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Archive for "Travel"

Downtown Eureka Springs

Posted on July 4, 2020 by under Travel.    

While we were in Eureka Springs a couple of weeks ago, Brian and I decided to ride the trolley and check out the downtown area.

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Here are some pictures that we took that day.

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Face coverings are the new norm these days.

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We did take a few mask-less photos too.

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Here’s a panoramic photo of downtown.

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Brian found a fun store that he liked.

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We also found some “shit” at Silly Chile.

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Here’s a couple of pictures of Brian.

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It was fun exploring downtown. We did miss out on Local Flavor, a highly recommended downtown restaurant, because they closed that weekend because of some health issues. We still had a great time overall, though.

That’s all for now. Until next time. GNG.

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Our Little Treehouse

Posted on July 3, 2020 by under Travel.    

Brian and I stayed in one of the cute treehouse cottages in Eureka Springs, Arkansas over Brian’s birthday weekend this year. I went to the Treehouse Cottages website last fall and, after some research, I booked us the Lofty Lookout cottage.

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Here are some pictures of the treehouse cottage we had for the weekend.

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Our treehouse had a lovely walkway that led from where we parked our car to the cottage door. It was a lot better than the other treehouses where you had to climb a bunch of steps. All of the treehouses are identical on the inside but almost all of them have stairs that go up to the treehouse. This was the only cottage with a nice walkway. I definitely picked the best one.

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The deck wrapped almost all the way around the treehouse.

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The treehouse was almost 30 feet above the ground and surrounded by beautiful trees. Inside it was both comfortable and cozy.

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Here’s a picture of the fireplace. We didn’t need it, of course, because it was summertime but I’m thinking we should definitely return in the winter and fire it up. I think it would be amazing to stay in during the winter.

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Here’s a picture of the little kitchen with a small table and two chairs.

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Here’s a picture of our four poster bed, and of Brian enjoying it.

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And here’s a picture of the heart-shaped tub surrounded by windows so you feel like you’re out in nature.

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And a picture of me in it. The soak was relaxing but I think it would be even more awesome in the winter time.

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Brian was a party pooper and didn’t want to get in.

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These next set of pics are of the nearby treehouses.

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This one is the Bungalow treehouse cottage.

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This one is the Whispering Wood treehouse.

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This one is the Towering Pines treehouse.

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The Bungalow treehouse has a sunrise view. Towering Pines and Whispering Wood, like our treehouse, both have a sunset view. I figured Brian wouldn’t be down for being woken up by the bright sun so, besides the nice walkway instead of the tall stairs, the sunset view is one of the selling points of the Lofty Lookout for us.

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Here are some pictures of our nightly visitor, Roscoe the raccoon.

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Roscoe came to raid the bird feeder every night at nine o’clock.

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Our cottage had a guestbook with fun messages from previous guests like this one.

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I left our own note which wasn’t quite as fancy.

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It was so beautiful out on the deck that we had to take a few selfies.

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And I took this great photo of Brian.

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It was the nice we decided to grill out.

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Everything was perfect except for all the bugs. LOL. Brian lit a bug stick but it didn’t phase the bugs one bit. We still got a bunch of bug bites.

Other than the bug bites, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The cottage was lovely and I would totally stay there again. More pics from our weekend in Eureka Springs on the next post. Until then. GNG.

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Angler’s Restaurant in Eureka Springs

Posted on June 28, 2020 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

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Brian and I found a great little restaurant in Eureka Springs while we were there celebrating his birthday there a couple of weeks ago. He liked it so much that we actually ate there twice. Here are some pics.

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While we were there, I discovered a new beer I liked. It’s a grapefruit radler by Stiegl and it’s absolutely refreshing.

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They had stringent rules at the restaurant. You had to wear a mask unless you were eating. Lucky for us, Brian and I came prepared and brought several of our Sofibella masks on the trip with us.

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On our first visit, Brian got a chicken sandwich with French fries while I got a shrimp basket with sweet potato fries.

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Brian liked the chicken sandwich so much that he ordered it again on our second visit. And we both like the fries so we got an entire basket of it to share.

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I got a fish sandwich this time. It was delicious!

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Since we were in a celebratory mood, we decided to get a fried pie for dessert.

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More pictures from our Eureka Springs getaway next post. Until then. GNG.

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Eureka Lake Waterfall

Posted on June 2, 2020 by under Things to Do, Travel.    

Brian and I went to check out this amazing waterfall in Eureka, Kansas last week. Here are some of our photos…

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I went down for a closer look…

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Anyway, Brian and I were yapping in the car on the way there and we totally missed our exit. As a result we had to take the not-so-scenic route through downtown El Dorado. On the bright side, we ended up driving by a couple of notable points of interest: the new El Dorado pickleball courts and Fiesta Mexicana Cantina, the Mexican restaurant that some friends and I ate at a few months ago.

I’d been wanting to take Brian there so that’s where we decided to go for lunch on our way back. It was still a little early but the margaritas were on sale for $3 so, naturally, I had one. LOL.

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Here are some pictures of our food…

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Even though I had to use a creepy outhouse with no toilet paper or running water while we were at the waterfall, it was a great day overall. I’m so glad Brian agreed to go. I can’t wait to find another one. Until then. GNG.

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The Best of 2019

Posted on January 19, 2020 by under Hobbies, Life, Travel.    

This past year has been memorable in different ways than previous years. We started the year by celebrating New Year’s Eve at our house. And, true to our superstition, we spent a lot of time with the Dills last year because we rang in the new year together. We actually traveled with the Dills a couple of times last year.

