|Me and my little brother, Thomas|
Thomas has lived in Kansas City for... well, probably three years or so? Maybe a little more - time goes by so fast. We always talk at holidays about getting together for a weekend in KC, and we had been planning this one, with cousin Krista and her hubby David, for the last couple of months. Unfortunately, Krista and David had to cancel after some last minute changes at home (I was looking so forward to hanging out with them, but we are planning another trip, very soon.) and I didn't let that keep me from going - I had really been looking forward to my weekend in KC.
I was so excited to get to see friends Garry and Heather, and their kiddos Ryleigh and Christian. 13-year-old Ry hung out with us quite a bit, but afterwards I realized that Christian is not in a single photo - he is 17 and was downstairs playing X-Box the entire weekend. Garry and Heather are some of my favorite friends ever- two of the many friends that I made while Dave and I were together. Garry and I hit it off instantly the first time I met them 5 years ago, because we are both huge music fans. Ok, I have to give him props and admit that he is head and shoulders above me, as I have had to say in this blog several times. BUT I still do fairly well, I think he will agree. And Heather is wonderful too (even though Ryleigh likes to give her a hard time about being a musical idiot, but that's really not true!) She is sweet, funny and always so interesting - in the know about food, art, travel and lots of other things that we catch up on when we're together.
In addition to just being awesome people, they took Paige under their wing when she started college at William Jewell 2.5 years ago - I know they have been her family there in KC, and they absolutely adore her as well, of course. She was over at their house every week for dinner, and I am certain that they are missing her terribly while she is away at Oxford this year. (The bonus for next year will be that when I make any trips to see my KC friends/family, Paigey will be back there as well. If you haven't seen it, check out her blog, Inhabiting Oxford - she is an amazing young woman, and a very talented writer, and I'm so proud to have her in my life)
|Ryleigh, Heather and Garry|
While I didn't get to meet up with Krista and David in KC, I did bring someone along with me on my road trip. This is Brian, a southern boy from Charlotte, NC (hello, Annie! He's from your neck of the woods....) who has lived in Springfield for the past five years.
He and I met through mutual friends, and the best thing about him - he makes me laugh. Other than that, we have a lot to talk about, quite a bit in common. Both just out of second marriages, and both lost our mothers when we/they were young... just easy to spend time with him, and I really enjoy it. So he headed with me to KC on Friday, happy to get away for a weekend and hang out with my friends and family.
We arrived in KC late Friday afternoon, and met Garry and Heather for happy hour at Buddha, in Zona Rosa shopping center. After we visited a bit and got caught up on the latest happenings in all of our lives, we headed back to Garry and Heather's house, to enjoy some appetizers with the rest of the family.
Heather fixed two kinds of pizza, plus some awesome crab rangoon (Ryleigh made those) and some fabulous "Bang Bang Shrimp", which I think H. said is a yummy dish at Bonefish Grill... but all my shots of the food looked pretty yellow and didn't do it any justice! I am learning about white balance in my photography class, but obviously I wasn't workin' it while I was taking these shots - Next time, I'll do better.
Friends Brent and Laura also joined us for the evening - they had a babysitter for their two little ones, and could've gone out on the town for the night, but decided that we would be just as much fun - and I think they were right!
One of the highlights of the night, hands down, was this lady:
|Grandma Rose.... this photo is perfect - the cheetah jacket,|
the HUGE glass of red wine... and I'm sure whatever she
saying was hilarious, as always!
Garry's Grandma Rose turned 90 this year, and is, quite simply, amazing. She is one of the most young-at-heart people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. I've had the opportunity to spend time with her several times over the past few years that I've known Garry and Heather; I always enjoy her wit, her stories, and her love for red wine - a woman after my own heart, in that respect! We enjoyed appetizers and drinks with her, and then we all sat down in the living room to watch the photo montage that one of her daughters had made for her 90th birthday celebration. Rose and her husband had seven children, and she has spent time all over the world. Garry's grandpa was with the CIA, and I've heard stories from Garry about his mother and her siblings' time in different countries, but it was amazing to sit with Rose and listen to her comments as we watched the story of her life unfold in California, Italy, Cypress, and more.
We did enjoy some cocktails over the course of the evening, including a chocolatini concoction that Garry made for the ladies:
Later in the evening we also broke out some wicked dance moves - (note: one of the benefits of this being MY blog is that all of the totally embarrassing photos of me are - well, they seem to have gotten lost... hmmm.) But please note Garry's fine form (wearing his wife's sunglasses) below:
The fun didn't stop Friday night - we enjoyed a relaxing Saturday morning, topped off with lunch. The girls all enjoyed Mexican for lunch, while Brian had to have some of his 5 Guys Burgers and Fries, so he and Garry headed there.
|Lunch at Jose Peppers|
Then Brian and I headed down to the Plaza for the evening, and met up with Thomas for dinner. The weather was absolutely beautiful for mid-November, with temperatures in the fifties that evening. We had a few drinks at Fred P. Otts, one of Thom's favorite hangouts. Thomas didn't like this photo, but I thought it was great - I know the iPhone isn't a real camera, but I love the special effects... so fun!
|Drinks at Fred P Otts|
Sunday was beautiful, and we started the morning sitting outside of Scooter's coffee shop on the Plaza, enjoying the sunshine, before heading back home. (I took several photos... may try to post a few soon, but they'll have to wait for another time.) It was a wonderful weekend and a great getaway; "Thanks! "to Garry and Heather for a wonderful Friday evening of food, drinks, family and friends. And then for Saturday, a huge "thank you!" to Thomas for getting us a fabulous room at the Raphael at a great price, and for showing us some of your favorite spots on the Plaza. Had a great time, and looking forward to doing it again soon.