And They Say There’s Nothing To Do in Kansas

Looking for something to do? Here are some options:

KEYN Summer Concert Series
Every Friday, July 11 to August 15
Wichita, KS

Kansas Biggest Rodeo
July 31 to August 2
Phillipsburg, KS

Midget Nationals
July 31 to August 2
Belleville, KS

Busker Festival
August 22 to 24
Lawrence, KS

Tumbleweed Festival
August 22 to 24
Garden City, KS

Heritage Day
August 23
Yoder, KS

Little Balkans Days
August 29 to 31
Pittsburg, KS

Did I miss anything? Add your event in the comments.

Starlite Fun with Friends

We had so much fun at the Starlite drive-in last weekend. Brian and I hadn’t seen the movies they were showing and we also hadn’t been to the drive-in in several years. We were glad that Becca came up with the idea to go to the drive-in and invited us.

20140712_200550

Brian and I were running later than usual because we had to stop and pick up some supplies on the way. The Dills were already in line when we got there. We couldn’t have planned it any better because we got in line right behind them.

20140712_202009

Though we ran later than usual, we were still early enough to get some prime spots. We were smack dab in the middle and had perfect view of the screen. Cory and April were running even later so we saved a spot for them. I was amazed that the security people who kept patrolling the rows didn’t chew us out for saving a spot.

20140712_204058

The blue chairs on the left is how we saved the spot for Cory and April.

20140712_204238

Brian and I broke in our new anti-gravity chairs (also sometimes called zero gravity chairs) that night and they worked out great. They were super comfortable and elevated us enough above the tops of cars that I didn’t have any issues. When are lower on the ground the tops of the cars sometimes get in the way. I had no problems at all last Saturday.

If you would like to get your own set of these amazing zero gravity chairs you can get a pair from Amazon by following this link. These chairs fold for portability. They really are the perfect outdoor chairs to tote around to events like the summer jazz concerts, drive-in, camping, etc. After you get these chairs you’ll find yourself going to the drive-in or just plain sitting around outside more. I guarantee it. I’m actually ready for another trip to the drive-in. LOL.

Adventure Boogies

Brian and I went on this dune buggy adventure. They spell them as boogies in Punta Cana. I thought that was funny because boogies here are dried snot hanging from your nostrils. LOL. Their boogies are the kind you ride.

20140609_072740

The excursion was through Wild Tiger.

20140609_091452

This photo was taken before we got really dirty. If you go on a similar excursion we recommend wearing sunglasses (though Brian thought goggles would have been better) and bandanas to keep the debris from getting into your eyes and nose.

IMG_7152

My handsome dune buggy driver. Too bad you can’t see his face.

This is how you get dirty and why you need a bandana.

20140609_110503

Brian tried some freshly rolled tobacco. He said it was delicious. We should have brought more cash so we could have purchased a box of them to bring home.

20140609_110526

We also got to drive to Macao Beach. One of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

Untitled

20140609_095442(0)

20140609_100107

20140609_100051

20140609_100300

20140609_100255

This was taken right before we left Macao Beach. This is of Brian with our hilariously funny tour guide, Chico, who speaks seven languages: Haitian Creole (he is from Haiti), French, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

IMG_7153

La Cueva Taina was a bit of a disappointment. I thought it would be a bigger cave. This one was small and there were way too many people trying to get down there to dive.

IMG_7154

IMG_7155

IMG_7158

Chico expertly maneuvered our group down into the cave past the long lines of people.

IMG_7163

This is a video I took of Brian diving into the dark abyss.

Dune buggies parked by the cave entrance.

IMG_7168

Street vendors set up shop by the cave to entice tourists.

IMG_7169

Here’s a group photo we took at the end of the excursion on our way back to our respective resorts. What a fun group of people!

