Archive for the year 2017
Posted on February 19, 2017 by Ching under Events, Health, Things to Do.
My friend Andrea talked me into signing up for the Stupid Cupid 2 Mile Run at Sedgwick County Park on February 11. I truly was perfectly satisfied running on the treadmill but Derek and Andrea had both been trying to talk me into signing up for a race. I’d been reluctant because I’m not really fond of running outside. Anyway, when Andrea told me about this one I figured what the heck. It’s only two miles. If I absolutely hate it, then it will be over soon enough.
Anyway, Andrea couldn’t take that Saturday off work so her husband Donavan ended up running in her place. Here’s a picture of the two of us together.
My coworker Joe who has recently started running signed up for the run as well. Above is a picture of him with me and Brian. Brian didn’t run but he was there for moral support and to cheer me on, of course.
Derek and his friend Vicky were also there. I think they signed up for the race months before I even heard about it. Above is a pre-race picture of the five of us. From left: Joe, me, Donavan, Vicky, and Derek.
Derek is a running fanatic. He actually ran eight miles before the race because he’s training for a marathon and wanted to run fatigued. Even so, he still managed to finish first in his age group and fourth overall.
Here are a few more photos of the race. See if you can spot some of us.
Here’s Derek and bowtie guy. They finished back to back.
Here’s Donavan as he approached the finish line.
Here are a couple of pictures of Vicky as she approached the finish line.
Here’s Joe approaching the finish line.
And here’s me.
I didn’t have any specific goals, with it being my first race and all. I was pretty slow, as you can see from my race results below. Joe and I are celebrating anyway because this was a first race for both of us and now we’re no longer race virgins.
Anyway, since I didn’t absolutely hate this experience, I figured that I would give running outside a try so I went on Joe’s 5 AM run the other day. I didn’t hate it either so I may run with him again this week. He’s on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday running schedule. It’s supposed to be rainy on Tuesday so we’ll see.
I’ve been participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ bowling fundraiser on and off for about 15 years. It used to be called Bowl for Kids’ Sake. Now I believe it’s known as Change the Game for Kids’ Sake. Last year, I single-handedly raised $1195 for the campaign. Our team wasn’t the top fundraising team (Jimmy Martinez’ team took that honor) but we were definitely the best dressed. LOL.
Amy invited me to be on her team last year but, since she’s moved out of the Customer Relations Center and Wichita, she isn’t bowling with us this year. Faith, who I bowled with the year before, recruited me to be on her team again this year. Our team consists of Alex Weber, Alicia Grissom, Faith Roach, Mike Blake, and me.
Obviously, I’ve sent my individual fundraising emails already directing people to my fundraising page but we will also be doing fundraising as a team. One of our big fundraising efforts this year is Dance for Kids’ Sake, which is our take on Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake campaign but using Zumba® as the platform for reaching people and getting them involved instead of bowling.
I was actually really overwhelmed with the response when I put feelers out for hosting a Zumbathon® for Big Brothers Big Sisters. All of my ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) friends wanted to help. So we have nine amazing instructors teaching for 90 minutes. It’s going to be such a blast!
Faith secured the venue for us. The Zumbathon® will be held on Saturday, March 25, at the basketball court/gym in our office on Central. Doors will open at 2:30 PM and the dancing will start at 3:00 PM. While participants are waiting for the Zumbathon® to start they can take fun pictures at the photo wall (I ordered a couple of backdrops from Oriental Trading and Faith is going to let us use her photo booth props) and buy tickets for the raffle. We are raffling off some fabulous prizes! I’m super excited just thinking about it.
I’ve been pretty diligent about getting donations for the raffle. We will have lots of Lularoe stuff; a gift certificate for 20 free yoga classes at Satya Moon Yoga; the Alley donated some free bowling; go karts, and laser maze… We will have a fabulous basket full of Zumba swag. We will have passes to various area attractions and maybe even Music Theatre Wichita tickets. There will be a wine basket and a car car basket. It will be off the chain! I hope I’m using the expression correctly. LOL.
If we get half the attendance that they had at the Zumba Love Party at East YMCA, then we will raise lots of money for Big Brothers Big Sisters. I am super excited!
Speaking of the Zumba Love Party, here are some pictures from that event.
The instructors involved were Jonie, Charis, Missy, Jenny, and Aimee. They did such a great job on this member appreciation event including decorating and promoting. The event had a fabulous turnout!
