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Archive for "Things to Do"

Fun Times with Friends

Posted on January 6, 2019 by under Events, Food and Drink, Things to Do.    

Brian and I had a bit of fun over holiday break. We got to hang out with some friends we don’t normally get to hang out with. First was the the annual beer gift exchange at the Smiths, who are always such fabulous hosts.

Here are some pictures from that evening…

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This is a pic of me and Jeff, our friend who sometimes joins us for breakfast and coffee chat. We met him through Twitter over ten years ago.

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This is a pic of me and Cindy, another Twitter friend.

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This is one of the beer gifts (click to watch the video).

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This is Laura, taking her turn (click to watch the video).

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Just a silly Boomerang (click to watch the video).

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Brian is so good at the group selfies. It was a super fun night. And, although I didn’t participate in the beer gift exchange, I did get to sample some beers and found some that I actually enjoyed — much to my surprise.

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The next night we went on a double date with the Dills (above). I had some Illuminations passes from work that I’d been trying to use. The four of us were actually supposed to go to Illuminations a few weeks ago when we went to have dinner with them at the ramen place but it was cold and rainy and none of us felt like going so we ended up enjoying some wine at their place instead. It was a good night to stay indoors.

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It worked out that the four of us were free and we actually had nice weather this night. Except, it seemed everyone in Wichita had the same idea. Botanica was ridiculously packed.

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Still, we got some nice photos courtesy of Jay’s fancy, new Pixel phone. It has a front-facing wide-angle lens that’s perfect for group selfies.

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The was s’mores for the kiddos and child-at-heart.

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Just a goofy pic with the giant bird’s nest.

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After Illuminations we went to dinner at the Hill where Mama Dill met up with us.

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Here are some pictures of dinner…

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A couple of things that we didn’t get pictures of are the chicharrones and the beignets. You know Brian and I cannot go to the Hill without getting chicharrones. They are just so good and so fresh. Anyway, we scarfed them up before I could get a photo. Then, we had beignets for dessert and we also ate those before I could get a photo. Overall we had an amazing time.

To top it off, the Dills picked up our dinner tab, which was so generous and unexpected. Thanks, guys!

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Potwin Place Christmas Lights

Posted on December 23, 2018 by under Things to Do.    

My chance tour of the Christmas light at the Potwin Place Historic District in Topeka is definitely one of the highlights of the year. I didn’t even know what I was getting into until it happened. It was the best surprise ever.

Since several of us were in town last week, one of our coworkers decided to host a Christmas party at his house. I knew that he lived in a Victorian house in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Topeka but I knew nothing of it so I had absolutely no expectations. Even after he updated the meeting (party) invitation to include a picture of his home, warned us about the roundabouts, and encouraged us to drive through the neighborhood to enjoy the lights, I thought nothing of it.

Fast forward to that night. Most of our coworkers went straight to the party from the office but I had an errand to run after work. Misty had me a wild goose chase for this necklace she wanted made of copper from the State Capitol roof and I had to go to the Kansas Historic Society to get it. That is a whole story in and of itself but I digress. Since the place is right by our hotel, I decided to drop off my stuff first. I was the only one coming from the hotel so there was no one to carpool with. I don’t particularly enjoy driving so I decided to order a car. I had a 25% off special on all Lyft rides so I think the ride cost lest than $10 before tip. It was very reasonable. Anyway, this has got to be the most memorable Lyft ride I’ve ever had. (If we don’t count the time that I had a big box of the driver’s donuts on my lap on the way to the office one morning. But that’s also another story.)

The Lyft driver followed the instructions on the GPS (as they all typically do) and we pleasantly chatted on the way to my destination. I casually mentioned what my friend said about the neighborhood Christmas lights. She asked me where I was going and I told her that I think he lives in an area called Potwin. That’s when she perked up and got very excited. Apparently, she is very familiar with the area. She decided to disregard the instructions of the GPS and told me she was going to take me another way so I could enjoy the lights. That’s when I found out that the Potwin Place Historic District Christmas lights displays are a very big deal up there. Potwin Place is a highlight of every Topeka Christmas lights tour.

