13th Anniversary Dinner at Luciano’s


Here are some pictures from our low key anniversary dinner at Luciano’s, a restaurant that we’ve heard so much about but have never been to until now.


This is Brian’s interpretation of Kilroy.


Our delicious starter, which consisted of two different types of mozzarella cheese, prosciutto (from Parma, Italy), kalamata olives, olive oil, and salt.


I liked the cozy ambiance of the restaurant. It’s quiet enough for a nice, intimate conversation also. Brian and I agreed that it’s a great place for a date.


Brian had the baked lasagna.


I had the pasta carbonara.


And, we each got dessert. Tiramisu for me.


Creme brûlée for Brian.


Click to add a blog post for Luciano's on Zomato

Brian and I really enjoyed our dinner at Luciano’s. Even though they did card us and I didn’t have my purse with me. At least our server used good judgement and realized that if I’m married to an old man like Brian then I must be equally old. LOL.

I’m really glad they let me drink otherwise I would have missed out on the delicious sangria. It was so good that I had two glasses of it. Even Brian liked it. The only downside is that you could only order it by the glass. A carafe to share with Brian would have been nice.

Anyway, great dinner overall. I highly recommend Luciano’s. Brian and I will definitely be back, with or without a special occasion to celebrate.

Best. Weekend. Ever.


As you all know, Brian and I will be celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary in a few days. We started our celebration early because we wanted to do a moonlight horseback ride and we couldn’t dictate the moon’s schedule so we had to be flexible. LOL.

This moonlight horseback ride adventure was even made more special by the blue moon. Blue moons occur when you have two full moons in the same month. It’s not really blue. I’m not sure why they call it that. It was pretty cool, though.


Brian and I both took Friday off because we didn’t know how long it would take to get to the ranch and, having never stayed there, we wanted to scope out our accommodations.


We were supposed to stay in this solitary cottage called Calaboose but the previous guests busted the blinds so Gwen moved us to the Tallgrass Suite, which is on the West side of the cabin. It actually worked out better because we got to look at both rooms and, for the same price, the Tallgrass Suite is way better.


This is the inside of the Calaboose. It’s a tiny cabin consisting of just a sleeping area and a bathroom. It’s cute and cozy and would have worked out just fine but the Tallgrass Suite is definitely an upgrade.


The Tallgrass Suite is attached to the Prairie Room. While we initially wanted to be by ourselves, the spaciousness of the alternative room more than made up for the location. In the photo above, the Tallgrass Suite is on the left and the Prairie Room is on the right.


Our room had a full-sized kitchen, complete with range, dishwasher, microwave, coffee maker, and full-sized fridge. We got dishes, pots and pans, utensils, dish towels, and even wine glasses. We had a sitting area and everything. If we were staying longer, there was a washer and dryer and detergent. We also had a small back deck with a gas grill.


The bedroom had a closet and huge attached bathroom with a separate tub and shower. It was really a lot nicer than I expected. I mean, I packed a hair dryer because I wasn’t sure there would be one there but our bathroom had one. Had I known our accommodations would be so comfortable, I would have reserved two nights instead of only one. LOL.


Here’s the outside of our cabin.


Other accommodations on the property include the bunkhouse, pictured above, and the lodge, below. The lodge is super nice. The pictures that follow really don’t do it justice.


This is the living room area of the East side of the lodge.


The large dining room is big enough for 40 people.



This is the living room area of the West side of the lodge.


Another view of the living area.


Full kitchen.


The West side of the lodge has two private bedrooms on the ground level and additional sleeping areas upstairs. Overall I think it can comfortably house ten people. It’s perfect for families or small groups.


I love the rustic look of the outside.



Our experience started with dinner at the lodge.


Our dinner consisted of salisbury steak, roasted potatoes, corn, and tomato cucumber salad prepared by chef/rancher Josh Hoy, followed by homemade raspberry and blueberry pies (which I didn’t get any pictures of).


After dinner we sat and listened to Josh’s father Jim tell stories. He’s like the Bob Ross of prairie stories. I could listen to him for days.



Jim Hoy is a celebrity in these parts so I had to get a photo with him. 😉


Actually, Josh is a bit of a celebrity too. He was on Master Chef and showed Chef Gordon Ramsey how to cook like a cowboy a few years ago.


