Kansas City and Tori Amos

This weekend, my friend Janet and I went to Kansas City, MO to see Tori Amos in concert on her Unrepentant Geraldines tour. This was my fifth Tori concert and Janet’s second. We kicked our adventure off Saturday morning around noon with the drive to KC and a quick stop for lunch at the travel plaza where we saw fellow MHKers who were going to to an event in Lawrence.

The drive was quick and easy, and after touring the one way streets in KC’s Power and Light District to find the theater, we pulled up to our hotel to check in. The Aladdin is an old but updated boutique hotel with valet parking and a spa in the basement. Janet’s husband hooked us up with points for the room, free breakfast, and free valet parking. We didn’t know about the free breakfast or parking, so that was a nice surprise, as was the complimentary glasses of champagne they gave us at check-in.

Kicking off the fun with some bubbly.
Kicking off the fun with some bubbly.

The room was kind of cool and funky. We got a king sized bed because that was all that was available. The woman who checked us in seemed a little confused at first, but we assured her we were just kicking it high school style.

How does one get one of these chairs? Because I loved it.
How does one get one of these chairs? Because I loved it.

In lieu of exploring the area in the heat, we chilled in the hotel room with some drinks and “Mean Girls” on cable. After showers, we decided to walk around the corner to have dinner at the Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. It was a little bit of a splurge, but not horrible, and hibachi makes for a fun dinner experience.

From there, we went ahead and lined up outside the theater. We were there early enough to get close to the doors, and we got the chance to visit with other Tori fans during the wait. That’s one of my favorite parts of the concerts…fellow fans are super friendly.

Once the doors opened, we went to the merch station where I bought a tote bag and met Tori’s daughter, Tash. She was genuinely sweet and gave us hugs and chatted with us for awhile.

The theater was comfortable and kind of cozy. Since we were there early, we waited about an hour for the opening act, then another half hour for Tori to start. I had heard that The Midland didn’t have bad seats, and while technically that was true, that doesn’t take into account what happens when a bunch of tall people sit in front of a short person. Because the seating is not tiered, there were some challenges seeing through the tall gentlemen in front of me, the woman who kept dipping her head right into my line of sight in front of them, and the guy in the hat in front of her.

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Luckily, being in the back row meant we could stand without blocking anyone, so I stood part of the time and sat at just the right angle the rest of the time, a feat made easier when the woman with the dippy head left early.

The show was just as good as we’d hoped. Tori looked and sounded amazing. Hearing some of her songs done live triggers all the feels. I teared up at some of the songs that I don’t usually cry to. For Lizard Lounge, she covered “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Over the Rainbow” (relevant to Kansas, even though the concert was in Missouri). I was especially stoked to hear “Take to the Sky” in the encore, as that song hits me on a personal level.

While Tori was great, I did take issue with some of my fellow concert goers. While I’m all for showing your enthusiasm and love, doing it every thirty seconds, including when she’s trying to talk to the audience, is just obnoxious. Also, if you’re going to spend money on the concert, think about the fact that other people have done the same thing and don’t make the concert your social hour. We had people behind us who rudely carried on a conversation the whole time. Not cool, and I think some of the people down from us were ready to start a fight afterwards over it.

We walked back to the hotel room and debriefed over Doritos and Chex Mix, then crashed out. This morning was breakfast and the drive home, with a stop for some Baskin Robbins on the way. Because sometimes ice cream just sounds better than an actual lunch.

For a weekend away, it was actually very relaxed, but I’m still taking today just to reset, clean, and get ready for the work week. Now the planning begins for the next tour and another girls’ weekend. It’s likely two years away, and I’m already excited for it.



New Year’s Gaming and First Day Weather

Happy New Year!

Our New Year’s Eve kicked off yesterday afternoon. I got out of work early, so Jon and I decided to use the extra daylight hours to do some geocaching. The winter weather (and my low tolerance for it) has put a limit on our caching adventures, so it felt good to get out and make some finds. Other than some mud and having to navigate around icy patches, we didn’t have too much trouble.