I wasn’t in a hurry and I’m always down for a good “Easter Egg” (and she didn’t didn’t give the the axe murderer vibe) so I didn’t object. Although, I did tell her that her GPS was probably going to go berserk on us. As long as she was okay with that, I was too. So went for a nice, leisurely drive through the neighborhood with her pointing out some of the houses with the best decorations. Of course, you can’t really breeze through the neighborhood because of all the roundabouts which, I found out later, were installed back in the day to keep the horse carriages from racing through the neighborhood streets. Oh, I forgot to mention that she even tuned her radio to the special radio station as we entered the neighborhood. By the time she delivered me to my friend’s house, she had earned herself a very good tip. That was, by far, the best Uber/Lyft ride experience I’d ever had.

The evening was full of surprises so it didn’t end there. My coworker had actually arranged for his friend (who also lives in the neighborhood) to give us a hay ride to enjoy the lights. While I was very pleased with the tour that the Lyft driver had given me, this was even better. I didn’t have car windows between me and the beautiful lights. The only thing that could have made it better was if we actually had time to tour the lights on foot and walk through the displays.

I’m posting a few pictures below but, I must warn you, these aren’t going to do the Christmas lights display any justice. If you’re up in the Topeka area, I highly recommend taking a tour of the lights yourself. This year’s theme is “International Celebration” and will be up through January 5.

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Click on one of the photos above and follow the trail to Flickr where there are even a few videos. Enjoy!

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Women’s Network Event

Posted on December 16, 2018 by under Date Ideas, Projects, Things to Do.    

I had the opportunity to attend the women’s network holiday event last weekend. Alex organized an outing for us at the Busted Pallet. Coincidentally, it was on the exact same day last year that the same group was at Paint the Towne painting Wichita flags. I haven’t been able to make all of the luncheons this year and so I was very grateful that the holiday outing turned out to be on a week when I’m in town so I can at least participate.

Here are some pictures from that evening…

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When we arrived, they had all of our project materials ready. This is Alex’ blanket ladder.

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This is Bonnie’s Wichita State Shockers porch decor.

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This is Tasha’s “Have a Nice Poop” sign. I saw this option and didn’t think anyone would actually pick it. LOL. Don’t worry. It’s going in her bathroom.

When you book your workshop, you fill out an online form and you’re asked to select a project. They ask this ahead of time so they can have all of your materials (wood, stencils, etc.) ready for you on the day of the workshop.

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Yuvina made a “Love Grows Here” sign.

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Nykole picked “Believe There is Good in the World” which, when you see the finished product, actually contains two messages.

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Shanda painted “The Luckiest.”

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There were no two projects alike. Everyone picked something unique. Some even personalized their projects with their last name. It was really cool.

Not knowing who RSVP’d for the event, it was kind of fun trying to guess which project belonged to whom. As people arrived and found their workstations, it was interesting to learn what each person had picked. There was a story behind each one and you got to learn more about your coworkers. Kudos to Alex! This activity was truly a great pick for a networking event.

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There were a couple of Busted Pallet people there to supervise but we pretty much followed the instructions on this board. One everyone arrived and found their stations, we got to work.

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I was stationed next to Carly, who I hadn’t seen in forever. We used to work together in the contact center many years ago. I saw her every now and then when she moved to our billing group but now she works out of our new operations center so I rarely get to see her anymore. I try to keep up with her on Facebook. She recently returned from celebrating her 40th birthday in Mexico with a bunch of girl friends. It looked like such a fun trip.

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This is Bonnie. She’s recently got promoted to supervisor in the contact center and is graduating from Wichita State (thus, the Shockers sign that she’s painting). She’s having quite a year, too! Congrats, Bonnie!

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Here are some photos of people in deep concentration while working on their projects. Alex, and her big ladder project, had the biggest work space of all.

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Here’s Kati and Kim busy with their projects. Interesting bit of trivia, Kati and I worked together many years ago when she was in the contact center. She was on my team. The contact center is kind of a springboard for people. It’s where most people start their careers before moving on to bigger and better things.

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Here’s Kati reading Carly’s sign. Carly has been hanging on to this saying for a long time. She can finally put it on her wall.

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Here’s Shanda and her friend.

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A picture of Tisha carefully peeling of her stencil.

