Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baptisms and Zombies

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Mr. Jackson getting graham cracker goo cleaned off by Mom.

We got back from Wisconsin Monday evening. We went to bed around 9:30. Yeah, I know that's old people early. Needless to say it was an exhausting, fun, family packed fest of hospitality, jokes, vacuums of all sizes, a zombie movie, babies, guns and 4 wheelers, "whore shoes" and Connor asking "One more, please!"

Joe and I headed up to Wisconsin on Friday, taking a half day off of work so we wouldn't arrive after midnight, since the drive takes about 7 to 8 hours or so from our house. As I've said before here, we don't mind long drives. Sitting still for long periods can be a drag. But with the advent of the iPhone and iPod, we have at our fingertips, an amazing array of music, podcasts, and audio books. Plus I hear that the lack of kids in the car makes things pretty easy and we shouldn't complain.

So the drive was nothing. We got into Madison around 9pm, right after Joe's younger brother, Jon and his hot blond girlfriend, Samantha arrived. I don't think Samantha knew that dying her hair blond would be the talk of the weekend but that, paired with her lovely red "whore shoes", (Samantha called them this originally and I just overused the expression because it made me laugh) evidently made her unrecognizable and easy on the eyes according to some family members.
Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Jon and Samantha.
So all the Sands boys and lady friends had arrived, and we all stayed at the Sands' Dude Ranch (Jim and Katy's house, the father and mother of the soon to be baptized and reason for the party, Mr. Jackson.) Joe's grandfather and step-grandmother, Jay and Fritzie, had arrived from Philadelphia earlier in the day, along with Joe's mom and step-dad, Sherry and John, who drove in from Omaha and were all staying at a hotel, where Joe's aunt, Suzy, who was flying in Saturday morning, would also be staying. Whew, a big ol' gang of Sands. And of course Katy's great family was in attendance, who mostly live locally, but she had some relatives from Chicago come in too for the special occasion.

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Connor getting his lunch on.

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
The Sands boys.

Saturday was laid back, with swimming at the hotel for the kids, a leisurely lunch at one of Jim and Katy's favorite restaurants, lots of talking, and convincing Fritzie that she would really love an iPhone if she played with it a bit, I think it worked. The adults, over 40 set, went back to the hotel to rest a bit, and the kids, under 40's, went back to Jim and Katy's to hang out.  Connor played with his favorite toy, ok tool, in all the world, the vacuum, Jackson took a nap and we watched Zombieland, because how better to celebrate a baptism weekend than with bloody violence, Bill Murray and zombies? 

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Not Zombies, noooooo!

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Connor and his big vacuum.

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Connor's little vacuum, damn, that's tiny.

After the mayhem, we headed up to Katy's parents' weekend house for dinner. The Hill is lovely. It sits out on their property about 45 minutes outside of Madison. It's wooded and private and peaceful. It has all the toys necessary to keep people, children and adults, entertained: 4 wheelers and guns, and a bouncy seat for Jackson, not to mention, hiking, a real train caboose and a hot tub. The house itself has a huge open floor plan with lots of windows and elegant rustic decor. Perfect party house! And Katy's mom and dad, Mary Jo and Tom, know how to throw a shindig. Lots of yummy appetizers, delicious dinner, drinks and more importantly just a warm, welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel like you could move in up at The Hill and never leave. There was no hot-tubbing, but a little shooting and 4-wheeling, and plenty of catching up with relatives, passing around of Jackson, and noshing.

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Fritzie and Jim discussing a possible ATV ride.

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Very confusing wine.

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Great Grandfather Jay and Connor the carpenter.

Sunday was the big baptism day.  Because it was Palm Sunday and the mass is particularly long, most of the family arrived at noon for the baptism ceremony and didn't attend mass.  Katy and Jim had over twenty people join them in welcoming Jackson into the Catholic church. Including Joe's second cousin, Missy and her daughter Lyz, who reconnected with the family through the powers of Facebook. Jackson's godparents are Jon, and Katy's brother, Chris' girlfriend, Stacie. Two great role models, and people that Jim and Katy know will be there for Jackson whenever he needs them, and even when he thinks he doesn't.

