Hollywood, Legends, and Arcades

We went on an adventure today to Kansas City with a couple of friends, and I’m stealing their term “daycation” to describe it.

They got to our place around eight and we took off to get an early start. Our first stop was at Dunkin Donuts for a coffee and breakfast. I went with the egg white flatbread sandwich with turkey sausage, highly recommended for both tastiness and because it was pretty filling.

The next stop was the Hollywood Casino in Kansas City, where we got a picture of our travel bug visiting another casino before we sent it back into the wild. I also snapped this shot of the Kansas Speedway from the parking garage.

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The casino was big and colorful. We had fun, but we didn’t win this time.

After that, we went to the Legends Outlet Mall. Jon and I hadn’t been there for several years, and I was surprised at how much bigger it was than last time. Shopping isn’t normally our thing, but we like to people watch and find new places to walk, so it was definitely worth the trip.

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Jon bought a wired controller for gaming. I browsed Lane Bryant, but still had no luck finding what I need. I need new pants, but they still haven’t jumped on board with the average/petite difference in the pants I like to buy.  We looked around a few other stores, like Hot Topic and Books-A-Million, where I found this gem:

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I kind of wanted some frozen yogurt, but decided to hold off, especially since we had a soft pretzel for a mid-morning snack.

One of my favorite parts of the day was watching the fountain show. I did a short Instagram video of it, and though I meant to go back and take a full video of it, I missed the chance. Besides the fact the show is cool, it was hilarious to watch the water spray unsuspecting adults and kids who were hoping to get wet. The kids were hilarious to watch. Some of them would get close to the lower fountains and then get sprayed in the face when the water came out. I realize how mean that sounds, but I don’t mean for it to be. They loved it and would just giggle every time it happened.  For the most part, the kids in the area weren’t ill-behaved, either. There were a couple kids who had to be told an extra time to get going by their parents, but most of them were just having a blast in the water.  It doesn’t make me want to have my own, but it was definitely an adorable show.

We met up with the others around two for a late lunch at Dave & Busters. The food was good, the service was slow, but overall it was fun. We bought one of the eat and play packages, so when we were done eating we headed to the arcade. I really enjoy that place. It’s a ton of fun and it’s kind of like gambling except the games are a little more engaging, sometimes. Jon was earning a ton of tickets. Me, not so much, though I did hit a mystery bonus on one of them.

The game we ended on was a variant of the claw game in which you tried to hit the stop button at the right time to open a hatch that would eventually let a stuffed animal fall through. Jon and I went through our remaining credits to get it. I was so frustrated when we just couldn’t get it and ran out of credits when the thing was so close to falling. We walked away, a little annoyed that someone else was going to get it, but when we looked back a few minutes later, my friend was standing there. So we ran over, talked her into giving it one last try, and of course on her try, the hatch opened. She was awesome and let us keep it, so we’ve dubbed our new friend Miles the Traveling Cheetah and will be taking him with us on future trips.

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After turning in our tickets, we had enough to buy me a new water cup and Jon a fake mustache. Yeah, kind of cheesy…though I needed a new cup, so he was awesome enough to use what was mostly his tickets to buy me one.

Before heading home, we found two geocaches in the area and took a stroll around the Russell Stover store.

The day was definitely a success. We got a lot of walking in and had a good time.  I got sunburned because I forgot to put sunscreen on beforehand, but it’s not the first time it’s happened. Strangely enough, my older self seems to be able to get a slight tan. Not aiming for it since I know the sun risks, but since that’s been happening, it’s harder to remember that I actually do burn when out in the sun for long periods of time.

Now we’re home and relaxing. I think I’m going to watch a movie tonight and maybe crash early. My computer mouse is messing up, so I may have to pick up another one soon. Not sure what our plans are for tomorrow. Originally we were going to do some museums in Abilene, but we might just want to call it a rest day other than a trip to the gym and maybe some geocaching.  We’re taking a sort-of vacation this week, staying at another friend’s house to dog sit while she’s on vacation.  Tomorrow will also be a “get more con stuff done” day to kick off the work week.