We made a pit stop at Dillon’s for snacks, then grabbed dinner at McAllister’s before heading over to Terry and Erica’s for some NYE gaming. We played a game called Elder Sign, drank some Redd’s Strawberry Ale, and just had a nice, relaxing evening. Nice and relaxing is my current speed. Once in awhile I like to get a little wild, but I think the way we spent our evening was perfect.

Elder Sign
Elder Sign

Our original plans for today were derailed by snow. I’d wanted to go to the First Day Hike at Tuttle Creek State Park, but since we were under a winter weather advisory, I thought it best to stay in. We might have gone if we’d lived in Manhattan, but I didn’t want to risk the drive. However, since we knew we were going to opt out, we decided to brave the cold and take a walk around the neighborhood. It was a short walk, but it did the trick of getting us out to stretch our legs.

The rest of the day was spent knitting, watching a movie, reading, playing on the internet, and taking a nap. Jon made crockpot chili for dinner, and it was delicious. This was the first time we’ve made chili this season, and it was well worth the wait. Though I have a list of things to get done, I decided to take today as a relax day. I think I’ll be ready to get back into my groove tomorrow.  For January, I want to finish my work course (I keep forgetting I have it), re-read Cinder and Scarlett before Cress releases in February, and finish the first revision on my novel.

Overall, it was a good holiday and a good kickoff to the new year. It’s not coming without some personal issues. I have some challenging people in my life who are making me a stew a little bit, but it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last time. As a side note, please remember that if you have mental health issues, get help. Not only will you feel better, but you’re likely to avoid hurting the people around you.

I’m not taking this as a foreshadowing of 2014. I still believe I’m going to have a fabulous and fun year. Bring it on!


Twelve Things About Me

I was inspired by both the current trend on Facebook and my sister-in-law to post a “Twelve Things About Me” list. I’ve enjoyed reading other people’s lists, but I’ve been hesitant to “Like” any of them because I’d end up with twenty different numbers. I don’t consider myself a very interesting person, but I suppose I have a few quirks that I could share, especially right now when things are grinding too slowly for any exciting posts.

1. I love going to the dentist. It’s relaxing for me, especially when they use any tool that vibrates. I’ve thought about asking if they could use the drill just for fun, but I’ve never actually done it.

2. Before I met Jon, I was engaged to be married to someone else. Through a series of weird and crazy hijinks, that relationship ended, and I met Jon shortly after. Though I believe everything went according to a bigger plan, it still sometimes scares me to think that just one small choice would have meant possibly never meeting the greatest guy I know.

3. I’ll take comfort over fashion any day. I don’t even know what fashion is. Sometimes I think I should have a look that’s specifically “me,” but then I think of the work that might take, and I just stick with comfort.

4. I love getting older. When I lived in Sault Ste. Marie, I was inspired by some older women who were successful and content with their lives who told me that it all came with age. Since then, I’ve looked forward to getting older, getting wiser, and getting better. With each year, I learn more and find more contentment. I’ve also learned that things don’t have to be all or nothing, and this has lead to a great deal of mental, physical, and emotional development for me.

5. Every spring, I become painfully homesick for the Soo and spend a lot of time nostalgic for  the years I called it my home.

6. I have a very hard time keeping in touch with people, and I know it’s made some people I love mad at me. It’s not that I don’t love my long distance friends and family, even the ones I haven’t seen in years, but I realize that people’s interests and what they have in common change as they get older, and I’m not always sure if I have enough to say. Because of this, Facebook has been good for me, and though people don’t think “Liking” means anything, it’s my way of letting people know I still care.

7. I have dealt with depression for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t pinpoint what it was until college.  I don’t remember ever stigmatizing it or hiding it. I’ve never felt shame for being depressed, only frustration that I have to fight it, and it makes me sad when others DO feel shame and won’t get help. I struggled for several years trying to find what worked for me. There is not one cure for everyone,  and finding your own can be challenging, but it can also be worth it.

