We had a busy day on Saturday. Did my stair climb first thing in the morning, made it in time for Spanish class at 9 AM and then taught my Zumba class at 10 AM.
We had our usual post-workout brunch and then I participated in Jenni’s thrift store video blog. After that we went to mom and dad’s for dinner. Mom made menudo and, now that we live less than 15 minutes away, we can just drop on by whenever they have some good grub. LOL.
After dinner we were off to Hideki’s mini Rock Band party. Hideki throws the best parties. His bar is stocked better than most restaurants and he has a full Rock Band setup complete with pro drums, keyboard, and multiple microphones.
These next couple of photos were taken by Meader. He takes the best photos.
We had a blast as always and would have stayed longer if only Brian didn’t have to work this morning. Thanks for a great Rock Band party, Hideki!
We had a nice dinner with our pals last Saturday in honor of our friend Jay’s birthday. We didn’t stay out late though, because I’d been going to Spanish class on Saturday mornings. We stayed long enough to watch Jay open his present and pretend to be Daryl, unfortunately for everyone else present. LOL.
Dinner last weekend was held at Back Alley, which is actually a great place to have dinner with friends, specially if you like watching sports because they have TV screens everywhere — large and small. Their giant pizza is a great value and feeds a lot of people. The drinks are also pretty reasonably priced.
We will definitely consider Back Alley for our next birthday gathering. The Alley also has an awesome deal on Friday and Saturday nights where you can pay a flat fee for unlimited bowling, go karts, and laser maze. I’m not quite sure what laser maze is, but the unlimited bowling and go karts alone are worth the deal. Brian and I will have to do a bowling and go karts date very soon.
Congratulations to our friend Chef Jason Febres on his national TV debut!
It was a privilege to attend the Spike TV Bar Rescue watch party at Taste & See. So glad we got to celebrate your national TV debut with you. We can’t wait to watch your next national TV appearance. Congratulations!
We continued the celebration the next day at Jay and Becca’s Hizzy. I’m totally not making that up. That’s what they call their place on FourSquare. LOL.
We rotate hosting Walking Dead watch parties with the Phelpi and the Dills every Sunday. This past Sunday we were at the Dills where they fed us some yummy shepherd’s pie. Thank you, Jay and Becca!
April baked the most delicious green cake I’d ever eaten for dessert. I love birthdays because it gives me a reason to eat cake. When the cake is awesome, even better!
I really hope Brian took notes so when he bakes the cake for our dads’ birthdays in a couple of weeks (we’re having a joint birthday celebration on April 6 for both of our dads at our place) he’ll make one that’s just as delicious. Except not green. LOL.
Our annual gathering usually happens before Christmas, but we had to put it off until after the New Year because all of our friends were out of town for the holidays. The first ever annual gathering we had was at Cracker Barrel. The second one was at Pacific Coast Pizza. This is supposed to be our third one, but instead of taking place in 2012 it happened in 2013. And, instead of taking everyone out to eat, we decided to just serve breakfast at our house.
We served hash browns…
…a breakfast casserole dish using a recipe that Brian found on Pinterest…
I was actually amazed that mom got dad to come. He never leaves the house. I think it was the draw of the mimosas, though. LOL.
Brian and I really enjoyed making food for everyone. We had a lot of fun even though we had to get up at the crack of dawn to start baking because we only have one oven. One of these days I can get a fancy dual-oven range thing. Until then, we’ll just have to bake everything in batches.
Thanks to everyone who came out. Until our next annual gathering!
We had a bunch of people at the house last night to watch Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV. I won’t spoil it for those of you who will be watching the fight when it becomes available on demand. I will be grouchy for a while though, if that tells you anything about how it went down.
Jenni claimed a spot on the floor right in front of the TV.
Last night also served as a farewell party for my thyroid. Here’s a photo of the guys toasting the final days of my thyroid.
Hideki shows off his mad yoga skills.
Gina and Andrea practiced their Zumba routines through the pre-fights.
As for the fight itself, I was hoping for a better outcome. Oh, well.
We hung out with the rest of the gang at Bite ME BBQ last weekend to celebrate Becca’s birthday. I won’t tell you which one this is, but I will say that this birthday milestone is less than two years away for Brian. I have about five more years before mine. Of the four of us, Jay is the youngest though. He has a while.
Several people came out. My sister even joined us.
And now for some food photos…
Brian tricked me into trying these. They are NOT chicken nuggets! They are mountain oysters and they were gross. My sister seemed to like them, though.
I also had a bite of Cory and April’s hotlinks. That I didn’t mind.
The ribs at Bite ME are enormous. They’re enormously delicious, too. Brian and I usually just get a rib each with our three-meat combo, but Ronnie decided to order the half slab. Check out these huge, meaty ribs!
