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Anniversary Weekend

Posted on August 12, 2020 by under Relationship, Things to Do.    

It was an interesting anniversary weekend. We didn’t really have any major plans because flying anywhere is out of the question right now. And then I had already committed to meeting up with Teresa and Ross for manis and pedis (we’ve had to reschedule our couples manis and pedis at least twice so we were all eager for this to happen) so we really couldn’t go on a road trip. We kept our anniversary weekend this year simple and low key.

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We started by having some drinks at Bigs before our group appointment at Nails and Beyond. My friend Debbie had mentioned Bigs to me before because they would sometimes go there after Friday night pickleball at Nahola. This was before the pandemic hit. Anyway, I’d heard others mention the place but I’d never been there. Saturday was my first time. It was interesting.

Brian and I got there first and his first impression was, “Wow! We are the youngest people here by 20 years!” LOL. It’s definitely an older crowd. The drinks are strong and cheap, though, so I can see why people (including my friend Debbie) go there.

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After a couple of drinks at Bigs, we were off to Nails and Beyond just down the street. We would normally have to wear masks but we were the only ones there during our appointment so they didn’t make us.

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Teresa and Ross are so fun. I just love ’em!

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After our manis and pedis, Teresa and Ross went back to Bigs. Brian and I went to the Belmont, this new restaurant at Happiness Plaza on Douglas, hoping to try it out but they had an hour and a half long wait.

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We decided to go to Carrabba’s, which is our “go to” place. We’re never disappointed with the food or service, and Joe is always so nice to us. We still had to wait but it was shorter – only 30 minutes.

We ate way too much that night. We had our favorite small plate/appetizer, the meatballs and ricotta. We both had Caesar salads and ate way too much bread before our entrees even came. Then, we usually share a Chicken Bryan but I was starving that day for some reason so I decided to order my own meal.

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I got the salmon topped with crab. On the plus side, I got broccoli with it, instead of pasta so it could have been worse. I ate every bit of it, though.

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Here’s a picture of the Chicken Bryan.

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We got two things of dessert to go because we are ridiculous. One was a giant slide of rich chocolate cake that Joe just gave to us. He is so nice!

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The other is the “cannoli cake for two” which we still have some of in the fridge.

Our anniversary weekend this year wasn’t too exciting but we had some new experiences and a ton of fun as always. We have another adventure planned on Sunday but, other than that, we are happy to celebrate another wonderful year of marriage and look forward to many more to come.

Until next time. GNG.

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New Pickleball Stuff

Posted on August 4, 2020 by under Hobbies, Outfits.    

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My friend Karen designed the cutest pickleball pendant. It’s sterling silver with five little Cubic Zirconias that are supposed to be like the pickleball holes. The pendant is supposed to be a little pickleball ball. The chain is also sterling silver and identical to one that she has. So now we can match, down to our jewelry.

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Speaking of twinning… Here’s one of our newest matching tanks. We actually copied it off Lori and Tiffany who got theirs first. It’s a Selkirk Sport ladies’ tank top. Lori was the first one to get it. Tiffany liked it so she got one for herself. Karen and I both liked it so had Dave (Lori’s husband) get us ours. Now all four of us can match next time we are together!

Saturday morning was super fun. Not only did I get to sport my new gear but we also had some awesome pickleball. We have “King and Queen of Court” format at Chicken N Pickle on Saturdays. The guys have six courts that they play on and you move up to the top court as win (or you move down to the lower courts as you lose). The Saturday morning play at Chicken N Pickle is where its at for the guys. They usually have about 24 guys who play regularly so they really need their six courts. As for the ladies, there are other games that happen. One of the big ones is the play that Debbie organizes at Riverside Tennis Center. So we are lucky to get eight girls to play. We use two courts and our “Queen of Court” format is basically just a winner and loser court. The winners play winners and the losers play losers with the pairs splitting so you’re not playing with the same partner each time. It would be more fun with at least three courts but it’s still plenty fun.

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Saturday was extra fun because Cody celebrated his second 21st birthday on Friday so I brought birthday donuts for everyone on Saturday morning. The guys got two boxes because there’s so many of them. I got a separate box for the ladies.

Cody is a friend I met through pickleball who I didn’t know went to Derby High School also until recently. It’s crazy that we’d never met before considering he is only a year behind me (and we are technically the same age for a few weeks). He is really nice and amazing at pickleball. He actually started playing after me but improved so quickly. He’s actually playing with 4.5 and 5.0 players now. I have no doubt he is going to be a super famous pickleball player one day. He’s already well known in our circles. Anyway, I’m posting this here as proof that I knew him when he was first starting out. LOL.

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Here’s a picture of Cody with a table full of “training food” at Chicken N Pickle. He and his son Caden started working there recently. He has a regular job so this is more of a side hustle for him. After seeing all the food you get to eat, I kind of want to start working there too! Everyone knows I spend a lot of time there already anyways. LOL. Until next time. GNG.

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Late Lunch with Karen and Brian

Posted on July 29, 2020 by under Food and Drink.    

After playing for a couple of hours with Chris Heck, Steve Vetter and Karen Fox at Chicken N Pickle on Sunday, Karen, Brian and I had a late lunch at Applebee’s. Brian is not a huge fan of the restaurant so it’s literally been forever (maybe over 10 years) since we last ate there. Here are some pictures of our food.