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Jackson and Katy, check out that pretty gown.

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
The Family.

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Parents, godparents, Jack and Father Mike.

The ceremony itself was wonderful. Katy's family has a strong and unique bond with Father Mike who officiated at their wedding and baptized Jackson. He has such a powerful presence, a man who is warm, grounded, and possessed of a vast knowledge and understanding of people and of their faith. He is able to take, what for a non-Catholic like me, seems like an obscure or confusing liturgy and explain it in a way that makes sense. I like Father Mike. So after a smooth and tear free baptism, with Jackson wearing Joe's family christening gown, allegedly worn by 50 family babies, we went over to Katy's family's country club for a lovely luncheon to celebrate Mr. Jackson.  Another tasty meal, more chances to catch up with family that we don't get to see very often, and more chances to hang out with Jackson and Connor.  And the opportunity to grill Lyz, a 17 year old creative soul, about what music she's listening to lately and what exactly can you eat if you're vegan. But mostly I grilled her about music, I need some new music. And Lyz, and Jon and Samantha, are much cooler than me and were more than happy to help school me.

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Jon Sands comparing all three of our iPods, very similar music not so shockingly.

That was pretty much our weekend. After the baptism and luncheon we went back to Jim and Katy's. I ran around playing with Connor, lots of lifting him onto my shoulder and then dropping him down onto the couch. He kept saying, "One more, please!" And I'd say "Ok, but this is the last time." and then eight times later, he's sitting on my shoulder again. It's such a blast to hang out with these nephews. We headed home the next morning, grabbing a quick lunch with Joe's parents at the outlets, did a little spring shopping, and then home. I love weekends like this. The big gang of family, celebrating the newest Sands boy and getting to spend time with everyone who is scattered across the country. At the same time it makes me long for more one-on-one time with each person. I don't feel like I ever get enough time to catch up with everyone. Can't wait to see everyone again, July seems way too far away. Jackson might be walking and Connor might be driving by then.

Sands Baptism Weekend 2010
Jim and I entertaining Connor after church.

All photos by Joe Sands, or maybe Jim on a couple. Not sure which ones. Sorry!

Friday, March 26, 2010

7 Days: Day 7 And I'm Spent

the light of day
Yeah, it's too early for taking self portraits this morning. I went to bed after midnight last night, which I'm regretting today. But there was laundry and ironing and packing and dog delivery to do last night. And then there were all the amazing 7 days pictures to scroll through. I love the 7 days photo project, but every time it starts again I forget two things, one, how quickly the week disappears and two, how much time it really takes to participate. I get so much out of doing this project. And this time even more so.

The idea of taking a self portrait a day for a week always struck me as a little narcissistic. As a blog writer, I obviously am narcissistic to a certain degree. To think that others might want to read and see what's going on in my humble little life, yeah, pretty self absorbed. But 7 days is something different for me. There is something about a camera that changes the dynamic in a room, in a situation, in a relationship. Two of my favorite photos this week were the photos I took with other people. And I think these are sometimes more representative of me than photos of me by myself. Because these relationships and the way I am with other people is such a huge part of me, it is a reflection of how I view the world, of my responsibilities and place here. The joy I feel everyday is so directly tied to my friendships and family, that those photos are the most representative of me sometimes as an individual, through the power of our connections.

I don't think I've ever viewed photography as something that could be healing, but the photos with my mother earlier in the week were exactly that, healing. I was able to view her and our relationship through the neutral eye of the camera, and it just looked so beautiful for a change. The other photo, that I took yesterday, was with a complete stranger. But he had made me smile or laugh several times during my morning commute this week and I wanted to capture that. Plus, I was a little nervous, ok, pretty damn nervous, to walk up to a complete stranger and ask him to pose with me. But pushing through those nerves and just doing it felt so good afterward. The photo itself is average, but James was open and friendly, and he made me more willing to talk to complete strangers for no good reason, other than they have a story to share and a smile for a stranger.

