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Brunch at the Cafe in Downtown Naples

Posted on May 21, 2022 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

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Brian and I decided to take a break from the US Open one morning and explore downtown Naples. We found this place called The Cafe Kitchen & Juicery that had rave reviews and decided to give it a try.

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It was a beautiful morning but all of the patio tables were taken so we ended up dining inside. It was great because we were there early enough that we pretty much had the inside of the restaurant, which wasn’t very big, all to ourselves.

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I had a massive headache so I decided to indulge in some freshly-pressed, raw, hand-crafted juice. I got the “pink pleasure” drink which is made with beets, pineapple, strawberry, apple, ginger, orange. It was both delicious and refreshing. It was just what I needed at that moment.

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Their menu of fresh juice is quite extensive. It was honestly hard to choose.

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As for food, Brian decided to go with a bagel breakfast sandwich and I went all-out with a lobster omelet because why not? It’s not often that I’m dining at an establishment that this as an option on their menu.

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My pretty lobster omelet…

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Brian’s breakfast sandwich looked like your run of the mill bagel breakfast sandwich but he said it was good and he enjoyed it.

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Here’s a selfie of the two of us at the restaurant. The lighting was great because we were seated next to a window. It was as close as we could get to being outside where we really wanted to be without actually being outside.

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I can see why many people choose to retire in Florida. They have fabulous weather year-round. If only it weren’t so expensive to live there…

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Minto US Open Pickleball Championships

Posted on May 20, 2022 by under Pickleball, Travel.    

Miscellaneous pictures from the US Open last month…

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Pictures of Championship Court…

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The bleacher seats require general admission tickets but the box seats and the bar top tables in the lounge required special VIP credentials.

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You want one of these special credentials…

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Here’s a better picture of the air-conditioned VIP lounge.

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Pictures of everyone’s tents at the Players’ Village.

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Here’s a tournament map. This is definitely the most massive tournament I’ve ever attended. There were dozens of courts, a special section for players’ tents called the Players’ Village, there’s a couple of huge tents for the vendors called the Vendor Village, lots of food trucks, live music, and so forth.

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Here’s a picture of our parking pass which I kept as a souvenir. The parking fee was $5 per day or $30 for the entire week and benefited the local Kiwanis club.

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Got a picture with my friend Chase Distefano who was working at the Zelus booth inside the Vendor Village.

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Brian bought a ball cap at the Zelus booth.

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Got a picture with my friend Tien Nguyen from Oklahoma.

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I had to take a picture of the portapottys because there were super nice. The nicest ones I’d ever seen at any tournament.

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There were amazing matches going on everywhere, not just at the Championship Court. You can just watch from court to court to court.

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If you didn’t have tickets to Championship Court, you could also watch the broadcasted matches via the jumbo TV at the Fan Zone.

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Here’s a picture of Ryan Sherry and Ben Johns at the Championship Court.

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Pictures taken at the Championship Court.

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A selfie with the hubs at Championship Court.

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Picture of the VIP lounge inside Championship Court.

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When you arrive later in the morning, you have to park at the park down the street which they’ve turned into overflow parking. The nice thing is that there is a shuttle that goes back and forth. Here’s a picture of the shuttle bus that takes people to and from the overflow parking lot.

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Picture with Joe and Cindy Witte at Players’ Village.

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Picture with KaSandra Gehrke at the Kitch booth.

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Picture with Belinda Dettman at Vendor Village.

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Picture with Joe and Cindy at Championship Court.

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Selfie at East Naples Community Park at night…

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Group picture with a fun crew after some rec play at the park.

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Caught up with the beautiful and talented Jessie Irvine at the Engage booth at Vendor Village at the US Open.

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Impressive blue dome covering the Zing Zang championship court…

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The Wichita pickleball crew was well-represented at the US Open.

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Karen and Janelle on women’s doubles day…

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Post-medal presentation selfie with Brian…

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With our St. Louis, MO pals — Christie Pink and Monica Ray…

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Met senior pro and hall-of-famer Enrique Ruiz at the Fan Zone…

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With Mircea Moriariu and John Sperling, a couple of really awesome senior pros.

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These pictures really do not do the tournament justice. To say that the Minto US Open is the biggest party on earth is an understatement. It’s like a cross between a pickleball tournament, music festival, and trade show that is attended by thousands of people – players and spectators alike. It is a truly massive event that every pickleball fan must experience at least once. I am completely hooked and am looking forward to going every year from here on out. So excited for next year!

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Lucky in Love at the US Pickleball Open

Posted on May 19, 2022 by under Outfits, Pickleball.    

Earlier this year I got accepted into the Lucky in Love brand ambassador program. I’ve known about the program for some time because I am a huge fan of their clothes. I have spent probably thousands on countless Lucky in Love outfits. They really do make excellent quality clothes that hold up well.