The three-meat combo is an excellent value at just $12.99 and is generally enough to feed both me and Brian. You get your choice of meats, but there’s an up charge for ribs. This time we got ribs, pulled poker, and chopped brisket. I’m not sure if it’s the first time I’d ever tried their chopped brisket, but I thought it was really sweet this last time. I think I’m going to stick with sliced brisket going forward, which is really, really good at Bite ME.
Here’s a look at what the rest of the folks in our group ordered…
Are you hungry yet? No? Here’s some more food pictures then…
This was the most delicious peach cobbler I’d ever had. Even more delicious than the life-altering peach cobbler of Jayleen Catering. I’m amazed that I’ve found two fantastic peach cobblers this year and yet I don’t even like cobbler. I think I just had really mediocre cobbler before. Now that I’ve had a taste of the good stuff, I’d take cobbler over chocolate cake any day.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and looking at the food photos as much as we enjoyed eating them. We had a great time at Bite ME — amazing food, great company, and good music. Yup. They have live music on the weekends. I had no idea because we’ve only ever gone during lunch time.
If you’ve never been to Bite ME, you should really check it out. It’s my new favorite place to eat BBQ in Wichita. I’ve not been disappointed with anything I’ve tried there. Well, except for the mountain oysters which were disgusting. Who eats that stuff? Oh, yeah. Jenni. I guess the mountain oysters there are probably good as far as mountain oysters go. If you like that sort of thing.
Apart from the mountain oysters, I love eating everything they serve. And, I love, love, love the peach cobbler the most. It is the best dessert you can get in this town for under $4. Hands down!
If you don’t like BBQ, at least go for the cobbler. That by itself will make the trip worthwhile. I promise you. You will not be disappointed.
I got to meet some of my sister’s friends last weekend when we joined them at On the Border to celebrate her 23rd birthday. She’s really 32, but didn’t want to admit it that night so she transposed the numbers of her age in her favor. Sorry, Jen, but that trick won’t work next year. LOL.
UP NEXT: Obligatory food photos… because I don’t really take pictures of people. Ha! Darcy and I realized this the other day when we did a Google images search of my name “Ching Brubaker” and there was one picture of me and Brian and the rest were pictures of food. Can you guess which plate belonged to me? One, two, three, or four? Post your answer in the comments below.
I almost forgot the linky link. Oops! Can’t do that. Must maintain our Urbanspoon ranking. LOL.
I forgot to check in at our house on FourSquare yesterday and Brian stole my mayorship. Whaaa!
But I digress… The food at OTB is decent. It doesn’t rank in my list of favorite restaurants, but I don’t mind their food. Plus, I always get the same thing anyway. I won’t tell you what dish I get because you’re supposed to guess it. I think people mostly go to OTB for drinks and for socializing, not so much for their phenomenal food. But, Los Cocos my favorite place for social drinking. You can’t beat $1.99 margaritas everyday.
The one thing that OTB has on Los Cocos is location, location, location. OTB is conveniently located at Bradley Fair and there’s not a Los Cocos in the Northeast part of town. Plus, it was Jenni’s birthday so she got to pick the restaurant. I didn’t mind OTB, but I hope she picks a different place next year.
This has been the most amazing birthday week ever. Besides my epic massage with Michael at Sveta’s this morning, I also got to attend Brew Ha-Ha last Friday. Thank you to Dr. Sherman for the tickets!
Ever since I got to experience Brew Ha-Ha, it has become my most anticipated event each year — even more so than Zoobilee. Zoobilee is awesome but it has gotten so huge. You can’t walk without running into someone. Brew Ha-Ha has a Zoobilee feel, without the hordes of people. And, the drunk guests aren’t quite as obnoxious. LOL.
Since Brian and I now live closer to Andover, we arrived at the event pretty early. It was only twenty after six when we got to the clubhouse, but the parking lot was already filling up. Evidently, we weren’t the only ones who thought of coming early.
When we drove up, I was happy to see that Flint Hills National had not yet taken down their awesome Halloween decorations. I took advantage of the opportunity to take photos with a couple of them. The really good ones were by the entrance, though.
Lila had an extra ticket so I convinced Darcy to go. I figured it would be a nice change of pace from her usual Friday night activities. She didn’t find any eligible bachelors that piqued her interest, though. I was hoping that the Kansas firefighters would be there with the Carrabba’s group. No such luck this year.
I thought Kansas Star Casino’s Chef Adam Correa was as yummy as his food, though. Theirs (pictured below) was the best dish out of all of the dishes that we got to sample that night. I should have gone back for more.
Besides Kansas Star Casino’s Woodfire Grille, the other restaurants that participated this year were Carrabba’s (of course), Chapada, On the Border, and Freddy’s Frozen Custard. The funny thing is that when we were on our way to Wilcox Lodge, the people leaving were complaining that there was no queso this year. I just realized why there was no queso. Last year the Mexican food was provided by Abuelo’s, who were absent this year. P.F. Chang’s was also notably absent.