So I'm taking a little blog break over the weekend. I'm spent from the 7 straight days of posting, and I'm sure you need a break from me too, dear reader. We are headed up to Wisconsin for a great family filled action packed weekend. So I'll be back next week with wonderful photos, much much fewer of me and more babies, and plenty of stories to blur your eyes reading. Thanks for meeting me here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

7 Days: Day 6 - Library and Liberty Tax

James of Liberty Tax

That's James. He works for Liberty Tax around the corner from my house. From January to April 15, Liberty Taxes all over the country have someone standing outside, dressed like Uncle Sam or the Statue of Liberty, waving and drumming up business. I always wave back. Even last year when the Statue of Liberty was an ugly transvestite with a heavy five o'clock shadow and pink lipstick. Because I think that would be a pretty crappy job. Standing on a street corner, in all kinds of weather, dressed in an outlandish get up, constantly smiling, dancing or trying to get passerby's attention. I wouldn't want to do it. But they always make me smile.


The Liberty Tax wavers always seem to be happy, energetic, friendly and bold. I admire that. So after taking some pretty mediocre 7 days pictures at the library, see below. I stopped to get some gas, in the same strip mall as Liberty Tax. And I noticed James' large sequined red, white and blue hat, his stars and stripes vest, and jacket complete with star scattered tails, and striped pants. Just silly. So after pumping my gas, I ran over and introduced myself, my silly photo project and blog, and asked James a little about his job and if he would mind letting me take a picture of us. James said that he likes the job because he likes being outside and he likes making people smile. Though he said when it's too cold they don't get to work which is good and bad.  I asked him if most people were nice and he said absolutely.  He laughed at me as we took a couple of pictures, none of which were that great of me, but James steals the show anyway, who wouldn't in that hat? We got honked at, people at the gas station chuckled watching us, and I had a great time meeting James. As I left and thanked him, he said, "No thank you, you just made me into a celebrity." Hilarious.

The Drop Off
Dropping off books at the library. Maybe if I had on an Uncle Sam hat this photo would be better. I might just do that from now on to jazz up boring situations.

The Library Hold Section

Picking up one of the two Madeleine Albright books I had on my hold list. I think she would approve of this patriotic post. Though if I were wearing a brooch it might be better.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

7 Days: Day 5 - Rushing Around Like a Fool, with my pants on the ground

Chicken Salad, lunch, dinner, whatever.
It's rainy and glum outside right now.  I have a killer headache and a lot to get done today, and tonight before we head out of town for a delightful family filled four day weekend in Madison.  I am absolutely looking forward to it.

In an effort to cram in as many errands as possible in a short amount of time, I stopped to buy some pants over my lunch hour.  I do not really like shopping.  I like to walk into the perfect store, select the exact item I came in for, buy it and walk out the door. This rarely occurs. Today I tried on 8 pairs of pants in 8 minutes.  And two problems presented themselves.  One, I'm between sizes.  Two, I'm tall.  Now neither one of these things is a surprise.  I've lost enough weight that my current pants are looking a little floaty and drapey, ok, just saggy.  That's great.  I'm down a full size at least, but things just fit differently, and nothing quite worked, either extreme-panty-line tight in the butt and perfect in the legs, or perfect in the hips and ridiculously sausage-casingy in the thighs.  And then the tallness.  I've been tall for a long time, about 6' since 7-8th grade, and I usually have no problem nowadays finding the right length, but I found two pair of tall pants today, and they were both silver.  Really, silver?  Who wears silver pants?  And I don't mean a bright gray, I'm talking shiny, pinstripe silver.

So the pants shopping was a bust.  I ran home, let the dog out in the rain, scarfed down some chicken salad and crackers, snapped a quick picture, ran back to the office, meeting, meeting, work, work, work, photo upload, three minute blog and here we are.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

7 Days: Day 4 - Coffee Talk

Madeline Bump

Today was busy. Meetings and lots of marketing debates and layouts and uploading and pdfs and jpgs and ordering and font discussions with clients. I love this part of my job. I think in a different life I would have loved to work in marketing or advertising, but again, I might think it's fun simply because I don't do it everyday. There is something rewarding about creating an advertising piece that I know will be in the hands of thousands of people, cajoling and convincing them to attend this event or sign up for that class. And I'm not selling toothpaste here. I get to promote and market for good causes, causes I'm passionate about. I like that. And I'm proud of the invitations, business cards and postcards that we created today. Satisfying work.

