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Archive for the year 2021

Snowbound Trip #3

Posted on December 5, 2021 by under Things to Do.    

Last Friday’s trip to the Snowbound Ski Lodge is seriously the most fun I’ve had in a long, long time. We had so much fun on our last trip that Debbie Fanning arranged for us to go back after Friday night pickleball at Nahola. Kimberly Howe got Ryan Kellenbarger to sub for Eric that night so I told Ryan about our plans and encouraged him to get a table for four and go with us.

So we were all set, sort of. I started a group message with Ryan along with Parrish Gumeringer (his long-time mixed doubles partner and usual plus one) and also Brandi and Ty Richardson to help Ryan fill his table. I messaged the four of them because they usually hang out together. By Thanksgiving Day, people were still on the fence so, even though Debbie’s group of ten was confirmed, Ryan’s foursome was still somewhat uncertain.

So I’m relaxing at home on Thanksgiving night and I decide to send a “Happy Thanksgiving” text to Patrick Smith and also, since I figured Ryan would have room at his table that is largely still vacant, I invited him to join us. I didn’t think he would actually say yes but, much to my surprise, he said he would come.

I told the gang that Patrick “might” come but I wasn’t really holding my breath because people say they will do things all the time and don’t come through. I checked with him on Friday and he was pretty nonchalant. I talked to Ryan on Friday and the only confirmed guest he had was Bryan Nguyen. Ty and Brandi didn’t really want to come out because they said our reservation time of 9:45 pm was “so late” and they had a busy Saturday planned. The thing is, we all play pickleball on the West side of Wichita from 7-9 o’clock so 9:45 pm was perfect for our group. It would give us all enough time to get from Nahola to Chicken N Pickle on the East side.

I’m thinking Ryan still had two empty seats so I asked Dan Kautz who plays with us at Nahola for open play if he would like to go. I figured Dan plus Patrick would complete Ryan’s group. But, when Ryan arrived for 7 pm pickleball, I found out that he managed to convince Ty to commit to going over beers at Twin Peaks that afternoon. I guess once you get enough drinks in someone, you can pretty much get them to do anything. Since Brandi and Ty are now in, I told Dan all the seats are taken so he is, unfortunately, out. I didn’t worry about Pat because I wasn’t really sure if he would show up and, if he did, I’m sure the Chicken N Pickle people wouldn’t care because he is a handsome pickleball celebrity who could probably do whatever he wants.

We finished playing pickleball and all head to Snowbound. Once we get there, Ryan tells me that Bryan backed out so now he has a vacancy again. I asked Dan to come and luckily he was able to make it.

Debbie’s group consisted of Debbie, her husband Dave, Tiffany and Donnie Lesperance, Karen Fox, Melissa Burgess, Greta Siemens, Kimberly Howe, Brian and me. Ryan’s table consisted of him, Dan, Brandi and Ty. We went up first because Ryan was still waiting for the rest of his party to arrive. Luckily, there was an open table for four next to our area so we asked the staff to make sure that Ryan’s group got seated there. Our group of twelve pretty much had the entire back of the room. It was perfect.

Here are some pictures from that fun night with the pickleball crew (put Pat and Jamie) at the Chicken N Pickle Snowbound Ski Lodge.

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Brandi Richardson and Kimberly Howe.

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Patrick Smith and Karen Fox.

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This is Pat trying to keep Karen from molesting him. LOL.

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Dan Kautz enjoying the Fogged Goggles peppermint martini.

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Got some fun pics while goofing around with Pat. Love the look on Brian’s face.

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Tiffany and Donnie Lesperance and Debbie and Dave Fanning.

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We had such a great time at Snowbound that night.

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Kimberly Howe and Melissa Burgess.

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Cinnamon Toast Crunch shot ski.

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Ryan gives the Snowbound Ski Lodge a thumbs up!

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You can’t go to Snowbound and not get a gondola pic!

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Our group totally shut down the Snowbound Ski Lodge that night. But the gang wasn’t done partying. All of them went to the Stop for an after party and they shut down that place too. Brian and I went home after Snowbound and called it a night because I had an early wake up the next day for my Aqua Zumba class. Besides that, Brian was such a good sport that night. I did not want to push my luck with him. We were the only two (and Greta who left Snowbound a little early) who didn’t go to the Stop. Even Brandi and Ty who originally felt like 9:45 PM was too late, went and stayed out until at least 2 AM!

I love hanging out with my pickleball friends. They are so much fun! I can’t wait until our next outing. Until next time. GNG.

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Thanksgiving 2021

Posted on December 1, 2021 by under Family.    

For many years I’ve been trying to convince Brian to just go to a Thanksgiving buffet for Thanksgiving lunch instead of making food at home and he never would agree. This year, I finally managed to convince him. We looked over several restaurants offering Thanksgiving buffets and finally settled on YaYa’s.

It was the best idea ever. We didn’t have to spend hours preparing or cooking food and cleaning up after. We just went and enjoyed lots of amazing food (and a pitcher of mimosa) and then went home and enjoyed some games with grandma. It was absolutely perfect since it was just the three of us.

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After lunch, we taught grandma how to play Mexican train dominoes and then finished with ten rounds of Uno. Grandma was off to a great start and won three games straight. Brian and I eventually caught up and were in a three-way tie with three wins each. Brian won the final round and was the ultimate winner.

However, the real winner of the day was me because I finally got my way of simply going out to eat for Thanksgiving. We are going to YaYa’s for Thanksgiving every year from now on. LOL. Until next time. GNG.

