Food Trucks at the Fountain

If you’ve ever wondered what Food Trucks at the Fountain is like, click on the photo below. I took a ton of pics last month. Mainly I was looking for Kamayan Truck. They weren’t at their usual spot so Brian and I walked all over looking for them. I figured if I was going to look at every single truck, I might as well take photos of them also.

Food Trucks at the Fountain

Over 30 trucks participated last month, including a couple of booze trucks, but no Kamayan Truck. I found out later that they had truck issues and that’s why they were absent. Brian and I used the opportunity to sample the other offerings.

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Predictably Brian got pizza. I got the grilled cheese plus hamburger patty from BS Sandwich Press. I got the idea from someone we met at the YPW Mingle last month. It wasn’t actually on the menu but they were happy to make it so then that’s what I ordered the next chance I got.

There should be another Food Trucks at the Fountain event coming up toward the end of the month. I recommend checking it out if you’ve never been. In the meantime, Riverfest starts tomorrow. I hope you guys got your buttons!

The Muse

Muse (Inside Wichita Art Museum) Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

When we were at the Wichita Art Museum for the Summer Opening Party, Brian and I had dinner at the Muse Café. It was a real treat because they’re normally only open for lunch. Now that Brian no longer works downtown, we wouldn’t ever have the occasion to have lunch there unless we were both off in which case we probably wouldn’t be downtown. LOL.

I’d eaten there before but it had been a few years. Brian said he’d never been there until that night. I’m pretty sure he has, though. Anyway, if you’re looking for a nice, quiet place to have lunch that serves good food, this is the place.

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The restaurant also boasts a fantastic view of the Paula and Barry Downing Amphitheater and the Arkansas River beyond.

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I was trying to get the art garden in the background of this selfie but I failed miserably.

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The art garden is awesome. If you haven’t been, you should definitely go check it out. Confluence did a fabulous job. One of the ways you can enjoy the beautiful, new grounds is by participating in “Yoga on the Lawn” held on the second Saturday of every month from May through October. There’s lots of other events that take advantage of the art garden but I digress… Back to the Muse.

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We had light fare that night so I only have a couple of food pics. I had the shrimp tapa which had excellent flavor. Brian had the cheese and fruit tray.

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I still like the cheese board that we got at the Ivy in Hell’s Kitchen. That’s in New York in case you were wondering.

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Anyway, we really enjoyed our dining experience. I wish the cafe was open for dinner also. It would be a great place for a nice, romantic dinner. After dinner you could take a stroll through the art garden and maybe get proposed to.

Oh, yeah. We are already married. If I weren’t though, and I were to propose to someone, that’s definitely how I would do it. You have to time it just right though, because the Muse Café is only open for dinner on special occasions such as the Summer Opening Party. It’ll be worth all of the planning. You could even have the wedding there. I think it would be really cool to be married where the proposal happened. Do over!

Summer Opening Party

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Now that we are part of WAM Contemporaries, Brian and I are on the Wichita Art Museum’s mailing list and get invites to fun events like the opening of new exhibits. One of the events we recently had the opportunity to attend was the Summer Opening Party where we got to preview the Chihuly Drawings art exhibit.

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Dale Chihuly is an American glass sculptor famed for his magnificent glass installations. The Wichita Art Museum has always had two of his glass installations on permanent display: the iconic Confetti Chandelier in the S. Jim and Darla Farha Great Hall and the Persian Seaform Bridge. Through September 11, the museum will be showcasing his drawings as well. The Chihuly Drawings exhibition includes drawings from across the his career — with work in pencil, charcoal, and acrylic — and is quite a collection.

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The exhibition’s opening night had a great turnout. We even ran into our friend Cindy. Of course, my friend Teresa was there. As the PR Manager for the Wichita Art Museum, she’s kind of a big deal and is at all of these events.

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Speaking of big deal, Brian actually felt pretty special at this event. As we were walking up to the door he was like, “Do we have tickets for this?” I told him, “No. I RSVP’d so we should be on the list.”

When we got up to the check in desk, one of the Wichita Art Museum folks asks for our name which we readily gave but, before she could even look, Kourtney was like, “I remember seeing your names on the list. You are good to head on up.”

Brian was shocked. “They know who we are? That’s pretty cool!”

Well, when you ask for your name to be listed simply as “FLIP + CHING” on the Color Party X invitation, you kind of stand out. I don’t really know anyone else who has a symbol as part of their name besides the late Prince (may his soul rest in peace). They were probably thinking, “Look! It’s those two weirdos again.” LOL.