As a great end to the day, I had coffee with Tara, who is all over this freaking blog. And I don't care if this is redundant, but I'm blessed with some damn good friends. Tara is one of them. We sat and talked for two straight hours about everything from C-sections and art theory to domestic partnerships and what qualities we need in friendships as we've gotten older. And did I mention that Tara's baby is scheduled to arrive next Tuesday? I'm so excited. Of course I had to include her and her adorable baby bump in my 7 days photo, because this time next week, that baby bump will be a Madeline.

Monday, March 22, 2010

7 Days: Day 3 - I Love Sunroof


I took Joe's car to work today so he could take mine in to the shop to get some work done.  And he has a sunroof. I want a sunroof. I sang along or rocked out, if you will, to a little Nine Inch Nails - Head Like a Hole and Jeff Buckley- Last Goodbye on my lunch hour. I felt 16 again, minus the making out in cars and reading The Scarlet Letter. And the bad perm, and the flannel, and the skipping class. Wow, I like being 34. Either way, not a bad way to break up a Monday.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

7 Days: Day 2 - Spring Blessings, Sunlight and some Pizza

Today kind of disappeared on me. I turned around and it was 5pm already. But it was a great, full, and thought filled kind of day.  We went to Unity Church of Overland Park this morning for our friends, Caroline and Kegan's son's christening. Maddox is seven months old and smiley and all chubby cheeks and big eyes. Not only did we get to celebrate Maddox and the joy he brings to their family and to everyone who meets him, but we got to test out Unity Church as well. ( #28 on my list, pick a church or something)




Caroline and Kegan are great parents and good friends and their two boys are adorable. They look like a blond J Crew or Land's End ad, but real and funny and sincere and kind.  Joe and I were honored to be included in such a spiritual moment with their family. We enjoyed the service too. The minister gave a sermon about revising the way you should view Psalms 23, typically thought of as a funeral prayer, and morphing it into a prayer of strength that can be called up during significant struggles or times of transition in your life. I liked that. The idea of changing what I've thought of as a mournful, depressing group of verses into something that I could derive power or sustenance from made sense to me.


But generally I don't think Unity is the church for us.  Joe and I are are both very open minded and easy going in our regular lives, but for some reason the laid back, non-traditional, new age feeling at Unity just doesn't feel right for me, or Joe I think.  I love the message of acceptance and openness that Unity professes. I feel comfortable with the brief meditation time and the friendly congregation, but I miss the traditions of my childhood. I miss hymnals, big TV screens don't work for me. I want the music and lyrics and the book itself in my hand. I miss church choirs, and the live band and singer are great, but it just isn't what I want at church. All of it seems cheesy and forced to me. And I know it isn't. I know people love this new worship. But I feel cynical and closed in that setting. And you probably shouldn't feel that way at your own church.  Next week we'll be attending our nephew Jackson's christening at a Catholic church in Madison. I will be curious to compare the two ceremonies and see how similar and how vastly different they handle the same rite of passage. But I'm pretty sure the Catholic church isn't going to be our next church home either. Sorry, Pope Benedict!


After church we headed out to meet my mother for lunch at one of our favorite pizza places, Spin.  So we took my mom, who'd never been there before. I love my mother, a lot. Yet we have one of those complicated relationships like so many mothers and daughters do. I'm overly critical and judgmental, and take on the parent role too easily. She can be in her own little world sometimes and I feel like I have to remind her that her attention and opinions are so valuable to me. But in an effort to improve our relationship, (#16) I just want to have more fun with her.  Try to be less worried about her and less focused on her current state of health and happiness. I want to be in the moment, as cheesy as that sounds. It is hard for me. So doing the 7 days photo shoot in the middle of Spin was perfect. We got to goof off and play and relax instead of waiting for one of us to say the wrong thing.  And I think I got some strong photos, too.

