Road Trip Part 2...

Post Race Day
Sunday morning started off with a wonderful late morning breakfast at The Big Biscuit,  The meal was delicious the coffee hot and "good to the last drop". As you can see the pancakes, big as dinner plates and the biscuits as big as your thumb and middle finger together making a circle with both hands.  So light and fluffy with a certain crunch when you first bite in.
Two Eggs, Hash-browns, sausage and a Big Biscuit
with yummy sausage gravy!

Eggs, bacon and Dinner Plate light fluffy pancakes!
Yum!  The company is locally owned in Kansas City and the surrounding areas.  They employ a lot of high school and college students and everyone of them extremely nice and attentive. It was a pleasure eating there and I will go back when I am in the area.

After breakfast we went back and fed the dogs, took them for their morning walk and once their morning constitutional was done, Christie and I drove over to the Kansas side of KC. On the way there I looked for the old barn that I had snapped a picture of 21 months before, the barn is my blog header picture, sad to say the snow from this past winter finally brought it down and it is no more. We arrived at our destination and she took me to Legend's Outlets.  The place is huge!  She then took me to the Nebraska Furniture Mart.  Oh my goodness! Not only do they have furniture, but flooring, electronics, computers, appliances, fitness equipment, home decor, a Quiznos for your dining pleasure and the best for last a Chocolate store!

Christie wanted me to help her look for a couch as her little IKEA Love Seat was just too small for company.
I liked this place right away.  You got a friendly hello as you entered the establishment and most important of all you were not mobbed by salesmen.  We wandered about the store looking at one couch after another, once or twice a salesperson stepped up to see if we needed anything..."Nope...Just looking!" We had a certain price range in mind and had narrowed it down to about 3 couches.  The one we kept coming back to, sat very much like the couch she had grown up with, firm in all the right places with a nice supportive high back, her dad would have liked that. It was a very neutral color
Christie's new sectional couch
meaning there was no limit to accessorizing it with color. We snagged a salesman and told him we wanted to purchase the couch.  Easiest sale he made all day. We paid to have it scotch-guarded and it was delivered for free as there was a free delivery special going on. Can't beat free delivery! So for just over $1000.00 she got a very nice sectional couch. Of course Mom paid for it, but she is paying me back. They delivered it the following week. They had to remove her door to her apartment to get it into the living room. She informs me that it is great to take a nap on.

In this same complex is Sporting Kansas City their professional Soccer Team, the Kansas City NASCAR Speedway, Cabelas, Great Wolf Lodge, Kansas City T-Bones Baseball Park, Blue Ox Campground and across the highway is the worlds tallest water slide. You could spend a weekend in just that small corner and not see everything.  

After all that walking at the NFM we were hungry so we went to Cheeseburger Paradise. The burgers were so big we had to cut them in half and take dinner home. Our seat location inside was great, you could be placed in any seating arrangement
My All American Cheeseburger. I could hardly get
mouth around it. 

A fun place to go but can be expensive
and you had an excellent view of any TV. We watched the Royals playing Cleveland. Our two burgers with drinks and cocktails came to $40.00 plus tip.

After eating and shopping we headed back to the grocery store near Christie's apartment. I bought groceries for her. I really like the Hy-Vee grocery store she shops at, wish we had one here in Norman, I would say the closest one to it would be Crest's, a locally owned chain. Crest's meat counter can't hold a candle to Hy-vee's meat counter.  I have never ever seen a meat counter as well displayed as Hy-Vees' 

Even though she makes good money her student loans are eating her alive. So I don't mind buying groceries for her.  We arrived home unloaded her groceries and watch Sense and Sensibility, yes we are Jane Austen fans. as well as Austenland again (second time), ate the remains of our lunch, it was great reheated and talked about the days adventure.  I was tuckered out and hit the hay as I had a long drive home the next day.  
The next morning saw me up and packing, Deflated the portable bed got everything loaded into the car. We ran over to Zona Rosa Town Center and had brunch at the 54th Street Grill.  We sat out on the patio and ate.  The weather was sublime, a nice 74 degrees with crisp dry air with an ever so gentle breeze.  It was awesome!  I had a monster chicken salad that I forgot to get a picture of.  It was a work of art. We also had fresh strawberry lemonade, with sugar coating the rim.  

