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Archive for "Things to Do"

Wicked Brew Tour Challenges

Posted on July 16, 2021 by under Food and Drink, Things to Do.    

Brian and I are normally done with the #WickedBrew tour by now but we started a lot later this year. We typically complete the drink tour which usually starts after Memorial Day during the month of June. Part of it is I can walk to to several coffee places that participate in the tour from my office downtown. However, this hasn’t been possible since I’ve been working from home.

Also, the tour didn’t happen last year because of the pandemic so I didn’t realize it was happening this year until much later. Anyway, we didn’t get started until after we returned from Colorado a couple of weeks ago.

I tried to get Brian to complete the tour with me over 4th of July weekend (we would have 3 days to get 10 stamps) but he was worried that his liver wouldn’t be able to handle it. Besides that, most of the places were closed on the 4th of July. We did manage to get four stamps on Saturday, July 3, though.

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We started our tour by having lunch at the East Central location of Wichita Brewing Company. As East-siders, that location is most convenient for us.

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We got our cards and first stamps and we were on our way.

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Our next stop was Il Primo, a cute coffee shop across the street on the other side of Woodlawn. The coffee shop has been around for 20 years and yet, amazingly, Brian had never been there.

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Look at this handsome guy!

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I took a few pictures of the inside.

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Also, I solved the “Riddle in the Dark Roast” and got a couple of extra punches on my Il Primo card. Go me!

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They had one of the shirts on display at the counter.

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We kind of did a beer-coffee-beer-coffee pattern, so our next stop was the PourHouse ICT, Walnut River Brewing’s taproom at Union Station.

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Cheers! BTW, did you notice that Brian had on his 2018 Wicked Brew shirt?

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My old fashioned wasn’t very good but our server was nice and still gave me a stamp for it. Not a lot of places can make cocktails as good as the Belmont.

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We had lunch at WBC and some light food the PourHouse so then it was time for dessert, which was perfect because our next stop was Cocoa Dolce. Brian had never been to their downtown location.

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The Cocoa Dolce Sweet Lounge is super cute inside!

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I had a tipsy gelato which typically vanilla ice cream with salted caramel whisky poured over it but they actually let you pick your own spirit. I opted for Bailey’s to be poured over mine.

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It kind of looks like a bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy but I promise it’s gelato and it was amazing!

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I highly recommend grabbing a friend and enjoying some coffee or one of the many flavors of hot chocolate they offer. And of course, trying some of their decadent and delicious artisan chocolates and gelato.

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Brian got his usual black coffee and a couple of Wichita flag truffles and then we also got an Oreo cheesecake to share.

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The Wichita flag truffles were almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

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When this location first opened we got a bunch of free cheesecake from my coworker Amir’s friend who was the manager. That was my first experience with these amazing cheesecakes. Brian had never had it so I wanted him to get a taste. So even though we weren’t really hungry and didn’t need extra food, we got a cheesecake. We ended up taking most of it home.

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They have the cutest cheesecake to go boxes!

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We managed to get four stamps that day and that was Brian’s limit. The next day was 4th of July so then all the places were closed. It took several days before we could get our next stamp.

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Stamp #5 was at Leslie Coffee Co.

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I went to play pickleball with some friends after my Aqua Zumba class last Saturday. Then a bunch of us decided to have lunch at Merle’s after. Leslie Coffee, which is within walking distance of Seneca Park, is just down the street from Merle’s so it worked out perfect.

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On Monday, I tried to talk Brian into getting a few more stamps so we planned to have dinner at River City Brewery after my Monday night Aqua Zumba class. Unfortunately, they were closed. So then we drove down the street to Norton’s. They were open but there was no food because there were only open because of the art show. Norton’s is normally also closed on Mondays.

So then were were like, “What about Hopping Gnome?” Piatto’s is next door and they have great pizza. They were also closed.

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At this point we were just hungry and we didn’t even care about getting our cards stamped anymore. We ended up eating at Dempsey’s Burger Pub. Neither of us had been there in a while and they have great food also.

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We were so hungry that we ordered way too much food. Brian got the beer cheese dip with pretzels and fries.