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Meredith’s Visit

Posted on November 30, 2021 by under Community, Hobbies.    

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Meredith Novy was in town last weekend (she’s currently working in Baltimore, MD) so her boyfriend Brian Harshman brought several people together at Chicken N Pickle on Sunday afternoon for some pickleball fun. Some people couldn’t make it (Ev Kim had volleyball and Anna Le had to stay home and watch Sophia) but we got enough players to fill three courts for a fun ladder.

Debbie and Dave Fanning, Tiffany and Donnie Lesperance, Michael Harris, Lori Below, Karen Fox, Kim Knotts, Fong Witte, Brian Harshman, and Meredith Novy (our guest of honor) came out to play. Here are some pictures that we took at the end of our play session.

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But the fun didn’t end there. After our pickleball session, a bunch of us went up to the Snowbound Ski Lodge (trip #2 for me) because several people hadn’t experienced it yet. The Snowbound Ski Lodge is located at Chicken N Pickle’s rooftop and it’s the perfect place for a holiday gathering.

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It was so great to have Meredith back, even just for a weekend. It’s so much fun to play with and against such a talented pickleball player. We had a great time visiting but also hearing how difficult it is to get good pickleball play in Baltimore made me realize just how special our pickleball community is in Wichita.

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Cheers to the best group of picklers ever! Can’t wait to have Meredith back! Only a few more months to go. Until next time. GNG.

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Another EPIC Night with PB Friends

Posted on November 29, 2021 by under Life.    

Brian and I went out with the pickleball peeps last weekend when EPIC had a gig at Mordecai’s. EPIC is a favorite among this group.

I’m not into going out these days because I just want to play pickleball but Donnie sold it to me this way – Mordecai’s is only five minutes from our house. Also, I did want to get Brian out because he’s been staying home too much lately. He needs to show his handsome face every now and then just to remind people he exists.

It was our first time at Mordecai’s even though it’s so close to where we live. Not a surprise since we don’t really do the going out thing anymore. I think the last time we were out there was over ten years ago. The place was called the Lizard’s Lounge and went probably because another friend’s band had a gig. That’s usually the reason we go out to these things — peer pressure. LOL.

Here are some pictures from that epic (pun intended) Saturday night.

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It was Tim Hereen’s birthday weekend so everyone was in a festive mood. These wild picklers spent most of the night on the dance floor. One of my new friends Mitch Spencer, lawyer by day and dance floor king by night, was dancing his heart out and showing off his awesome dance moves.

Brian was like, “I didn’t know Mitch was like THAT.”

“Like WHAT, babe?” I ask him, “An avid dancer?”

It’s so much fun to hang out with people off the pickleball court because you get to learn so much more about them and get to know them as people and not just as targets to body bag. I’m kidding about that last part. Maybe.

Seriously, though. I learned that night that most pickleball people also love to dance. It explains a lot. It does require a good amount of coordination in order to play doubles pickleball. That cat and mouse at the non-volley zone (kitchen) is kind of like a dance. Odds are, if someone is graceful on the court, they probably have some funky fresh dance moves to go along with it.

That is all for now. Until next time. GNG.

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Nahola Team Tournament

Posted on November 28, 2021 by under Community, Hobbies.    

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Karen Fox, Ramon Lozano, Bo Tolbert and I played on the team tournament at Nahola last weekend. I played in the event last year and recalled how much fun I had so, when Karen and Ramon invited me to be on their team, I immediately said yes. Bo, who was my partner in the ICT Fall-out pickleball tournament, agreed to be my mixed partner.

The day of the tournament, November 20, happened to be Ramon’s birthday so, to surprise him, I got “EVERYBODY LOVES RAMON” shirts made for our team. It’s kind of an inside joke because they kept butchering his name at the PC Smash tournament last month. They were pronouncing it “Ray-mon” instead of “Rah-mon” with a short A sound.

Karen got a matching cake made. It was delicious!

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There were seven amazing teams that played in the tournament. Typically, Kayla only allows six teams because there are only two courts. Allowing for a seventh team made for a really long day and quite a bit of waiting in between matches. We started at 9 AM and didn’t finish until 5 PM, which people ended up leaving near the end because of other commitments (we all thought we would be done by 3 o’clock – Brian and I had a nail appointment at 4 PM that we ended up rescheduling for another day). It was still a lot of fun despite all the waiting and even though we didn’t get to complete all of the matches.

Here are some pictures of the teams that participated in the team event.

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Steve Vetter, Jen Reifschneider, Jen Tiano, and Jon Maugans (the winning team)

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Michael McLemore, Greta Siemens, Denise Brinkworth, and Mike Adams (second place team)

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Zach Nguyen, Fong Witte, Amy Jaramillo, and Matthew Rochat

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Donnie and Tiffany Lesperance, Kimberly Howe, and Mark Armstrong

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Mike Maloney, Shawna Geist, and Cindy and Ed Egan

Chris Wilson, Ian Carr, Michelle Dreiling, and Sharon Steimel also played but I missed getting a picture of their team. I actually didn’t get the pics of the first and second place teams. I stole those pics from the Nahola Facebook page. LOL.

Anyway, this format is really fun. I wouldn’t mind doing it again but probably not if there are seven teams because that was the reason for the extended waits between matches. Seven teams would work if you had three courts.

We are doing something similar at Chicken N Pickle next weekend on December 4. It’s going to be a team event patterned after Major League Pickleball. I’m playing just because it’s a different format and I was want to try something new and different. I’m kind of excited for it and will let you know how it goes. We might even livestream it. Stay tuned!

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