Archive for June 2014
Jenni and Ben were in town visiting this weekend. They spent the night on Thursday night before heading to Kansas City on Friday and spending the night there coming back on Saturday. Since they were in town, they joined us for the monthly poker game at Rune’s. I was worried about taking them to poker for fear that they would be bored. Little did I know, Ben is an avid and skilled poker player. He took third last night. As for me and Brian, let’s just say it was an expensive evening and leave it at that. LOL.
It took us about an hour to get home last night, but that’s a story for another time. Needless to say, we were up too late and had to be up early to meet everyone for brunch. I’m glad I’m a morning person or I would have been cranky about the wait.
Jenni and Ben got there first. They were told there would a 35 minute wait, which is long but not unreasonable. Anyway, we find out later that a group of nine who arrive after us got seated before us while we continued to wait. After waiting almost an hour, we were finally seated. In the mean time, the wait gave me a chance to play Ben a game of checkers. I’m thinking that I might switch to checkers because I’m actually not bad at it. I have a better record at checkers than chess this year.
Brunch was good despite the slow service. Our server was nice. I can’t really blame her for the mix up with the seating. It took a long time for our food to arrive but that could have been the kitchen’s fault. They were probably just busier than usual that day. I didn’t want to let these things affect the rest of my day though, so I chose to be more tolerant about the whole situation. Plus, I was just really grateful for the wonderful company (and free lunch because mom and dad paid – LOL).
After brunch Brian and I took grandma to Kohl’s to pick out a watch. We had promised her one for her birthday but didn’t get a chance to buy it because we had a busy week following our trip. This actually worked out better because then grandma got to pick out the exact one that she wanted.
Overall it has been a great day so far. We had a great time with family, got grandma’s watch, and Brian fixed her computer. Hope the wonderfulness of the day continues tonight at bowling. I’m looking forward to winning some points again tonight so we can start moving up in the rankings.
We had a busy weekend last week. We had the Annual Filipino Ball on Saturday and then hosted breakfast at our house for the Sharons since they were in town. Brian and I got to meet Richard and Amy’s kids for the first time. Misty came over and join us for breakfast also. We had a nice time visiting and catching up.
Immediately after our guests took off I had to take off as well to attend Etaf’s bridal shower. She’s a friend from grad school who I hadn’t seen in years. Thankfully we have Facebook so we can still stay in touch. Anyway, Mary was at the bridal shower as well. It was great seeing both of them.
Etaf’s bridal shower was super fun. I normally don’t like playing games but the games her sister came up with were great. I wish I could have stayed for the opening of presents except I had to drive back to Wichita for bowling league night with Brian and my folks.
We actually had a great night last Sunday. We didn’t bowl particularly well but the opposing team was having an off night so we won all four points. It’s the first week that we actually won. We tied our opponents on the first night and have been on a losing streak since. It was so refreshing to finally win. I can’t wait to bowl again next week and win four more points. Woot!
The Filipino Ball is a celebration of milestones — debutantes, wedding anniversaries, achievements — in the Filipino community. It’s a chance for us to relive prom night in that we get to wear our fanciest clothes. Women are in beautiful gowns and men are in colorful and stylish barongs. It’s a pretty formal event so you can be as fancy as you want to be. Brian opted to wear his tux this year. Yeah, we’re still trying to get our money’s worth. LOL.
These are some of my favorite photos from last night. Huge thanks to Jennifer Cannady for taking the photo above. I’ve put on some weight in the last couple of years and actually don’t look too bad in this photo. LOL. Brian, my very own James Bond, looks amazing as always.
If you recognize my dress it’s because I recycled it. It’s the same dress that I wore to the American Heart Association benefit earlier this year. I would have preferred to have worn a new dress but life has been hectic and I didn’t have time to shop. Rather than stress about it, I figured I’d just wear one of the ones I already had hanging in the closet. I wore new jewelry to freshen it up a bit. This is the Kahlo line. If you’d like to see it up close or want to schedule a trunk show, contact me.
Obligatory selfie… because we have to take at least one of the two of us.
The Filipino Ball is the one time a year that we get to see people who we don’t normally see on a regular basis. Kids babies and children grow up to be adults almost overnight it seems. It’s like one year they were children and the next they’re hosting the event. Yes, I’m talking about Jenna. She was a baby when Brian and I first started attending the gala and now she’s a grown woman. Amazing. Brian and I still feel pretty youthful but this is the one event that’s guaranteed to make you feel old. Before the evening is even over I always end up wondering, “Are we really that old?”
