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Archive for "Things to Do"

Prairie Fire Marathon

Posted on October 14, 2017 by under Events, Things to Do.    

After a late night of partying at Haus of Brews, Brian and I decided to get up super duper early the next day to support some friends who were running in the Prairie Fire Marathon. #PFM has been going on for years but we’d never really had any interest in being part of the mob before.

This year was an extra special one, however, because our friend Jimbo was in town over the weekend to run in the marathon AND also sing the national anthem.

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Here’s us at around 7 am, waiting for the event to start. I still can’t believe I managed to talk Brian into going. If we we look rough, it’s because we didn’t go to bed until 1 am that morning. It took that long to unwind after Haus of Brews.

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We got there early and found a good spot. We also found Jimbo.

We realized later that the reason we got a good spot that morning is that very few spectators actually show up for the start of the race. Most people just show up to watch their friends and family finish.

Not us, though. We were committed. We wanted to see Jimbo sing the national anthem so we got there early and found the perfect spot.

Here he is singing the national anthem.

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Here are some pictures of the runners as they waited for the race to begin.

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The race started shortly after. As you can see from the pics above and the video below, there were hundreds of runners participating in the event.

The sea of runners continued for several minutes.

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Brian’s reward for getting up early was supposed to be a big breakfast at Doo-Dah Diner but, when we got there, we found out that they wouldn’t open until 8 am. So we snapped this photo and then decided to go elsewhere for breakfast.

My friend Derek recommended the app RaceJoy so we were able to track the progress of the runners we knew. We decided to make our way back to #PFM around 9 am to watch and cheer as the half marathon runners crossed the finish line. It was about half past 9 by the time we made it back to our spot near the finish line. Derek had already finished. However, we did manage to find him and get a couple of photos of him and his fancy medals.

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He got a #Back2Back medal in addition to his finisher medal since he also ran the #PFM earlier this year in Spring.

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As we waited for Jimbo to reach the finish line, we saw several people we knew complete their respective races. Tammie, Alicia, and Angi all ran the half marathon. Francie, a friend and fellow Zumba instructor, ran the full marathon. The husband of one of my friends from high school also ran the full marathon.

It was quite inspiring to watch runners from such diverse backgrounds cross the finish line. There were young people. There were old people. They came in various shapes and sizes. And they all crossed the finish line. It was amazing.

There were at least two couples that we watched cross the finish line holding hands. It was adorable. I told Brian, “That could be us, except you don’t run.” LOL.

Here’s a video of Jimbo crossing the finish line.

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His parents were there to watch him finish the race as well. We caught up with them afterwards. This was Jimbo’s 50th marathon and you could tell they were very proud of him and all that he has accomplished.

We didn’t linger too long downtown because I still had to teach my Zumba class. Mostly we wanted to be there to cheer Jimbo on and also watch some other friends finish. It was a beautiful day to be out and about but we were both ready to go once all the people we knew had crossed the finish line. We’d been standing out there for several hours already after all.

P.S. KWCH featured our friend Jimbo in their race coverage that evening. You can read about it here. So glad we could there to witness his 50th marathon and watch him sing the national anthem at the start of the race.

Congrats, Jimbo!

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Sunflower Hunting on Labor Day Weekend

Posted on September 12, 2017 by under Things to Do, Travel.    

I managed to talk Brian into taking me to visit a couple of sunflower fields over Labor Day weekend. The first one was close to Wheat State Wine Company in Winfield, which we were planning to visit for the Moreland & Arbuckle concert on Saturday night. Our friend Joe recommended it so I talked Brian into making a detour on the way to the show.

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Here are some of my favorite pictures from that adventure.

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Lots of people turned out for the Moreland & Arbuckle concert, the finale of the winery’s Uncork the Music Concert Series.

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This was the best attendance we had ever seen at this event since we started going.

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It was the perfect weather for an outdoor concert.

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The other sunflower farm we visited was Grinter Farms in Lawrence. This is probably the most popular sunflower patch in the area. The field is vast and goes on forever. Here are some of our favorite pics from there.

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I’d never been up close and personal with a field of sunflowers before now. It’s pretty amazing. I highly recommend doing it next summer.

The sunflowers usually peak in late August. I would go before the Labor Day weekend because then the sunflower patches will probably be less crowded. I also recommend going either early in the morning around sunrise or late in the afternoon, right before sunset, for the best light for photos.

You can visit Mickey Shannon’s travel blog for a list of some of the best sunflower fields in the area. Have fun and happy sunflower hunting!

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Have You Tried BOGAFIT Yet?

Posted on August 28, 2017 by under Health, Things to Do.    

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Brian and I got to try BOGAFIT for the first time last week and neither of us fell in the water! Granted, I played it pretty conservatively. I didn’t do any jumping jacks or squat jacks on the board. Actually, I kept my feet firmly planted for the most part. Balancing on the board takes a bit of getting used to and I suspect I won’t be doing any crazy moves for a while.

