Various events in my life currently have been really stressing me out and depressing me as well. This morning, I told myself not to stay put because it wasn’t going to make me feel any better. After some convincing, I purchased a bus pass and dragged myself out of the apartment.
My original plan was to head to the Home Slice Carnival O’ Pizza, an event hosted by a local pizza place with a carnival like feel. But as we approached the stop, I couldn’t get myself to press the button to signal I wanted off.
Even as the bus stopped at the station, I didn’t move from my seat. I think it was the feeling of being around other people I don’t know in an environment I wasn’t familiar with. I was already familiar with Home Slice and it’s not a very big place. So what was my backup plan?
As the bus kept on rolling, my next thought would be I’d get off at my usual stop in downtown at Republic Square Station. Once again, I didn’t want to move from my seat. This was too familiar. All of a sudden, now I wanted to shake things up. Now I wanted to do something a little different.
It wasn’t that much different as I just got off at the next stop, Austin History Center Station. But it was still different enough!
So now that I was off the bus, what was I going to do? I didn’t really have any plans. I don’t know of anything going on in downtown. So I do what I normally do when I’m not sure what I want to do. I started wandering.
With no specific destination, I just start walking, spending my time going from 8th up and down Congress.
After thinking about it for a bit, I remembered there’s a park in front of One Congress Plaza I could chill around. With a destination in mind, I start footing it in that direction … only to discover the park was closed for renovations. So much for that.
At this point, I start having a craving for tacos as I remember there’s a Taco Shack not too far from where I’m at. Perfect! Cheap and enough to kill my craving. Once again, my plans were ripped up as the Taco Shake only does breakfast on weekends. Wonderful.
Back at square one, I start walking down Caesar Chavez deciding my next move. Getting parched at this point, I figured I’d go ahead and hit up the usual Starbucks on 3rd and Lavaca, grab a cup of coffee, and read the Scott Pilgrim book I carry around in my backpack with me.
Not sure what to do next, I figured I’d cross the S 1st St bridge and see if I can find a place to relax in Auditorium Shores. As I walked to Guadalupe, I saw a directory for the 2nd St District. I had no idea there was a directory for that part of town! Well, I’m here. Let’s take a look around.
After satisfying my curiosity, I still wanted to head over to Auditorium Shores. Heading down Guadalupe, I reach Caesar Chavez again. Curiosity struck again. I’ve never walked west on Caesar Chavez toward Lamar before. So westward I go.
There’s a lot of work going on in this area, including the new main library branch. (Which I can’t wait to go to when it’s done!) I don’t remember it being this built up when I was in the area three years ago to catch a train to Canada.
One of the nicest spots over here was the Seaholm EcoDistrict. Very clean. Very open. Very new for sure. Trader’s Joes, electric car recharge stations, people playing in a nice sized park. I’ll have to come back over here at some point.
I still needed to get over to Auditorium Shores. I always remember seeing a really nice looking pedestrian bridge crossing over the river near Lamar. I had to go check this out.
The view from this bridge was amazing. Looking west toward Lamar was probably the best view of the three bridges crossing the river into downtown. It makes me want to explore even further west at some point.
I cross the bridge and start heading back to the east along Riverside. I get a good chuckle as in front of me, a golf ball starts bouncing across the road. Appears someone at the golf course across the street might have hit the ball just a tiny bit too hard.
Some friends had mention some interest in the Home Slice event and it was getting close to the time they might show up, so I wouldn’t be spending any time checking out Auditorium Shores. That’s fine as the walk back to the bus station was treat as I had never been in this area before. A lot of people were out enjoying the day but not enough to make me feel uncomfortable.
As I see Auditorium Shores Station in front of me, I also see the bus leaving the stop. So close! With about 17 minutes until the next bus arrives, I figured what the hell. I’ve walked this far, I can get to the next station on foot faster than the bus.
I continue my way down Riverside and back down South Congress to get to the SoCo District where the pizza time was occurring. Passing the Texas School for the Deaf was another view I don’t remember looking so tranquil. The way the plants and trees cover the concrete landscape feels so relaxing.
Sure enough, I make it to SoCo Station before the bus arrives. Take that, public transit! (Oh wait. I rely on you. I take that back!) After checking with my friends, I figured I’d go ahead and see what this carnival was all about.
Oh boy. Did I ever regret this decision.
It was cute to see with the little booths for each of your common carnival attractions (ring toss, raffles, dunk booths. There were also bands and pizza related events like a pizza tossing competition and a pizza eating contest.
I decided this wasn’t for me. There were too many people in a small amount of space. The music was loud making it hard to hear. I’ve been having a really good day so far. I needed to get out before this ruined it.
After posting a picture from the event, I got a comment from one of my coworkers who mentioned they were there. Not wanting to be rude, I turned back around and head to the event again. Plus they were familiar faces but I’ve never really interacted with my coworkers outside of work. After greeting them, and saying “hi”, I spend maybe 5 minutes with them before getting the bad vibe from the event I had earlier again. So I excused myself to head home.
Outside of the pizza party, I have to say this was a really good day. It was exactly what I needed after being in the slump I was in. I want to be able to bottle up the positivity from today and keep it around for when I need it again. With the weather expected to be getting better and better as we continue fall and head into winter, I hope to be able to do this more in other parts of town.
If you want to see the high resolution photos and a video of some birds fighting in a shrub, they are in my Google Photos account at https://goo.gl/photos/D44ThiQYQkUgeW9u9