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Archive for "Events"

Belated Happy Birthday

Posted on June 25, 2019 by under Events, Family, Food and Drink.    

In case y’all didn’t know, my handsome husband turned another year older this month. He is now officially middle-aged. LOL. He will probably argue this fact but I looked it up. According to the dictionary, middle age is “the period between early adulthood and old age, usually considered as the years from about 45 to 65.”

Yes, babe, you are, in fact, officially considered a middle-aged man.

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Despite being old, he’s still very handsome and aging quite gracefully.

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Unfortunately, I had to take a CPR/AED renewal class on Brian’s actual birthday. It was my only affordable option and my CPR/AED certificate was set to expire on June 15. To make it up to him, I took him out the Hill Bar & Grill (one of our favorite places to eat) on the eve of his birthday.

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We cannot go there without having chicharonnes.

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This is the crab and chorizo queso which was pretty good and quite filling. It was the first time we’d ever ordered it.

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We were not too full for the mini doughnuts though. They are not to be missed.

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I took a picture of the daily specials so we can better plan our return trip.

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Here’s a picture of me with my dummy at CPR/AED renewal training the next evening. I felt bad that we couldn’t celebrate on Brian’s actual birthday but we did that pre-birthday dinner and we still had the Symphony in the Flint Hills (more on that later) and his mom and dad’s visit at the end of the month to look forward to. There was plenty of celebrating to be had.

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We began his birthday weekend celebration on Friday, June 14. Brian took the day off work to volunteer with me at Symphony in the Flint Hills. For those who don’t know, volunteering is a great way to enjoy the event for free.

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Here are a few pictures from that day.

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I was so excited because the site they picked this year was absolutely amazing. The organizers improved the set up and the layout of the tents was the best I’d ever seen. The site is also the closest its ever been. It was only about an hour away from our house. When we left the site on Friday afternoon, we were both super excited to return and enjoy the festivities the next day.

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As (bad) luck would have it, the storm rolled through and destroyed nearly everything. All of the hard work the volunteers did over the past few days was obliterated. For the first time in its 20-year history, the Symphony in the Flint Hills canceled the event.

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Here are some pics of the devastation.

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I was bummed because I had been looking forward to it all year. It was how we were celebrating Brian’s birthday weekend. Selfishly, Brian was felt like he spent that whole day volunteering for nothing (since the event was canceled). I told him, as disappointing as it is, I was glad that we had an opportunity to volunteer and see the beautiful event site on Friday. Had we not volunteered, we would have missed it altogether. I was grateful that we got to see that beautiful land.

At first it was going to be postponed to Sunday. It would have been really tricky with me teaching Zumba at 3 PM and then both of us having to go to work the next day but Brian and I were really going to still do everything in our power to still go. Eventually, the event organizers decided to cancel. It was a huge bummer but it was all for the best because it was going to be a real challenge to attend on Sunday.

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Since our Symphony in the Flint Hills plans fell through, we ended up going to Stearman Field for their annual fly in. We also wanted to go to it but we couldn’t because of the Symphony event, which happened to be on the same day. There’s always so many fun events going on around town that it’s so hard to choose which ones to attend. You just kind of have to prioritize. Don’t ever believe anyone when they say there’s nothing to do in Wichita. They are lying.

Or, as they say, there are no boring places, only boring people.

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Here are a few of the pictures that we took at the air field.

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These vehicles were on display on someone’s yard. We couldn’t tell whether or not they were part of the show. Brian felt weird taking these pics.

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It turned out to be a beautiful day for a fly in.

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But it was also too hot. We wanted to cool off inside the restaurant but it was a two-hour wait. Instead we decided to drive over the WBC for early supper.

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As luck would have it, it was the official first day of the Wicked Brew Tour so we got our first stamps there.

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Fittingly, Brian happened to be wearing his Wicked Brew shirt from last year, which is one of his favorite shirts to wear.

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The Wicked Brew Tour is something we look forward to every summer.

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There are even more local breweries and coffee shops participating this year!

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We went to Churn & Burn East after dinner. The East location has been open a while but it was our first visit there. We always end up visiting the original location on Oliver out of habit.

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The East location is super cute and close to our house.

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Here’s a picture of our Swiss Cafe Mocha Churn & Burns (our favorite drink there). I got the big one!

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We continued celebrating this past weekend when Brian’s parents came to town. Brian and his grandma always try to celebrate their birthdays together because his birthday is on the 13th and hers is on the 19th.

In Brian’s 45 years, they’ve only missed celebrating three birthdays together and those were the years Brian lived in Memphis.

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Grandma turned 97 this year. As if that wasn’t enough to celebrate, we also celebrated Brian’s parents’ 46th wedding anniversary (June 2, technically) and belated Father’s Day. We’ve been so busy this year that we didn’t do cards or presents. In lieu of gifts, Brian and I just decided to buy everyone dinner.

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I will post pictures of our food and you guys try to guess where we went.

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CLUE: It’s pretty much our go to place for celebrations and dinner in general.