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Unfortunately, BOGAFIT isn’t included in your YMCA membership and requires a $35 monthly fee. However, they’ve got some free demos coming up at the Downtown YMCA. If you’ve been wanting to try it, this is your chance.

It is a fantastic workout and I’m actually considering signing up. I just need to check the schedule to make sure that it’s offered at a time that we can consistently make since you do have to pay for it. I don’t want to sign up and then have to miss.

If you have tried BOGAFIT before, let us know how long you’ve been doing it and what you think of the class/workout in the comments below.

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2017 Wichita Corporate Challenge

Posted on August 22, 2017 by under Community, Things to Do.    

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from this year’s Wichita Corporate Challenge.

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This is our second year participating in the Wichita Corporate Challenge. We took third place in our division yet again this year, behind Cargill (second place), and Koch (first place and overall winner). Last year we were only half a point from second place but Cargill brought their A-game this year. It wasn’t close. We had a ton of fun competing though; and we learn and grow every year.

You can view all of the results on the Wichita Corporate Challenge web site but here’s a summary of our best events.

Events that we earned Gold:
Golf
5k Bike – Women
Table Tennis

Events that we earned Silver:
Briefcase Shuttle
Tug of War
Tennis

Events that we earned Bronze:
5k Run – Women 31-45
100m Dash – Women 45+
3 on 3 Basketball – Women
Volleyball
Softball

Anyway, you can draw a few conclusions based on these results. The one I immediately jumped to is that our female employees kick major butt!

Also, it should come as no surprise that Isaac medaled in all of his events. His teams earned Gold for Golf (he played with Dante, Sherii, and Kelly) and Table Tennis (he played doubles with Amy), and Silver for Tennis (he played doubles with Lindsay). He is both athletic and super competitive, which is great for our team.

I suggested that he play in every single event next year. LOL.

I’m pretty competitive but lacking in talent so I’m not much help. I do love participating though, so I always just volunteer to compete in any events that need participants whenever I can. I’m just grateful to be included. I hope they let me play again next year.

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Chocolate Kingdom

Posted on August 11, 2017 by under Things to Do, Travel.    

Since Brian and I arrived in Orlando a day earlier than usual, we decided to do some exploring. We found this place called Chocolate Kingdom conveniently located across from the Orange County Convention Center. Anyway, we’ve been coming to #ZINCON for several years and we didn’t even know this place existed. I suppose this is because (a) we’ve never really had that much time to spend exploring and (b) it’s kind of tucked behind the Walgreens, which we have never, ever ventured beyond.

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Apparently, Sarah was familiar with the place because it’s right across from the Red Roof Inn where she and her convention roomies usually stay but the running joke is, because the of the business’ nondescript fa├žade, it’s some kind of front for some sketchy operation. Yeah, we probably watch too many movies. Jokes aside, they do kind of need to work on their storefront more than a smidge.

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The business looks pretty legit once you’re inside. It’s just the outside that looks sketchy. LOL. Besides taking a tour, you can also purchase various truffles. They have lots of different kinds to choose from.

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A tour had just started when we got there but they were nice enough to let us join the one that was in progress. They next one wouldn’t have been for another hour or so. Honestly, I’m not sure we would have gone through with the tour had we not be able to do it right then and there.

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Our tour guide told us that we hadn’t really missed anything, just a little cartoon where the prince talks about the chocolate shoes and all of that.

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The tour, which talks about how you end up with a chocolate bar from a cacao bean, is definitely geared for children. They have little cartoon videos they play at each point of the tour.

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Here are a few pictures of our tour guide.

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The interactive parts of the tour included shooting marshmallows into the dragon, eating a candy-coated cacao bean, drinking a weird chocolate concoction similar to how it would have been served in the early days when chocolate was first discovered, and sampling some chocolates as we went.

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Some of the other things we tasted were a bit iffy but I was definitely not averse to sampling the processed chocolate.

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We got to taste some dark, milk, and white chocolate shoes.

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This is one of the old school tools that they use to process the chocolate and turn it into something delicious for us all to enjoy.

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Incidentally, chocolate – whether white, milk, or dark – has some pretty basic ingredients. You can see them listed in the photo above. High quality chocolate doesn’t require much. Unfortunately, chocolate makers these days add a bunch of other fillers. So, remember, the fewer ingredients the better.

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At the end of the tour, you can purchase one of these delicious candy bars that they make right before your eyes. You can also customize them to add your favorite mix-ins. Brian and I didn’t buy any though, because we were pretty much eating chocolate (various forms of it) throughout the factory tour.

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That’s pretty much the story of our Chocolate Kingdom tour. Before I sign off though, I’m leaving you with this: here are top ten reasons to feel great about eating chocolate. Enjoy!

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