20140609_123202

Some tips for when you go:

  • Negotiate the price of the excursion. Don’t pay more than $60. I think the web site had the price double that. When you get to your resort, talk to the tours rep. They’ll usually let you know what kinds of deals are available. Brian and I only paid $50 each. Another group we met who came from the Melia Caribe Tropical paid $45 each for the excursion.
  • Don’t wear your best clothes because you will get super dirty. At worst you’ll have to throw the clothes away at the end of the adventure. At best you’ll have to hose yourself off before stepping foot in your hotel room. That’s what we had to do. We’re not just being pansies either. You drive over mangoes and the guts splash all over you. It’s also hard to avoid the cow pies. The wheels kick them up and some may land on you. The mud puddles are the least of your worries.
  • Wear sunglasses and a bandana. The sunglasses will protect your eyes from dust and debris. The bandana will help you breathe while keeping dirt out of mouth. If you did not pack a bandana you can buy one at the adventure site for $5. They sell some souvenir trinkets and stuff, but I bet it’s the bandanas that they make them the most money. If you’re resourceful like Brian and me, you’ll buy some from the resort gift shop for half that. We got two bandanas for the price of one.
  • Bring lots of singles for tipping. You’ll need cash to tip the driver that gets you to and from your resort. You’ll need cash for the tour guide, the tobacco guy, the guy who sells the coffee grounds, the guy with the docile iguana, etc. Just bring lots of cash because you may want to buy stuff from the local shops too. And, if you want to purchase photos and videos, that costs too. The pricing they gave us was $40 for photos, $42 for video, or $60 for both. We didn’t have enough cash but I took enough photos and videos for us.
  • Driving the buggy requires a lot of effort. It’s not a smooth ride and these buggies aren’t in the best shape. There’s only one gear that works — drive. We know park didn’t work because the buggy continued to move forward even when you put it in park. We didn’t get to try reverse but I’m sure that probably didn’t work either.. There’s also a lot of play in the steering. Brian said it took a lot of strength and effort to overcompensate for the play in the steering. Brian said he was sore the next day.
  • Bring snacks, specially if you are hypoglycemic. Your tour guide will have water on hand and that’s included. However, food was not included for us since it’s technically a half-day excursion. Lunch is typically only provided on full-day trips. If you want more than just water, bring your own snacks.

Are You Ready for Hoopla in Doo-Dah?

Are you ready for the Wichita River Festival? It starts tomorrow so I hope you are. Here’s a list of the street closings. This is important information if you work downtown like Brian and I do.

CAPITOL FEDERAL FIREWORKS
Friday, May 30, 2014
Noon to 11:00 p.m.

1. Douglas from Water to Sycamore (Noon to 11 p.m.)
2. 2nd/1st from McLean to Waco (5:30 to 11 p.m.)
3. McLean from 1st to Maple (5:30 to 11 p.m.)
4. N. Civic Center Place between Douglas and 1st (noon to 11 p.m.)
5. Willis Coroon Dr. between Douglas and 1st (noon to 11 p.m.)
6. Waco from Douglas to 1st (5:30 to 11 p.m.)
7. Sycamore from McClean to Douglas (noon to 11 p.m.)

SUNDOWN PARADE
Friday, May 30, 2014

Staging: 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.
1. Main from Central to 11th
2. Elm from Water to Market
3. Pine from Wichita to Market
4. Wichita from Murdock to Central
5. Wichita from Murdock to 8th St. (both ends)
6. Water from Murdock to Elm
7. 8th from Water to Market
8. 9th from Water to Market
9. 10th from Water to Market. Central stays open for cross traffic for as long as practical.
Parade: 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
1. Main from Central to English
2. 2nd from Market to Waco
3. 1st from McLean to Main
4. Waco from Douglas to Central
5. 3rd from Riverview to Market
6. Central from Market to Nims
7. Greenway from Central to Waco
8. Douglas from McLean to Market
9. William from Market ot Main
10. Murdock form Waco to Market
11. Water form Douglas to 3rd

Any traffic exiting the Core Area or to/from the Broadview Hotel, CII personnel and Hyatt Service will access via Doguals from McLean. Northwest portion of 1st and McLean intersection remains open for traffic. WPD ultimately controls the actual times of street closings and openings.