For now, it’s time to unplug and unwind.


Slots, Putts, and Kicks

I think the days of lazy weekends are officially diminishing.  In follow up to yesterday’s activity, we ended up going out and doing more stuff today.  I was wide awake at 7am but let Jon sleep in longer. Still, we were out of the house before 9.

The plan was to go to Topeka to buy shoes and maybe geocache, but I realized that we’d have some time to kill because the mall didn’t open until later, and I’d only seen a few caches on the list.  I remembered that yesterday we picked up a trackable that came with a message that it “wanted” to visit casinos, so I suggested we go out to Prairie Bend.

We decided to each spend 20 dollars, and I hit the quarter slots per the usual. My money disappeared in a hot minute.  When I was done, I went to find Jon. In the tradition of his lucky streak, his machine was going nuts. He hit for almost 400 bucks. We cashed out and ran, not even tempted to stay and return it. We decided to use the winnings for the day’s spendings, deciding that whatever was leftover would go into our travel account.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find any caches in that area, so we still have the trackable, but hopefully we’ll get that way again. I should clarify – there are caches that way, but our signal was bad and we hadn’t had the foresight to save any beforehand.  We did find a couple caches near the mall, and we pinpointed where a couple other ones were, but there were too many muggles. For our next trip to Topeka, we’ll go super early again to hit those ones up, then kill time at the zoo or something.  The ones we found were micros…no room for a trackable.

The stores in the mall hadn’t yet opened when we got there, but the mall itself was open so we walked around and got a snack. We split a cinnamon roll from Subway. It wasn’t great and probably not worth a recommendation, though maybe other Subways have better ones? I won’t recommend them from the Subway in the Topeka mall, at any rate.

When things finally did open up, we went and played a round of Lunar Golf (located on the second floor of the mall, if anyone is interested).  I won, which was my one victory for the day since Jon was the casino winner and spotted both caches.

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We only played one round (even though you can play up to three on one admission) before heading to the shoe store and picking up new walking shoes for both of us. I did some looking back in Instagram to pinpoint when I’d bought my last pair, and it had been about 18 weeks. To me, that felt like a really short time, but it was about average for walking shoes, I think, and I had put a lot of miles on those ones. I probably don’t need to justify how long I had them…they were starting to hurt my legs and feet because they’d worn down so much…but it’s kind of interesting to know how far they’ve come.

For my new shoes, I went with New Balance runners. They’re really light and comfy. I wore them to the gym today, which wasn’t a long time to break them in, but I’m not sure if they’re going to need a lot of breaking in.

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Jon was also able to find a good pair of walkers on clearance. They’re one of the minimal types, which works for him since he hates wearing anything on his feet other than flip flops…and if they’d let him walk barefoot everywhere, I’m pretty sure he’d ditch those too.  Unfortunately, the store didn’t carry any hiking type shoes, but I think we’ll be okay with what we have.

From there we headed to Red Lobster. I went with the maple glazed chicken and roasted veggies. Not sure why I went with the veggies…I hate veggies. But I was craving them, and they were okay when eaten with pilaf and chicken.

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We controlled ourselves and managed to not eat three baskets of cheddar biscuits…but it was tempting. It was a good meal and I didn’t overstuff, so that was good. The only iffy part was that RL has little booths, which I generally avoid for obvious reasons. But the working out and activity was beneficial because sitting in one was not bad at all.

Jon ended up taking some of his meal to go, so we stopped back at home to drop it off before heading to MHK to do laundry and go to the gym. The laundromat was busy, likely because the students are back for the fall semester, so our plans of playing Dungeon Roll while we waited for our clothes was thwarted.  To kill time, we went to Radina’s on the Hill and had drinks: lemonade for him, an iced cafe mocha for me.  I was in my own little world and didn’t notice my friend, V, sitting there reading until she noticed us on our way out. We chatted for a bit, but we had to go get our laundry and I have a phobia of leaving our clothes too long unattended (if you’re reading this, V, we’ll have to get together and catch up soon!).