We stayed on schedule and saddled up around eight o’clock.


They put Brian on Rufus, the clumsiest horse of the group. I think they did it on purpose because Brian was the most experienced rider of all the guests. Brian said he was a good horse, even though he found all of the pot holes in the trail.


I ended up getting Phatty. Josh did tell me ahead of time that they might call me by my horse’s name, as they’re prone to doing because they sometimes can’t remember all the guests names, and not to be offended. I guess one time they put a portly man on Phatty and forgot to tell him in advance so he was getting really upset each time he got called Phatty. After they explained to him that the horse’s name is Phatty, he felt a lot better.


In this photo you’ll see their niece Piper, Jim Hoy’s wife Cathy, Brian, and Jim.


Brian, Jim, and Cathy waiting for the rest of us to get on our horses.


Piper may only be thirteen but she looks like a pro. She was going to help them with shipping cattle the next morning.


We took off in time to watch the sunset.


We took some photos while we were waiting.


Here’s a picture of our wonderful hosts, Gwen and Josh Hoy.


There are few things as breathtaking as the sun setting in the Flint Hills.

The first time I ever saw a Flint Hills sunset was during the Symphony in the Flint Hills several years ago. It’s kind of a spiritual experience.

Photos don’t quite do it justice and beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it.

When the sun finally set, it was time to look for the moon.


We stopped at a few spots to admire the beauty of the Flint Hills and learn some stuff but the moon was definitely the star of the show.


She was full, bright, and majestic that night.


I’d been horseback riding before but this most recent horseback riding experience is one that I will remember forever. It was truly something special and I’m glad that I got to share the experience with Brian.

The next day we met John Plots from Boston as we were leaving. He and his wife and two kids were supposed to be on the moonlight horseback ride with us but they arrived at the ranch late. We also met Bones, ranch hand and blogger.

Others who went on the moonlight horseback ride with us besides, Piper, Jim and Cathy Hoy, and our hosts Josh and Gwen Hoy, include Sheila Townsend who actually works for the same company as me. She’s in the real estate department and works out of our Topeka office. We also met Steve, Alice, and their son Charlie. We had a great group. I also liked that it was small because I’m not an experienced rider and I appreciated that there were enough people to keep an eye on all of us.


The next morning, Brian and I wandered around Cottonwood Falls before heading home. We ate at the Keller Feed & Wine Company (formerly Emma Chase Café). I will write more about our Cottonwood Falls adventures next time.

For now, I hope you enjoyed my account of our horseback riding adventures at Flying W Ranch. Perhaps you can join us next time.

Valentines Weekend 2014

I had so much fun at Paint the Towne with my coworkers last month that I wanted to share the experience with Brian. April suggested we do the couples painting event on Valentines Day. I wasn’t sure that people would go for it, but I managed to round up six other couples (besides us and the Phelpi) who were game.

I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised. After celebrating over a decade of Valentines I was open to doing something different. I guess others were as well.


Our group consisted of (from left) the Smiths (Chad and Laura), the Holts (Stacy and Cari), the Rheas (Leo and Tammie), the Phelpi (Cory and April), the Wirtzes (Aaron and Reby), the Richardsons (Brandon and Amy), the Farmers (Brian and Sherii), and of course us (Flip and Ching).


Here are some more photos from Friday night.


Our painting is supposed to match, but Brian wouldn’t cooperate. LOL.


Other couples fared better I think.


We took breaks to snack while we waited for paint to dry.


We also took time to admire each other’s handiwork.



These two were so lovey dovey all night.


They were the most harmonious couple of all.


This is Sherii painting on her husband’s canvas while he wasn’t looking.


People really got into painting.


Brian did too. I’m so glad I got to share this experience with him.


Here’s a picture of our group as we were just getting started.


We saw the Rheas and the Farmers again the following night at the 20th Annual Wichita Heart Ball, a gala benefitting the American Heart Association.


Before I share more pictures of people, here are some pictures of the food that we got to enjoy last night.






The tables were set in the most elegant way and all of the food looked and tasted great. I enjoyed everything, even the asparagus.


