Despite a rough start with our vacation to Kansas City, I'd say that I really enjoyed myself. It's funny how a place you used to live can become a vacation destination.
First, our flight to Kansas was rough. It started in Portland when our flight to Denver was delayed an hour due to technical problems. Apparently, the auto pilot was broken and I began to wonder "Why do we need an auto pilot? We have two pilots don't we? Can't we depend on them?" By the time we got in the air, the pilot announced that Denver was backed up and we would have to stay in the air an extra hour (missing our connecting flight). Apparently Denver had only one working runway and high winds of up to 80mph. That was certainly the case when we landed. It felt like we only had one wheel on the ground as we rolled down the runway.
By the time we got off the plane in Denver, our connecting flight into KC was long gone. The airline informed us that there would be no other flights out of Denver until the morning. To help make everyone feel a little better, we got 40% off hotel rooms in the area. Feeling pretty frustrated, I had the airline fly us out on the next flight to KC. This was a 6:50am flight. It was fast approaching midnight, so after talking with Wah-Wah, we decided it would be easiest if we just spent the night in the airport. The airline was gracious enough to give us pillows (no bigger than your hand) and some blankets. Thank the Lord that the kids fell asleep fast, however I had one of the worst sleep nights of my life.
By the time morning came, we made it on our plane and landed in KC around 9am. Of course as luck would have it, the airline lost our luggage after promising me it was going out on the same flight we were. They told me that it would be in on the 10am flight, then the 11:40am flight, finally the 12:50 flight was sure to have it. Luckily, Wah-Wah's sister took us out to "The Smoke House" for some BBQ while we awaited our luggage.
By Thursday night, I had showered and changed clothes and was putting my horrible trip behind me. We were staying with Wah-Wah's sister's house in Stanley. Thursday was highlighted by coffee night at Homer's with Dash, Shake Dust, and A Forrest. Even Taz showed up. It was bittersweet to have everyone back who I had had coffee with for the past 4 years (actually I can't remember when it started). Sadly, the group is sort of on hiatus since Dash and Taz moving soon and Shake Dust has had Thursday classes. I have to say that I've missed Thursday coffee the most since moving to Oregon.
On Friday, we rented a car and I drove my family out to Wah-Wah's older sister's farm house out in the country. Woogy loves it there with his cousins. There are horses, cows, chickens, rabbits, ducks, fish, and pigs out there. I left my family there on the farm and drove 3 hours up to Des Moines to meet with an old friend from college, DS. DS now lives in Cedar Falls, so Des Moines was a nice half way point. We stayed with another friend, Mr. H, who still lives in Des Moines. We ended up going for a night out on the town and meeting a couple of other old college friends. Every time I go to Des Moines, I can't believe how much the city has changed. It's actually a livable city (didn't used to be when I lived there).
On Saturday, after saying "good bye" to DS and Mr.H, I drove an hour west to visit my sister and her new son in Harlen, Iowa. My sister had a baby a few months ago and this would be my first encounter with my new nephew. He looks nothing like our side of the family, but still cute. I think my sister is realizing how much work it is having a baby. Since there isn't a lot to do in Harlen, we went for a nice walk in the local park. After a few hours, I headed back to KC.
On Sunday, we went to our old church for the first time since leaving for Oregon. Woogy was so excited to be back at his old church and immediately started playing with A Forest's son, Goose. I crashed A Forest's new Sunday school class-Workmanship. I really liked the idea of Workmanship, being an art group that meets weekly and draws inspiration from the Bible. I wished that it had been there when I was still in KC.
After church, we headed out to Zonker's for the kids birthday party. Shake Dust and Golden came and brought NJ (who unfortunately is too young to enjoy a place like Zonkers). A Forest brought his two boys-Goose and Duck and all of Woogy's and Nibble's cousins came. I hope everyone had a good time. After Dust and A Forest left, the cousins and Woogy played for another couple of hours. The cousins don't get off the farm that much, so this was a real treat for them.
On Monday, I wanted to take the family to Science City, but unfortunately it was closed so we hung out at Crown Center for the afternoon. Woogy had a good time playing in the fountains until another kid ran right into him. Monday evening, A Forest and I went to a Bloc Party concert at the Uptown. Neither of us was that familiar with Bloc Party's music but we enjoyed it anyway.
Our last day, on Tues, we went to Deanna Rose Petting Zoo. I love that place. It's a great place to kill some time with the kids and it is free. However, Nibbles was starting to get sick, so she wasn't enjoying it as much as before. For lunch, we went to my favorite restaurant on Earth- Oklahoma Joe's. I had my favorite sandwich, the Z-man, with fries. Yes, I know it is a real artery clogger, but it tests like heaven. I would fly back to Kansas just for that sandwich. After lunch we went back to Zonker's to use the free coupons for the kids, but Nibbles was still feeling bad. Wah-Wah's sister took us to the airport, only to find that flights were delayed again. I was really nervous that we would have to spend another night in the Denver airport, but everything was backed up, so we made our connecting flight back to Portland and landed about 1am. Over all I had a great time going back to KC and was glad I could meet up with everyone again.