Anyway, check out the June issue of Splurge to see some pictures from the Color Party. Our picture, though not very good, actually made the spread. I’m sure that was my friend Teresa’s doing because they also had our name listed as “Flip + Ching” rather than our real names. The plus sign was actually her idea so I’m sure she’s just as tickled about our new monicker as we are.

While you’re checking things out, be sure to check out the Chihuly Drawings exhibition which is only on display through September 11.

Other events worth checking out this month include:

If you know of other events worth checking out, please post them in the comments. We’re always up for checking out new things and meeting new people. Let’s get out there, support some great causes, and enjoy our wonderful city!

Yokohama Ramen Joint

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Yokohama Ramen Joint  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

My friend Misty told me about this place a couple of weeks ago when we were at CSB. She gave it a poor review, though. She told us it was super busy and not worth it because you just get overpriced ramen noodles. LOL.

I just happen to love ramen noodles and I prefer to form my own own opinion about a place so, naturally, I talked Brian into to checking it out with me. Although, I was a little bit worried at first. Brian isn’t really a ramen guy.

“I hope they have other stuff on the menu besides ramen,” I thought to myself as we walked to the restaurant.

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The place is really tiny, as you’ll see from the photos that follow. That’s the main reason why they’re always busy and there’s lines out the door. There isn’t enough room inside for everyone. When we walked up, we noticed people standing outside, in front of the restaurant. We wondered what that was about and quickly realized that it’s the line to be seated. It’s so small inside that there’s not enough room for people to wait.

You have to stand outside while you wait for a table. When a table becomes available, they come out and tell you that you may come inside. It’s definitely an interesting setup. Lucky for us, there wasn’t much of a line when we went.

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Here are a couple of pictures of the restaurant’s compact interior.

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Here’s a picture of the menu. I was relieved to see they have lots of other things besides ramen. Although, I’m not sure why you would go to a ramen place if you don’t like ramen – unless, of course, you’re Brian and your wife forced you to go with her.

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They also had a variety of dessert options. We skipped it this trip, though.

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Brian and I started with pan-fried dumplings, our go-to starter at places such as these. If it’s offered on the menu, there’s a 99% chance that we’re going to order it as an appetizer.

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Predictably, Brian got a bowl of chicken fried rice for his meal.

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I can’t remember what I got because I asked the server for a recommendation and ordered what she said was good. I think it was the N2, shouyu ramen.

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I love that they serve their ramen with an egg. That’s exactly how I eat my ramen. Except, I add a hardboiled egg rather than a soft-boiled one.

I enjoyed my meal. Not sure why Misty was disappointed. Then again, I am a ramen lover. I could eat ramen everyday of my life and not complain.

Brian thought the restaurant was just okay. I will definitely be back though. I want to try all of the different ramen bowls.

Above is a video sneak peek posted by the Wichita Eagle. I highly recommend checking it out and trying the delicious ramen for yourself. If you go, let me know. I may join you.

Next Time You’re Having a Bad Day

Next time you’re having a bad day, picture this.

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I’m not exactly sure when or how this happened. I had training in Topeka a week and a half ago so I reserved the green Volt for my up and back trip. People always ask me why I take the garish, obnoxiously wrapped Volt as opposed to the other, much better, cars in our fleet. When I need to reserve a vehicle, the green Volt is usually the only one that’s available because no one likes it. I don’t even bother checking the other cars anymore. I just automatically reserve the ugly green one.

Anyway, I noticed that the tires are really sensitive to temperature changes. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve gotten the low tire pressure alert and had to air it up. It’s not too bad when I get the alert message in Wichita because I always know I can get free air at any of the QT locations in town. I hate it when it happens while I’m in Topeka because none of their gas stations have free air. You have to put money in the machine and I never have any quarters on me.

One of the times it happened a few months ago, I just happened to visit one of my friends in Topeka. Her husband owns an air compressor so he took care of airing up the tires for me while we hung out. That was convenient. However, they’re super busy people too so I can’t just pop in every time I need air in the my tires.

There’s a BP down the street from my hotel – my home away from home – that has an air compressor but it costs .75 cents to make it run. These days I just make sure I always have a bunch of quarters with me.