8.  I have almost no maternal instinct, and I’ve never seen myself as a mother, probably because every doctor I’ve ever seen has told me my chances of getting pregnant are slim to none. I think I’m too selfish to raise a child. Having said that, if a miracle does happen, I’m planning to roll with it and do the best I can…after I get over the shock.

9. I’ve written about seven novels. I’ve published none of them. I think this is partially out of fear and partially out of sheer laziness.

10. If you recommend something to me, like a book or a movie, I may or may not get around to it. If you tell me NOT to watch or read something because it was too graphic/disturbing/scary, etc., I will make it a point to find it and consume it as soon as possible. I attribute some of these to a high tolerance of media that came from starting my horror movie and novel hobbies early in life. To be honest, though, some of it is just plain contrariness.

11. I do not like politics or politicians, and I will very rarely engage in discussion regarding either.  When I do, it’s with people I know I can agree to disagree with.

12. I used to be very affectionate, but over the past few years, I’ve actually lost some of that ability. I went from being someone who hugged everyone in high school and college to someone who gets a little weirded out when someone tries to hug me (family and close friends excluded…I hug my husband all the time). However, if I think you need a hug, I will hug the heck out of you…for your own good.

I think I’ve just proved that I kind of like talking about myself. But I think you knew that already…


Our First Geocaching Event

Tonight, Jon and I attended our first Geocaching Event, Post Hallo”weenie” Roast, and had a blast, though getting to that point was a little rough.

The day started out okay. I had an eye exam this morning and everything checked out fine. I believe my vision has actually improved slightly in the few years since my last exam. I ordered some new lenses and frames, and I should have those by next week. So that was good.  Work wasn’t horrible. I got quite a bit done and used my lunch to start this year’s NaNoWriMo project.  After work, however, anxiety crept up on me and I had a tough time in the two hours we were doing stuff before the event.

Besides my normal social anxiety that was peeking out due to the prospect of meeting new people, I was also feeling road anxious and had a hard time driving with all the people leaving work and going to sporting events. Normally, I can deal. Today was really tough. I think that even though I used this week to do more activity outside, this coming week needs to put me back in the gym, because that has been effective at keeping the high amounts of anxiety at bay.

Things finally eased up when we found two caches near where the event was being held and actually made it to the event itself. The event was a fire and weenie roast hosted by one of the area’s more well known cachers. The place it was held seemed a little scary at first, but it was actually a really cool area. There was a 400 yard walk from the parking lot to the campsite where there was a grill, a firepit, and some stone benches for seating. There was also a huge field to one side, and a hill that I believe lead to a creek on the other. There were two caches in the park, but we opted out of going to them, deciding to go during the day sometime to explore the area more thoroughly.

This reminded me of The Blair Witch Project, but the actual area wasn't as creepy as one might think.
This reminded me of The Blair Witch Project, but the actual area wasn’t as creepy as one might think.

We had just gotten settled, did a few introductions, and were getting ready to roast some hot dogs when a storm started blowing in. We’d seen the lightning in the distance, and it just seemed to be getting closer. There was talk of moving to the event to the host’s house, but after checking the weather, it looked like it would only be a short one. To stay out of the rain, everyone walked back to the parking lot and waited the storm out in their cars.

I have a mild phobia of lightning. I love thunderstorms, but I worry about being outside in one because I don’t want to get struck by lightning. I was more than happy to wait it out in the car, but once we got there, it rained for three minutes and the thunder and lightning were nowhere to be heard or seen. Once the rain let up, everyone headed back to the campsite to eat and enjoy the rest of the evening.

The event gave us the chance to put some faces to names. Everyone was super nice and offered to help us when we were ready to hide our own caches. Semmels (the host) gave all the first timers a bison tube, and later he hooked us up with a few micro containers to hide as well.