The next member appreciation event is tomorrow at West YMCA. This one is called Step Up & Dance because it consists of Hip Hop Step with Jacqueline and Kristin and Zumba with Jonie and Joel. Sounds like a blast. I’m really bummed to miss it because (a) I have to teach my own Sunday Zumba class, (b) have to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and (c) it’s bowling night.
There are just too many fun things going on. Anyway, if you’re not doing anything, you should check out Step Up & Dance because it’s free for both members and non-members. And, of course, save the date for Dance for Kids’ Sake because not only will we have a great time but we’re also doing something that benefits our community! See you there!
Posted on February 17, 2017 by Ching under Food and Drink.
We got to try a new restaurant a couple of weeks ago. It’s located right next to the Mixx, which is our regular lunch spot on Thursdays. Last year ProteinHouse was under construction whenever we walked by. We walked by it a few weeks ago and it was finally open. The people inside seemed to be enjoying their food.
Michelle got to try it before the rest of us because she stopped there for lunch the day that she had to walk over to the Sprint Center to purchase tickets for a show.
The rest of us (Kelsey, Selena, and I) got to check it out when we had our team lunch a couple of weeks ago. The restaurant tagline is #EATCLEAN #TRAINMEAN #GETLEAN. It’s an interesting concept.
Here’s a picture of the open kitchen where all the “clean” food is made.
Selena had a wrap with a side of sweet potatoes.
Kelsey had a PH burger with no bun and also a side of sweet potatoes.
Michelle had the Southwest veggie burger which she said was really good. I’m supposed to tell Tammie about it.
I had the Aloha burger with no onions and a side of fruit. I took a couple of pictures of this towering monstrosity of a chicken sandwich for good measure.
The food was not bad. The chicken could have used more flavor but I really liked the pineapple. It made the sandwich more interesting. Other than needing more flavor and being tricky to eat, my sandwich was quite enjoyable. Selena and Kelsey said their sweet potatoes were cold but otherwise enjoyed their meals as well.
I thought the menu prices were a bit high for what you got but I guess that’s the price you have to pay for “clean” food. The decor is modern with TVs that are constantly showing body builders and workout people. I don’t know about you, but that makes me not want to eat. LOL. The space inside is small but I think they expect people to be in and out and not linger.
This place is okay but I definitely felt a bit out of place. Being around healthy food has always made me feel kind of awkward. Anyway, the place isn’t bade but definitely not one of my favorites.
This blog is ridiculously behind! Yikes.
Here are some pictures from the Wichita Art Museum’s Winter Opening Party.
We had to get a picture with my friend Teresa Veazey, of course!
We also had to take one with James, aka DJ Carbon.
Brian and I were there for the opening of the Hudson River School Landscapes exhibit, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. I was quite surprised because I’ve never really been drawn to paintings of landscapes but I really liked these, particular the ones painted by artist Asher B. Durand. Brian and I concluded that I never liked them before because I hadn’t seen any good ones until now.
Obligatory party selfie.
After the opening party, Brian and I headed to Paitto Neaopolitan Pizzeria. Lance recommended the place so we took advantage of the opportunity to check it out during our night out on the town. Piatto is a cute, little restaurant next to Hopping Gnome Brewing Company.
I love the wooden menu.
Here’s Brian. You guys are probably tired of this type of photo because I have dozens of pictures of Brian sitting across from me that we’ve taken at various restaurants. I never get tired of pictures of my handsome husband, though.
This is a picture of the bar area where you can sit and eat while watching them make pizza. I’ve made a mental note to ask for a seat at the bar next time.
We weren’t that hungry so we decided to just share a pizza. This is the Manzoni which consists of Berkshire prosciutto, lemon zest, fresh mozzarella, and olio. Don’t ask me what olio is. I know it’s Italian for oil so it must be like an oil sauce. Or it could be just oil. I didn’t ask. I will next time.
For dessert we had the Saltimbocca con Nutella, which is like a Nutella calzone. I would go just for that. I love Nutella!
Posted on February 12, 2017 by Ching under Food and Drink.
I took lots of pictures of the restaurant’s interior because of their interesting decor.
There are actually two affiliated restaurants owned by the same chef sharing the same entrance. This is the Extra Virgin side.
The interesting part about this is that Selena and I got off at the correct Streetcar stop but then we had trouble finding the restaurant because we were looking for a big Extra Virgin sign. The only sign that we saw prominently from where we stood was the giant Michael Smith sign. As it turns out, Michael Smith is the chef/owner of both restaurants.
