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Pickleball Connection Anniversary

Posted on February 15, 2020 by under Community, Events, Hobbies.    

The Wichita Pickleball Connection Facebook group celebrated its first anniversary last month at the West YMCA, the place where the idea for creating a Facebook group was hatched. Our official one year anniversary was on January 19 but we celebrated a week later on the 26th with some cake and free pickleball for members and non-members. It was also a celebration of the new gym floor at the West Y.

The gym floor got damaged because of an issue with the swimming pool over Thanksgiving break. The gym was flooded and it took weeks for the floor to be repaired. West Y regulars were displaced and dispersed throughout the city looking for places to play. Everyone was so happy when the repairs were complete and they finally reopened the gym for pickleball. West Y is like the epicenter of YMCA pickleball because they have the most pickleball play times available of any of the Ys in our area. It’s so great to have it back!

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With the new floors came an expanded pickleball schedule. West YMCA now has pickleball every single day of the week. Isn’t that awesome?

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As the birthplace of the Wichita Pickleball Connection, West YMCA was the perfect location for our first anniversary celebration. However, we underestimated how many people would come to celebrate with us and, with only four courts, the waits were a little long that day. It’s a good problem to have though and, hopefully, we’ve successfully demonstrated the need for more pickleball courts and more play times throughout at YMCA branches the city.

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Ashley Sorensen at West Y was super nice and set up a birthday table for our cake. Brian was little bit confused at first and he didn’t think it was for us. He thought it was for a child’s birthday. LOL.

Anyway, besides the long line to play, the event turned out well overall. Lots of pickleball players came out to celebrate with us. Here are a few of my favorite pics from that day…

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Up close pic of the cake.

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Brian serving it up.

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Beth and Bruce.

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Being silly with Pam and Debbie.

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Aaron even stopped by bearing goodies from Chicken N Pickle.

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It was awesome to see the new floors put to good use. All four courts were going with several waiting to play.

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With Matt and Connie.

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With Debbie.

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Got some solo birthday/anniversary pics with the birthday balloon. Huge thanks to West YMCA and Ashley Sorensen for letting us have our party at the Y.

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Matt and Lucy Day at CNP

Posted on February 8, 2020 by under Events, Hobbies.    

I think I’m going to have to create a new pickleball category for the blog. I post about pickleball so much that I think it now needs its own category.

Anyway, Matt and Lucy day at Chicken N Pickle was seriously the best ever. These two are pickleball superstars. I can’t believe they live in Wichita. Even so, you don’t just run into them (unless you’re a Wichita Country Club member) so it’s quite special to be able to see them in the flesh. I’m so grateful for Missy covering my Aqua Zumba class that morning so that I could attend.

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The day started out with some open play and then Q&A with Matt and Lucy followed by an exhibition match. Matt and Lucy offered some great insights but my favorite part was hearing the story of how they got their pickleball start. In the beginning there was Matt Wright, Chris Heck, and Jack Oxler just messing around with an old tennis ball and then Lucy became their permanent fourth. I’m not going to tell the story because I’m afraid I will butcher it. It’s a neat story involving some amazing people who are now pickleball legends.

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Quite a few people showed up for the event despite the crummy weather.

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They held an exhibition match with Eric Rasmussen and Patrick Smith after the Q&A. I had heard these names before but I’d never seen or met them until that day. Patrick is probably one of the most handsome pickleball players I’d ever seen. The man is beautiful and so is his German accent.

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Here’s a short clip from the exhibition match. Patrick is playing with Lucy while Eric is playing with Matt.

The Q&A was great as were the exhibition matches but my most favorite part of that morning was the opportunity to play with the two superstars, Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova. As soon as the exhibition was over, my friends Karen and Matt and I immediately nabbed Matt Wright for a game. I got to play on Matt Wright’s team and got to paddle-tap with him after a couple of good points, which made the fan-girl in me completely giddy. LOL.

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After that game ended, the three of us moved to Lucy’s court. This time Karen got to play with Lucy while my friend Matt and I played together. Lucy was super nice but it didn’t make me any less nervous playing against her. Anyway, it was so fun.

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So glad someone got a pic of us playing with Lucy!

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I totally fangirled it, and got a pic with Lucy. I’m so unabashedly dorky!!

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My friend Karen and I with Lucy.

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With Teri and Beth. We were the first ones to get there!

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The weather was actually not the best that day but I am so glad I went. It’s not everyday that you get to play rec ball with the pros. It was the best day ever!

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A Different Kind of NYE

Posted on February 8, 2020 by under Events, Hobbies.    