After lunch we walked to a specialty shop Heavenly Olive Oils that carried different types of Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oils. I purchase an aged 18 year old Traditional Balsamic and a Arbosana Olive Oil.  The proprietor said these two parings should make an absolutely fantastic salad dressing. "My" salad dressing of "Boy That's Damn Good Dressing"  That's what Dave named it and it stuck. 

We got back to the apartment and hooked up the battery on the car.  I had to nurse the car back to life, load the dogs and gave Christie one last big hug and kiss and struck out for the gas station at the Hy-Vee, filled up and hit the road. 

5 1/2 hours later(a record for me) I arrived in Norman safe and sound after a mostly uneventful drive. The one event that did happen, happened at the last McDonald's on the Kansas Turnpike. I ordered 3 plain hamburgers for the dogs and 2 cheeseburgers.  I got back out on the road and all of them were plain. YUCK! Like eating cardboard! You just have to have the pickle, onion, mustard and ketchup on a cheeseburger! 

I got the car unloaded, dogs fed, me fed and hit the bed and was asleep before my head hit the pillow. Driving does that to me.  

I had a wonderful time in Kansas City and will be visiting there a lot once I retire in December. 

I calculated my working days up today and I have 90 working days left. 

The final countdown has now begun! The the games commence!


Road Trip, Part 1

Two weekends ago I took a road trip to Kansas City, MO
Lights of KC on the Missouri River
to support my daughter in her first ever Sprint Triathlon, which consists of a
750m swim (600 Yards), 20K bike ride (13 Miles) and a 5k run (3.1 miles). She set her goal at 1 hour and 30 minutes.  She did it in 1:28 and was extremely please with herself. I was very proud of her.  I also met a lot of real nice people as well. But let me back up a bit before I get carried away.


Any time I go out on the road, I always get an oil change, besides the car was due.  I also got new shocks on the front of the car as it still had the original factory shocks on it, 12 years later. I found out that the tires on the car had never been balanced so Firestone balanced them for me for free.  I got my gas card loaded from Walmart, packed my bag, got the dogs beds in the car and discovered that I didn't have a currant insurance card in the car…WHAT!!! 

I called Farmer’s help line (3 times) Got an insurance card for Christie’s car? Got hung up on once and never received the Ins. Card for the truck on the third call, it was to be sent to me via email (still waiting). I wanted to get away by 7 but had to wait until 9 when I could contact my agent and had the card in 3 minutes.  Printed it out, put water in the car, off to Mickey D’s for a sausage egg Mc Muffin, a large Hazelnut Iced Coffee, and three plain hamburgers for the dogs, popped by the bank, grabbed some cash and hit the road. FINALLY!

The Drive

By most standards the drive from Norman, OK to KC, MO is boring if you let it be.  Though I have a hard time driving it at first as I get drowsy and have to entertain myself to stay awake.  SING!!! OPERA!!! I have also discovered that if I will change the upper seat position to a more upright position and lower the steering wheel that it helps me to become a bit more alert. 

What really got me awake was when I pulled in to a rest stop and gas station on the Kansas Turnpike the car would not turn off.  The repair that I had done on it earlier, a different part had now failed.  So it was rush inside and take care of business and get back out before my battery died.  FUN! NOT! 

There is one area in Kansas that is called the FlintHills. It is rolling high prairie that stretches for miles. Big cattle ranches
To see more of the Flint Hills click on Link
claim these land. By this time in the trip I was struggling again to stay awake when I had a brilliant idea.  By the way, Dave always travels with me, I pretended that I was delivering a mono-log to him describing everything I saw and told him all about flint rock and the many things that could be done with it and that flint napping, almost a lost art, was making a comeback as surgeons were finding that it was a harder substance and gave a sharper edge than a scalpel (I read that somewhere, just one of those stupid tidbits that I keep tucked away).

I finally hit the east side of Kansas which was transform from the high rolling prairies to more flint cliffs and dense wooded areas.  Crossing over the mighty Missouri river I hadn't far to go to getting to Christie’s place.