Here’s a photo of us in front of the red carpet and a selfie during dinner.


Here’s post-dinner photo of our group: (from left) the Heitkotters, the Shermans, the Rheas, the Farmers, and us. The dinner was great but the company was fantastic. I couldn’t think of a better group of people to hang with at the gala.


As if the decadent desserts weren’t enough, they had chocolate fountains at the event also for our post-dinner snacking enjoyment.


Here’s a photo of Sherii, Tammie, and me as we enjoyed our drinks and the live music. There wasn’t really much room to dance. Mostly I just wanted the silent auction to close to see how much damage we’d done to our bank account. LOL.


Here’s a couple of official event photos.


A selfie of Brian because he just couldn’t help himself.


Our neighbors Raj and Shilpa were co-chairs of the event.


Here’s my favorite photo of me from last night.


Here’s my favorite photo of Brian from last night.


Doesn’t he look absolutely amazing in his tuxedo? And to think that he resisted the idea at first. When I initially told him that we got tickets to the Heart Ball, I conveniently left off optional and told him that the event was strictly black tie. He wanted to wear his black suit with a black tie — I guess to satisfy the “black tie” requirement. LOL. I insisted that he wear a tuxedo not just so he’d fit in at the part but also because I haven’t seen him in a tuxedo since our wedding and I’d been dying to see him in one.

He reluctantly went to the store with me but immediately warmed up to idea after trying on a tux. All it took was seeing how sophisticated and handsome he looked in one. He saw his dashing selection in the mirror and there was no turning back. The guy who didn’t want to wear tuxedo now wants to wear his tux everywhere. I’ve created a monster. He’s actually thinking of wearing his tux to National Sales Meeting in a couple of months. That’s going to throw some people for a loop for sure. All of his coworkers will be wondering why he’s so dressed up. They’ll be like, “What’s up with Brubaker? Is he getting an award or something?” LOL.

Anyway, now that we’ve got our weekend recap out of the way, you’re probably wondering what Brian got me for Valentines Day. I’m not really the roses, chocolates, or jewelry kind of girl. You’re talking about someone who got six personal training sessions for Brian on my 35th birthday. For Valentines Day I wanted to see my husband in a tuxedo and that’s exactly what I got. Actually, he far exceeded my expectations. Last night I felt like I was with the sexiest man at the ball. I felt so special — like the luckiest girl in the world. Not only is my husband caring, smart, funny, and thoughtful, he’s good looking to boot. He is the whole package. And, he looks amazing in a tuxedo. Now to work on his British accent.

Painting and Shooting

It’s a painting and shooting kind of weekend. I had a lot of fun painting with my coworkers last night. Click the right arrow on the picture above to see more photos from our painting party at Paint the Towne.

Huge thanks to Tammie for organizing the event and to Misty for taking a bunch of photos. Thanks also go out to my awesome husband for making mini tacos for me to bring to the party and for driving Misty and me to and from the event. I really appreciated not having drive after a few glasses of wine, which flowed quite freely because everyone brought one or two bottles and then some. There were plenty of yummy eats too so none of us were drinking on empty stomachs. Safety first!


Since I got to do what I wanted to do last night, Brian got to do what he wanted to do this afternoon. Cory and April went shooting with us also, which was awesome because they shared their targets and I got to shoot Cory’s new toy — a 22 calibre Ruger rifle.


Here are a couple more photos from the shooting range.


If you’re trying to score some points with your partner, taking him to the gun range is a sure fire way to do it (pun intended – LOL). Plus, couples who play together stay together. Just sayin’…

Brian Earns Bonus Points

Sierra did my makeup at Beau Monde the other day. I’m not sure if Brian got an “after” picture, but this is what I looked like before she did her magic.


I wish I had an “after” picture to show you guys because she did such an amazing job. It’s a lot like getting your hair done at the salon. The professionals always make you look so much better. I think so anyways so I asked Brian, “Would you like it if I learned how to do my makeup and looked like this all the time?” It’s a valid question because I rarely ever do my makeup. I’m just not any good at it.

Brian really surprised me with his response. He said he preferred me the way I am without all the makeup. He’s like, “Makeup done right always enhances the way that someone looks so of course most women look better with makeup and many women need makeup to look good. However, there are women who can get by without makeup because they’re naturally beautiful. You’re one of those people.”