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I honestly am not a huge fan of it either but it’s right next to Chicken N Pickle so it’s a good quick option. In fact, Karen and I just walked over from CNP. Brian came from the house and met us at the restaurant (although he went to the wrong one first). He went to Jose Peppers and then couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t find us inside. LOL. Until next time. GNG.

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Weekend Recap

Posted on July 28, 2020 by under Community, Hobbies.    

Besides the Jonny Pickleball Show at Chicken N Pickle on Friday, there was lots of pickleball that happened over the weekend. We had our Saturday morning Queen of Court play from 7:30 AM to 10:00 AM and then we had another weekend of “pool pickleball” at Brooke’s house.

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I debuted a new outfit from Sofibella’s “Love at First Serve” line. I mostly got it because I saw that my friend Regina got it and I always try to get the same stuff so we can twin in the off chance that we happen to be at the same place at the same time… One of these days.

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Our Fil-Am Pickleball Association (FAPA) shirts finally arrived (after months of waiting – stinking COVID) and so I got those delivered to mom and dad (on Saturday morning) and my friend Tom (on Sunday afternoon).

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I delivered the shirt this weekend to everyone this weekend.

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I normally play mixed at Edgemoor Park on Sundays but I decided to skip it weekend because my friend Steve wanted to play. I hadn’t played with him in forever so I chose him over early morning mixed play. We decided that we would go check out the noon open play at Nahola and just see who would be there. Nahola made sense because after almost a month of no lessons with Chris because he’s been super busy, I was supposed to have a lesson (finally) with him on Sunday at ten o’clock. Anyway, Steve asked Chris if he could stay and play with us after my lesson so we could start at eleven. Karen agreed to come to Nahola at eleven also, so that we would have exactly four players. But then Chris had the brilliant idea to just play for a couple of hours if I was okay with skipping my lesson again. I love my lesson time with Chris but it’s not everyday that you get to play with him so it was a no-brainer. So then the four of us agreed to meet at Nahola at 10 AM for two hours of play before the noon open play on Sunday.

It was a great plan until Chris was invited to play with the out of town pros on Sunday morning at Chicken N Pickle so then Chris was like, “Could we play at Chicken N Pickle from 11 AM to 1 PM instead?” I had no problem relocating our game to CNP. It was actually more convenient because it’s closer to my house. Steve lives on the East side too and then Karen was coming from Edgemoor so it was actually better all the way around. Anyway, it was super nice of Chris to accommodate our group instead of canceling since he was already playing for a couple of hours this morning. If people wonder why he is my absolute favorite (above the handsome Patrick Smith), this is why. He is just super nice.

It is such a treat to play with Chris. He is so fun and at the same time so amazing. I’m always left in awe. The only downside about playing with him is that I often find myself just spectating and admiring his awesome shots so, instead of playing well, I end up playing terrible.

I went to Seneca Park later that day to deliver Tom’s FAPA shirt. I wasn’t going to stay originally because I don’t really go to open play at the park these days but I think I wanted to make myself feel better. I mean, I’m pretty decent at pickleball. It’s just that I’ve been playing with some really great players lately so I suck by comparison. I’m pretty good against regular players. And I’m not just saying that because I’m biased. I have actually gotten a lot better.

Anyway, besides Tom, Paul, Becci, Bruce, Roger, Greg, and Bob (McAuley) were there so, even though there were several newbies, we still had some decent games. I had quit going to the park because of the disparate beginner to intermediate player ratio. But Paul, who I haven’t played with in what seems like forever because of his knee surgery, was there so it made it totally worth it. I had fun playing. So much fun that I completely forgot all about my folding chair when I left. I went back to the park last night to see if it was still there. No such luck.

However, I did meet some new pickleball players. Bob happened to be there so I got a game in before my Zumba class. The best part is I hit an ATP (around the post shot) for game point thanks to an assist from Bob. It was really cool. I’ve hit a few ATPs now and that was the most comfortable and natural one I’ve ever hit. I think it helps when I’m playing with newer players because the pace of the game is so much slower. I am so used to playing with people better than me now that when I play with newer players the ball seems to go in slow motion.

Bob has been playing a long time (longer than me even) so his shots aren’t slow. They’re actually pretty good but Jason, the player directly across from me at the time is a beginner, so I think that’s why I wasn’t super stressed about hitting that ATP. It was like, Bam! No biggie. LOL. The fact that it was the game winning point was icing on the cake. What a way to finish!

Anyway, that’s pretty much your weekend (plus Monday) recap. Until next time. GNG.

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Jonny Show at Chicken N Pickle

Posted on July 25, 2020 by under Events, Hobbies.    

The Jonny Pickleball Show was at Chicken N Pickle this weekend. Jonny Andrews and Lauren Stratman actually arrived early. I had the opportunity to meet them on Thursday night when I was at CNP watching the men’s competitive league final.

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Jonny and Lauren were both super nice. They even played a couple of games with me and my friend Karen.

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The next day we got to watch them both play with our best local pickleball players and also Dylan Frazier from Columbia, Missouri. From left in the picture below: Tony Swantek, Dylan Frazier, Jocelyn Devilliers, Lauren Stratford, Lucy Kovalova, Matt Wright, Jonny Andrews, and Patrick Smith.

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Here are some pictures that I took during the pre-show/interviews.

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Karen and I got a pic with Jonny and my “We Love Jonny Pickleball” sign at the end of the evening.

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We also got to play a couple of games with Lauren and Dylan after. It was really nice of them to play with us. I love when all of these professional pickleball players from out of town visit. It has been a great couple of days. Until next time. GNG.

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