The Opposite of Pease Park

Eeyore’s Birthday Party is a festival that takes place every spring¬†at Pease Park. ¬†The festival includes live music, costumes, food, and drum circles — lots of drum circles. ¬†It is a longstanding “Keep Austin Weird” type of event, starting way back in 1963, and it benefits local nonprofits.

This year we finally decided to go check¬†out¬†Eeyore’s Birthday Party since it is right in our neighborhood. ¬†People literally park their cars in front of our house to walk to¬†the party. ¬†So we decided to walk down ourselves to Pease Park, a¬†place we have long gone to play on the swings, explore in the woods, and play soccer. ¬†The park has even entered our¬†family lexicon.


When we got there, Claire was shocked. ¬†Her nice, quiet neighborhood park was suddenly loud, smokey, and full of hippies. ¬†Claire hated it. ¬†She wanted to leave almost immediately. ¬†What did these people do to our nice park? ¬†She declared¬†that it was “weird and hot” and “hot and weird.” ¬†I told her that the hippies were keeping Austin weird and that they were all about¬†peace and love, which Claire is also all about. ¬†Claire said they are not about peace and love. ¬†They are ruining her nice, peaceful park.

“This is the opposite of Pease Park. ¬†It’s loud and smelly. ¬†Can we leave now?”

We made the rounds, enjoying some drum circles and a cold drink.  We watched the police ignore all the pot smoking.  Molly, for her part, seemed to enjoy the festival.  We assured a concerned Claire that the park was not ruined forever, and that it would be restored to its original state within a couple of days.

Next week at this time, Molly will be back to playing soccer right where the may pole is now, and Claire can come along and enjoy the peace and quiet.  But not today.  Let the hippies have their fun for a day.

Happy 4th!

This year’s July 4th¬†fireworks were out at the the Circuit of the Americas stadium instead of the usual¬†Ladybird Lake, due to construction at Auditorium Shores. ¬†We didn’t feel like staying up late to watch¬†fireworks in a stadium on the outskirts of town, so we skipped the fireworks and opted for¬†the neighborhood parade in the morning¬†instead.

The parade was a funny mix.  It started with a few active soldiers from Camp Mabry, followed by some Civil War guys in Union blue, then some WWII units in real halftracks (wow) heading down the street.  They were followed by families in old cars and local businesses throwing candy to the kids.  The kids made off with a pile of candy, like a mini-Halloween in July.  Once the parade passed, the crowd fell in behind and headed to the nearby park to enjoy some ice cream (gelato, actually), lemonade, and just run around and play.


Molly was feeling fitfully patriotic and wanted to bring her “America flag” to the “America Day” parade. ¬†Claire was mainly¬†happy to see¬†several of her school friends who she hadn’t seen since school let out for summer. ¬†I was feeling patriotic myself and made a comment about how America is such a big, diverse¬†country with so many different kinds of people and places, and¬†it somehow all just¬†fits together right. ¬†Nobody cared about my moving comment. ¬†Still, it was a good time and a lot better than sitting in a Formula 1 stadium with two sleepy¬†kids.

In the afternoon, I headed off to work like mad on my next app, which I am trying to nail down with a few days off this week.  So Kit had the kids to herself for a quiet July 4 evening.

1914 Style

Our neighborhood recently turned 100 years old. ¬†To celebrate, there was a¬†neighborhood picnic and parade. ¬†Everyone was encouraged to wear 1914-inspired clothes. ¬†We did our best on a limited time budget and ended up with something vaguely old fashioned but probably more inspired by the roaring 20’s. ¬†Claire invited her friend Susie over, and they all had a great time being in the parade plus a horse carriage ride, crafts, face painting,¬†and just¬†enjoying being out in the late spring weather.