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Charisse KC

Posted on April 26, 2017 by under Food and Drink.    

I had the opportunity to try a new restaurant in Kansas City a few weeks ago, Charisse. It’s a French restaurant that’s just a short walk from the One KC office. A couple of coworkers and I walked over there a few days ago. They’d dined there before but it was my first time.

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I had a crepe for lunch yesterday from Lolo’s Crepes so that made me think of Charisse. I had the chicken crepe when I was there.

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Both of my colleagues had the flank steak. One opted for the truffle fries while the other opted for the sautéed vegetables.

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The food was pretty good but the service was slow. Also, the restaurant staff were very French-like in the haughty way that they walked about the restaurant and interacted with guests. I guess they were trying to keep things consistent. LOL.

Seriously, though, it’s a pretty good place to eat if you don’t mind the snobby service. I liked that it was far enough away from the office that you felt like you were getting away but close enough to be within walking distance. I also liked that it was a nice dining experience as opposed to fast food. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area.

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National Cheese Fondue Day

Posted on April 24, 2017 by under Food and Drink.    

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Did you all know that April 11 is National Cheese Fondue Day? I had no idea either until we heard about it the night that Lesa (one of my coworkers in Kansas City) and I went to dine at the Melting Pot that evening.

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Our table, which incidentally is also her usual table (she eats there once a week), was next to their massive wine room.

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We started with the Quattro Formaggio, which happens to be Lesa and also our server’s favorite flavor of cheese fondue.

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We opted for the basic seasoned court bouillon which is the complimentary cooking method. You have to pay extra for the other (fancier) types but this one was perfectly fine. I found it aromatic and flavorful.

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These are the different meats I chose. I basically did a third regular sirloin, a third teriyaki-marinated sirloin, and a third Memphis-style dry rub pork.

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Lesa did half and half of the two types of sirloin, regular and teriyaki.

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They also give you a variety of vegetables and sauces to go with the meats.

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We were both really stuffed at the end so we skipped the chocolate fondue finale, which I’m told is the best part. I guess this will be a good reason to bring Brian there next time we are in the area.

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CX FAIL – KC Marriott Downtown

Posted on April 23, 2017 by under Funny Musings, Travel.    

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The Kansas City Marriott Downtown where I’ve been consistently staying since September has failed me so many times and on so many levels that this last one didn’t even surprise me. The customer service breakdowns have ranged from minor things like not getting my housekeeping opt out points, not getting my 20% off certificate for Metropolitan KC, being scolded for asking for the free little bottles of water (which apparently only Gold and Platinum members are entitled to and I was only a Silver member at the time; everyone else, myself included, had to pay for the $4 Aquafina if we wanted water in our room), a closet door that was off track and was stuck (and I had to call three times to get someone to come up and fix it), waiting over 30 minutes for the valet to pull my car around (I think this was during one of the KC Chiefs games and they were overwhelmed) to more major issues like a grouchy valet who always acted snooty to me, a toilet that wouldn’t stop running and was so loud that Brian could hear it on the phone when we talked, a toilet that wouldn’t flush, housekeeping coming to clean my room even though I have told them numerous times to opt me out and it’s in the computer system and I’ve hung the opt out hangtag on the door, a french fry in my refrigerator and crumbs all over the furniture and carpet (this was the Monday after the Big 12 Tournament weekend so they were probably overwhelmed, but still) and a sticky desk with visible cup rings and an Iowa State sticker still on the bathroom counter (I’m baffled that the cleaner didn’t peel this off and throw it away; they must have been an Iowa State fan also – LOL)… So they are either overzealous about wanting to clean rooms or give you rooms that haven’t been cleaned at all. Anyway, I’m sure I’ve missed a few things because the list goes on an on. I’m not even joking. There’s a story that goes with each of these but we would be here forever if I told you all of them. Right now I want to tell you about the cupcake story.

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On April 11, I saw this card on my floor when I returned to my room after work. I had just recently gotten upgraded to Gold status (I didn’t even know until they told me I was now a Gold member when I checked in for my stay that week – it was THAT recent) that I didn’t think anything of it. I just assumed this must be how they welcome new Gold members to higher tier benefits or something.

So I called the number as instructed and I’m pretty sure they know it’s me because they always say my last name. Anyway, the rep on the other line asked if I wanted my gift delivered now. I was like, “Sure.” Why not? Right?

Moments later a guy come up and gives me a box along with an envelope. I’m still not thinking anything is amiss. I don’t even bother checking the outside of the envelope. I just tear it open. Gifts are exciting. There is no time to waste.

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I opened the card and paused as soon as I read the salutation. This “special” gift wasn’t meant for me. I went back to check the envelope. Sure enough, it had “Ms. Gutierrez” written on the outside (which I probably should have read first before opening – LOL).

So I called the number again. The same rep answered. I told her what happened. She’s like, “I will look into this and call you back.”

It didn’t take long for her to call back and inform me that they are sending someone back up to retrieve said gift and, within moments, the same guy came up and I gave him the cupcake and the card.

I was actually surprised that they sent someone up to get it. I mean, it’s a cupcake. Surely they have dozens of other cupcakes just like it. I didn’t really want someone else’s cupcake but I half expected them to just go, “Don’t worry about it. You keep this one and we will give her another.” It must haven’t been a very rare limited edition cupcake meant only for very special guests.

I was also really impressed at how quickly they responded. Usually when I have issues with my room I’ll go to dinner and come back and it’s still not resolved. It takes multiple phone calls sometimes.