KANSAS HEALTH FOUNDATION RIVER RUN
Saturday, May 31, 2014
4:00 to 11:00 a.m.

1. Lewis Street, McLean Boulevard to Waterman Street
2. Waterman Street, Lewis Street to Washington Avenue
3. Wichita Street, Dewey Street to Lewis Street
4. Water Street, Waterman Street to Main Street
5. Main Street, Lewis Street to English Street
6. Market Street, Lewis Street to Douglas Avenue
7. Broadway Avenue, Lewis Street to First Street
8. Topeka Street, Lewis Street to First Street
9. Emporia Street, Lewis Street to Douglas Avenue
10. St. Francis Street, Waterman Street to Mead Street
11. Commerce Street, Waterman Street to Mead Street
12. Mead Street, Waterman Street to Douglas Avenue
13. Douglas Avenue, Washington Street to Sycamore Street
14. Main Street, First Street to Williams Street
15. Waco Street, Douglas Avenue to Ninth Street
16. First Street/Second Street, McLean Boulevard to Wichita Street
17. Second Street, Wichita Street to Riverview Street
18. Third Street, Wichita Street to Waco Street
19. Central Avenue, Main Street to Greenway Boulevard
20. Murdock Street, Water Street to West Stackman Drive
21. Eight Street, Waco Street to Backbay Boulevard
22. Backbay Boulevard, Eight Street to Ninth Street
23. Ninth Street, Backbay Boulevard to Bitting Street
24. Jefferson Street, Eighth Street to Oak Park Drive
25. Oak Park Drive, Bitting Street to Eleventh Street
26. Bitting Street, Tenth Street to West River Boulevard
27. Forest Street, Oak Park Drive to Eleventh Street
28. Eleventh Street, Oak Park Drive to West River Boulevard
29. Briggs Street, West River Boulevard to Litchfield Street
30. Litchfield Street, West River Boulevard to Faulkner Street
31. Faulkner Street, West River Boulevard to Buffum Street
32. Buffum Street, West River Boulevard to Carter Street
33. Carter Street, West River Boulevard to Riverside Avenue
34. Riverside Avenue, West River Boulevard to Nims Street
35. Nims Street, Franklin Street to West River Boulevard
36. Wiley Street, West River Boulevard to Murdock Street
37. West River Boulevard, Eleventh Street to Murdock Street
38. Stackman Drive, Murdock Avenue to Central Avenue
39. Nims Street, Riverside Park Drive to Central Avenue
40. Spaulding Street, Murdock Avenue to Stackman Drive
41. Gilman Street, Murdock Street to Buffum Street
42. Buffum Street, Stackman Drive to Faulkner Street
43. Faulkner Street, Stackman Drive to Pine Street
44. Pine Street, Stackman Drive to Sim Park Drive
45. Sim Park Drive, Stackman Drive to Central Avenue
46. Central Avenue, Nims Street to Seneca Street
47. Seneca Street, Central Avenue to McLean Boulevard
48. McLean Boulevard, Seneca Street to Taft Street
49. Sycamore Street, McLean Boulevard to Maple Street

KENNEDY PLAZA EVENT AREA
May 27-29, 9:00 to 10:00 p.m.
May 30, 9:00 a.m. to May 31, 1:00 a.m.
June 1, 8:00 a.m. to June 2, 1:00 a.m.
June 2-5, 2:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
June 6, 7:00 a.m. to June 9, noon

1. Douglas between Waco & Water St.
2. N. Civic Center Place between Douglas and 1st
3. Willis Coroon Dr. between Douglas and 1st

WATERWALK EVENT AREA
May 28, 9:00 a.m. to June 10, 11:00 p.m.

1. S Wichita St. between Lewis St. &the Hyatt Driveway
2. S Water St. between W Waterman St. & W Dewey St.
3. Waterwalk Plc/W Lewis St. between S Wichita St. & S Water St.
Wednesday, June 4, noon to midnight
Saturday, June 7, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

1. Lewis St (including Lewis St Bridge) between S McLean Blvd & S Wichita
2. S Wichita St between Lewis St & W. Dewey St.