That’s pretty much how we celebrated Brian’s birthday this year. No huge party or big trip (since we did Costa Rica in April and we still have Orlando in July and Cancun in November) this year. We did talk about going to Colorado but we just couldn’t get it together in time.

Perhaps next year we will make it out there but, either way, we will be back in time for our traditional family celebration because grandma and Brian have to celebrate together. It’s kind of their thing. Until next time. GNG.

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ICT Brew Crew

Posted on June 6, 2019 by under Events.    

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Last month I had the pleasure of joining a group of business owners on a tour of the ten breweries we have here in Wichita.

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For weeks I was super excited to go on this adventure with my Friend Jay Dill, who owns The Travel Junkie travel agency. Three days before the event, I developed a cough that I could not get ride of and on the day of the event it was at its worst. It was so bad that I barely got any sleep and I actually slept in another bedroom of our house because I kept waking Ching up.

Regardless, I wasn’t going to miss out on this adventure. I pulled myself together, got me some coffee that morning, and pushed through. I was glad I did because it was a great tour of the breweries. I learned very quickly that not all breweries are the same.

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We started at Aero Plains Brewing in the Delano District. This is one of my favorite breweries due to the delicious Irish Red they brew but you have to be quick as it’s very popular and it tends to sell out very fast.

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From there we moved to Limestone Beer Company, a very small brewery and restaurant. They had several varieties of beer that I was not too fond of but there were others in the group that really liked a Blueberry beer that they had.

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Next up was Nortons, another one of my favorites. Here we got to speak to Dan Norton, the owner. He is very down to earth and humble and takes his brewing very seriously. He believes in producing quality beer for everyone while still exploring a wide variety of flavors. Plus, he has some outstanding food available, Bacon Crack is one of my favs and I can’t go here without getting some. My wife an I frequent Nortons because the atmosphere is great and they have live shows in their outside space from time to time.

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Wichita Brewing was next. This one was on the West side of town. By now everyone was feeling pretty good and we had a tight schedule that we were, amazingly enough, keeping to. Wichita Brewing is another of my favorites as they have an excellent food menu, great pizza, and their 502 Amber is pretty tasty as well.

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We stopped for lunch at Augustino Brewing and had the pleasure of eating some Noble House Hawaiian food. This was my first time trying Noble House and I have to say that it was pretty tasty. Augustino makes some good beer as well and his brewery is actually set up nicely.

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River City Brewing Company is one of the original breweries in Wichita. They have been doing it for a long time and, at one point, had set the bar as far as breweries in town go. They have another Amber beer that I like (you can see where my beer tastes lean) and they also have a great menu available. Ching loves the food there.

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Third Place Brewing is a tiny little spot just downtown, located right next to an old-fashioned barber shop called the Artestry Lounge. You can stop here, get your hair cut, then walk next door for a cold one.

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Hopping Gnome has been a mainstay in Wichita for some time now. They offer a variety of beers and even have specials events when they tap a new flavor. Again, it’s a small venue so get there early if you want to sit somewhere.

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We jumped across the street and had some snacks and a few more beers at Central Standard Brewing. This is not one of my favorite places, as their beers are a little out there for me, but I love the location, all of the outdoor seating, and they have food trucks roll in all the time. It’s a great place to meet up with friends and again, come early as there is always a crowd.

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Just down the street from there was the PourHouse from Walnut River Brewing. They have, hands down, my favorite beer! I usually have at least a six pack or two in my fridge at all times. I’m working up to getting a kegerator so I can have it on tap in my basement bar and, yes, I would drink a keg if allowed. The PourHouse is one of the newer Breweries in town; however, Walnut River is not new to the brewing game. PourHouse offers a wide variety of food and an excellent selection of Walnut River’s beer.

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Finally, we wrapped up the evening with a trip back to Aero Plains Brewing. Since I wasn’t feeling well, I really didn’t go beyond the small tasters that they offered so I wasn’t as plastered as some of the others. All of the participants with the exception of me had drivers, Ubers or Lyfts waiting. Since I started the day under the weather and I was more into seeing the workings of the breweries, I drove myself. However, I had at least two backup plans just in case. My wife was waiting for a call from me as she offered to Uber over to get me when she was done with her class and my cuz offered to come and get me as well and drive me and my car back home. So I was well cared for no matter what state of mind I happened to be in.

All in all, it was an excellent event that I was very honored to be a part of. I met a lot of very cool people and got to learn more, not only about the local breweries, we have but I got to learn more about the local businesses and the people that own them.

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P.S. If you’d like to schedule your own brew tour, hit it up the awesome folks at Brew Wagon Tours.

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Y Takeover at Chicken N Pickle

Posted on May 28, 2019 by under Events, Zumba.    

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The YMCA had their first Y Takeover event and it was massively successful. It was held at Chicken N Pickle on May 19 and involved several Zumba and Sh’Bam (another type of dance fitness workout) instructors.

First of, most people are probably already familiar with Zumba but not quite sure what Sh’Bam is or how it differs. When people ask me what Sh’Bam is, I often tell them it’s just a different flavor of dance fitness much like Zumba. It’s basically the Les Mills branded version. There are other slight differences though.