Mother and Daughter
This was my 7 days shot, and since style was the theme for the day, I would say I got my sense of style from my mom.


Trying to get Mom to flick off Joe holding the camera, first she had to check and see if any kids were watching.

All clear, now she's in!

This ticked her off a bit, but she was a good sport. I love you, Mom. Let's goof off again soon.

All photos by Joe Sands, except for the 7 Days shot, I got that one. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

7 Days is Back, Oh, How We've Missed You!

7 Days, the blast of a self portrait group photo project on Flickr starts again today! This gang of creative photographers, some pros and some just talented amateurs, take a self portrait photo of themselves everyday, post it into the group and then praise, tease, question and peruse each others photos for the rest of the week. So I'm in! And in my pursuit of taking more photos and writing more and better (#27 and #40 on the Bravely Obey in Action list) I'm blogging each day this week. I'll try my best to keep it lively!

Starting Clean

I got a haircut today. And it was gooood. The head massage, the scalp massage, the hot towel treatment, the chatting, and the behind the scenes salon secrets that my stylist Linda always shares. And of course the haircut itself! Perfection. If forced to choose between giving up my doctor, whom I've gone to since I was 17, versus giving up my stylist, I would say goodbye to the doc. Linda is that good. And as I told her today, it's not just the haircut, it's the conversation, the laughs and the fact that she seems to ask me if I've lost weight every time I see her. Customer service at its finest.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Belated Birthday Girl, I Mean Woman

The Birthday Girl

One of my favorite people had a birthday last week. And being that she was relaxing on a tropical beach, ok sort of tropical Florida and I hear it was a little too rainy for lots of beach, but she got a tan and she was out of town, so we were unable to celebrate her birth on or near her actual birthday, so we celebrated tonight! We had a great time, margaritas were sipped or guzzled, babies were cooed over, children were entertained, Mexican cuisine was consumed, and we had a chance to celebrate Kristen. Cue excellent photo work from Joe...


Deep in Healthcare reform discussion

Mrs. Barnes - due any day now

Mr. Mischief

Joe's Pork Burrito

Mmm, margarita

Dr. Morgan

Kristen and I met in 1996 at KU through a group of mutual friends. And for some reason we just didn't click at first. This lack of clicking, or mild dislike was probably based on lots of needless drama around men, and my eyeballing, on my first visit to her home, the large formal oil portrait of her in a fancy white dress hanging over the piano in her parent's music room, wherein I immediately thought, "Wow, seriously? Who is this princess?" My bad.  I now know that this portrait is something she's slightly embarrassed about and hides in her crawl space at home. Ask her about it next time you see her!

And though things started off a bit rocky, our friendship quickly gelled after sharing an apartment in Lawrence over the summer. A summer spent either soaking up the sun at the pool, talking on our tiny patio, complaining about our families, working on campus or relaxing at Dock Fuckow (just a dock at Clinton Lake that our group of friends frequented that summer, why did we call it this? I honestly can't remember.) Sharing stories of family drama, peppered with large quantities of wine and cheddar cheese can certainly bring women together. But back to Kristen.

Reading to the kiddo

Kristen is sharp. She has a sarcastic, dry wit. She knows herself well and is happy to tell you that. She has a mane of very curly brown, black, red, sometimes blondish hair, that when she straightens it makes her nearly unrecognizable, but lovely. She speaks her mind freely and clearly. She can talk about any subject, but careful if you wander into politics and didn't happen to support Hillary Clinton in the last election. She works hard. She's a great mom. She rides a motorcycle.  And god, does the woman read. Even more than me, and she has a four year old! How is this possible? She's one of those great friends who knows everything about me, good and bad, and still likes me. When she drinks, and she loves a good margarita, she gets chattier and sillier. And a sillier Kristen is always good. She can talk about makeup and hair crap or have an in depth discussion of the gender politics on college campuses, or the gender politics anywhere for that matter.  Her no-nonsense tough woman exterior is hiding a soft, sensitive girl, but don't tell her I told you. She might be pissed I called her a girl. So happy birthday, woman! I'm lucky to have you as a friend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Googled "Alone Time" and Charles Manson Popped Up, Is That Bad?