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He also got a burger for himself because that’s what you get at Dempsey’s.

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We shared a big basket of truffle fries, which were completely unnecessary after the regular fries which we didn’t know came with the beer cheese dip.

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I got a couple of sliders, which were the perfect size. I told Brian that we should just get sliders and truffle fries next time to minimize all the wasted food but it’s kind of hard not to order one of the gourmet burgers when you’re at Dempsey’s because that’s kind of their thing.

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Dempsey’s kind of reminds me of the Burger Stand (in Topeka and Lawrence) except I like the food at the Burger Stand better. I think it’s the closest thing to the Burger Stand that we have here. Dempsey’s burgers are pretty good — they are just not as good.

Anyway, the experience made me miss the Burger Stand. Brian has never been there so I’m hoping we can go one day. They have pickleball tournaments in Topeka sometimes. In fact, the Sunflower State Games is this weekend. I didn’t sign up for it though. Maybe I can sign up next year and then Brian and I can hit the Burger Stand while we are there.

Anyway, we still have a long way to go on this Wicked Brew tour. I’m hoping to get the rest of our stamps over the next few days because there are only a limited number of shirts and we don’t want to miss out.

Until next time, GNG.

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Symphony in the Flint Hills 2021

Posted on June 16, 2021 by under Date Ideas, Events, Things to Do.    

After two years Symphony in the Flint Hills is finally back. Brian and I went to volunteer last week and attended the event on Saturday. Here are some pictures from our volunteer day with the Evergy Green Team.

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Kishan, Alex, and Krystee volunteered the same day so we had a little reunion.

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I originally volunteered to help on Friday but they had too many people helping that day already so we switched our volunteer day to Wednesday.

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Thousands of people came out for the sunset symphony concert.

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We had a nice evening hanging out with Kishan and Alex.

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The weather was absolutely perfect. It was such a nice night for the symphony. I hope we get to go again next year.

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Explore Wichita

Posted on May 25, 2021 by under Things to Do.    

As everyone knows, I love to explore and experience new things and sometimes it involves activities that none of my friends really have interest in. In the past I’ve joined groups like the Adventurous Babes Society just to find others to do things with. I joined the Explore Wichita meetup group a long time ago but had never really attended any outings until recently.

A few weeks ago we all went to Enigma for salsa night. There was supposed to be a salsa lesson but the instructors couldn’t make it that night but we still made the best of it. My friend Greg was there and got us started with the social dancing.

Trivia Night at Chicken N Pickle

Trivia night at Chicken N Pickle was the second outing I attended. I’d always wanted to try trivia night at Chicken N Pickle but couldn’t get a group together. I’m so glad that Explore Wichita decided to do it because then I could just join their group. It was a really good turnout and our team took second that night.

Trivia Night at Chicken N Pickle

If you are looking to do things and don’t have people to do things with, I highly recommend joining the Explore Wichita group. It’s an excellent networking group for Wichita professionals who just want to have fun. The group gives you an opportunity to meet and socialize with a diverse group of people, discover some unique places, and experience activities around town that you’ve never done. The group does tend to eat out a lot but they also do a lot of different things. JJ does an excellent job of organizing activities and leading the group. Also, everyone is super nice and welcoming to new people. Whether you are new to Wichita or you’ve been around a while, I highly recommend joining this group.

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Chicken N Pickle Mixed Competitive Leagues

Posted on March 5, 2021 by under Hobbies, Things to Do.    

Mixed competitive league night at Chicken N Pickle is one of my favorites. I’ve played it in when it was on a Thursday night, Sunday night, and now it’s on Tuesday nights. I’ve played in it with different partners.

Tom was my first competitive league partner and together we were “Asian Invasion”. He is my absolute favorite because he is a joy to play with. The best part about playing with Tom is that he’s made me love playing with lefties, which is a complete 180 from how I felt about lefties a year ago. I used to not like playing with them because I would get confused which balls were mine to take and which weren’t. But now I see playing with a lefty is more advantageous than not and I look forward to partnering up with lefty partners these days.

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It was also my time playing with Tom that’s helped me get better at stacking and switching. I’ve learned so much from the times we’ve played together.