Film canisters and bison tubes
Film canisters and bison tubes

We also met North Coast Cacher and discussed how his Wamego Boat Ramp cache has thwarted us several times. We had a good laugh over it, but seriously….we are going to find that one. If the weather holds tomorrow morning, I think we’ll head out there again, despite me saying last time that we were going to give up on it completely. Now it’s just becoming a challenge.

The event also gave us a chance to discover several travel bugs, including one brought by NCC and ones on people’s vehicles. This only confirms that we really need to get one for our car.

Besides talking to people, I got to enjoy a bonfire, something I loved doing as a kid and don’t get to do nearly enough as an adult. I got to eat roasted hot dogs and have a s’more, and Jon and I got to look at the stars for awhile. It was a great night! There are two more events coming up, and I’m definitely less anxious and more excited to attend both of them.

It’s way past my bed time, so my writing projects will have to wait until tomorrow. Hope everyone out there is gearing up for a good weekend!


Costumes and Mysteries Solved

I went to work today with the knowledge that today probably wouldn’t be my most productive day ever….because IT’S HALLOWEEN! Happy Halloween, everyone! In the five years I’ve been with my company, Halloween has always been a crazy day filled with food, candy, and costumes. I’ve gotten a little bit of a humbug reputation because I haven’t always participated. The problem in the past has been a high workload that I didn’t think I could or should take a break from. This year I’m working with a full and great team, so I was able to relax a little and have fun.

I’m not one to dress up, but as I think I said recently, I was able to help with costumes a little bit this year. My big project can be seen in this picture of one of our office’s group costumes.

Gru, Dr. Nefario, and the Minions
Gru, Dr. Nefario, and the Minions

I knit the Gru scarf! I love how it came out too. I think the group did great with this costume idea, and it seemed to be a big hit. Our company had a costume contest and they let everyone vote for their favorites. Unfortunately, our office didn’t win, but I’ll admit that the competition was fierce.

Our office had other costumes too.

Biker Girlz rule!
Biker Girlz rule!
Classy Cats
Turtle Man
Roller Ghoster
Roller Ghoster of Doom

For lunch, we had an office potluck with a ton of food. Right before we ate, however, I did our murder mystery reveal. We ended up with four winners who guessed everything correctly. Still proud of myself and my group for executing this like we did. I’m hoping to do a Twelve Days of Christmas Treasure Hunt, but I’ll have to see how busy fourth quarter turns out to be.

After work, Jon and I went out to find a few geocaches since the rain from early in the morning had evaporated into a nice sunny evening. We made four finds and had another DNF. One of our finds took us on a walk around part of Cico Park, and now that we have a better idea of what’s going on over there, I think we’re going to try to go back and walk around a little more.

On the way home, we stopped at Sonic for fifty cent corn dogs, then came home to relax for the evening. Tomorrow is Friday and it’s going to be a busy one. A lot of Fridays end up being pretty busy at work. Besides that, I have an eye doctor appointment first thing in the morning, and Jon and I have our first geocaching event tomorrow night, which means meeting other area cachers. Tomorrow is also the first day of NaNoWriMo.

Between housesitting, geocaching, and hanging with people this weekend, I’m hopefully going to find some time to try to get a jump start on my novel.

Off to finish some internetting, and then to bed. Have a great Friday!


Day 1: Becoming an Outdoors Woman 2013

What a weekend! I’m tired and a little bit sunburnt, but the BOW experience was definitely worth it.  Like I did with Gen Con, I’m going to break these down into day posts because it seems like a lot to put into one long blog post.

I got to Rock Springs a little before 10 on Friday morning, after dropping Jon off to work and grabbing a quick breakfast sandwich. I had a little trouble finding check in, but eventually found parking.

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Almost everyone else in my cabin was there, but thankfully I scored a bottom bunk. The ladies were so nice and welcoming. They helped me bring my stuff in and gave me some newbie pointers.

We had lunch (the food was great all weekend, and there was a lot of it), then the welcome meeting, then our first class. Mine was Intro to Fishing. We started out learning about the more popular fish native to Kansas. Then we learned about different poles and how to tie a hook, lead, and bobber. I caught on to making the knot fairly quickly, so now I kind of want to go fishing so I can show off.