That was really sweet. And, he definitely earned some bonus points that day. Although, no matter what he says, I still prefer the way I look with makeup. I’m going to take makeup application lessons one of these days. LOL.

Mike’s Wine Dive

Mike's Wine Dive on Urbanspoon

On Saturday, the 4,020th day of marriage (also known as our 11th wedding anniversary), we decided to have a low key dinner at Mike’s Wine Dive. I think the last documented time we were there was Brian’s birthday a couple of years ago, so it has been a while. For our anniversary dinner, we wanted to pick a great restaurant that we don’t normally go to. Mike’s made Wine Spectator a few years already and we hadn’t been in ages, so Mike’s definitely fit the bill.


We started with Andrea’s hummus platter and deviled eggs.


Don’t let the presentation fool you. Yes, it looks messy and unappealing but it is so darn delicious. I wish they’d serve them by the dozen. LOL.


Brian shared a carafe of sangria with me.


The sangria at Mike’s is delicious. If I was a “happy hour” kind of girl, I’d be at Mike’s every night after work just for the sangria. LOL.


It’s so good, even Brian likes it.


Normally I would get the lobster mac & cheese, but we didn’t want to go too crazy so we opted for a smaller meal — chicken piccata with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Brian doesn’t like capers, but I thought they went great with the email. Mashed potatoes could have used more flavor, but I like my food really salty so it’s probably just me. It was fine and I didn’t complain.


Much to my disappointment the chocolate bag has been discontinued. What they had instead are these lame chocolate bowls. Execution is similar but it’s just not the same. The chocolate bag was awesome. This was just okay. It was enough to satiate my sugar craving, though.

Our server Corina was nice. She even took our photo. I’m not posting it because it’s not very good. Not because of her, but because of me. I just wasn’t feeling pretty that day. I wore my hair straight, which I haven’t done in a couple of years, and it looked really flat. That, and I’ve been feeling fat lately. Eating out probably isn’t helping but, hey, how often do you get to celebrate an 11th wedding anniversary? Some people never get there.

Here’s how we’ve celebrated in previous years…

2003: We went to dinner at Red Rock, followed by dancing at Copa Cabana and America’s Pub.

2004: Couples massage at Healing Waters and weekend at Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.

2005: Most of our third anniversary was spent at the Historic Campbell Castle. We stayed in The Royal Court, the inn’s best room, for two nights. There may or may not have been a sex tape as a result of this weekend. 😉 Just kidding! We also got a couples massage at Healing Waters, our then favorite spa.

2006: We celebrated by going to Harrah’s NKC. We both played in a poker tournament. Brian took second place and won $400+ dollars.

2007: This was a big one because it was our fifth wedding anniversary. We wanted to do something special, but we couldn’t celebrate in August because I was in grad school and I didn’t want to miss classes or be unprepared for the start of the semester. We ended up celebrating a month early. We spent seven days at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica and met some really cool people. For our actual anniversary weekend, we went to the drive-in. It was my first time.

2008: Our anniversary was sandwiched between a trip to Vegas for Cory and April’s wedding and then the WPT APL poker cruise so we pretty much just laid low. Brian got a new lawnmower.

2009: Couples massage at Serenity, Midwest Rockfest, Tanganyika. Nothing major since we had our trip to the Philippines coming up and we were focused on that.

2010: Dinner at Bonefish and dancing at Suede. We celebrated early because we had Logan stay with us during our actual anniversary weekend. I think this was the catalyst for our Friday night salsa ritual. We also went to see the Rush Time Machine Tour last August.

2011: This was the most exciting wedding anniversary celebration ever. I got an ambulance ride to the ER following dinner. Follow the link for the full story.

2012: We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary by closing on our house. Yup. We timed it so we actually signed papers on August 10. The real celebration happened in Kansas City a few days later, when we went to watch Journey perform — in the rain.

2013: This year we just had a low key dinner at Mike’s Wine Dive then went to see The Wolverine (great movie, by the way). The celebration continues later this week in Orlando. Of course, we celebrate our marriage everyday not just during our anniversary week. And that, my friends, is how you get to almost 15 years of being together.

