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Archive for March 2018

The Wheel Barrel

Posted on March 30, 2018 by under Food and Drink, Reviews.    

Finally got to try the Wheel Barrel.

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My coworker Tom, who lives in there area, has been talking it up for weeks. However, I’m not usually in Topeka and, when I am, I’m usually hitting up the Burger Stand. We carved out some time on this last trip to Topeka for the Wheel Barrel, though. Sarah, Chris, Tom, and I went on Monday night.

Here are some pics.

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Sarah had a half sandwich and soup combo. I can’t remember what kind of sandwich she got, though. I think she might have gotten the “luau” because I remember us talking about how much she loves ghost peppers.

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Tom had a full sandwich and soup. I can’t remember what kind of sandwich he got for the life of me. He also got the tomato bisque soup. I heard their tomato bisque is really good. I’m not really a tomato bisque soup person but Brian loves that stuff. I may have to bring him here.

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Chris and I both got the same thing — the “hangover” grilled cheese sandwich. It consists of smoked gouda, sharp cheddar, bacon, two fried eggs, and sriracha aioli on sweet brioche. It is amazing. This was, hands down, the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had.

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This is the Wheel Barrel’s take on bananas foster. It was the perfect size dessert of the four of us to share.

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So, I have newfound respect for Topeka and a new favorite restaurant. I’m definitely hitting this place again the next time I’m in town. I may even bring reinforcements (i.e. Brian).

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My Zumba-filled Weekend

Posted on March 29, 2018 by under Movies, Zumba.    

Missy took an impromptu trip to Branson with her family last weekend so I got roped into subbing a couple of extra classes. Here are some pictures.

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These were from Missy’s Friday night class at East YMCA.

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Brynden outfitted her friends to match both of us. We were all in our Kingston Yah Wo Mon shirts that night.

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These were the early birds at Amy’s 7:30 AM class also at East YMCA.

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Brian was nice enough to get up early and help me set up. The stage at East is heavy and takes at least two people to move.

After class, I met Brian up at the dealership where we got our cars washed which actually went way faster than usual so we had time to grab a quick bite at Dunkin’ Donuts before my 10:30 AM class. Brian bought a couple of donuts to surprise grandma and then proceeded to kick her butt at Uno after lunch.

The rest of the evening was spent bowling with some of my Zumba girls (Alex, Amanda, and Rose) and then Brian and I finished off the evening by watching Pitch Perfect 3 and Justice League. It was one of the busiest Saturdays (weekends) we’ve had in a good long time!

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Cory’s Birthday Festivities

Posted on March 26, 2018 by under Events, Food and Drink.    

Brian and I normally do not go out on St. Patty’s Day because the bar scene just gets too crazy. This year we agreed to go out and meet the gang in honor of Cory’s birthday. If it hadn’t been for that, we probably wouldn’t have been downtown at all. Although, I was kind of interested in all of the NCAA madness.

Cory’s birthday, which has always been March 17 so it coincides with St. Patty’s Day every year, just happened to fall on a Saturday when the NCAA tournament was in town. This is the first time in over two decades that Wichita has hosted games. The Downtown area was ridiculously busy and buzzing with activities. Thankfully, the city has done a great job with planning and there were plenty of places to park.

The plan was to meet at the Arcade, this place downtown that has old school arcade games and pinball machines. Before that they decided they would meet at Old Chicago for supper. Brian and I are not really too crazy about Old Chicago so we decided to do our own thing for dinner and just meet up with them after.

We used the opportunity to dine at one of my favorite restaurants in Old Town, Public at the Brickyard. This is us, waiting for a table to open up.

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We got there around 6:30-ish and were given a 30-minute estimated wait, which was nothing compared to the 45-minute to an hour wait they were quoting to people with groups of four or more. The KU game was on and everyone was sticking around to finish the game so even though they might have been done eating, they were still drinking and lingering. Thus, no open tables until much later.

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This is Brian with his signature RBF. While I thought the people-watching was quite entertaining (some people had been drinking since at least ten o’clock in the morning and were obviously pretty hammered), he was getting completely annoyed. He’s not great around inebriated people when he’s sober.

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We were seated much sooner than expected (I think they were trying to be conservative so as not to disappoint people — underpromise and overdeliver, right?) but that didn’t do anything to improve Brian’s RBF.

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They put us in the corner, where there was plenty of good people-watching to be had. Unfortunately, what entertains and amuses me sometimes has the opposite effect on Brian who was annoyed by it all.

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Here he is, mid-complaint.

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Here I am, in contrast, enjoying my yummy beverage.

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It’s called the lodi dodi and consists of gin, champagne, strawberries, and honey.

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What saved the evening for Brian is that Public serves Boulevard Brewing’s Irish Red Ale (first one on the list), which is his current favorite beer.

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I really like Public’s food but their Cuban sandwich looked quite puny that evening. I suspect it’s because they had to feed hundreds of people that day already.

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Brian is less adventurous than me and usually orders what’s tried and true. He’s had the Cuban there before and he liked it so he ordered the same thing. I generally try to go for what’s on special because I know I won’t be able to order it any other time so I got the pork belly with a side of black beans and rice.

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And, because I’m a little piglet, I also ordered dessert.

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Mostly because we were killing time until the KU game finished but also because I have no self-control whatsoever.

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After dinner, it was off to the Arcade for games with the rest of the gang. We were the first to arrive and got a few games in before everyone else showed up.