On this particular day, I got to Topeka an hour ahead of the 10 AM training start time because I normally leave the house at 7 AM so I just left at my regular time. Anyway, it worked out because our project manager sent a meeting request the night before about a 9 AM meeting. I didn’t see the email but I just happened to be in Topeka already so I was able to attend. I remember getting a text asking if I was coming to the meeting as I was parking the car. “What meeting?” I thought. Note to self: check work email before going to bed at night just in case there are last minute meeting invites.

I parked a little sloppy because, even though I was an hour early for training, I was running a few minutes late for the 9 AM meeting. Maybe there was a tire pressure alert but I didn’t notice it because I was in a hurry? I really don’t remember seeing it, though. The only notification I got was an email from the fleet manager along with a picture of the flat tire. One of my coworkers saw the car in the garage and reported it. That was fortunate because they were able to replace the tire while I was in training.

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Here’s how the tire looked when I returned to the parking garage. Brian was worried that they were going to replace it with a spare and I wouldn’t be able to go faster than 50 mph on the turnpike. They got a real tire on it, though. And, I’m glad it was fixed while I was in training because then I didn’t lose any time. I was able to hit the road, instead of still trying to get the flat tire situation dealt with, right after training.

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I was feeling pretty lucky. However, I did have a moment of panic when I first turned the car on. I sat in the car and emailed the fleet folks before actually leaving because the tire pressure monitor had the tire at 17 psi. I had to step out of the car and look at it again. It looked fine to me.

As it turns out, there’s some kind of process that you have to do after a tire is replaced in order to reset the tire pressure monitoring system. They told me everything was fine. The system just needed to be reset.

It felt weird driving all the way home with the tire pressure alert on and saying the pressure is at 17 psi. I’ve seen the alert as low as 25 psi but I’d never seen it show all the way down to 17 psi before.

When I took the Volt to Topeka again last week, the system had not yet been reset. This time, instead of showing one of the tires at 17 psi, it just said that the tire pressure monitoring system needed maintenance. Driving without the aid of the system was weird but not as weird as it saying one of the tires only had 17 psi.

I can’t really feel the nuances of the driving experience unlike my dad who can tell that there’s something wrong with a car by the way it drives. He can feel things. I don’t have that same skill. I can’t rely on sight either because all tires look flat to me even when they’re perfectly fine. I tend to rely on the tire pressure monitoring system a lot.

I was a little bit uncomfortable driving the car without it working. However, I reminded myself that Bebot didn’t have a tire pressure monitoring system. I drove it for years and turned out just fine. LOL.

I did send an email to our local fleet supervisor to inform him of the maintenance alert, though. The car can get me from point A to point B fine but it would definitely make me feel better to have the tire pressure monitoring system functional again at least before my next extended trip.

Dinner with Eric at Sabor

Brian and I joined some friends at Sabor recently when Eric, our AllConnect account manager, was in town. It was really a work thing. Dinner guests mainly consisted of my coworkers and their spouses but Brian has met and knows them all with the exception of Eric and Shawn who he met for the first time that night. Although I could have sworn he met Shawn (Krystee’s husband) before. Our dinner party consisted of Mike, Tiffe, Isaac, Crystal, Krystee, Shawn, Tammie, Leo, Eric, Brian and me. Not sure where everyone else was that evening.

I think this is only the second AllConnect dinner I have ever made so I’m glad I was actually in town and able to join the group. Also glad that Tammie picked Sabor. It’s one of my favorite restaurants downtown.

It’s been a while since I posted pictures of food so here you go. Bonus points if you can tell which of the entrees belonged to me and Brian.

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Lacie’s Farewell Lunch

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When you are loved, people not only celebrate you but they celebrate with you. We had a wonderful farewell lunch at Public in Lacie’s honor last week. I happened to be in town (somewhat of a rare occurrence these days) so I got to attend.

I’m actually grateful for several reasons:

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Lacie and Lila

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Nykole, Shanda, and Sherii

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I think Shane was starving because he tried to eat my head. JK.

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Huge thanks to Karen for organizing the lunch.

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And then here’s the obligatory food pics.

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Public at the Brickyard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

It’s Public. The food is amazing. Of course, I had to take pictures. LOL.

This last pic was of my lunch. I had the curry chicken special with a side of fruit. I’m not really trying to eat healthier but I am eating fruit when I can. Everything is great at Public. You really can’t go wrong, no matter what you choose to order from their menu.