Due to the fact that the evening was getting later, we ended up going to the gym while the clothes dried, back to get them when we were done, and then back to pick up some things at the store. Yeah, it was extra driving, but it didn’t seem like a huge deal considering all the driving we’ve done anyway this weekend.  Once we made it home, I played DI:R for about an hour, then put the clothes away, finishing in record time. Once this post is done, I’m going to have watermelon and some cherry juice for dinner and watch a little more of The Missing, then it’s shower and sleep.

Next weekend probably won’t be as active since it’s Fall Juice Fast 2013 weekend and we’re going to stay safely put in the house for the most part. However, there will be house cleaning and extraneous item purging and probably some gaming…all in the air conditioned back room if this heat keeps up. We’ll make the most of it though. We always do.



Wichita Weekend

This past weekend I took a two-night trip to Wichita with two friends. It had been a long time since I’d done a “group” trip. I realize that not everyone considers three people to be a group, but it definitely changes the dynamic from a two person trip. While my own tendency to get introverted made part of the trip a personal challenge, overall, we had a good time.

My traveling companions

After fighting the Wichita traffic, we finally made it to our hotel room to chill for a little bit. We decided Friday night would be our casino night, so we went to Mulvane where we had Luciano’s* for dinner and goofed around in Cobb Park for a little bit before trying our hand at gambling.

Classy italian restaurants always make me feel classy.

A singin’ in the rain moment
Leavin’ on a Red Train

The Kansas Star Casino just recently opened in Mulvane, and it was kind of a shock to see that the little patch of land I remember from earlier trips now filled with casino space. Also, I hadn’t been to a casino in a few years. The initial entry was just how I remembered it though: excitement and the feeling of being a little overwhelmed at all the sounds and lights, along with that feeling that you just might leave a winner.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t a winner**, but on the flip side, I didn’t lose more money than I planned to, nor did I lose as much as I have on past casino trips. I realized that slot machines aren’t as fun as I remember them to be. I’m not sure if that’s a change in me or a change in the machines themselves. Maybe a little of both? I enjoyed walking around the place though, partially because of the atmosphere and partially because I actually could walk, so that was cool.

On day 2 we did some shopping. I’m not a shopper, but I needed to look for some new clothes at Lane Bryant, and the closest mall seemed the best place to do this. Hijinks ensued and I picked up a few new things, including some tops and an “I Love Zombies” lanyard. I don’t know if I actually love zombies, but it might give me an edge with the zombie apocalypse happens.

Day 2 – Ready for Action
Fun with the Vending Machines
Here comes the ice cream truck!
No one was in the mall yet, so we got a little crazy.

We also hit one of the local yarn stores, a tattoo shop, a novelty store, a thrift store, and a local bar for lunch and trivia.

It was around this time that I started getting tired and sick and introverted. Between the two days, I walked more than I have in probably over a year, and while it was something to be proud, it wore me out. I also started getting a sore throat and congestion. We drove around a little longer but then ended up going back to the hotel room and doing nothing. I actually love doing nothing, but it was a definite reminder that I don’t “weekend” like others and I’m still on the low end of the stamina meter. Hence, I kind of became the downer of the group.

We ended the evening with J. Felbs and Mini Felbs bringing pizza and playing a round of Cards Against Humanity with us. There was also a viewing of Piranhaconda on the SyFy channel, because who doesn’t love a good SyFy original?*** We left early Sunday so we could have some rest and recuperation time at home, though I ended up having to take a half day off on Monday for some extra heal time.

Even with me being a wet blanket, I think we had a good dose of fun and a few laughs.  In the end, that’s what it’s all about.

*I’d been to Luciano’s once before with J. Felbs and Family and I loved it. I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to the memory, but it did.

**None of us won big, but SV did score a $30 win overall, so it made it worth it!

***That’s a hypothetical question. You don’t have to answer.