I have this evening all to myself. And I'm absolutely looking forward to it. I love alone time. I love my husband, too. Please don't mistake that. I love spending time with him doing just about anything. Because he's funny and cute and he laughs at my jokes and we speak the same language, the language of judgmental, nerdy sarcasm, with a dash of over-thinking. But having been married for almost nine years, I relish the few nights of alone time that I get every month. And I hear this gets even more scarce when you have children. So I'm going to wallow in my precious alone time this evening and detail it here so that sometime in the future when I have no privacy and no time to myself, I can look back at 2010 Kassie and be jealous of her. And that is such a compliment to women, isn't it? The jealously? Or maybe that's just me.

Anyway, here's the plan for the evening (not that I couldn't do any of these things with Joe home, but it's fun when no one's watching!)

1. Come home and remove office clothes in the living room and then wander back to the bedroom to dig out work out clothes. Put them on. Walk the dog.
2. Work out to whatever Wii fitness video my little heart desires. Tonight will be 45 minutes of All Island Activities - running, paddle surfing, squash, water skiing and sparing, yes, I love boxing. Make unattractive noises, sweat profusely, curse at the television, possibly fart. Honestly, I do this when working out even when Joe is around, but I'm less concerned about killing the romance/mystery/mystique when he's gone.
3. Wipe sweat off face, guzzle enormous glass of cool water, turn on iPod for some background music, then cook dinner while dancing around the kitchen.
4. I'm making stuffed peppers for dinner. Smelly, potent, delicious stuffed peppers. Joe doesn't like stuffed peppers. How exciting for me!
5. Scarf down the delicious peppers while reveling in their pungent glory. I may sit down to eat dinner, I may not, I may perch on the kitchen counter, who cares? No one! Then clean the kitchen.
6. Change out of grungy work out clothes into comfy Lebowski t-shirt and too big pajama pants, laze around on couch, surfing the interwebs, and watching guilty pleasure TV, or read the weird book that I'm kind of loving.
7. Realize that this sounds essentially like an evening home with Joe, minus the peppers and crap TV. Why do I like alone time? Who's there to laugh at me when I talk back to the TV? Am I weird? I might have to add extensive and invasive beauty treatments and some kind of Bravo reality TV show to really take advantage of this alone girlie time.

What do you do when you have alone time? Eat crackers in your underwear, skip doing the dishes, pee with the bathroom door open? Has this turned into some kind of Sex and the City episode? I'm so sorry. I'm going to go tweeze my eyebrows now.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I've Been Getting Some Action

Ok, dirty minds, I'm not talking about that kind of action. I'm talking taking some action on the Bravely Obey in Action list!

I didn't want to write the list and then essentially forget about it for ages. So I'm tackling the cheap and easy items first. That's right, I said cheap and easy. (Though as Joe pointed out vacations aren't exactly cheap, but on my list, US vacations are the cheaper option.)

#42 (Take a beach vacation, wander around, cook and eat lots of local seafood, read a ton of books, get tan, and spend lots of alone time with husband) is scheduled for the end of May. Can you guess where we are going? Either the Land of Sunshine or the Land o' Sand, depending on which postcard sales pitch you believe.

#5 (Buy some fantastic antique brooches and wear them more often) is so easy I can sit in my Scottie pajama pants and accomplish it successfully. This morning I spent far too long browsing for vintage and not so vintage brooches on Etsy. Have you visited Etsy? It's amazing. Everything is either handmade or vintage and there are some gorgeous and some bizarre items for sale. Handmade can be scary. I went for tasteful and vintage this time.

I'm failing horribly at #39 (Stop yelling and cursing at people when I'm driving. I'm not sure this is possible) in fact I'm not even trying. I occasionally catch myself yelling something like "you stupid motherf*&%*^!" and then think I probably shouldn't have said that. But I did. Maybe having a kid will break me of this. Maybe.