Anyway, Lacie has only been gone a few days but I miss her already. I did get one of her work shirts so, at least, I have something to remember her by (besides the dozens of photos). Good luck, Lacie!

Good Food and Good Friends – YPW May Mingle

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Brian and I finally had the opportunity to check out Central Standard Brewing. We were there for the YP May Mingle a couple of weeks ago. I went there straight from work. Misty was already there.

Brian went home to take care of Molly and Saki first, then took an Uber over so that we would only have one car to drive home.

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BS Sandwich Press was there so we went ahead and ate dinner there instead of making food at home. It worked out great.

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I’m actually super grateful for these events because it forces me to get out and meet people. I ran into a couple of Leadership Wichita classmates, Dan and Jaimie, who I hadn’t seen in forever. Dan, specially. I hadn’t seem him since our Leadership Wichita graduation, and I saw him twice that day.

I ran into him the first time earlier in the evening as I was leaving work to go to the mingle at CSB. I was pulling out of our parking lot and he crossed right in front of me. “That looks like my friend Dan,” I thought. Naturally, I honked at him. Lucky for me, it was really him. LOL.

He was on his way to some fancy lawyer gathering that meets monthly at the Petroleum Club, which is located on the 9th floor of my work building. We chatted briefly. I didn’t think to mention the mingle because he was obviously busy.

Fast forward a couple of hours. We are hanging out at the CSB patio, having delicious food from BS Sandwich Press, when I see Dan walking up. He decided to stop by the mingle after his fancy lawyer thing. Seeing Dan twice in one day, after not seeing him for almost two years, was a real treat. We got to catch up a little bit and had a wonderful visit. And, I get to see him again in a couple of weeks at the 40 Under 40 recognition dinner. We also have one other Leadership Wichita classmate (Landon) who is also being recognized in this year’s class of 40 Under 40.

I look forward to seeing both of them and maybe you too. If you are at the 40 Under 40 awards dinner, please be sure to say hello!

KMUW – New Digs

Have you see KMUW’s new digs? Their new space downtown is amazing. I wish my office were half as cool. Here are some pics.

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Funny story about visiting the KMUW office… I was there the other day to pick up tickets for the Kathy Griffin show tonight at Stiefle Theater but not before driving all the way over to the old location on 17th Street, across from the Wichita State University campus.

I was actually at the Wichita Business Journals office just moments before getting my picture taken for 40 Under 40. I missed the photo shoot a couple of weeks ago because I was in Topeka all week. Kellen was nice enough to schedule a make up photo session. He took a few photos but it was really quick so I thought, “This is great. I have time to pick up my tickets before running back to work.”

I was on auto pilot so, without a further thought, I drove to the KMUW office on 17th Street. I hopped out of the car and tugged on the door that wouldn’t open. I was like, “What the heck? Why is the door locked?” There was a sign posted on the door but it didn’t occur to me to read it until I realized that I couldn’t get in. The sign said they’d moved to 121 N. Main #200. That’s the same building as WBJ and I was just there. FML.

I still had time so I decided to drive back. This time I saw all of the KMUW signage in the parking lot. There were quite a few because the spring pledge drive was going on. I can’t believe I missed all of those signs. All I had to do was walk upstairs. Seriously. I was already there. I was a little bit irritated at myself but then I figured that the universe was telling me that I needed to take a break from work. The last few weeks have been insane. It was a nice day for a drive.

Shit happens. You can get mad or you can just roll with it.

Warren 21 – It’s About Time

When Brian and I first started dating almost 20 years ago, we went to the movies a lot. Probably at least once a week. Sometimes even twice. This diminished over time partly because of the rising cost of going to the movies (after paying for the astronomically price movie tickets and buying concessions, you’re completely broke) but mostly because the experience of watching movies in the theater really wasn’t that great.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. There was a period of time between 2004 and 2007 when we didn’t go to the movies at all and it was strictly because of our finances. We were paying off debt (we kind of did the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace thing even without knowing about him or the concept) and going to the movies was one of the luxuries (among other things like monthly massages and dining out) that we decided we could live without on our journey to becoming completely debt free.

It’s amazing how much disposable income you really have when you’re not a slave to credit card bills and outrageous interest. I think one of the moments of clarity for me was when I looked at a statement and saw $600 in interest. You can buy a lot of stuff with that! And that was only one card! Granted, it was the one with the highest balance, but it should give you an idea of how much debt we had accumulated after a short amount of time. We were paying so much money in interest and not getting anything for it. We both realized that the amount we were paying in interest could pay for the things we wanted/needed outright instead of buying on credit.

