Have you ever walked into work on a Monday morning and been asked, “How was your weekend?”
And then what’s the customary next question? Usually, “What did you do?” (Austin) or “Whadyall do?” (Amarillo) or “Did you study?” (Mother to college son.)
Weekends here in Austin are sometimes lazy and laid back, but sometimes packed full, because there’s, you know, SO much to see and SO much to do!
In case you’re wondering how an average couple from the beloved Texas panhandle spends that space between Friday night and Monday morning now that they live in downtown Austin (!!), I’ll tell ya.
What We Did Last Weekend in Austin – Friday Night
This is my friend Jana. Besides the checker at HEB, Jana is the first person I met after we moved to Austin. She and her family took us to dinner to welcome us to the Capital City, then Jana called me later to make sure we were doing okay, asked would I like to go to a book sale, and our friendship was off and running.
Since Jana’s husband wasn’t insistent on going to this musical with her at Bass Concert Hall, she invited me to take his ticket. I walked a few blocks from our apartment to Caroline, where Jana and I met for dinner before the play. We celebrated her birthday with matching plates of Chicken Schnitzel, and she got a Pepsi to go with it.
That’s Jana’s favorite soft drink, and they’re not available everywhere. So, we both kind of giggled when we realized it was on the menu, she because she loves them, and me because I was so happy for her to get one.
It’s the little things.
What We Did Last Weekend in Austin – Saturday Morning
Everyone in Austin is talking about Fareground, the new food hall at 111 Congress Avenue. For good reason. It’s a really fun place, but my favorite time to go is on the weekend.
Mike needed to walk over to his office to meet some movers, and since Fareground is located in the same building, he asked, “Hey, do you want to walk over there with me and get one of those burritos I told you about?”
We sat outside under the big oak tree and shared a hearty Henbit burrito. Filled with sausage, eggs, cheese and sweet potato, this was the kind of breakfast that we knew would last us until the wedding dinner we would enjoy later in the day.
What We Did Last Weekend in Austin – Saturday Afternoon
I walked back to our apartment, did a couple loads of laundry and some blogging, then when Mike got back home, we took a teeny weeny snooze.
Then we drove a block down 3rd to a high rise apartment building called The Ashton where we picked up a friend who was also invited to the wedding.
Now, I just have to stop here and tell you that one of the craziest things about being an empty nester living the downtown life is that we completely lose track of where we last left our car. Our apartment garage doesn’t have reserved spaces, so when we DO have to actually drive somewhere, here’s our routine:
Mike: Do you remember where we parked the car? Me: I think it’s on 3. Take elevator to 3. Get off. Press unlock button on key remote to hear car beep. Don’t hear it. Back in the elevator to 4. Get off. Press unlock button on key remote again. Hear a beep in the distance. Sounds like we’re one floor away. Back in the elevator to 5. Get off. Press unlock button on key remote to hear car beep. See headlights flash. Mike: There it is. Me: Oh, yeah, I remember now.
Now, I know some of you are saying to yourselves, good grief, why don’t they just make a note in their phones or something? So, let me assure you, we’ve tried it all. Oh, well, this is definitely a first world problem, and we’re not complaining at all.
What We Did Last Weekend in Austin – Saturday Evening
We were so happy to be invited to this wedding. Carl and Laurie are in our LifeAustin LifeGroup. They are one of the somewhat rare online dating success stories, and their love is definitely real, baby. The ceremony was sweet, the food was delicious, the carrot cake was delectable and the weather couldn’t have been nicer.
But the best part was cruising along the waters of Lady Bird Lake watching these two beautiful lovebirds soak in the love from all those who celebrated their special day with them. We loved meeting their families, watching them dance and hearing Carl’s lifelong friend give a heartfelt toast. What an honor to have celebrated the joining together of this sweet couple.
What We Did Last Weekend in Austin – Sunday Morning
Mike and I had heard that there would be an implosion of the Ashbel Smith Hall on Sunday morning at 8:00, so we had already made plans to go watch it. Neither one of us had ever seen an implosion, have you? Well, we weren’t the only ones. It really surprised me to see such a big crowd, but I guess it was quite a newsworthy event. This was the first implosion of a downtown structure in Austin in over ten years.
The crowd was super into the excitement of the thing. The pedicabers kept the waiting bunch entertained by turning up their speaker volume and playing songs like Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash. And after the kaboom, they played Everybody Dance Now while the whole crowd cheered and danced around a bit. It was the epitome of two parts Austin weird and one part Austin fun. (Watch a video of the implosion here.)
Here’s a rendition of the planned replacement!
Since we were out, we stopped in for a cup of coffee at the Starbucks at the JW Marriott on the corner of Congress and 2nd. There are several Starbucks locations on Congress Avenue, but this one is sometimes the least crowded. However, you can’t use your app to pre-order here.
We walked back to our apartment to get ready for church, then off we went again on foot, making our way through the crosswalks down to 310 Willie Nelson Boulevard where we go to church. If you live in Austin, please come visit us at LifeAustin’s downtown campus. People bring their dogs and sit outside on the long wooden benches. There’s coffee from Austin Java. The garage style doors are opened for the whole length of the back wall so it’s got an open air feel. The music is so good. The messages from Pastor Randy Phillips are live-streamed from the main campus on Hwy 71, and they’re fantastic every time.
We LOVE coming to church here. There are two service times every Sunday – 10:00 and 11:30, and we usually stay for both, because Mike needs a double dose.
This is our downtown LifeAustin pastor, Brock Stamps, with his wife, Stephanie. Brock officiated the wedding we went to the night before. Brock is wise and warm. He does a fantastic job of taking care of our downtown body of believers!
What We Did Last Weekend in Austin – Sunday Afternoon
Mike had a haircut appointment at Finley’s after church, so we slipped in to the Royal Blue Grocery next door for a slice of pizza, which we ate outside at the sidewalk tables. So relaxing!
I walked back to our apartment and grabbed a bag of some things I needed to return to Loft on 2nd, then met Mike for some gelato on a stick at the new Popbar.
What We Did Last Weekend in Austin – Sunday Evening
After that yummy gelato, we again walked to our apartment for a quick Sunday afternoon nap before dinner.
One of the most fun things about living downtown is meeting new friends. There are jillions of millennials (which is good), but also tons of us Over Fiftyers who enjoy getting to know each other.
Several weeks ago, we met a couple at church who have lived here just slightly longer than we have after moving from Colorado. They were super sweet and later emailed to arrange dinner for the four of us at the new location of North Italia on 2nd. This is the second time we’ve eaten here, and I highly recommend! The plentiful outside dining space is especially nice, but do make reservations. This is downtown’s newest hot spot!
What We Did Last Weekend in Austin – Sunday Night
As we finished dinner and walked up the tree-lit street with our new friends, we headed home for some restful slumber and sweet dreams. This was a packed weekend, for sure, and oh, so pleasant.
A week from now, when I walk into the office on Monday morning and someone asks me how was my weekend – I’ll probably say “totally uneventful.” But this one?
I’ll just tell ’em to read about it on my blog.
Encouraging everyday intentional adventure, and whatever kind of weekend you most enjoy,
PS: Be sure you sign up to receive my weekly “Hey, There!” newsletter. When you subscribe, watch your inbox for a free printable of my 50 Ways to Celebrate the Fabulous 50’s!