When we walked inside and saw one restaurant to our left and another to our right, it finally made sense. We were at the right place, we just didn’t know what we were looking for. I was still a little bit confused though, so when we walked up to the host station I had to ask, “Is this Extra Virgin?” To which he replied, “Yes.” And that is pretty much how our first Extra Virgin experience began.
Here’s another picture of the interior. I took this one from where we were seated, which is toward the front of the restaurant, close to the bar area. Not sure what the purpose of this shelf is that is overflowing with books but it looked cool.
Here’s another interior photo that I took from my seat. I think this kind of puts into perspective where were were sitting. We were at a table with four chairs. Selena and I were sitting across from each other and we used the two empty seats next to us to put our respective purses and coats. I know this is a strange detail to add but this will come into play later so I hope you’re paying attention.
You can kind of see a corner of the bar in the upper left part of part of the above picture. Here’s a picture of the bar from where I was sitting. So I had my back to the bar and Selena sat across from me, facing the bar.
This is a picture of the empanadas that Selena ordered. We didn’t order much because the prices were kind of expensive. I think I have gotten spoiled by the cheap food during “happy hour” at Nara, which has quickly become my favorite restaurant along the KC Streetcar route.
I ordered the crab fried rice but I forgot to take a picture before digging in. It looks like a mess because it had a poached egg with a soft yolk.
It looked and tasted better than the photo but it was not what I expected. The rice has a crunchy texture which I’m not used to. I usually associate crunchiness with undercooked rice. Either that or bahaw (old, leftover rice). LOL. Selena liked the crunchy texture, though.
The funny thing is, I enjoyed the empanadas that Selena ordered more than she did and she enjoyed the fried rice that I ordered more than I did.
Since the portions were relatively small, we both agreed that we had room for dessert. We ordered two: chocolate flan (above) and churros (below).
The chocolate flan was very good. The churros were just okay. I like the churros dessert at La Bodega better.
Overall the food was just okay but it was service was great. Our server was attentive but the rest of the staff were too. I know this because something weird happened while we were eating. This drunk guy in his 20s randomly sat down at our table next to Selena and started to make some small talk with her.
I knew he was severely intoxicated so I didn’t want to engage. I looked down at my food and continued eating, avoiding eye contact at all costs. It was kind of awkward but I wanted it to be really obvious that we didn’t know this stranger. I felt really bad because Selena probably thought I was abandoning her. We couldn’t move because the drunk guy was sitting on Selena’s purse. If he wouldn’t have left after being made to feel unwelcome, I would have gotten up to ask the manager for help.
Luckily, they were paying attention. This woman who looked like the manager was watching the whole situation unfold. I suspect that they’d been observing this drunk guy for a while. It looked like she was trying to assess whether or not we knew the man. I suspect she didn’t want to ask him to leave if he was our friend. I was very awkward and stiff and not making eye contact so it should have been pretty obvious. Anyway, she disappeared and moments later reappeared with a man in a chef’s jacket (not Michael Smith but probably the man in charge for the night). She made eye contact with me while mouthing, “Do you know him?” I shook my head, “No.” He must have picked up on this because he said, “Don’t be shaking your fucking head!” He was quite angry and I really thought he was going to throw his drink at me. But, in an instant, the man in the chef’s jacket was at the edge of our table politely asking the drunk guy to leave. Drunk guy was like, “Can I finish my drink first?” I thought, here it comes. I really thought he was going to throw his drink at me but he didn’t. I don’t think he was happy about it, but he obeyed the request and got up and left. I was super grateful that the restaurant staff came to our table and escorted him out. I can deal with my drunk friends, but drunk strangers make me completely uncomfortable.
Anyway, Selena and I lingered at the restaurant for a while. I think that might have been part of the reason she was open to ordering dessert. We usually don’t get dessert. We took our time and I think deep down we were both making sure that he wasn’t waiting for us at the Streetcar stop. I think it was almost an hour after the incident when we finally got up to leave.
That’s the most eventful dinner we’ve had in Kansas City to date. I’m probably not going back there. It’s not the restaurant’s fault. They handled the situation perfectly. However, I thought the food was overpriced for what you got and it was just okay. Nothing spectacular. Also, I’m usually eating by myself and I really don’t want a repeat of that when I’m dining alone.