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Tasha and Ennidh…

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Alex and Yuvina… Yuvina looks so sassy in this pic.

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Here’s Misty. I’m glad she was able to join us.

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I took a selfie of the two of us. Full disclosure, I picked the easiest project of everyone because I wanted to make sure I had time to walk around and take pics. Also, I really wasn’t sure what I would be able to manage in the amount of time we had so I kind of underestimated my capacity. I think I was the first one finished with every step, which gave me plenty of time to go around and take photos.

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Here’s a picture of Misty’s nearly finished project.

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Here’s Alicia and Alex.

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A photo everyone putting the finishing touches on their project.

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It was a pretty good turn out.

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This is Tisha’s nearly finished “HOME” sign. You can see her helping Ennidh in this photo. I think Tisha helped several people with their projects but mos specially Ennidh since they were at the same table.

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This is yet another reason why the Busted Pallet makes for a great team building activity. You get to work on projects together and learn about one another.

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Ennidh’s sign turned out perfect thanks in part to all the work Tisha put in. LOL. I love this sign. It’s funny and sweet.

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Here’s Tasha’s finished “Have a Nice Poop” sign.

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Kati posing with her finished project.

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Kim made a personalized one.

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Alicia made this one for her half-bath that people use when they come in to use the restroom during pool parties.

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Here are the three porch signs that people made, side by side. Their projects were left at the store to be weatherproofed.

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Before you ask to see pictures of my project, I have to say, I had the smallest and least ambitious project of all. I kind of wished I had picked a more challenging and bigger one after the fact but it turned out okay because someone had to take pictures at our event.

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Here are some progress pics…

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And the finished product…

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By the way, I tagged this as a potential date activity because I do think this would make for a fun date. I’m thinking of bringing Brian over for a date night sometime.

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Checking Out a New Cocktail Lounge

Posted on November 5, 2018 by under Things to Do.    

Went to check out a new cocktail lounge downtown with my Leadership Wichita classmates a couple of weeks ago — Vorshay’s Cocktail Lounge.

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The place has a really cool, sophisticated vibe. It’s the kind of place I could see Brian and I hanging out for after dinner cocktails.

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I love the high ceilings and exposed brick walls. It gives the place a lot of character.

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I’m so glad Jessica picked this place when she organized a get together for us.

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Here’s a better picture of our good looking group. From left: Jason Mock, Teresa Veazey, Jessica Dunbar, Michelle Stroot, and Justin Graham.

I can’t believe it has been over four years since our Leadership Wichita class. Most of us continue to keep in touch and we still get together thanks to our amazing “cruise director” Jessica. She’s really the glue that’s kept our class together.

I don’t always make the get togethers because sometimes I’m out of town when they occur but I always try to make as many as I can. I really enjoy catching up with everyone. I love these guys!

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Chance Encounter with the Dills at the Movies

Posted on November 4, 2018 by under Things to Do.    

Since Brian went to see A Star is Born with us, I agreed to go see Venom with him the following weekend. The only caveat is that I didn’t want to give up Zumba that night so we ended up going straight from the gym to watch our movie.

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I looked a little funny going to the movies in my Zumba sweats but but you gotta do what you gotta do. I should have known we were going to run into people. When I look the list presentable is when it always happens. It never fails.

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Regardless, it was great to run into the Dills and their family. Mama Dill and Becca’s parents were with them. They went to see Night School around the same time we were there for Venom.

Brian mentioned that he ran into Mama Dill at concessions but we didn’t think anything of it. We just figured she was out with some friends or on a date or something. We didn’t realize Jay and Becca were there until our movie ended. The boys ran into each other in the men’s restroom. Brian was walking in as Jay was leaving. Our movies just happened to end around the same time.

It was serendipity! It’s always great to see the Dills. We used to spend a lot of time hanging out with them, going to various poker tournaments and stuff back in the day. These days we are all so busy we rarely get to see one another.

These Travel Junkies who are in Mexico right now were recently honored in the Wichita Eagle’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards as the best travel agency in Wichita. It’s been a pretty big year for these two. All of their hard work from years of growing their business is finally paying off. We are truly honored to have them as friends. Congrats, Jay and Becca!

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