Anyway, they mostly outfit tennis players — in fact, the application asks for your current ranking — so I had never bothered to apply before. However, earlier this year, I thought, “Why the heck not? The worst thing they can do is say no.” So I answered all of the questions and, for current rank, I just put “NA, I play pickleball” instead. I clicked the Enter button and sent my application into the void.

A few days later (this was around February), I received a message via Instagram asking for my address and my sizes because they were going to send me a couple of outfits from their new collection. This was the best news I had gotten in a really long time and I was super excited.

It wasn’t long after that when I received my first box…

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They sent me the cutest pieces from the “Playing in Paradise” collection.

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Here’s a link to the blue cami top and here’s a link to the red ribbed henley tank.

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They also sent me a couple of matching skirts: the playing in paradise skirt (which is super cute, with its pleated tiers and colorful print, and is my absolute favorite because it’s so much fun to wear) and the blue and white versa high low tennis skirt. Since all four pieces are from the same line, they all mix-and-match and coordinate really well.

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Right before the US Open, they sent me another box of stuff along with the note below. I was going to be at the open for seven days and now had enough Lucky in Love outfits for every single day I’m there.

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I kind of had to mix and match pieces in order to stretch all of the outfits but I made it work. I wore Lucky in Love every single day that I was at the open except for on Friday when I wore Chicken N Pickle gear.

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Since I am also part of the Chicken N Pickle “sponsored athlete” program I have to give them some love as well. Above is a picture of me with Chicken N Pickle and Electrum Pickleball pro Patrick Smith, who is one of my most favorite pickleball players of all time. He is outfitted by Neptune Athletics.

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Here’s a picture of me and my women’s doubles partner Erica Lopez in our matching animal instinct skirts.

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Here’s a picture of me wearing my stuff from the “Playing in Paradise” collection with ChiChi (middle) and Marina (right), taken at the Lucky in Love booth in the Vendor Village at the US Open.

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I stopped by the Lucky in Love booth each day to show them that I really did bring and wear all the stuff they sent me. In the picture below, I paired the animal instinct tank with my black Lululemon hotty hot shorts because Erica and I had already planned to wear our matching animal instinct skirts on another day.

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I got this visor for free when I bought something at the booth and I absolutely love it. Not only does it go with everything but the message printed on it is one that is positive and a great reminder for us all.

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On another day, I wore my Lucky in Love animal instinct bralette tank with my spark ruche skirt which has a subtle shimmer. I just love it! Marina is wearing the exact same skirt in this photo.

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This next photo was taken that same day. The two handsome men in the picture with me are the Dawson father-and-son duo: Callan (left) and Steve (right). Mom, Jennifer Dawson (not pictured), is also an amazing pickleball player. This picture was taken either right before or right after one of their men’s doubles pro split age matches on championship court. I am such a fan girl! LOL.

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Here’s me and ChiChi with outfits from the “Playing in Paradise” collection. Here’s a link to the tank that she’s wearing. I already linked to the blue cami top above but, just in case you missed it, I just linked to it again.

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Anyway, these clothes are so fun, comfortable, and easy to wear. They are great quality and perfect for wearing on and off the court. I am so grateful to be part of the #theluckyfam. If you love their clothes just as much as I do, you can be part of the family too. Lucky in Love was nice enough to set up a special discount code for the Wichita Pickleball crew. Shop directly from the Lucky in Love website and use ICTPICKLE20 to save 20% OFF your entire order.

Remember to let me know what you bought in the comments (perhaps I already have it or, if not, I can get it also) so we can be matchy-matchy!

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Easter Brunch at YaYa’s

Posted on May 18, 2022 by under Family, Food and Drink.    

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We enjoyed the Thanksgiving brunch at Yaya’s so much that we decided to return for Easter brunch. Here are a few of our pictures from that visit.

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YaYa’s probably has the best brunch in town. The offer a wide variety of options and the food is always good. We enjoy it immensely and are never disappointed. We highly recommend trying their brunch if you’ve never been. It is a great place to celebrate whatever it may be that you are celebrating.

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Jay’s Birthday Dinner at River City Brewery

Posted on May 17, 2022 by under Events, Food and Drink.    

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We were the first ones to arrive at the restaurant for Jay’s birthday dinner at River City Brewery. We decided to give the other’s a hard time for being late.

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It was all in good fun, though.

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Everyone eventually made it.

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Some pictures of food…

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Alicia is always ready with her own salad dressing.

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It was a hectic date with Tulip Time in the morning, the ladies’ round robin in the afternoon, and the birthday dinner in the evening but it was totally worth it. After all, it’s not everyday that a dear friend celebrates a birthday.

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I’m so glad we could be there to celebrate Jay. Until next year!

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