Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kansas Vacation 2008

It was great to see everyone during our Kansas vacation this year. I must say that I really miss the place. I never would have thought that our old home could be such a great vacation destination that everyone here enjoyed. Here's a recap of the last week:

Thursday 5/15
- we woke up at 4am to catch a 5:30am flight. Wah-Wah usually gets up at this time, but she was actually up earlier. I guess she was excited. Anyway, after the horrible experience last year (being stranded in Denver over night), we had no problems and arrived at KCI in the early afternoon. Uncle Lovey (that's what he is called) picked us up and took us to Aunt Kim's house. That night, the kids and Wah-Wah went to visit Wah-Wah's dad, who was in town and staying at the Holiday Inn. The kids went swimming while I went to Homers to meet with A Forrest and Dust.

Friday 5/16
I rented a Toyota Prius and drove up to Iowa to see my old college friends, Dave and Doug. I enjoyed the drive in the Prius (and the gas mileage). That night, we had a couple of beers at one of our favorite places in Des Moines- the Royal Mile. It's a old style British pub that has as much charm as it's enormous beer selection.
Wah-Wah and the kids went to her older sister's Angie's house for a family reunion of sorts. Our kids really love Angie's home in Randoul. It is in the middle of nowhere, but has over a dozen horses roaming around. Woogy and Nibbles love spending time with their cousins. Woogy got to spend the night over there.

Saturday 5/17
-Dave and I went to the Des Moines Farmer's market which is every Saturday morning. I didn't actually see a lot of fresh produce, it was more like a lot of ethnic food and crafts for sale. Every time I'm in Des Moines, I can't believe how much it has grown. When I first moved their 18 years ago, it was a dump. It is actually turning into a pretty happening place. After breakfast at the Farmer's Market, I headed back out on the rode to visit my sister in Harlen IA.

(Aunt Angie, Wah-Wah, Nibbles, Aunt Kim, and cousin Jesse)

While I was driving around Iowa, Wah-Wah and Aunt Kim decided to take all the kids to World's Of Fun on Saturday. They went after 4pm and saved a couple of bucks. The kids had a blast (or so I'm told) at Camp Snoopy.

Here's all that went : Cheyanne, Woogy, Cody, Dusty, Aunt Kim, and Jessie (Nibbles isn't looking at the camera).

While everyone else was having a great time at Worlds of Fun, I was spending a quite afternoon with my sister. It was a pleasant visit and I got to see my baby nephew. My sister talked with me a lot about our mom's deteriorating health. That was kind of a downer, so on the long drive back to KC, I listened to Rosie Thomas's When We Were Small album. The album was a perfect back drop to the summer sunset driving across Missouri. I think Rosie has one of the warmest voices in music with some very introspective lyrics. I found myself being so retrospective listening to this album, that I had to hear it twice.
Sunday 5/18
On Sunday, we got up and went to Church. Overland Park really feels like a church home to me. I like were we are now, but Overland Park is were my faith really began. I missed most of Pastor's Phil's sermon since I ended up talking with someone about my job and foster care in general. Afterwards we went to Chuck E. Cheese with A Forest and his kids.

After Chuck E. Cheese, we went to A Forest's cousin's graduation party at Shawnee Mission Park. Here is a picture of A Forest shredding it up on a kind of a skate board. I have a nice video of this, but I can't seem to download videos on my blog for some reason.

Monday 5/19
On Monday, we went to Deanna Rose Petting Zoo. I use to go to this place all the time with the kids, but I've really come to miss it. We have nothing like this in Portland. You really begin to appreciate something when you no longer have it. We ended up running into our old doctor. I didn't want to bother him, but I did go up and tell him "thank you" for taking care of our family when we lived in KC. I think he appreciated it, and told me that he quit his practice a year ago. I told him I thought he was a good doctor despite acting very bored on some of my appointments. I reminded him of the time he gave me a spinal tap because he thought I had meningitis. I asked him to pose for a picture with Nibbles since he delivered her. I thought it might be neat someday to show Nibbles a picture of the man who delivered her.

After Deanna Rose, I met up with A Forest to go see the Cure at Starlight. We picked up some dinner at my favorite restaurant in the world-- Oklahoma Joes.

Sadly, I'm down to one Z-man a year (my arteries are grateful for that). The Z-man is the best sandwich I ever had. Nothing else compares. The fries are pretty good too.

After a delicious meal at Oklahoma Joe's, A Forest and I headed to Starlight to see the Cure. The Cure is one of my "pillar" bands. Meaning, I got into them when I first started listening to music back in the 80's and they have shaped my taste in music like U2, the Smiths, and REM. Starlight is a great for a summer night concert, and it was pretty crowded for a Monday night. Shows like this are great for people watching, but the Cure's audience is getting older (like me) so I wouldn't say we saw a lot of people "gothed up." The Cure played a lot hits from their massive catalogue and few new ones from their forth coming double album. All the new tunes sounded pretty good. However, it was clear that lead singer Robert Smith wasn't feeling so well and was having pretty bad voice problems. Unlike some singers (Depeche Mode 2 years ago), Robert Smith pushed on for almost three hours. By the end of the set, he could hardly sing the chorus of his songs. I've always thought he was one of the coolest singers ever.

Tuesday 5/20

On Tuesday, we spent the afternoon at Hillsdale Lake with Aunt Kim and Uncle Lovey. Lovey has a speed boat and was kind enough to take us all out on it for some tubing. Lovey and Kim even had some wet suits that fit us. I have never been dragged across a lake at 30mph. I think I would have enjoyed it a little more if Lovey would have slowed down a little.

Here's Wah-Wah in tow. Wah-Wah impressed everyone with how long she stayed on. Nibbles got a little upset when Wah-Wah fell off. She thought we were leaving Wah-Wah stranded out in the middle of the lake.

After a afternoon at the lake, we went out to the T.Rex Cafe with Dust and Golden. T.Rex seemed like a good idea if the kids started acting up. My thanks again for Dust for rescuing Woogy when he got trapped between a wall and a table.

Weds 5/21

On Weds, we spent the day at Aunt Angie's again. Nibbles picked up some new cowgirl boots and rode a rather stubborn pony.

While Woogy and Nibbles played with their cousins, I broke my own personal record for the "most amount of time on a horse" by riding for three hours. I found that there was something romantic about being on a horse. The hero always rides horse after all. Here I am on a horse named "Easy." I rode around the pasture for a while he did nothing but eat the grass.


Portland wawa said...

It was a great week. I am sad and missing my family alot, so are the kids. Nibbles misses Aunt Kim terribly.

shakedust said...

It was nice to be able to spend some time with you.

Looks like you fit a lot into that short week. On the way home from T-Rex Golden and I discussed the fact that we probably couldn't do as much as you do in the same time frame. We both require too much down time.

Also, Woogy wasn't stuck too badly. He probably could have gotten out himself, but I think he froze because he was startled by his predicament. The lady at the table next to us made the situation seem much worse than it was.

GoldenSunrise said...

It was awesome spending time with all of you guys on Sunday and Tuesday night.

I agree with Dust, you packed in a lot of fun stuff during that week. You guys are like the energizer keep going and going.

Achtung BB said...

I was always brought up to believe that vacations are not for relaxing. You can do that at home.

Doc said...

I agree. I can relax at home any old time (after my vacation).

Roaming Writer said...

Wish we there to visit with you too Sounds like a great time. It's hard when your heart is torn between two places.

Dash said...

Seeing all your pictures was almost like being there ... ok - not quite ... But still, sounds like a lot of fun!

f o r r e s t said...

I had a good to do Homer's old school style, eat a Z-man, and see the Cure.