A SALUTE TO AVIATION
May 31, 10:00 p.m. to June 2, 3:00 a.m.

1. Douglas between Water & Main St.
2. Water between Douglas & First
3. Main St. between Douglas & Williams
4. Main St. between Williams & English
5. Main St. between English & Waterman

TOUCH A TRUCK
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
3:00 p.m. to midnight

1. Waterman (including Lewis St. Bridge) between McClean & Hyatt Driveway
2. Wichita between Waterman & Dewey
3. Water between Waterman & Dewey
4. Lewis St. between Wichita & Water

MARKETPLACE
Saturday, June 7, 2014
5:00 a.m. to midnight

1. Douglas between Water & Main St.
2. Water between Douglas & 1st St.

The big events on opening day are always the Sundown Parade, Twilight Pops Concert, and fireworks. There’s also an opening ceremony at the Keeper of the Plains in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the dedication of this iconic symbol of the city of Wichita. The opening ceremony starts at 11:30 a.m. and only last 15 minutes so you don’t want to be late.

Saturday is the day of the River Run. There’s a 10K, a 2 mile family fun walk, 2 mile and 2 mile wheelchair. There’s also the tot trot, a fun run for kids ages 2 to 7 years. Check your booklet or the web site for the schedule because the events start at different times and locations.

Don’t forget Wichita’s world record attempt at the longest line of bicycles. This event meets at WaterWalk Pavilion at 1:00 p.m. Another thing that dad may find interesting is the RC airplanes flying around all day at Century II. Hot air balloons launch from WaterWalk at 5:30 a.m. and return for a glow in the evening from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.

For sporty and outdoorsy types, there’s softball, dodgeball, tennis, tug of war, jet ski racing, biking tours, canoes & kayaks, and paddle battle kayak races.

Sunday is all about planes. There will be planes on display on Main Street (South of Douglas) from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm; a Wichita aviation display, RC planes, and paper airplane drop at Century II; B-52 simulator; and meet famous aviators (tent behind the Wichita Public Library). Hot air balloons will launch from WaterWalk Pavilion at 6:00 p.m. to celebrate this day of flight.

There’s so much to do! That’s the best part about Wichita River Festival. There’s something for everyone. I wish I didn’t have to work and could participate in all of the activities. Well, maybe not all of them. Perhaps next year I can talk Brian into volunteering for stuff and even doing some sightseeing. People watching at Riverfest is always the biggest spectator event. It even has its own Facebook page. Making a mental note of scheduling vacation during Riverfest week. If I forget, remind me!

Kids Bowl Free All Summer Long

I just found out about this amazing program. I want to sign all my nephews up for it!

Last Call for Donations

Hello, everyone! We are in the final days of collecting donations for Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake and I’m still $101 shy of my goal. I would really like to be able to show up on Saturday having achieved my fundraising goal. Please, please help. Any amount you can spare is greatly appreciated and will make a huge difference in our community. I hope you’ll join me in my efforts to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters and start something for a local child.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

xoxo,
Ching

Certificate of Appreciation

Check it out! They received my donation!

Certificate Of Appreciation

I’m thinking that I’ll just grow my hair out and donate it every five years or so. I have an endless supply of hair so I can just keep producing it and then donate it to Locks of Love whenever it gets long enough that way those who are in need of hair can get use out of it. Yup. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

I Have Short Hair

Untitled

I have short hair for the first time in years!

Untitled

Brian packed up my hair and we’re sending it to Locks of Love. I’m not sure that it’s long enough. Brian says it is. I hope they are able to use it. If not, I suppose it’s the thought that counts. Right?

Untitled

Additional info regarding Locks of Love:

Adventurous Babes Society

After almost a year of being a member, I finally had the opportunity to participate in some Adventurous Babes Society events/adventures. Here are some photos.