We must be because I actually enjoy the event now and I didn’t used to. In my youth I used to dread having to attend. “Do I really have to?” This was one of those parties that was forced upon you by your parents. I don’t know how the other kids felt or how the kids today feel. It was not a fun party for me. It wasn’t really that much fun watching old people drink and make fools of themselves on the dance floor. Now I’m one of those old people. It’s awesome how time can change your perspective.
It used to that you couldn’t pay me to attend now and I’m actually paying to go. If you told me years ago that this would happen, I never would have believed you. LOL.
The Filipino Ball has become one of those events that I actually look forward to attending each year. I love watching the kids grow up and watching families expand as they welcome new family members. As long as I can look youngish and have my handsome James Bond by my side, I really don’t mind feeling old for a night.
Posted on June 20, 2014 by Ching under Family, Food and Drink.
We celebrated grandma’s 92nd birthday at Firebirds last night. It was also a late birthday dinner for Brian and late Father’s Day celebration. We didn’t have time to figure out what to do for gifts for everyone so we just decided to buy everyone dinner. It was a little lazy on our part, I know; but what can you do when you’ve just gotten back from traveling and you have to get on with everyday life real quick? I was back to my day job and teaching my Zumba classes right off the bat.
Without further ado, here are some of the pictures from last night.
Mom and dad were able to join us so that was great.
Brian got a card that makes noise and some cash for his birthday from his mom and dad. He is so easily amused.
Mom really thought this was a half portion.
Brian got ribs. He said they were very good.
Grandma got pasta.
Dad got a wood grilled salmon.
Kevin got a cheeseburger.
I had a Fireside BLT with grilled salmon.
Donna got meatloaf.
David got a steak filet and fries.
We all shared a couple of slices of the banana cream pie.
Grandma got a nice card from the Firebirds staff.
We had to take a selfie!
Here’s a photo of the Brubakers outside the restaurant after dinner.
Food at the restaurant was actually better than I remembered. I have always liked their bread because it reminds me of pan de sal. The servers brought us several loaves well before we could even finish one.
I’m not sure about the others but my food was pretty good. The last time I had salmon at Firebirds it was a little overdone. It seemed that way anyhow. I thought I would give them another chance and get salmon again. This time to just add to my salad. The salmon was done absolutely perfectly. It didn’t dry up so that was great.
Our server recommended their seasonal dessert, a banana cream pie on steroids. We shared two slices of the pie. It was delicious. I hope Brian learns how to make it because I would love to have some again. LOL.
Jocelyn worked on both Brian and me. She’s one of the friendliest and most enthusiastic massage therapists we have ever met. Super nice and friendly. I highly recommend requesting her if getting massage services at the spa.
Our poolside massage was complimentary for booking the club premium package. We thought it was a really good deal. But it’s only a good deal if you take advantage of all the perks such as the free poolside massages, unlimited wifi for multiple devices (that is, if you want to stay connected), room service etc.
I have read reviews online from people who say that it’s not worth paying the extra for club premium but Brian and I really found it worthwhile. Club premium guests get the best rooms on the property. From a couple of people who absolutely loved the room that we were given, we think that alone was worth the difference in price.
The club premium lounge isn’t really anything spectacular but it’s less busy than the regular client services desk. The ladies are all very friendly and helpful also. You wouldn’t think that you’d need that much assistance throughout your stay but you’ll have to make dinner reservations and club premium guests supposedly get priority.
You also have access to a couple of restaurants that are not available to other guests unless they pay extra. And, you have access to the hydrotherapy section of the spa throughout your stay.
Speaking of spas, the facilities at Barceló are top of the line.
Check out this amazing relaxation room where you get to hang out before, after, and between treatments.
The spa has several treatment rooms just like these.
We’ve been to many and few can compare to their treatment rooms. Almost every room had a private pool.
They also had outdoor massage beds. The downside is that these are right by the main pool at Palace Deluxe so it’s not really the most peaceful or quiet place to get a massage despite the privacy fence. You can still hear people (and their kids) yelling and screaming in the background.
The spa is connected to an amazing fitness facility that rivals the best gyms in Wichita. Plus, you can’t beat the view.
The walls are glass so you can enjoy the view outside as you workout, which also allows lots of natural light into the workout areas. Imagine doing yoga in this studio.
The health and wellness facilities at Barceló are amazing. If I had one complaint it’s that it’s at the Palace Deluxe so you have to either walk a long ways or take the Barceló train to get there. And, Palace Deluxe always seems so crowded which can be a turn off if you want to relax. Once you are inside the spa, the noise dies down except if you’re outside in one of the private pools or in the outdoor massage area. That would be my one complaint about the spa/fitness center.
Other than that it’s a fantastic resort amenity that is not to be missed. You’ll have to check it out at least once during your stay.