Steve Vetter was my next partner after Tom. There are no pictures of us from league because Steve hates pictures and matching outfits. He is also very good and fun to play with but pictures and matching outfits are kind of my thing so I felt like we were very incompatible. He at least let me name our team “Vetter Luck Next Time” so that was fun. I love clever team names.

My next partner Jacob Thompson (from last session). I hadn’t really played with him much but I’d played with his dad Rick Thompson a lot over the summer when we were playing at 5 AM before work. Jacob was a really good sport. We wore our league shirts every night we played together and he didn’t complain about them.

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He let me name our team Short Stack – a name I borrowed from when Jocelyn Devilliers and Matt Conrad were playing together. I think it fit because I’m short and we stack. Jacob is also a lefty so it made perfect sense for us to stack and I felt it was very effective. I’m also playing with a lefty in Delray Beach for women’s doubles so it was great practice. I also had a bit of fun with our team shirts. I had “Shorty” printed on the back of my shirt and “Lefty” on Jacob’s.

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My latest partner is Dave New. We are playing in the current session as “New-B” for his last name and the first initial of my last name. It’s also a pun on the word “newbie” so whenever people ask who we are or who they’re playing against they’ll say the “New-Bs” – I’m so nerdy, I know. I love puns!

Our first night of league was Tuesday. Dave cracked me up because he said he meant to sign up for the mid-level league and not the toughest one. He thought Mixed Advanced was higher than the Mixed Competitive league so that’s why he wanted to play in Mixed Competitive. It sure sounds like it but it’s actually the reverse. Mixed Advanced is in between Mixed Intermediate and Mixed Competitive so the Mixed Competitive league is the most challenging league at Chicken N Pickle. Though, honestly, none of the mixed leagues at Chicken N Pickle are really all that competitive. The best mixed league available right now in the area is the Monday night mixed league at Nahola.

I guess Dave wanted to pay in Mixed Advanced but he’s stuck with me now. Although I have noticed that a lot of the same people will play in both leagues. I feel like if you’re not quite sure where you fit skill-level-wise then it makes perfect sense to play in multiple leagues until you find the correct fit. I just kind of got stuck playing in Mixed Competitive because there was no Mixed Advanced group at the time and I had already outgrown the intermediate group but I will really play in any league that my partners want to play in. I just want to play.

Until next time. GNG.

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National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Posted on February 11, 2021 by under Hobbies, Things to Do.    

I had to work on MLK day so I ended up with a comp day which I later used on February 3, National Girls and Women in Sports Day. I’m not sure why this isn’t already a national holiday but, either way, I took the day off work as my own personal holiday anyway. As with most of my days off, I planned a full day of playing pickleball.

The day started with women’s doubles with Karen and the Jens at 7:30 AM and then a special NGWSD edition of Queen of Courts at 11:00 AM. I didn’t play stellar but I played decent. I was on the top court with my pseudo-daughter Huyen as my partner. We payed against Jenny and Michelle for the title and they came out on top. We had 16 women on 4 courts and I got to play with various people throughout the event. Some of the women I played with, I’d never met before until then. I got to play on every court but the bottom one and it just worked out that I was on a winning streak at the end and finished on the top court.

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After QOC Janelle, Tiffany, Debbie, and I had lunch and drinks at Jose Pepper’s. Not really the best idea since I had singles with Kayla at Nahola immediately after.

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I never get to have lunch with these ladies though, so I took advantage of the opportunity. It’s rare that I get a weekday off and I get to do some day drinking.

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Here are some pictures of food. It had been a while since I’d been to Jose Peppers so I didn’t really know what to get. I told our server I just wanted meat and rice and he made it happen so that plate pictured above is mine.

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The other ladies ordered off the menu, except for Debbie’s drink. She likes to make up her own drinks. Luckily, most bartenders are happy to oblige.

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Kayla killed me at singles, which was no surprise. I’m just happy that I didn’t vomit. I finished the day by teaching my Wednesday night Aqua Zumba class at the Harry (Georgetown) VASA location. I got to enjoy doing my favorite things with the best people. It was the perfect day off. ‘Til next time. GNG.

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