–for a few apps and then we were back on the street, eventually crossing the river on the Congress bridge while a few hundred people leaned on the rail awaiting the exodus of the bats.

How lucky am I to have a teenage daughter who is happy to spend the afternoon on an adventure with her old pop? Here’s a bit of what we saw:

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