Better Luck Next Time

The bats at the Congress Avenue bridge are something to see.

So we’ve been told.

We bought this book shortly after we moved to Austin.  It’s a great little book for newcomers, or even those who have been here a while and want to check off all the bucket-list things they’ve already done.

From iconic pizza to scenic spots, this is the list – 100 Things to Do in Austinbefore you D-I-E.   Maybe we should stop at 99.

100 things book

There’s something about this title that bothers me.  It’s a troubling combination of positive and negative (do / die), which wouldn’t be all that bad, but also, it makes me feel kind of frenzied, the way I felt on a youth group scavenger hunt…

…as if there’s a list, and the other team has the same list, but maybe in a different order, which makes for more frenzy.  What if the order of the other teams’ lists is the key to the win??!

Once I got past the scavenger hunt memories, this book became a fun tool for us to use in planning our outings and adventures.

Number 97:

Watch the Congress Avenue Bridge Bats Fly

Last week, after 2 1/2 years in Austin and one previously failed attempt, we tried again to experience the flight of the bats.  The first time, we watched from an office patio.  Maybe that was our mistake.  Maybe the bats only fly out if there are enough spectators standing on the bridge.  (That thought actually went through my head.)

So we joined the throngs on the railing this time – in hopes that this was the key.


7:30 pm

Since I’m married to an analytical question-asker, we can’t ever really strike out to do something without some advance planning.  I’ve learned to appreciate that about him, knowing that occasionally, my spontaneity meets up with his research and yields a love connection.  So – we did the research.

We called the 1-800 number to find out when is the most promising time for the bats to take flight.  We scouted out the perfect standing spot.  We were ready.


8:00 pm

We made new friends while we waited.  A nice mom from Dallas was standing next to me.  She had just gotten her daughter situated here to attend law school.  We had lots to talk about, but we could hardly ever make eye contact, as we all kept our sights on the bridge’s underbelly.  Waiting.


8:30 pm

The mom and her daughter left.  How’s that sweet girl going to do in law school if she can’t even persevere on the bridge at bat-time??  Mike said we could stay 10 more minutes.


9:00 pm

It got darker, and the spectators started dropping like flies. LOL

We had to face the fact – they stood us up.  It was a no-show.  Nada.  We were either outsmarted, outwitted or just outwaited.

Oh, well.

Better luck next time!

Encouraging 100 intentional adventures – or maybe just 99,


PS – Have you seen the bats? I’d love to hear!


Hi, there! My name is Brenda McDearmon, and I love to encourage people! I created this blog to help overfiftyers look beyond the transitions into a future of everyday adventure so they can focus on themselves a little, and on every other good thing in life a lot. I'm so glad you're here!

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