We quickly unloaded the dogs (3) and headed to the nearest Chevy Dealership’s Service Department and was told they couldn't do anything for me as they were totally booked. I needed to disconnect the battery.The Service Tech rummaged through Dave’s tool box and showed me the part that I had to do the deed with, but it needed an extension (Allen wrench) in order for it to work,(I had one all along and didn't know it, thank you O’Reillys!) Eureka!

We got back to Christie’s place, finished unloading the car, disconnected the battery and went to dinner.  What a day!
Christie's meal of Fajitas
Christie and I piled into her car and went to a wonderful Mexican Restaurant called Jose Peppers.  It was delicious and hit the spot.  Afterwards we went out to Smithville lake where the race
My meal of enchiladas with creamy avocado and
jalapeno sauce!
event was going to be and sort of walked the course.  Then went over to the campgrounds area and scouted out possible sites for next year when I have my RV.  They have several very nice campgrounds there. 

Tired and tuckered out we hit the hay as we had to get up very early the next morning.

Race Day

We were up and out the door by 5 a.m. The race didn't start until 7:30 a.m.  but we needed to be there by 6:00 she could get her bike and equipment set up in the staging area, get her timing chip and
All set for the bike event!
get set for the race. 

I perched myself up on the hill overlooking the course and met some very nice folks whose one daughter was participating in the race at the age of 50 and was in training to hike the mountains of Patagonia, Chili next summer.  WOW!

The gun sounded and the first wave of swimmers entered the water. It was some time before Christie entered the water, but she was thankful that the wind hadn't picked up yet and didn't have to swim against waves.  

After about 45 minutes into the race she exited the water and ran for her bike, changed into her shoes, shed her swim cap and was off to timing pad of the bike ride. She was looking good.  Somehow I missed her coming back from her ride and while I thought I was shooting pictures of her on her bike, she walks up behind me with her medal! She had already finished her 5K run! Sheesh…what a bad mommy I am!  I told her she had to get a different bright swimsuit so I could spot it and her next year! 

She did encourage me to train to run the race with her next year…I will think about it, no promises, but will think about it.

We headed back to her apartment and took a much needed nap. After our nap, she took me to downtown KC and gave me a partial tour.  I didn't get to see 3/4th of it but what I did see…WOW!  

We were hungry and she wanted me to experience some of the best Bar-B-Q in KC so we went over to Oklahoma Joe’s. The line was out the door and down the front of the building and around the corner.  It’s the only place she says that she has been able to find Head Country BBQ Sauce, her favorite.  Oklahoma Joe’s shares space with a working gas station.  
On the way to Gates BBQ we saw this car!

We didn't want to wait so she took me to Gates BBQ.  It was awesome and very reasonable too.  Their sauce was very different but good and their fries were
Had to take a picture of this even though I had eaten
part of it.
wonderful…almost a steak fry but a hair smaller.  The brisket was melt in your mouth. You almost didn't have to chew it!

Afterwards we went to a place that made me stop in my tracks.  I have heard rumblings about how there isn't a National WWI Memorial in Washington D.C. and one needs to be built, well, let me let you in on a little secret…It’s in Kansas  City, MO, absolutely stunning and so moving you weep, except it is a museum instead, looked like a memorial  to me. It was late in the day so we didn't have time to go in, but you can be certain that when I go back I will make the effort to go see the National WWI Museum.  On the plaza of the Museum you can look down on the Union Station which is currently housing the King Tut exhibit and a stunningly beautiful dancing fountain. Kansas City is known for its fountains.

Christie asked if I wanted to go get a coffee, but of course!  She took me over to a small village that stepped back into the time of Mayberry, America.  Parkville!  So quaint and special, who wouldn't want to live there! She had been looking at houses in the area and I could see why. I loved it at first sight!

She dove me around the Waukomis Lake district not far from where she lives.  It’s one of the lakes she trains in for open water swimming at 5:30 in the mornings.  The houses are on top of each other but it is a very nice area.  Me…I would not live there.  No place to park.

We arrived back home and watched a movie called Austenland, of course another play on Pride and Prejudice. It was such a fun movie and we ended up watching twice. It was late so we called it a day and drifted into la la land.

Stay tuned for Part 2…