Anyway, in my mind I’m still thinking there’s a cupcake out there meant for me. I wondered if Ms. Gutierrez got my cupcake by mistake and she ate it and when I got her cupcake I called and they took it from me. May I shouldn’t have called and I should have just eaten the stupid cupcake?

The universe was really looking out for me that day. The universe was like, “You need to lose weight. You don’t need to eat a cupcake. I’m going to botch this so that you get a cupcake that is not meant for you and you won’t eat it.”

I actually thought about calling the same number back and going, “That was really funny but, seriously, where’s my cupcake?” LOL. I didn’t.

What a huge Customer Experience (CX) blunder by the Marriott, though. I mean, I haven’t been satisfied with the service I’ve been receiving at this property and now, knowing that I’m not getting the “cupcake level service” that others are getting, I’m even less so. My stays have been so disappointing that I’d actually considered staying a different property in the future, despite the convenience of this particular hotel’s location (it’s only a 4-minute walk to work and most of it indoors).

On the flip side of it, we received news last week that has put my work in Kansas City on hold so I may not be back there for a while. I know for sure I’ll be in Wichita all week this coming week. In the meantime, if you want to hear other stories about my KC Marriott Downtown CX fails, put a comment down below and tell me which ones you want to hear about. Until next time!

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Speaking of Grilling

Posted on April 22, 2017 by under Confessions, Funny Musings.    

We got coordinating aprons for our friends who were celebrating back to back birthdays the last couple of months. They were all like, “Did Flip and Ching get a good deal on a bunch of aprons or something?” LMAO.

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We got the KC Chiefs one for Cory because that’s his favorite football team.

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We got the New England Pats one for Jay because that’s his favorite football team.

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We got an Alice Cooper/Motley Crue “All Bad Things Must Come to an End” tour apron for Rune because he is the biggest Motley Crue fan ever.

No special sale or anything. We just happened to come across all three of these and so we got them because we like to give identical gifts to everyone. It’s kind of our thing. Everyone gets the same gifts. LOL.

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Back to Back Fundraising Events

Posted on April 22, 2017 by under Events.    

We had back to back fundraising events a couple of weeks ago. On Friday, April 7, we attended KANSEL Team Trivia which is a super fun event. Our friend Karen is the current board president but has been a member of the KANSEL board of directors since 2014.

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We really didn’t know what to expect the first year that we attended the event but it was a blast so we look forward to Karen’s invitation every year. Last year we won a bunch of stuff in the silent auction. That’s always fun.

This year I got outbid on every single auction item that I bid on but Brian did come home with a couple of six packs from the beer pull.

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Here’s a picture of our Westar Wizards trivia team this year.

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This is Alex.

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Faith attended as Alex’ guest.

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This is Shane’s wife Sara. We recently found out that our moms work together at Weigand. The Batchelders are one of our most favorite couples to hang with at events. They are so fun!

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The next day was a super crazy busy day. I had to teach my regular Saturday class and then we volunteered to help set up for Child Start’s Boots and Bling Gala. That was a lot of driving back and forth to the West side of town. The event was held at Eberly Farms, which is a good 30-minute drive from our house. On the plus side, it was a beautiful day so we got to enjoy the multiple long drives in my convertible.

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After we completed our volunteer work, we went back home to shower and change for the party. I thought the event was generally successful. Brian and I had a blast. The only disappointment for me was that we didn’t have enough people from work attend the party. They gave us a whole row of seats and we only took up half of them, if that. It would have been nice to be able to fill all the seats.

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We decided to ditch my car on the trip back to Eberly Farms because I actually fixed my hair and I wanted it to stay as much intact as possible. It was so windy that day though that my hair pretty much got wrecked just walking from the car to the entrance. There was no avoiding it. LOL.

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We got to hang out with a bunch of young people from work. These are Corri and Josh Newman. Josh and I work together and have been to the same trainings and meetings. Brian and I met Corri for the first time when we ran into her and Josh at Aero Plains Brewing on the night that we went to see Toruk — The First Flight. They were also on their way to see it.

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Kati attended the event as well.

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The event included entertainment by the Delano Dollies and live music by Candice and the Business Casual.

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The evening’s host/emcee KAKE News anchor Jim Grimes was also quite entertaining. He played blackjack at my table.

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However, City Council Member and Wichita Wagonmaster Jeff Blubaugh who dealt at one of the blackjack tables was most entertaining of all.

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He gave away so many tickets that he actually ran out!

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I don’t know how many people went to jail but Brian actually did. Then he paid to get out and also jailed the woman who sent him to jail. It was pretty funny.

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The marshals who took Brian to jail took their roles quite seriously.

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They each had the perfect scowl to go with their costumes.

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Despite having been sent to jail, Brian had a great time. It’s all part of the fundraising effort. We each bought more fake money than we needed so we started giving our $1000 bills away. LOL.

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As fundraising events go, we really enjoyed this one and will be looking forward to it again when it comes around next year. That’s saying a lot because Brian and I go to a bunch of these benefits throughout the year.

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I think the best part was that this lovely lady and her husband gave us the charcoal grill that he won. Brian and I contributed during the “fund a need” live auction and spent quite a bit during the casino portion of the evening but we didn’t really expect to get anything for it. We were fully prepared to just have a great time and chip in.

They were so generous to give us the grill, which Brian had been admiring since he laid eyes on it in the afternoon when we were setting up for the event. She said her husband was part of the event committee and he already had two other grills so he didn’t need it. We are so grateful that we were at the right place at the right time because this really made Brian’s weekend.

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Brian spent the very next day putting his new grill together. Here’s the finished product. We haven’t used it yet but we plan to break it in next month when we have a Father’s Day cookout at the house.

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