Happy anniversary, baby!

The Blizzard of Oz

I usually don’t mind it as much when Brian travels because I’m pretty self-sufficient. He does take good care of me, though. He makes sure that I have everything I need, including filling up Bebot’s gas tank so I don’t have to pump gas myself. I always appreciate it when he does this, but I appreciated it even more this week.

The main thing that I hate about Brian being gone is that I actually have to drive myself. I hate driving. And, of all the days that he could be gone, his trip fell on the worst week ever. Not only do I have to drive myself, but I have to drive myself in this miserable weather.


The first time I wished Brian were here was when I tried to go to work at six o’clock this morning. He’s usually the voice of reason so, had he been here, he probably would have talked me into calling my boss before I got myself in this predicament. However, he wasn’t here; therefore, I was left to my own devices and poor judgement. So I opened the garage and looked at how much snow there was on the ground. My first instinct was that I should shovel a path for my car but we have a pretty long driveway so I talked myself out of it by rationalizing that the snow isn’t really that high.


Anyway, I didn’t have a problem backing out of the garage. I was actually congratulating myself for saving all that time by skipping the snow shoveling part. Unfortunately, I only got as far as the end of the driveway before my car got stuck. I guess when I turned the steering wheel so my car could face the street, I ended up putting so much snow under my car that it got stuck. When I called Brian to tell him about my predicament, he said I “high centered” my car. He advised me to call his dad to see if he could help me get my car back into the garage.

When I called my father in law, he told me that it would take him a while to get to me so he suggested that I go back in the house and he would call me when he was on his way. While I was waiting, I figured I would call our friend Cory who lives just down the street from us. I was thinking that, between the three of us, we could get my car back in the garage in no time.

I don’t really like just sitting around and waiting so I decided I’m just going to start shoveling snow while I wait for them to show up. That will save us a lot of time as we won’t have to clear a path then. We’ll just need to work on getting the car unstuck. By the way, I really love our long driveway for when we have company over. However, when I had to shovel all that snow today, I didn’t love it quite as much.


It seemed like the snow fell faster than I could shovel. I felt like I was bailing water out of the ocean. Seriously. I kept at it, though. Better than just sitting around. Anyway, I found out a bit later that neither my father in law or Cory could get to me because they couldn’t get out of their neighborhoods. I was pretty much on my own. Brian had some good advice, though. He told me to clear a path for the car and then pour some salt on the path and under the tires for traction. I was almost halfway done with the snow shoveling part so I was like, “I can do this.”

I couldn’t get my car unstuck on the first attempt. I guess I didn’t clear enough of the snow around the car and under the tires. I dug as much of the snow as I could from under the car and shoveled snow all around the car before I tried again. I still couldn’t get the car unstuck on my second attempt so I had the brilliant idea of leaving the car in drive, hopping out, and pushing it onto the driveway. I did successfully get the car to move that time, but it took off without me. You could call it an “Oh, Shit!” moment. Literally. I was yelling “Break! Break! Break” in my head except I was outside the car chasing after it. Thankfully, the car didn’t go very far because the huge snow bank I created from shoveling the driveway prevented it from going any farther. I got back in the car and tried to move backwards and forwards to straighten it out, rather than leaving it sideways into the snow bank. I could feel the car losing traction again so I didn’t try any more. I was just so relieved that Bebot was finally in my driveway and no longer out on the street in the way of other cars, which were somehow magically able to go by. I have no idea how.


It was about eight thirty at this point and I was spent. I decided to take a break from manual labor and do some other work so fired up my work laptop and connected to the VPN. I figured I would work some, then make lunch (carb up for more snow shoveling), then shovel more snow, and finally drive Bebot back into the garage.


It turned out to be a good plan because the snow let up about that time. The path that I had cleared stayed pretty clear so, for the most part, I just had to shovel snow around the car. I’m so glad we had that salt in the garage. It came in handy today. I had no problems getting the car back into the garage after lunch. I’m so glad I did too because, had I waited until later, it would have posed a bigger challenge. Shortly after I got the car back in the garage, the snow started coming down again and more ferociously than ever.