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Our #VacayWithJayJay crew traveled to Costa Rica for Jay’s 40th birthday and then we had another trip (this time to Mexico) later in the year with the Dills and the Huntees. The Costa Rica trip was in April and the Mexico (Cancun, Riviera Maya) trip was in November. Brian and I try not to take too many trips in the same year but, as work as been a little cray-cray lately, the breaks were actually helpful in keeping me balanced. Plus, even though we went a little overboard on trips (we also spent a weekend in Austin, Texas following one of my work conferences and, of course, my annual pilgrimage to Orlando, Florida for #ZINCON), I considered the Mexico trip as my birthday present this year. I had fun continuing my second 21st birthday celebration with the Dills and Huntees in Mexico. I enjoyed it so much I think, instead of just having a birthday month, I’m going to have a birthday “quarter” every year. LOL.

Just kidding. I know my birthday does not trump Jesus’ birthday in December, which Jay was nice enough to remind me.

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Speaking of birthdays, I really milked it this year. In addition to all of the birthday dinners Brian and I typically have the entire month of October, my friend Matt organized a birthday-slash-Halloween pickleball party at West YMCA. Never in my entire life had I ever thought that I would have a birthday party at the YMCA. Mainly the Y does kids’ birthday parties but I guess adults who are young at heart can have them there too. It might be the most underrated thing at the Y. Granted, you cannot have any alcoholic beverages at the YMCA (duh?) but grown up birthday parties at the Y can be a lot of fun. Specially if you are part of our ever-expanding Wichita pickleball community.

Pickleball really exploded in Wichita last year. I think Chicken N Pickle had a lot to do with it. I didn’t know this at the time but even before CNP, pickleball already had a huge following in Wichita in the senior circles. CNP made it more mainstream and accessible to everyone. And then we got new outdoor courts at Seneca Park and we brought everyone together — new players and veteran pickleball junkies — on Facebook.

The Wichita Pickleball Connection started last year with just a handful of people and today (exactly a year later) were at about 850 members strong. It’s insane! Yes, today is actually the first anniversary of our little Facebook group.

In terms of pickleball, the biggest event to ever happen in Wichita is the Franklin Pickleball Masters. Sure, there were tournaments that happened throughout the year but the Franklin event brought the nation’s top players to Wichita (a few of them live here, actually — at the time, I just new of Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova but we have some up and coming players like Jocelyn Devilliers and Patrick Smith who live here also) and we got to see pros play the game in real life. It was amazing!

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That weekend was HUGE! I ended up hosting Regina Franco (one of the pros playing in the tournament) and her friend Belinda Dettman completely by accident and sheer luck. They even came to the pre-tournament cookout that Matt hosted at Seneca Park. Regina and Belinda were great house guests and Regina became my first ever professional pickleball player friend.

I really enjoyed watching Regina and her women’s doubles partner Sarah Ansboury play at the big tournament. Of course, we cheered for our hometown favorites, Matt and Lucy, but it was fun cheering for Regina and Sarah in the women’s division too.

Lots of things happened with pickleball last year. The event was added to the Wichita Corporate Challenge. At the time, it wasn’t that big at work yet so I got to play in it (being an early adopter) by default with my friend Chris Wilson. We were the only two people who volunteered for the pickleball event. I suspect that will change this year with pickleball being so popular and highly addictive.

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I also played in the Bob Jackson Friendship Tournament, my first “Light Up Edgemoor” event. There’s a big group that’s organized behind raising money to get lights installed at Edgemoor Park where we already have six outdoor pickleball courts thanks to the efforts of Becky Middleton and others. We are trying to raise money for lights for the pickleball courts so that we can play later in the evening in the summer time when the weather is nice.

Besides pickleball the year was also filled with fun parties. We didn’t attend as many as we did in previous years (as I don’t think I’m on that list anymore at work) but at least we had the opportunity to attend some of our faves:

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In addition, we had the opportunity to attend some events we’d never been to before like the Blues & Brews Festival in Andover, the Gatsby Gala (for United Way Young Leaders), and the Crawl for Cancer, which we actually had a dozens of others who participated in the event with us. We had a mega-team of almost 50 people. Anyway, I know the Cancer Crawl has been going on for years because I have coworkers who do it every year but I think the other two events are one offs.

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Uncle Roy also had a fun birthday ping pong tournament that was a ton of fun. He had one a couple of years ago during the holidays but everyone was busy with travels and other life events that there wasn’t one last year. It’s always a blast but my ping pong skills haven’t really improved much so I didn’t advance in the bracket. I’m not so worried about my ping pong game these days, though.

Another fun thing that happened is my friends from Kansas City came down to Wichita for a weekend and actually took my Zumba class. Brian and I had fun hosting them. They even got to meet grandma when we all had brunch together at Carrabba’s on Sunday. That’s one of the most memorable weekends of the year.

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The one thing that sets this year apart from other years is the number of new friends I made, all thanks to pickleball. I usually make a few new friends each year just through my Zumba classes and at the various events we attend, but this year was unlike any other. I made hundreds of new friends through our Facebook group.

Anyway, I always have fun looking back at the wonderful memories from the year. Recalling all of the great things that happened, interesting places we visited, fun parties we had the opportunity to attend, delicious food we got to eat, new friendships, etc. makes me realize how truly blessed I am and for that I am beyond grateful. This exercise really gets me excited for the current year. I can’t wait to document all of this year’s memorable moments and experiences and then to look back on them with you at the end of 2020. Here’s to a wonderful year ahead!

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