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Archive for "Things to Do"

Kansas City Restaurant Week

Posted on February 6, 2018 by under Food and Drink, Things to Do.    

Restaurant Week in Kansas City is HUGE! The event even has its own web site. This year it started on January 12 and continued through January 12 so you actually had two full weekends of dining out. I had no idea until I was invited by coworkers to join them in their Restaurant Week dining adventures.

The best things about Restaurant Week are (a) you get to enjoy a great meal at a bargain ($15 for lunch or $33 for dinner) and (b) you get to support great causes because they usually donate proceeds to some nonprofit organizations. I got to try some restaurants I wouldn’t normally dine at that week.

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My first Restaurant Week stop was Bristol. I’ve only eaten there a couple of times before because it’s so expensive. I remember eating there with Selena last year and, despite sharing an entrée, our bill still reached $100. They offered a heck of a deal for Restaurant Week, though — $15 for a three-course lunch.

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They actually had lobster bisque on the lunch menu, which is quite a deal, considering that lobster bisque usually costs at least $15 by itself at most restaurants. The presentation is super cool. I had to capture it on video.

Several of us, myself included, ordered lobster bisque. Someone got a Caesar salad, which looked pretty good too.

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Here’s the various entrees we got.

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Guess which one was mine? Yup, I had the salmon. Several of us got that one.

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This is another lobster bisque picture but this one is from Eddie V’s Prime Seafood. I liked the flavor and presentation of the lobster bisque at Bristol better but at Eddie V’s they practically give you an entire lobster. They include big chunks of lobster instead of just tiny little pieces.

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This is Lesa’s surf and turf dinner with three huge shrimp.

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They do family style sides. My steak didn’t look like much but it was delicious.

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The bananas foster finale was nothing short of spectacular.

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Check it out!

Lesa had a refreshing sorbet.

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Here’s the Eddie V’s menu card.

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There are so many delicious dishes to choose from. I can’t wait to return to the restaurant and try something new!

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Gram & Dun was another one of our Restaurant Week stops.

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My salad (below) was delicious!

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This is Denise’s shrimp and grits.

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I had the barbecue mac and cheese, which Julie highly recommended.

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We finished things off with the Gram & Dun bar.

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Our meal was pretty fab! Actually, all of our meals that week were very good. Denise joked that she probably gained more weight during Restaurant Week than she had the entire holiday season. She’s probably right. I skipped Monday night because it was too cold but she still went to Lydia’s.

That’s one of the reasons I came to the conclusion that Restaurant Week in Kansas City is a big deal. Despite the cold temperature and yucky weather that week, all the restaurants were packed. You could hardly get your reservation in on Open Table because all of the good restaurants were completely booked.

We figured there would be plenty of no shows too due to weather. No such luck. People made reservations and actually stuck to them. That’s how HUGE Restaurant Week is here. I’ll have to remember it for next year.

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Wichita Flag Painting Do-Over

Posted on January 21, 2018 by under Things to Do.    

Brian and I went to paint Wichita Flags at Paint the Towne the day after Christmas. I asked him to do it with me for a couple of reasons. First, because it’s super fun and, secondly, I wanted a do-over as I didn’t like how my painting turned out. He is far more artistic than I am so I figured he would be able to create us a masterpiece that we would be able to proudly display at home.

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Here are pictures from our painting activity.

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This guy always looks so serious no matter what he’s doing.

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This is the painting that we did when I went with the Westar Women’s Network ladies. However, they had the “Wichita” stencils this time so we got to paint this other version instead.

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Here’s Brian’s work in progress.

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Brian kept his pretty clean. I always hate how mine turn out.

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Here we are with our finished paintings.

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Both of mine are on display (hidden) in the basement — one in each bedroom down there. Brian’s masterpiece is on display upstairs, in the hallway that leads to our master bedroom. His work looks amazing so I don’t mind having it upstairs where people can see and enjoy it.

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White Elephant and Sneaky Santa

Posted on January 8, 2018 by under Things to Do.    

I got to participate in several White Elephant (or, as Missy calls it, Sneaky Santa) gift exchanges this holiday season with one more coming up this Friday because my work (CRC) one had to be postponed until more people could attend.

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The Smiths hosted a beer-themed White Elephant gift exchange at their home. Brian and I missed it last year so we were happy to be able to attend this time.

Chad posted the most hilarious instructions on the event page. See below.

Official Beer Gift Exchange Rules

Guests are welcome, but anyone wanting to participate must bring a beer gift. All guests must be of age.

All beer gifts must be wrapped. If possible, please chill your gift before the exchange.

Upon arrival, beer gifts will be placed under our festive holiday tree and you will be given a number from our festive holiday hat. Festive holiday sweaters are encouraged.

Anyone who wants to participate, but cannot attend can drop off their beer gift before the exchange and FaceTime/Hangout/Skype their selection.

Beer gifts can be stolen twice during the exchange. You are welcome to trade bottles afterwards.

Mass produced light beers are strictly prohibited. Anyone caught gifting one will be forced to leave with their poor choice of beverage. (We will review security footage if necessary.)

Brian brought his favorite beer for the gift exchange, which Jeff ended up getting.

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My team had our holiday luncheon in Topeka where we played the “ball of plastic wrap” game and had a White Elephant gift exchange. The funniest part about this is that I attended a meeting in Topeka on Monday and left my gift on Kelsey’s desk for safe keeping. I told her that I didn’t want to lug the present to my hotel room in Kansas City (or leave it in the car and tempt people) only to bring it back on Thursday. Well, she must not have been paying attention because she accidentally unwrapped it later that day. LOL.

She repackaged it for me but I guess at least one other person on our team saw her unwrap it so my White Elephant gift wasn’t as much of a surprise.

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I did get this nifty wall décor at the luncheon that Brian helped me hang. I immediately wanted it when I saw it because both of our cork catchers were getting quite full. This worked out perfect!

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Missy had a Sneaky Santa (that’s what she calls White Elephant gift exchanges) at the end of her Christmas Eve class. I got a Bath and Body Works, warm vanilla sugar shower gel from that one.

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We also had one at our house during the Zumba World Party Party. I made the price range $5-10 for this one so no one brought a toilet seat and plunger this time.

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Oh, I was a jerk who didn’t want to mess with drawing numbers so I made everyone go by age — oldest first. Some people, who do not like to reveal their ages, were not too thrilled about that one. LOL.

I love White Elephant gift exchanges. It’s definitely one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. I can’t wait until we have the CRC one this Friday.

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Women’s Group Paining Night

Posted on January 2, 2018 by under Things to Do.    

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Speaking of Paint the Towne, our women’s group at work had a Wichita flag painting night recently. Kelsey just happened to be in town for the evening and was able to join us.

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Here are a few pictures of our fun group.

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Getting ready to paint…

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In progress works of art…

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Another fun selfie…

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Group photo…

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Happy New Year, everyone!

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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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