Learning about fish!
Learning about fish!

Once we had our poles ready, we headed down to a small fishing hole and stream. The area was beautiful, but I was feeling tired and a little shaky. Standing on the edge was making me nervous. I still caught several fish, including the only large mouth bass of the day.

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The anglers in my family should also take note that I put a nightcrawler on the hook by myself and didn’t get too grossed out. And I unhooked my own fish. Next year, I might even take the advanced course or the course where I learn to filet and cook a fish.

The mini Walk for the Cure was originally scheduled for that night, but they switched it up since we were getting a visit from Theresa Vail, also known as Miss Kansas 2013. Instead, we did a Chuck-A-Duck (I didn’t win), and later I went and visited with Theresa for a little bit.  She was genuinely sweet, and in case anyone was unsure if her love of the outdoors was genuine or not, it is.

After dinner, I attended a mini session called Kansas Critters that was taught by the same instructor who taught my fishing class. The session went long, but it was really interesting, and I actually learned and retained several outdoor facts. I debated going to the campfire afterwards, but I ended up just heading back to the cabin instead. I was tired, and the walk back itself was even more exhausting. It was uphill, over several rocky, uneven steps. I made that trek many times over the weekend, and it never got easier.

Not gonna lie, that night I felt a little homesick. My shower experience might have had something to do with that. I’d been given a pair of shower shoes by my friend, but I hadn’t tried them on first, and they ended up hurting my feet. The showers themselves weren’t horrible, but they had the hard rubber mats inside the stalls, and those hurt my feet even more. Because I’ve never actually showered in a camp setting (at least that I can remember), I was ill prepared all around, and so by the time I got back to bed, I was hurting and exhausted, and even though I’d had a great day, I still missed Jon and my own bed.

However, I slept fairly well, and when I woke up the next morning, I was refreshed and feeling good and optimistic.

To be continued…


All Kinds of Treasures

I woke up this morning with the idea of going on a small adventure that might involve a little geocaching along the way. I’d seen some information about Paxico, KS and decided we should take a little drive there to be touristy. On the way, I wanted to stop and find a geocache at a place we’d passed a sign for on the highway several times and were always curious about; let’s face it – a rifle and bible church just sounds interesting.

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I’d like to note that at this point in time, I’m pretty sure Jon still wasn’t completely sold on the idea of geocaching. And it got a bit iffier when we had to take a detour due to one of the roads to our destination being closed.

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I half expect that a troll lives under there.

We finally found it, and even though we had to crawl through some brush, it was totally worth it. This was our first physical/traditional cache, and it really is an exciting moment when you spot the “treasure.”

We drove on toward Paxico, but as we were driving, our GPS and app alerted us to another one. So we stopped on the side of the road and found our second one of the day.

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Jon spotted this one, and by the time we drove away from this area, he was hooked.

We finally made it to Paxico, where we wandered around the antique mall and art gallery, both of which were really neat. There were some antique stoves that I adored, as well as several other things I could find a suitable home for if I ever win the lottery.

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We were going to grab a bite to eat and something to drink at the local bar, but they didn’t take credit or debit cards, and we had no cash. Instead, we rolled up the highway a few miles and got some water and a slice of pizza at a highway side gas station. Before we did that though, we found yet another cache. I didn’t take any pics for the third one. For awhile, we didn’t think we were going to find it because it was so well hidden, but we finally re-grouped, checked the logs, and scored another treasure!

Our last cache of the day was also our last stop, because even though we had plans to try to find a few more, this one took a lot out of us.  We knew from the start it was a hill, and the logs said it was a short hike. But a short hike for a hiker and a short hike for a person who hasn’t climbed a hill in about three years are two different things. We started out okay, but I had to stop and catch my breath several times.