Anyway, I was so proud of myself for getting my car unstuck and shoveling my despicably long driveway all by my lonesome. Brian thinks I’m this helpless little girl so he was quite impressed. I was worn out, though. I had snot running down my face and my fingers were numb the entire time. But, hey, I did it. Now, let’s hope I don’t have to do it all over again tomorrow.

P.S. I really, really missed Brian today more than ever. It was miserable shoveling snow by myself. With him here, it would have been fun at least. Everything is always more fun when he’s around.

P.P.S. Brian told me that I he was relieved that I didn’t trip while pushing the car and get dragged under it. I had to explain to him that I was pushing the car from the trunk so I was completely outside of it. Thus, when it took off without me, I couldn’t get back in. I guess I was supposed to push the car from the driver’s side (and not from the trunk like I was doing) so that I could jump back in the car and steer as soon as it started going. I don’t know that I would have had enough leverage pushing that way, though. And, there’s only one of me. Someone had to push the car; that meant I needed to get out. Also, if I did it the way that Brian imagined then there was a chance that I could have tripped and gotten run over by the car. As foolish as my method seems, in hindsight, I think that it was actually far safer. The car couldn’t run me over because it was taking off away from me. LOL.

Valentines Weekend 2013

We kind of went all out this year to make up for not doing much (other than our his and hers Nike ID running shoes) last year. We had just returned back from Cousin Tracy and Jeff’s wedding shower in Texas and then we had the trip to Jamaica the following month. Our budget was already stretched to its limit.

Anyway, Brian and I hadn’t been to the Kansas Star Casino yet (at the point when we decided what we were doing for Valentines — we are a couple of planners so we always make plans months in advance) so we decided that’s what we would do for Valentines weekend this year. We got to try food from Woodfire Grille when we attended Brew Ha-Ha last fall and we really liked it so we thought we’d just have dinner there and spend the rest of the evening playing in the casino. Brian made dinner reservations for 7:15 pm. This isn’t the first time we had 7:15 dinner reservations by the way. Our reservations at 715 in Lawrence was for the same time when we celebrated there a couple of years ago. That’s still my favorite Valentines celebration because we actually got to celebrate on Valentines Day (dinner was on the eve of Valentines Day, but the celebration continued into the next day).


Neither of us had gotten massages in the last few months and we were both really stressed out so we decided to go ahead and splurge. I scheduled a massage at Serenity for us because it’s Brian’s favorite spa. I kind of felt like I was cheating on Michael (my favorite massage therapist who works at Sveta’s) but I had to go with Serenity because that’s where Brian likes to go and they were running a Valentines special with champagne and Cocoa Dolce truffles. I’d do anything for my Valentine. That includes cheating on my favorite massage therapist. LOL.

[SIDENOTE] My massage was good, but Michael is still the best. [/SIDENOTE]

We arrived at the Casino around 6:30 pm because I wanted to show Brian around and wanted to have enough time to get him a players card. This way we could go straight to playing after dinner. I’m glad we got there early because the place was packed.


Thankfully, not everyone wanted to dine at Woodfire. The restaurant wasn’t very busy and we had excellent service.


Here are a few of the pictures I snapped while we were waiting.




They have over 200 wines on their menu so they give you an iPad to browse the extensive wine list. Wines can be purchased by the glass or by the bottle.


Naturally sparkling wines and champagne are only available by the bottle but there’s a vast selection of white, rosé, red, and dessert wines that you can order by the glass. You can also browse beers and cocktails. Beers were reasonably priced. The signature cocktails were a little expensive for me. Then again, I’m a cheap drinker.


When we were finally seated, it took a while for our server Andrew to come by and check on us because he was waiting on a larger group. He was nice enough to greet us and inform us that he was just going to deliver their coffees and then he would return. That was nice. At least we weren’t wondering who our server would be and where they were. We could see that he was busy and we didn’t mind waiting.


Speaking of waiting, Andrew was completely worth the wait. I’m not sure if any of the other servers are as good, but he was fantastic. He impressed us right off the bat with his attentiveness. He noticed that I had black pants on so he took my cream-colored napkin from the table and replaced it with a black one that he gracefully placed on my lap. He also placed Brian’s napkin on his lap with the same finesse, but he didn’t replace it because Brian was wearing jeans.

