Monday, June 24, 2013

An Adventure Birthday--by Linda Kozar

This year, on June 21st to be exact, my husband Michael decided to celebrate my birthday in a special way. Probably because I turned (see below):

That's right. I am now, officially--a speed limit. At least for the next 364 days.

Anyway, with our youngest daughter out of the country on a mission trip and our oldest daughter in town briefly before her mission trip, he decided to take us on an Austin adventure..

The adventure began on South Congress where we had lunch at a kitschy organic food restaurant called the Snack Bar reminiscent of the 60s in decor. We ate outside and were glad they kept the misters going. Austin is a bit on the dry side temperature-wise. And of course it was hot. Super hot. But breezy. And hot. We explored some of the fun shops afterwards. The weird circus picture is from a candy shop. The walls were decorated with retro circus posters. Fun stuff. 

We dined that evening at the Shady Grove Restaurant (Barton Springs), arriving at about 6:30, and opting for a table outside. Hatch chili tortillas for me. Hippy sandwiches for Michael and Katie. Yummy dinner! (FYI--The restrooms were in an airstream trailer outside the restaurant).

Then, we dispatched to a food truck. I know that sounds weird, right? We just ate! But this truck was serving up a special dessert. The name on the side of the truck was Bananarchy! They serve frozen bananas dipped in dark chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter or all three and rolled in nutsor Oreos or whatever you fancy. And if that sounds good to you, let me assure you, it was. I had just enough room in my stomach to share one with my husband. Katie ordered a half banana. But I'll bet I could have had another.

This one was triple-dipped AND rolled in nuts!

From bananas to bats! We drove to South Congress, parked and walked below the bridge, settling in with a gazillion other people to sit and wait on the green grass for the bats to emerge at dusk. The bridge is home to the largest urban colony of bats in North America, an estimated 75,000 to 1.2 million bats!

Going batty!
Sunset's ETA was supposed to be 8:30 pm. Sure enough, the sky, streaked with a familiar orangey pinky glow bore witness to the setting. But bats work on their own timetable. They began to swarm and grow restless underneath the bridge at about 8:50 and soon after, streamed out in solid ribbons of bat. They kept coming and coming and coming. A remarkable sight--all by the light of an almost full moon on the summer solstice!

Was the night over after that? Noooooooo. We hopped in the car and signed on to 20 holes of Peter Pan Mini-Golf. Did I mention that I have absolutely no skills when it comes to mini golf? The only time I ever did well was a miraculous game of mini golf with my sister and her fiance many years ago. Michael and I were dating. I was happy, giddy that night and didn't think about my shots. I just played. And I played a perfect game. I'm talking holes-in-one! Seriously. I've never replicated that glory again. In fact, I play beyond bad. 

The birthday girl lost but we had a lot of fun.

Game over. Night over? 


Next, we drove to Mozart's Cafe for coffee on Lake Austin. A folk singer entertained as soft night breezes rustled through the trees.

And yes, after that, we drove back to the hotel--exhausted. But unlike my husband and daughter, I couldn't sleep. 

Why, oh why did I drink iced coffee at midnight? Guess being 55 has a downside.

The next morning we decided to visit another food truck. Gourdough's is known for it's gourmet donuts. I ordered "The Quickie" and I knew with the first bite of my fresh donut swimming in a hazy glazey sweet sauce, why. Because you eat it FAST! It's that good.

All in all, Gourdough's was the perfect way to end a perfect birth-day!


  1. What a fun birthday, Linda. :)
    Do the bats come near you or do
    you watch them from a safe location?
    I've never heard of that before, but
    it must be amazing to view! Enjoy the
    year are officially a
    senior citizen now, and can get 10%
    off at most rest. and hotels, etc. :)

  2. We're getting closer! First meeting a mutual friend - Martha Rogers, and now being in the same location at the same time - downtown Austin! We were celebrating our 45th anniversary over the weekend! Thanks for some new hangout tips! The bats are amazing, aren't they?

    Glad you had a fun birthday.

    ~Nancy Jill

  3. Diane--you can get as close as you want to them! They stream over the water under the bridge, so the closer you get to that, the better the view. It's one of the most amazing sights I've ever witnessed and I definitely want to see it again. Haha. Even though I'm **gulp** fifty-five, I'm not ready to claim those discounts (because I can use my triple AAA card for that:)

  4. Nancy--that's so cool! I hope you'll visit some of the amazing food trucks next time you're there. Congratulations on your 45th! What a blessing from God!

  5. Happy birthday Linda! It sounds like your husband is a real keeper. :)

    And happy anniversary to you Nancy!


    1. Thanks, ladies. God gave me such a wonderful man - I'm so blessed.

      ~Nancy Jill

  6. Traci--Thanks. And he is! I second that congratulations to Nancy:)

  7. Sounds so fun! So happy for you!


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