We can do this...right?
We can do this…right?
About halfway up, and this hill just keeps going...
About halfway up, and this hill just keeps going…

The cache was called the Guard of the Plains. Incidentally, that is also what the trail led to.


Jon got the job of taking the pictures in the area, because while it really was beautiful at the top of that hill, I was busy getting sick. Not my best moment, but at least it was earned by hauling my butt up there.


And yes, we found the cache up there, so that made it even better!

When we got back down to the car, I got pretty emotional and cried a little. It wasn’t all bad crying though. I was really exhausted and sore from the hike, but I also felt really good about this accomplishment.  There had been a point, a little over halfway up, when I stopped and told Jon I didn’t think I could make it and that we should just go back down. He would have too, but I thought for a second and realized that I didn’t really want to quit. I wanted to make it up that hill because it was another accomplishment and another milestone.  So I kept going and made it, so getting sick because I pushed myself really wasn’t the worst thing ever.

In that emotional moment, there was some recent frustration over some negativity coming from people we thought were our friends mixed with the knowledge that in just five months, I’ve come really far with my mobility. And really, that fact, combined with the fun that Jon and I are having with this new hobby, kind of blows that negativity out of the water, making those other circumstances pretty inconsequential. I don’t know if geocaching is something we will do long term. We both enjoy it, but it could be something we do now and then let fall to the wayside. It’s the nature of hobbies for me. But for now, I’m going to enjoy it.

We made a quick trip to the IGA, then came home to rest and relax. We’re planning to go out again tomorrow if the weather holds, but right now, food, a shower, and some Biofreeze need to happen.



Bowlin’ With my Homies

We got our bowl on tonight! Not toilet bowl either…actual pins and lanes bowling with some people from my work.  And it was fun…even if my knee and back currently disagree.

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The outing was kind of a spur of the moment idea we concocted last week to give our little work group a chance to do something fun together. Those who know me know that I’m not the most social person, but once in awhile I find my inner extrovert and decide to be social. Generally, I have a good time doing so, too.  Thursdays at Little Apple Lanes are dollar days: shoes, games, hot dogs, sodas, and drafts are a buck each. Kind of a cheap date, right?

I was a little nervous about the fact that summer leagues were still going on, but we were able to secure two lanes early.  Jon and I were the first to arrive, and everyone else filtered in over the next hour and a half.  I bowled one game, and somehow managed to break a hundred and win. I opted out of the second game though because I tweaked my knee around frame six. Because we’ve been so active and I’ve had no knee pain in the past several weeks, I sort of just took for granted my ability to jump out there and throw some balls. Jon did the same thing, but with his elbow.

Overall, it was a lot of fun. I really do like bowling, even though we hadn’t done it in two years, and I like the fact that it’s a physical activity that works muscles we’re not used to working. There were a few minor things that shook things up, most having to do with bowling etiquette and the person in the lane next to us just sort of taking over on Jon’s bowling ball in his second game.  I suppose we could have talked it out, but we just rolled with it. I got to take some pics and rest my knee, and I think when we all finally did leave, the consensus was positive.

I’m definitely going to be up for more bowling soon, even if just to condition my muscles to do something different. Might be a group thing, might be me and Jon just chilling together on a Thursday night. Either way, it’s definitely another thing to add to our itinerary.  Sure, there might be some ice and Biofreeze afterwards, but you know what? All part of the experience.

The only thing we didn’t do…thought I firmly believe we should have…was a song and dance number.

I really can’t condone dancing on the lanes though. Someone could get hurt.


Parties and Animals

I’m doing a phone draft because I have a feeling that by the time I get home, I’m not going to want to get on the computer. I’m currently at a get together…some may call it a party. I’ve had one glass of wine and some not-so-healthy food, and I think it’s going to be water for the rest of the night.

The wine has taken the edge off being around a group of people. I’m not feeling social anxiety. I’m feeling slight annoyance with people who I’ve learned in the past do not mesh well with me.

That’s right. It’s not me. It’s them.