I really appreciated the thought because I really hate having white speckles all over my black clothes whenever I’m out to dinner. Light colored napkins tend to do that. Kudos to Andrew for paying attention to the details.


Brian and I started with the crab cakes. They were good. I’d had better, though. This is not to take away from Woodfire. I’ve just been fortunate enough to have tasted some really good crab cakes like the ones I had at Skipper’s Dock in Connecticut. Bonefish and Newport here in town have some good crab cakes also. Also, Wasabi serves some yummy bite sized ones. The ones at Woodfire tasted fresh and were prepared well. Brian even thought they were good and he doesn’t normally like crab cakes.


I finished the crab cakes in no time. What can I say? I love crab cakes. Thankfully Andrew brought out a loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread for us to munch on while we waited for our dinner. They serve the bread with three different spreads. The first spread is whipped butter sprinkled with pink sea salt imported from Hawaii. The one in the middle is orange marmalade. The one at the bottom is the honey truffle butter. Andrew said it was his favorite of the three. I thought it was very good, but the smell and flavor of the truffle oil was almost overpowering. Clearly they did not skimp on it when making the butter spread. Brian preferred the regular butter because he thought the flavor of the honey truffle butter was too strong. I liked having all three options but enjoyed the orange marmalade the best.


We didn’t want to have to carry around a to-go box of leftovers all evening so we decided to play it safe and split a dinner. This is my portion of the half chicken.


Everything is a la carte so we had our choice of sides. I ordered the lobster mac and cheese. Not the best I’d had. Brian thought it had a weird flavor. I thought it was okay. Other than it was little on the cold side, I had no problems with it. However, the seafood mac and cheese they serve at Mike’s Wine Dive is way better. (Sorry, Adam. Just calling it like it is.)


Brian was curious about the “world’s greatest fries” so that’s what he ordered. They were very good but not as good as the truffle fries that the Flying Stove serves. The texture was perfect, but I thought it needed more flavor. Brian thinks I have jacked up taste buds. I would get the fries over the mac and cheese, though.

Brian and I fully intended to try their creme brûlée but were too full at that point. In fact, I was so done that I decided to go to the restroom to brush my teeth before our check came. I didn’t want to be tempted to eat any more fries. I immediately regretted putting my braces back in when he brought out these chocolates with our ticket.


Brian said they were too sweet and didn’t like them. I’m pretty sure I would have liked it. I love, love, love chocolates. I’m thinking he said that mostly to make me feel better. I so love my husband. LOL.

Overall we had a wonderful Valentines dinner. Andrew did a fantastic job of taking care of us. He was attentive, friendly while still being professional, and pleasant. I liked the ambiance of the restaurant. It’s like a quiet retreat from the voice of the casino. The crab cakes and fries were both very good. The chicken was cooked perfectly. The tables were set nicely. I even liked the weight of their silverware.


Woodfire Grille on Urbanspoon

Here’s Brian with the steak knife that’s more like a machete. It’s solid and heavy. It was a little overkill for the chicken but it felt good in your hands. I liked wielding it. Brian behaved himself from then on. LOL.

Other things we noticed were the drawers in the booth partitions. This is where they kept extra napkins, silverware, and other stuff. This way your server doesn’t have to go all the way back to the kitchen to get a replacement fork or extra napkins. Brian and I thought it was a really good idea.

The wooden rolling cart that they used to deliver the entrees is another great idea. In keeping with the heavy silverware, the plates are quite heavy also. Brian and I liked this because it ensures that your server gracefully delivers your meal to your table. They don’t have to balance it on their arms or a flimsy tray.

We made a comment about how the rolling carts were a great idea and Andrew told us they were made of some kind of special wood (I forget what kind, but he did tell us) and cost $2500 each. Fancy. I guess I won’t be getting one anytime soon.

Brian and I managed to keep our dinner cost down by splitting an entree but it’s easy to see, with everything being a la carte, that your bill can quickly get out of hand. I’m glad we saved some money on dinner because the casino (between the high limit slots — it’s one of Jay and Becca’s favorite things to do at the casino — and Let It Ride — it was so busy that we had to wait a long time for a spot to open up) took all the cash that we came with. I think we walked out with only $10 left. I’m glad I didn’t have expectations of making money or it would have been a very disappointing evening. As it was, we had a wonderful time. Then again, I have a wonderful time with my husband no matter where we are. We could be sitting on the couch or laying in bed or riding in the car and we just have a jolly good time together.