1901815_554188301346155_450696576_n

This one was taken at the Death by Chocolate tasting event at Cravings Gluten Free Bakery. Check out more pictures from that event by clicking on the link.

abs

This one was taken after my Zumba class at Andover YMCA. March is “Dance Adventure Month” for the Adventurous Babes Society so I invited the members to try my Zumba class.

10003718_562514770513508_816041668_o

These two photos are from Let’s Dance!

1891533_562514757180176_1579324332_o

It was a lot of fun learning the choreography (line dance routine) for Pharrell’s Happy (from Despicable Me 2). I can’t wait until my next adventure!

Cravings Gluten Free Bakery

When I joined Adventurous Babes Society last year, I had no idea it would actually lead to adventures and meeting cool women. Mostly I joined because I wanted to get one of the cool purple t-shirts (they are very high quality, by the way) and that’s the only way to get one. Actually, my friend Ethel told me about it and I’m impressionable and impulsive and will join anything that sounds like a good idea so I did.

It’s a lot like what happened with Zumba. I became a ZIN member to get discounts on Zumba gear. LOL.

Anyway, I’d been sitting on my membership for months now and hadn’t actually participated on an adventure until recently. Normally, I’m not able to attend events because I’m either at work or working out or teaching Zumba. The other day I happened to see that one of the other ABS members couldn’t make one of the adventures so she was giving up her ticket. It worked out perfect because I was on a brief break from working out because I fell ill (quite suddenly) on Wednesday. And as suddenly as it had come, it was gone. Literally, I had 100 degree fever one day and was back to 97.6 temp within 24 hours. I didn’t want to miss any work though, so I suspect that I just willed myself well. Mind over matter, so to speak.

I wasn’t taking any chances, though. My plan was to lay off working out Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday so I could be well enough to teach my Zumba classes on Saturday. The doctor, who just happened to be checking my ankle on Thursday afternoon, agreed it was a good plan.

I spent a lot of time waiting around in the examination room so that’s when I found out that there was a seat available at the Death by Chocolate preview adventure. Death by Chocolate is an annual fundraising event at the Exploration Place. As with most adventures, I wanted to do this one but I didn’t sign up because I would normally be at Zumba on Thursday night. As luck would have it, the stars aligned. I was off workouts and a seat happened to become available. I found myself at my very first ABS adventure, just like that. This was a great one to start off with too because it didn’t require any physical activity. LOL.

Untitled

Cravings Gluten Free Bakery on Urbanspoon

All we had to do was sample these delicious gluten free confections by Cravings Gluten Free Bakery and provide feedback in preparation for their participation in Death by Chocolate. Such hard work, I know!

Everything you see in the photo above was gluten free. That’s not the amazing part. The amazing part is that everything was delicious! I usually don’t have high expectations for gluten free foods, but you couldn’t tell these creations were gluten free at all. In fact, it was hard for me to pick a favorite because everything tasted great. When we went around to tell the group what we liked best, I picked one of the cake balls with pop rocks because all of the items equally tasted good to me and I’d never had pop rocks before. I was so amused by the sounds they made as I was eating them. Oh, and I picked the white cake balls instead of the dark ones because they made louder popping sounds as I was eating them. I didn’t want to tell everyone that I’d never had pop rocks before, though. I didn’t want them to think I was silly. Everyone has tried pop rocks before. Well, everyone except me it seemed. Until last night, of course.

Anyway, I had a wonderful time tasting some delicious gluten free goodies and meeting some truly amazing women. I can’t believe I waited so long to join an adventure. I’m thinking now that I really need to make time and squeeze more adventures into my busy schedule. My next one is the Let’s Dance adventure on March 9. I am so looking forward to attending!

In the meantime, Death by Chocolate is on March 8. Best of luck to the Cravings team. I hope you guys win!

For more information about the Adventurous Babes Society and to join, simply visit their web site. Use Ching Brubaker as a referral and I get a free baseball cap after three new members! You don’t know what you’re missing out on!

Next Page →