Long story short, we paid off all of our credit cards by 2007 and decided to never again borrow money for stuff. We lived a pretty minimal lifestyle. If we couldn’t pay cash for it, we didn’t need it. By 2008 we didn’t have any car payments. And, after not having monthly debt payments, we used the extra money to pay off my student loans. We missed our goal of paying off my loans by 2012. I think it was January or February 2013 when were finally fully paid.

We don’t buy new cars because we don’t like the monthly payments so when I got a car a few years ago, we pretty much paid for it outright. We didn’t want to wipe out our savings account so we financed it for a year and then a year later, when we had saved up enough, we paid it in full. In the case of Brian’s car last year, we just saved and saved and saved until we had enough to buy him his car. That’s pretty much our MO these days to maintain our debt-free lifestyle, we just don’t incur any new debt.

The only thing we owe money on is our house which is the only monthly payment we make besides utility bills. Without two $400 a month car payments, $500 a month in student loan payments, and however much in credit card payments, we really can go to the movies as much as we want. The cost is no longer in the equation. Why then we’re we going more frequently, considering that it’s Brian’s favorite pastime?

One could argue that after a couple of years of forcing ourselves to not go to the movies, we’ve worked it out of our system and simply had no desire to go. If you look at our busy schedule, you could also argue that we’re just too busy to go the movies. Yes, we are super busy but we still found time to watch movies at home. We both really enjoy watching movies (Brian probably more so than me but, I’m not going to lie, I enjoy it too) and nothing is better than watching it on a giant movie screen.

The bottomline is that watching movies at home was a far better experience than watching them in the theater (giant screen and all). We don’t have a giant TV but it’s a decent size. It looked bigger in our old townhouse than it does in our basement. We could probably get a bigger TV but this one works so we don’t need one. The basement is really comfortable and we have the best seats in the house. Even the balcony experience at the Warren doesn’t compare.

Don’t even get me started about the regular theater. Crying kids, chatty teenagers, and (for the movies that we really want to see) you’d have to endure waiting in line or get there early for good seats (because everyone else wants to see them too). I have to be smack dab in the middle of the theater. I’d rather just watch the movie when it’s released on video than watch it in the theater with bad seats. It really doesn’t take long before movies are available on DVD any more these days.

When Warren 21 opened a few weeks ago, we didn’t clamor to it on opening day. I guess we were a bit skeptical. How much could it have improved the general movie watching experience? Honestly? We’d probably still prefer to watch movies at home, right?

Brian and I decided to test this theory last weekend. I owed him a reward for helping with the map painting project at Prairie Creek Elementary with Old Town Rotary. Brian’s favorite rewards are video game playing time and going to the movies. He’s easy that way. Plus, he’d been wanting to see Captain America: Civil War.

We were originally going to take Nickira to see the Jungle Book but she was in trouble for keeping her room clean. Her mom said she had to stay home and clean her room instead. Brian lucked out and got to pick the movie.

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Warren 21 is like a theater within a theater. You still enter the theater through the main entry doors like you usually do but then, to get to your theater auditorium, you enter another set of doors. These doors remind me of the entrance to an exclusive, fancy nightly club only accessible to very special people. When the theater attendants simultaneously open both sides of the door in unison, you suddenly hear the sound of angels and it’s like the gates of movie watching heaven just opened.

They’ve really tried to elevate the entire experience (and succeeded). Concession is even upgraded. You can order things that aren’t available at the regular concession stand like real food and alcoholic beverages.

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In the auditoriums you sit in recliner seats that are amazingly comfortable. It’s reserved seating so you never end up in a bad seat unless you intentionally choose it. Obviously, Brian and I picked seats in the middle because that’s how we roll. LOL.

There are no screaming kids or unruly teenagers. It doesn’t take long to figure out how to lay back in your motorized, fully-reclining, heated seat (though we didn’t need the heated part last weekend). The only thing left to do is kick off your shoes and enjoy the movie. Bill Warren is definitely on to something.

Yes, the tickets cost more: $12 matinee and $16 evening. After concessions, you’re going to spend upwards of $50. Going to the movies these days is definitely not cheap but, if you enjoy the experience, then it’s worth every penny.

After our Warren 21 trial run, Brian and I came to the same conclusion. We’re putting going to the movies back on the regular date night rotation.

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