Last year we hosted a NYE party at our house. This year we decided to keep it pretty low key. We neither hosted nor accepted party invitations. Although, as the NYE drew closer, the prospect of sitting at home watching Brian play video games all night started to seem less and less appealing. Thankfully, I managed to finagle a last minute invite to Betty’s NYE pickleball party at the Andover Community Center.

Let’s see… Sit on the couch all night while Brian plays video games or go to Betty’s party at ACC and play some pickleball. It was a no-brainer.

Michael, Bill, and Karen all went and got to play some games together. I also made some new friends that night. Brian even came out after he finished his livestream. It was a blast! Pickleball parties are the best.

Here are some pics…

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Friends at Zumba

Posted on February 3, 2020 by under Zumba.    

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It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about something Zumba-related but over the holidays, I had two friends visit my class. One is Anna Lue from Texas (right). I met her last year when she randomly selected my class to check out while she was in town visiting family over the holidays. Now, I invite her to join class every time she’s in town. She even did a couple of songs for us!

The other is my friend Teresa (middle) who I met through Leadership Wichita a few years ago. She lives as far West as you could possibly live in Wichita (almost to Colorado – LOL) so, though I have invited her to check out my class several times before, this was her first time joining. As an added bonus, she even coordinated with our outfits. It was the best day ever.

I love having friends visit my classes. I always enjoy sharing with them all the things that I’m passionate about. Zumba being one. Though, lately I’m less passionate about Zumba because pickleball has captured a considerable amount of my time and attention.

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Here’s our group pic from that day. It was awesome. Hands down the best class I’ve had in a long time. I absolutely love it when friends visit! It makes class extra fun.

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Anyway, if you’d like to check out one of my classes, above is my current schedule. I’m currently down to seven classes as week since giving the Sunday morning Aqua Zumba class at South YMCA to Brynden back in December. I had to give it away because I wanted to be able to play pickleball at Chicken N Pickle on Sunday mornings. I may be dropping another class or two here soon to make more time for pickleball. Better join while you still have several options. See you in class sometime! If not, maybe I’ll see you at pickleball. Either way, hope to see you soon.

Until next time. GNG.

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HomeGrown, Finally

Posted on February 2, 2020 by under Food and Drink, Reviews.    

I met Jan for lunch at the Bradley Fair HomeGrown on the first day of my holiday break. HomeGrown has been around for a while now. Their first location on the West side of Wichita opened a few years ago. I’d heard plenty of people say how great it is but since it was all the way out West, we just never got around to going.

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The Bradley Fair location opened some time ago but because it’s so popular the waits on the weekends are always longer than we have time or patience for. Anyway, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I finally had an opportunity to go. I figured since I was going on a weekday the wait wouldn’t be as bad. There was still a wait but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

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Here are some of the delicious drinks they offer.

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I had a chicken and noodle soup. It was great!

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I can’t remember what Jan had but it looked good too.

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Anyway, I liked it so much that I talked my friend Chris into walking over to the downtown location with me and having lunch there. I had the Cuban this time.

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Here’s a better pic.

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Chris decided to have breakfast.

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Then, since Brian and I were both off on MLK day, we decided to meet at the Bradley Fair location so he could try it. Here’s a pic of his meal, which is what he usually gets at most breakfast joints. Brian said the biscuits were delicious! He said they were the best he’s ever had.

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I had the carnitas breakfast which was excellent. I would totally order it again.

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We invited my new friend Sharmin to join us. This is her avocado toast. Anyway, buying her lunch was the least we could do since she was nice enough to bring me along as her guest to her pickleball sessions that morning at the Wichita Country Club. I will have to tell you about that in another post because it deserves its own write up. And this post is all about HomeGrown.

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Later that same week I was back at the downtown HomeGrown location again. This time with Jenni. Yes, I liked it so much I actually ate HomeGrown food (albeit different locations) three times in seven days.

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This is Jenni’s benedict (above). I wanted to try one of their omelets this time (below). It was great. I’ve yet to get anything on the menu that I didn’t enjoy.

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Anyway, HomeGrown is fabulous. The only downside is that, because it is so good, the wait to get a table is atrocious. However, if you get on their waiting list on Yelp, it’s not so bad. I didn’t know this when we went to Bradley Fair on MLK day. We had to wait almost an hour for a table. Well, I think it was 30-40 minutes but it seemed like forever. At least it gave Sharmin time to run her errand across the street at Trader Joe’s.

The time that I went with Chris to the downtown location, we just ate at the bar so we didn’t have to wait for a table. When I went with Jenni, she got there early and was already seated. Regardless of the wait, HomeGrown is totally worth checking out. Even if you have to wait, the food is worth it! Until next time. GNG.

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