All About the Car…and Some Other Stuff

To anyone who follows closely, sorry for not posting last night.  Things with the car were stressful, and by the time I actually sat down, I was too tired to put together a coherent sentence.

Before we hit the gym last night, we stopped at the HyVee gas station to get some water and a pre-gym snack since I was starving and hadn’t eaten a lot during the day. Coming out of the parking lot, the car did this weird thing where it rumbled, like it was going over a rumble strip. I thought maybe the terrain was weird, and the car didn’t shake in a scary way, so I continued on. After the gym, we decided to grab Chinese for dinner, and coming out of the parking lot, it did it again. By then I was a little freaked and unsure what to do.

We ended up going back to my friend’s house to eat and Google some possibilities.  I tried to relax, figuring I’d take it to the shop the following (this) morning, but of course, I just sat there and worried and shared my worry on FB.  I got a recommendation, some words of encouragement, and some ideas of what it could be. Erica chimed in and mentioned that Terry knew stuff about cars, which I think she’d told me before, but I’d forgotten. So he offered to take a look at the car for me last night so I wouldn’t have to wait until morning.

After taking it for a test drive and trying to recreate the shaking, he couldn’t pinpoint anything. We did some tire maintenance and kind of figured my other FB friend was correct in saying that it could be the traction sensor going off. To be honest, I’ve had the traction thing go off before during the winter, and it felt just like that. We decided to monitor it, but we didn’t want to put our plans on hold, so we decided we’d go ahead and take our trip to Wichita. I realize that sounds a little irresponsible, but I’m not a fan of sitting around and doing nothing because something bad might happen. That might bite me in the butt someday.

We went back to the house and finished the movie we’d started. The friend we were pet sitting for gave us a free On Demand code, so we rented Pain & Gain. I really enjoyed it, but the initial goofiness took a pretty dark turn halfway through.

A big thanks to everyone who helped and gave feedback. I sometimes get disillusioned with FB, but then people are awesome, and I remember why I’m still hanging in there.

After a double check this morning, we confirmed that nothing was showing as wrong, so we’d be heading to Wichita. I got out of work early, picked Jon up, took our ward to the pet resort for the weekend, and headed to the in-laws. We decided to geocache on the way. I broke down and bought a premium membership so we could use the function that finds caches based on a travel route. We’re still not entirely sure how to get it to work flawlessly, but Jon saved a few for us to find. We ended up finding four, including two cemeteries. They were pretty quick, and we made it to Rose Hill in decent time. I would even say that the drive seemed quicker than it usually does.

We chilled at the house for a little bit before going out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. We took my dad-in-law’s truck, and my history with that truck has been shaky, considering it’s a big truck with a big step to get into.  Tonight, though, I owned it. Got in and out with no problems. Yay, fitness.

At BWWs,   I played some trivia and had the chicken chopped salad, which was delicious. So delicious, in fact, that Jon traded me a couple of his parmesan wings for half of it. Which was fine with me, though the parm wings were spicy. I also did not do well at trivia, but it was just for fun, so no big.

When we got back to the house, the guys (Jon and my brother-in-law, Andrew) and I went geocaching. Rose Hill is full of them, and we managed to snag four more before it got too dark. Three of them were nanos. I spotted the first one, and Jon spotted the second two. Drew found a micro key case. We searched for a fifth one, but had no luck in finding it. The area was torn apart, so I’m not even sure if it was still there.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a full walk in, but I feel like we were active with the geocaching, so I’m not going to feel guilty about it. Now we’re just relaxing and I’m taking care of some things on the internet. We’re probably going to have an early morning and possibly a late night tomorrow.  Jon’s reunion is during the day, and I have no idea what we’re doing in the evening. I’m hoping to hit some more geocaches around here, but we’ll just have to see what happens.

I was feeling overwhelmed this morning with everything we had to do and with a little worry about the drive, but we had no car problems and I’m now feeling much better. Ready to tackle the weekend and enjoy whatever comes, no matter what it is.



The Road to Texas – Vacation Day Zero and One

We’ve been trying to get to Texas for several months, but the timing wasn’t right. We finally made it happen with an extended weekend vacation south while J. Felbs was on Spring Break. We left after work on a Tuesday, heading to Wichita to stay the night and break the long drive up a bit.
On the way, we listened to The More You Nerd which was like reconnecting with old friends. It’s one of our favorite podcasts, but due to technical issues with computers, internets, and iPods, I hadn’t been able to upload in a long time.  Wichita brought a trip to Braum’s and a couple games of MtG, where I learned the importance of taking my brother-in-law out in a match as soon as possible.
Besides the weather being nice, we got a little adventurous on the road trip the next day. First, we stopped at a small BBQ joint called Stevenson BBQ. The hearse in the parking lot was a little unsettling, as were the scary bathrooms. But the smell of BBQ was wonderful and the food ended up being delicious.
Pretty sure this used to be a Braum's
Pretty sure this used to be a Braum’s
Order up at the front counter
Brisket sandwich and fries
We decided to go off the beaten path and have an adventure, so we drove into Paul’s Valley, Oklahoma and visited The Toy & Action Figure Museum. It was so cool. There were, of course, action figures of all kinds, including some horror figures from some of my favorite movie franchises. There was a neat playroom where people (mostly kids, but there were some adult costumes too) could dress up and act like a superhero for awhile. There was a Bat Cave that had everything Batman and a corner that featured Oklahoma cartoon artists. It was fun to geek out on all the displays. 
One of my faves! It was kept behind a glass case. This was probably good.
One of my faves! It was kept behind a glass case. This was probably good.
This was only part of the many TMNT memorabilia
This was only part of the many TMNT memorabilia


Our side trip, road work, and rush hour traffic put our arrival time a little later, but not too late. We got in, visited with Grandma L, then ate dinner at The Porch, a local homestyle restaurant in Burleson.


We ended the night watching Duck Dynasty (which cracked me up) and Bates Motel (which intrigued me and made me sad I don’t have cable).  All in all, a successful first day of vacation.

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.