We got split up early in the evening because when Darcy couldn’t find her lighter, she stalked some guy down for a light. He actually thought he was in trouble when she first tapped on his shoulder and asked if he was smoking. Much to his relief, all she wanted was a light. LOL.
Anyway, Darcy was taking a while so Brian decided he would brave the crowds at Dower Lodge in order to get a chili dog. Darcy came back to where I was waiting and enjoyed her cigarette as we both waited for Brian. Minutes passed and he still wasn’t back. The busses were few and far between so we finally got on one. I told Darcy that I would just call Brian and ask him to meet us at the next lodge.
As soon as the bus started to pull away, I saw Brian’s silhouette walking towards us. I waved at him, but he didn’t realize it was me. I wasn’t sure it was him either until he caught up to us at 4D Lodge later in the evening. He was a little mad that we left him but, hey, he’s the one who really wanted a chili dog. I told him, “I hope it was worth it.” The sad thing is that he didn’t even get one. He said the crowd was so thick that he never made it to the front. He finally just gave up and came back out. Darcy and I both told him that he was gone a really long time. After a few more glasses of beer, he was fine. Thank God for alcohol; otherwise, he would have been pissed at me all night.
Darcy and I decided to skip the chili dogs in favor of the other delicious offerings. However, the three of us did make our way back to Dower Lodge at the end of the evening because Brian really, really wanted one. Also, we heard about their delicious beer-infused milk shakes. We got there just in time. They ran out of stuff to make milkshakes shortly after we got ours. I’m glad we humored Brian and went back to Dower Lodge because I actually quite liked the milkshake. It tasted way better than I expected. Anyway, Brian was happy that he finally got his chili dog.
BTW, I thought my blowout (courtesy of Holly at Beau Monde) held up pretty well. I continued to admire it even after we arrived back home that night. The pictures didn’t really do it justice. I’m so looking forward to having Holly cut my hair in January!
But I digress… Brew Ha-Ha is a super fun event that is not to be missed. Proceeds go toward Big Brothers Big Sisters, a really worthy cause. Ya’ll should consider attending (or donating, if you can’t attend) next year.
Brian is actually having a lot of fun handing out candy.
Lucky for all the neighborhood kids, he won the debate. Therefore, no apples tonight. We’re giving out miniature candy bars. It was really weird because the kids were only taking one each. We had to tell them they can get more than one. Although, we’ve since had a couple of groups come through who took more than a handful. LOL.
I’m enjoying some Woodchuck Cider in a frosted mug, which just happens to be one of our Brew Ha-Ha mugs from last year. It’s because I’m trying to get in the mood for Friday. Anyway, here are some Halloween highlights…
Brian dressed as an angry priest who just got pulled over by a Mulvane cop. LOL. The angry look is so realistic, too.
He’s not as angry in this photo.
And happier yet.
I dressed as a school girl, complete with a backpack prop.
Jenni didn’t party with us this year, but she sent me a photo of her costume anyway. She said she was dressed as a “cougar.” I wondered, how is that different from any other day? That’s like me dressing as a Zumba instructor for Halloween. Pa-dum-pum. LOL. (Just kidding, Jenni! You know I love you!)
After the Fabulous Fleshtones finished their first set at RD’s County Line, we left to attend Hideki’s Halloween party. Here’s a photo of Andrea and me.
I’m not sure who brought the moonshine. I didn’t have any. It smelled really strong.
Brian and I got to play some Rock Band.
Hideki has the best Rock Band set up of anyone we know.
I usually play drums because I’m terrible at guitar or bass.
BTW, these last few photos were taken by Meader Woo. He is the best party photographer – ever! Here’s one with Frederique.
Melissa, Brian and me…
I got to wear pig tails again the next day when we attended Gina Ann’s annual Halloween party. They go all out on decorations inside and outside the house!
Gina Ann said that this was to be a kids’ party, so Brian and I dressed in footed pajamas in order to fit in.
Andrea dressed as Kim Possible. She is so creative!
Here’s a photo of all the Zumba girls. Though, we’re still working on Becca.
I had to dress up again yesterday because it was the designated Halloween dress up day at work. I was going to put on my cap and gown and dress as a graduate, but I couldn’t find my tassel. Decided to be a cowgirl at the last minute because I already had the stuff for it. It’s basically just regular clothes, with cowboy boots, a cowboy hat and a bandana. It’s an easy costume to put together.
Lance came as a fisherman.
Isaac came as a golfer. I really could have come as a Zumba instructor since everyone else was representing their hobbies. LOL.
Faith had the best costume of all…
Although, I’m quite impressed with myself for pulling off three different Halloween looks this year. And to think the only thing that I spent money on was the school girl costume ($10). I already had everything else in my closet.
BTW, I’ve been handing out candy on and off as I type this blog entry but we haven’t had any trick or treaters come through in the last half hour or so. I think Halloween might be officially over. And we still have a lot of candy left! Boo!