I'm two pounds closer to #29. (Reach my goal weight) That's a grand total of 26 pounds this year. Oh, yeah.

#27 (Take more photos) is going ok, see previous blog post, though the coolest photos were taken by Joe.  Probably should do that more during the week and not just on vacation, but 7 days starts next weekend, so lots of self portrait photos will be happening, and lots more writing, since I'm going to try to mini-blog everyday with each photo like I did at Christmas. And that will help with #40. (Write more and better) Though I can't promise anything on the better part.

So that's my mini-list update post for today.  Now it's time to close the laptop, put some clothes on, get out there and chop it up. What have you crossed off your list in the last couple of weeks?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kansas City, Jump On It

I'm thirsty

I like where I live. I like the Midwest. I like the friendly people. I like experiencing all four seasons, though this winter was a bit much. I like that I get to live close to my friends and family, and just a couple of hours drive from more family and friends. I like that I know how to get just about anywhere in town, but I discover new places, cool restaurants, hidden back streets, new businesses, every week.  I like Kansas City. And I like it even more after our in-town vacation last weekend. Joe and I had a great time seeing Kansas City like tourists, instead of a ten year resident and a nearly life long resident. And it was fun. Just fun.

For Valentine's Day, Joe bought a hotel package at the Hotel Phillips downtown, just a couple of blocks from the Power and Light District.

Deco lobby
Marble and deco glory
So we stayed at the beautiful art deco hotel, walked over to one of our favorite restaurants, The Bristol, for their delicious happy hour specials and dinner, I highly recommend the Mango Martini and the Pink Pops Martini, they were both delicious and not too sweet.

We walked around downtown, the weather crisp but perfect. And there were cowboys everywhere. everywhere. The PBR, Professional Bull Riders (the toughest sport on dirt evidently) were in town at the Sprint Center, and seriously, I've never seen so many cowboys out in the wild. I had no idea what PBR was until Friday. The fact that it wasn't Pabst Blue Ribbon was disappointing.  Anyway, we walked, and hung out and laughed and drank a bit and had a delightful evening.

Fun House Window

We enjoyed our romantic overnight stay at the hotel. Our room was pretty, king size beds are awesome and we got up for a little breakfast the next morning at the hotel restaurant and then off for some art viewing at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Let's Get Hitched
This is where we got engaged almost 10 years ago, the Rozelle Court restaurant.

aRTy gLAssEs
Bloch Building
The man
Pende Sickness Mask
 This is one of my favorite pieces of African art, the Pende sickness mask. I love!

Bloch Building

We got a great tour from a docent who turned out to be the wife of one of my clients and mother of a friend of mine. She did a fantastic job, funny, honest and engaging and then even added a little bonus tour of the American Indian Gallery at the end. Joe is always pushing me to go on tours, but I like to have a little more freedom. This tour was ideal though, and it was just the two of us, so it was like having our own private expert. After our tour we stopped and grabbed some lunch at the Rozelle Court where we got engaged. Almost ten years ago. I can't believe that, it feels like yesterday. We relaxed and people watched, spotted a lady wearing multicolored velvet patchwork pants, superb. Then some more art. After the Nelson, we were off to the movies!

Fine Clothes for Men
Just a cool sign for Michael's Fine Clothing For Men on our way to the movies.

Back before we had a dog and responsibilities, we used to love seeing two movies in one night, it had been ages. And with the Oscars on Sunday night we wanted to try and catch one or two of the nominated films, so Saturday was an old fashioned double feature of Crazy Heart and Shutter Island. Two totally different, but excellent movies. Crazy Heart was heartbreaking and lovely and raw and Shutter Island was dark and mysterious and surprising. (And not Oscar nominated, but nearly as good as the book.)

And that was our vacation. It was exactly what we wanted, lots of KC fun, a couple of movies and plenty of time alone together. So plan your vacation today, there's a lot to do here in KC, we're nice and there are cute cowboys too.