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What A Long Strange Trip It's Been
Monday, 31 March 2008
Bravo - Life Is Sweet
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Fortune plango vulnera Coro - from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff
Topic: Being Happy

I have neglected my blog recently, but for good reason.


My father and step-mother came for a week long visit from March 14 through March 21 during the Spring Break holiday. It was fabulous and I had a wonderful time. The children got to meet them and get to know them. We got to spend many hours together playing games and just having family fun time. I also was able to cook for them all my favorite home style meals that the children enjoy.


Here’s a recap:


Friday, March 14 – I picked them up at the airport around 2:15pm – their flight was early. BUT since they gave me their flight information I was able to track it online and new it would be 20 minutes early and was able to meet them at security. We drove home to Wellington and the family met each other. Pat was very excited about the jewelry and bought 12 necklaces. I made onion and cheese pizza for dinner with extra thick fluffy crust. We were all very tired and went to bed early.


Saturday, March 15 – Matt had the day off of work. Pat and Dad took the kids for a bike ride around Wellington. We played cards most of the day – Cribbage, War, Bang!, and then introduced my Dad and Pat to Farkle, a game they never had played before. That day was a lot of fun. The Wii received a bit of use – more than it has since Matt’s parents were visiting. This night I made honey baked ham, stuffing, steamed veggies and buttermilk biscuits for dinner.


Sunday, March 16 –Pat and Dad took the kids out for a walk around Wellington again. When they got back, we hung around the house playing the Nintendo Wii – a gift from Matt’s parents to the children for Christmas. My Dad and Matt really enjoyed “golfing” together. Bowling also seemed to be a real favorite, as was baseball. Matt eventually went out and bought two more Wii remotes so my Dad and Pat could play doubles tennis with Kyle and Michelle. It was great fun watching them swing wildly around the living room. This day we went into Wichita for dinner. We went to Two Brothers BBQ on the west side of town on Central. Everyone got the buffet except for me, I got a small salad and French fries. They all ate until they practically exploded and enjoyed themselves thoroughly.


Monday, March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day – It rained and was very cold and windy. We stayed in played cards, dice, and the Wii. I made Cornish game hens, mashed potatoes, gravy, buttermilk biscuits, and Pat helped make a glorious salad.


Tuesday, March 18 – It was blustery and cold. We stayed in again, although Pat and the children went for a very quick and chilly walk. We mostly just hung out and did nothing but play games and relax. Tuesday night, Ronda (my friend and boss) came to dinner and hung out for about two hours – so she got to meet Dad and Pat and they her. We had chicken burritos, rice, and beans for dinner this night, along with chips, salsa, and my homemade queso dip. Ronda also bought 12 necklaces off my pool table for her sisters. So, 24 necklaces down, and like 276 more to go.


Wednesday, March 19 – It was sunny, so I took everyone to Wichita in my Pathfinder. We packed a picnic lunch and went to OJ Watson Park where Pat, Dad, Kyle and Michelle fed the ducks and geese, Dad and Kyle played a round of miniature golf, and Pat and Michelle went for a long walk around the two lakes at the park picking up interesting items they deemed “treasure”. Then, we drove up McLean to the Keeper of the Plains, walked across the bridge there and took some pictures of the river and downtown. I drove around to Old Town and showed them all the brick buildings which is a novelty to people from California where there aren’t brick buildings due to earthquakes. I pointed out all the various statuary on Douglas Ave and they got to see a real good cross section of downtown and where I work. We also drove out to the zoo so they could see that side of town, wrapping around to the highway and then back onto Kellogg and 235 to the HWY 81 home. We stopped by Sonic during drink Happy Hour and Pat had one of their new Mochacino Shake things and just instantly got addicted to them. So, they didn’t see the East side, but didn’t really want to see big homes and such – they’ve got Beverly Hills for that, so why see it here I guess? Dad had me stop off at A&W where he bought Kyle a root beer float and himself a half a gallon of root beer. Then we stopped at Braum’s and he bought vanilla ice cream. That night we had turkey sausage lasagna and garlic bread. My Dad said it was really good and would have been as good as his grandma’s except that I purchased my noodles instead of making them from scratch like grandma would have made, but other than that he loved it and had two huge pieces. Even after eating that big meal, everyone had room for my Dad’s root beer floats he passed around.


Thursday, March 20 – Pat and Dad gave me the day off. They walked to Sonic and took the children with them for lunch. Pat got another one of those Mochacino shakes (her first of two that day) because later she and Michelle walked back to Sonic and got another one. In the afternoon while Dad and Kyle played on the Wii, Pat and I made homemade blackberry, blueberry, raspberry mini-pies and apple mini-pies. Pat wanted to learn how to make them since my Dad loves blackberry and boysenberry pies. So, I taught her how. She sent me an email earlier this week telling me she made nearly four dozen of the little pies and was having a good time doing it. They are really so simple to make and are just the perfect size to eat in about three or four bites. They don’t require silverware really, and are perfect to pack in a lunch. They also store well in Gladlock containers in the refrigerator unlike large pies in tins or glass pans. It was leftover night so a good deal of the leftovers from the previous days were eaten, along with the fresh little ‘magic pies’ as they have now been dubbed.


Friday, March 21 - I took Dad and Pat to the airport very early the next morning, children in tow, Kyle nearly asleep the whole way there and back. After dropping them off, we headed back to Wellington and then to Dillons to pick up some necessities for the high tea I was going to host on Saturday.


Saturday, March 22 – I had invited Vikki, Crystal, April and CJ over for a semi-formal “high tea” from 3 – 5pm on Saturday. I made two kinds of quiche – broccoli ricotta, and cheddar bacon – in the mini size like the “magic pies”. I also made more pies, and ham toasties. I served all that as well as specialty pastries I bought at Dillons and red grapes and strawberries. We had Earl Grey, Chamomile, and Darjeeling as our tea selection. Earl Grey was the hands down favorite, we ended up with two pots of that. So – four pots of tea between the three of us. It was pretty cool, and I think we are going to do it again. I used my recent teapot and coffee pot purchases on ebay (beautiful silver) as well as the silver serving tray ($5). I also polished my mother’s sugar and creamer service and used that as well as my Lenox china (Kelly pattern). The items I purchased from Pampered Chef got a nice work out. I used them when we had Steve and Vickie over for dinner, the afternoon Tony, Crystal, the kids, and Joey hung out, during the week when Pat and Dad were visiting, and for high tea. They have certainly been put to good use and I love them!


Since then, Matt and I have been trying to recuperate from the Spring Break and a cold that both hit us. I felt terrible most of last week and ended up taking Wednesday off to rest at home. Luckily, we were both feeling better for our big Saturday night out.


Saturday, March 29, we went to see the Wichita Grand Opera production of Faust, starring Samuel Ramey as Mephistopheles. It was Matt’s first time ever to attend an opera, and mine first here in Wichita. I thought we were going to have third row seats because our tickets said row C. As it turns out, they took out rows A & B to facilitate the orchestra pit and thus, we had front row seats! YES – I was less than 10 feet from Samuel Ramey while he was singing some of the greatest opera ever! I am still floored over it. His acting was superb and his evil laugh during Vous qui faites l'endormie was awesome, spooking and thrilling all at the same time. It was such a treat and I so wanted to hear him sing in person. I am thankful and grateful I have had a chance to be in the presence of such brilliance, even when he was surrounded by a modest production (sets, costumes, etc). Bravo Samuel Ramey!

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:48 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, 16 May 2008 8:35 PM CDT
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