Here are a few of them:

1) Here in Wichita our Sh’Bam classes typically last an hour like Zumba but as I’m doing research, it sounds like 45-minute Sh’Bam classes are more common. As for Zumba, classes are typically 55-60 minutes.

2) Zumba uses various genres of music from all over the world but has a lot of Latin music influence. Sh’Bam primarily uses more popular music. Brian has never set foot in a Sh’Bam class but, after the Y Takeover event, he confessed to me that he actually prefers the Sh’Bam music selection. If you listen to the radio a lot, then you’ll probably find Sh’Bam music more relatable. As for someone like me, who doesn’t really listen to the radio (except for NPR), I go for danceable tunes and there’s an abundance of them in both formats.

3) The Sh’Bam instructor certification process is much more rigorous than the Zumba Basic 1 training so you’re less likely to run into a Sh’Bam instructor who isn’t very good. The Zumba process isn’t a certification so pretty much anyone who completes the Basic 1 training is licensed to teach classes. That said, I never have to worry about the quality of the Zumba instructors in town because we have some of the best ones in Wichita. Plus, the market really takes care of this situation.

4) Zumba has better name recognition than Sh’Bam. Almost everyone know what Zumba is whereas people usually don’t know what Sh’Bam is. Zumba does a really good job marketing their brand by partnering with movie producers and artists to get the brand out there. Even people who don’t take Zumba classes know what it is or at least have heard of Zumba. Unless you’re a Les Mills person or have taken Sh’Bam at some point, you won’t know what it is.

5) Another big difference is the gym carries an additional expense to be able to offer Sh’Bam. With Zumba there is no additional cost to the gym because the instructors are paying monthly membership fees to Zumba for the license (right) to teach classes. With Sh’Bam not only are instructors paying fees but the gym also has to pay fees to Les Mills for the right to offer the format. It’s kind of a double hit.

Anyway, now that you know the difference between Zumba and Sh’Bam you can tell they’re very similar and as such it made a lot of sense to have a combo event. The event at Chicken N Pickle was basically just a massive dance party alternating between Zumba and Sh’Bam.

Here’s a clip of Sarah, backed by Rose and Jessie, kicking off the dance party with a fun warmup. The clips below are also from their set.

It was a beautiful day for a dance party and we had such a great turnout.

Here are a few more videos from the event. The video above is of Aimee with Amy and Francie as her backup instructors.

This next one features Melissa with Todd and Brynden backing her up.

Here’s a clip Brian got of Vi’s Sh’Bam set.

Lastly, here are some videos of our set led by Charis with me and Amanda as her backups. The video above features Peligrosa and the one below is Little More.

This next one is Firehousee, a class favorite. Brian a great video, making his way through the crowd. We had such a blast leading these songs!

Here are a few of my favorite pics from the event.

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Amanda, Charis, and Me

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With Sam, one of our devoted class regulars

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With Melissa below

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Brynden, Melissa, and Todd

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Amanda, Rose, Charis, Jessie, and Me

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Same group this time with Sarah in the middle

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Brian and Brynden

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The three of us this time

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Hideki and Me

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Charis, Hideki, and Me

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And just a few more pics…

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This was such a fun event. And, very well-attended. I hope that we get to do it again soon before Fall/Winter season.

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If you’ve never been to Chicken N Pickle, I highly recommend it. It’s such a cool hangout spot. There’s plenty of stuff to do, including free yard games. The huge complex is also pet-friendly so you can bring the whole family!

I’m so grateful that we now have a Chicken N Pickle in Wichita and I’m grateful that I got to be part of such a wonderful community event. Until next time. GNG.

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2019 Memory Gala

Posted on May 26, 2019 by under Events.    

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My friend Tammie invited us to attend a fancy party at Mark Arts last month for the Alzheimer’s Association. Brian knew Leo would be there and he refused to dress up. It worked out alright for me because I didn’t have time to buy an evening dress.

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It would have been weird if he was in a tux and I was just in a regular dress so we were both somewhat relaxed in our attire that night.

Here are a few pics from that evening:

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The Boot Hill Distillery tasting station offered tastes of their vodka, gin, and two kinds of whiskey.

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Here’s a picture of dinner.

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Since it was our first time attending, we didn’t know what to expect. It was a very nice event over all. It was a real shame we couldn’t stay for the dance party after. We had to go to Dillons to get some supplies for the lunch we were hosting at our house the next day. It worked out because Brian’s didn’t want to dance anyway.

That’s pretty much it for the Memory Gala. I wish we would have taken more pics. Until next time. GNG.

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Society of 1895 Luncheon

Posted on May 1, 2019 by under Events.    

I thought now that I’m not longer working in Kansas City, I’d finally be able to make it to one of these. No such luck.

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Brian had to attend by himself again (for the third year in a row).

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On the plus side, he ran into one of my Rotary friends there. Here he is with Tony Durano (above pic). Brian is always really good about taking pics at the event to make me feel like I’m there.

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The food looked good.

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I hope to make it to one of these luncheons one of these days. GNG.

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