Here you go, baby. This song is for you.

Funny Conversations

Brian and I have some funny conversations — in the shower, in the car, around the house, or just hanging out in general. Here’s a few of the funnier ones that I’ve posted on the Flip and Ching page.

BRIAN: Just so you know, as soon as you turn (into a Zombie) I’m putting a bullet to your head.
CHING: What? You wouldn’t want to be a Zombie with me?
BRIAN: Nope.
CHING: So we can get fat together and we can get fit together, but you draw the line at being Zombies?
CHING: Fine. Since I have a gun now too, then the same goes for you.

So we’re no Romeo and Juliet… Apparently, when I turn into a Zombie, I’m on my own. LOL. At least I have a gun now.

This next one happened yesterday morning. We all dream of winning the lottery. Well, when we win the lottery, we’re getting a butler.

So I woke up this morning craving hardboiled eggs for breakfast, but neither of us wanted to get up out of bed to make it. I told Brian that it was times like these that I wish we had a butler. We could just be like, “I want some hardboiled eggs please, and a glass of water.” Then they would come back to the bedroom with our stuff and we wouldn’t have to get up out of bed.

A few minutes after Brian got up to make breakfast, he came back into the bedroom. Upon seeing me still in bed, playing with my phone…

BRIAN: What are you still doing in bed when I’m out there making breakfast? Have I become your Alfred?
CHING: No, I just need to play my “words” first.
BRIAN: Come play it in the kitchen.
CHING: But it’s cold!
BRIAN: Put a robe on. Better yet, go ahead and get ready so you’re not rushin’—
CHING: Who’s Russian? I’m not Russian. I’m Asian!

Brian was about to walk away but turned around, hopped on the bed and gave me a good spanking. After much spanking on his part and giggling and screaming on my part, he paused and looked at his hand for a second.

CHING: Did my buns of steel hurt your hand?
BRIAN: Buns of squish maybe.

I love mornings that start like this. Alfred or no Alfred.

This is what happens when we walk through Von Maur. Therefore, we try to keep trips to the mall to the bare minimum. Twice a year or once every three months is frequent enough. Any more than that and we’d probably have to sell some organs.

CHING: Ooh, I love that purse. (Approaches purse, fondles it, and tries it on.)
BRIAN: It’s Brighton. I can tell from the buckles.
CHING: I’m impressed. (Still wearing purse.)
BRIAN: How much is it?
CHING: (Takes off purse to check the price.) Umm.. $290.
BRIAN: Step away from the purse.

Here’s one that happened right after my thyroid surgery.

BRIAN: You should weigh yourself. You look like you’ve lost weight.

Ching steps on the scale. Scale reads 119.8, almost 5 pounds less than her last weigh in.


And this one..

BRIAN: I miss you.
CHING: I miss you too, baby.
BRIAN: So when do you think you can have sex?
CHING: I can have sex anytime. They didn’t check the “vaginal rest” box.


While watching Person of Interest one night…

CHING: The married couple hired assassins to kill each other?
BRIAN: That sounds like something we would do.
CHING: I wouldn’t do that to you.
BRIAN: You’re right. You’d kill me yourself.

Anyway, be sure to like our Facebook page so you don’t miss out on other funny conversations that I post there because most of them never make it on our blog anymore. Have a fantastic day! Until next time.


I Love Finding Old Stuff

Check out what we found in the lock box the other day!



It’s funny how much we have changed and also stayed the same. I was looking at this and told Brian that we pretty much skipped the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and just fast forwarded to the part where it’s just the two of us. The really fun stuff that we’ve been looking forward to all this time. I think we might be shopping for rocking chairs and slingshots next weekend. LOL.

Finding this makes me wish we had kept all of our other ticket stubs. :(

Check out what else I found! This makes me wish that we’d kept all of our concert stubs and made a shadowbox like this one. Oh, well. At least we have this blog.

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