The day as a whole was good. We had planned to get up early but didn’t leave the house until after noon. I was exhausted, so the extra sleep was good. The weather was cool and rainy, so even though it was the middle of the day, we went to the zoo.

It was a good zoo day. We got to see a young chimp get disciplined by one of the older chimps for picking on the baby chimp. Spanking is still very much accepted in the primate world. We watched the hyenas eye young children like they would make delicious snacks. We saw a baby bobcat.

Jon played spoons with a stranger and we got rained on. It was a blast.

Being rained on later meant that I was pretty chilled. I’m sure that will come back to haunt me.

We spent a couple hours at the library reading. I checked out another sizzler. It looked good, but 100 pages in it’s a little boring. Going to finish it, though. It’s slow, but I want to see where it goes.

Then it was a quick trip to the liquor store and then the party where I’m getting ready to draft some MtG. I’m going to lose. I always lose. But I’m hoping it’s a fun time anyway.


Some People Do Go for the Wings

Allergies and all, I survived my day in Topeka yesterday. I messed up and threw myself even more of a challenge when I got starry eyed over some medicine deals at Walgreens and completely forgot to look for something non-drowsy. Luckily, I remained functional and didn’t fall asleep at the wheel.

We hit a local joint called Juice Stop for a smoothie breakfast and a stuffed pretzel (because I never get the opportunity to indulge in those) and I tried a shot of wheatgrass. It was grassy. I showed my ignorance by originally asking for it in my smoothie, but the staff was nice and set me straight on the fact that most people do shots and it would make a fruit smoothie taste like the ground. I’m glad they gave me the info.

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Sadly, this was the only adventure I was able to catch a pic for on this trip because I forgot to charge my phone overnight (this really isn’t my best weekend, mentally). Not really a big deal, though, since Topeka is a short drive and we’re already planning on going back to the Topeka Zoo, which was our second stop. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this zoo, and they all have merit. It was nice seeing some of the animals we don’t have in MHK, but everything felt a little dirty. Then again, it was raining and hot and muggy, so that might have contributed to it. All the animals were out, lazing around and doing as little as possible. We got the once over from a gorilla named Tiffani, and even though the zoo said we might be lucky enough to see it via a “sign” on their window, we missed out on seeing the mating of the tigers.

The third stop was to buy clothes for Jon. Nothing especially exciting happened there.

Our fourth stop was unplanned and mostly a means to kill time until the movie theater opened, but it was well worth the side trip. We checked out the Kansas Museum of History which included an exhibit on retro and antique furniture, a huge train that triggered my claustrophobia when I tried to walk through it, and all kinds of neat historical stuff. I’d actually like to go back and get pictures from there sometime.

We had lunch at Hooters, another new food experience for me. The food was delicious. I had one of the best grilled chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had. I realize people make Hooters jokes and all, and I guess I thought it would be a little more risque than it was. But it wasn’t uncomfortable and the service was good.

Our last Topeka stop was to the West Ridge 8 second run theater. It has been years since I’ve been to a “cheap seat” theater. Jon and I opted for different movies. He went with the newest Fast and the Furious flick and I went to see The Purge. In my last post, I complained about people talking , but for  two dollars, a lot can be overlooked. I was lucky in that there wasn’t a lot of talking in my theater, and what there was seemed fairly appropriate, including the moment when the theater was silent and after a pivotal scene in the movie, another movie goer said “Moron” out loud in reference to one of the characters. It was funny because I’m pretty sure everyone else was thinking the same thing. There was also a scene at the end of the movie where everyone busted out laughing. Humor aside…especially because it wasn’t supposed to be a funny movie…I enjoyed it. I didn’t so much enjoy the theater seats which leaned back way too far, but again, for two bucks, I dealt with it. And we’ll probably go back.

We drove home in more rain, made a Baskin Robbins stop, and came back to the house where we watched “Knocked Up” and part of “Sharknado,” which I’m sure will get its own post. Overall, it was a fun  and active day and even though we did a lot of walking, my soreness and stiffness is at a minimum.