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It wasn’t long before the rest of them showed up and it was at that moment when I realized that we left the card (with a $25 gift certificate to Grove’s) for Cory at the restaurant. Thankfully, when Brian went back for it at the restaurant, the card was still there at the edge of our table. I would have been really upset had it gotten tossed in the trash because I made Brian go out of his way to get the gift certificate. Just kidding. He actually used it as an excuse to stock up on more of one of his favorite local beers, Warbeard from Walnut River in El Dorado.

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Here are a few pictures from our adventures at the Arcade: Becca above and April below.

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Here’s a picture of me with the birthday boy.

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Kristen (foreground) and Cory (background) in deep concentration.

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Selfie with Jay.

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Selfie with the hubs.

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Rune and Kristen shooting things.

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Rune showing off his masterfully-styled outfit.

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Brian with the birthday boy.

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If our friends seem to be dressed more strangely than usual, it’s because April had this crazy idea for everyone to buy secondhand outfits from the thrift store and dress as crazily as possible. Brian, who is always kind of a party pooper, refuses to wear used clothes and wouldn’t make an exception even for Cory’s birthday.

I really, really, really wanted to participate. Anyway, Brian donned his favorite Hawaiian shirt which is old and raggedy so it sort of qualifies. I found a couple of Thred Up things in my closet, so I wore those. We were not nearly as fun and festive as everyone else. The ironic part is that I had on the most “normal-looking” attire out of everyone and I was probably the one who wanted to do the dress up thing the most. This is what I get for having a lame, no fun spouse. Blech.

I suppose it’s all good. We had a ton of fun and we didn’t lose Cory’s card/gift. And I don’t really have to participate in EVERYTHING.

Cheers to another memorable year with great friends!

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What Happened Last Week

Posted on March 25, 2018 by under Events, Home Ownership, Life.    

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I walked over to City Hall last Friday to celebrate my friend Gavin’s retirement from WPD. They showed pictures of him from when he started his career in law enforcement 26 years ago. Many people came to wish Gavin well and the Police Chief said a few words before turning it over to Gavin to address the crowd.

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I didn’t partake of the cake and punch because I wanted to get back to work but I wanted to be there for Gavin on behalf of all of our Leadership Wichita classmates. The walk to and from City Hall and the reception itself was a welcome break from my workday although it was super windy that day and I thought I would be blown away several times.

Incidentally, this was the same day that Wichita State was eliminated from the NCAA tournament. In case you hadn’t noticed, I was sporting my WSU colors that day. I also wore my new Rothy’s flats, which are my new favorite shoes for work. More on them next time because I plan to post a video review.

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Saki and I took a super awesome selfie.

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I think this was on Saturday morning because I look like I just woke up. Speaking of Saturday morning, Brian went outside to take pictures of house for reference for the house painters. We are paining the house next month but we are repainting it the exact same colors so we don’t have to hassle with too many HOA approvals. If you keep the same colors, they tend to leave you alone.

When he was outside, he hollered for me to come out. Apparently, our new lawn service company completed spring cleaning on the yard earlier in the week and we didn’t even notice.

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Here are some pictures of the fabulous work they did.

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They trimmed the fountain grass, removed all the dead and dried up parts of the yucca and these plants that line the path that I can never remember the name of, and put fresh mulch.

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They also cleaned up around the day lilies, which are spreading like crazy. After our coffee chat today, I plan to pull the overgrown day lilies out.

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They did the same thing on the other side. They also pulled the weeds from the side of the house and put down fresh mulch. I don’t know why we kept trying to do this stuff ourselves when other people can do a much better job than we can. Plus, it didn’t take up any of our time at all. It was done just like magic. We didn’t even know when they came to do it.

Brian and I agreed that they must have come during the week but neither of us noticed until Saturday morning. If they did complete the work on Saturday morning, that’s even more impressive because we didn’t hear anything at all.

The company is called Commercial Lawn Management (CLM) and so far we’ve been really happy with their service. I think we may hang on to them. The spring clean up they did usually takes up so much effort on our part, not just in the time to complete the work but also planning, and we always end up putting it off and putting off and then the yard looks like crap all summer long.

We highly recommend CLM. They do all sorts of stuff and offer free estimates so if you need a job done, be sure to contact them.

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SITFH Volunteer Appreciation

Posted on March 20, 2018 by under Events.    

Brian and I attended a volunteer appreciation event for Symphony in the Flint Hills (SITFH) volunteers last month. The event was held at the SITFH office in Cottonwood Falls. It was a good hour-long drive but not a bad one. The main reason I wanted to attend is because the invitation mentioned that we would get to preview this year’s theme. Here are a few pics.

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The obligatory selfie.

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This jolly fellow is Rex Buchanan, author of Roadside Kansas. He had a really interesting presentation about Kansas waterways.

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This was a chance encounter with gubernatorial candidate Laura Kelly. She was at a meeting down the street at Grand Central and just happened to stop by the Symphony in the Flint Hills event.

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They gave all the volunteers these nice notecards depicting images of the Flint Hills. The notecards are almost too pretty to use.

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It was a wonderful event and we met many interesting people. We are both very grateful that we were invited to attend. The event has gotten me really pumped about volunteering for SITFH again this year. The event is going to be at Rosalia Ranch this year, which is the same venue as the 2014 event. I’m super stoked that it’s actually a lot closer to Wichita than it was last year. I’m hoping that Brian and I won’t have to work on the day of the event so we can have a more relaxed time enjoying the Symphony’s performance.

Check back in June and we will tell you all about it! Or, you can head over to the SITFH web site to purchase a ticket and join us!

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