Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Two Months in Kansas City

The last two months have simply flown! Our two-month stay in Kansas City comes to an end tomorrow. We've been very busy and had tons of fun. Unfortunately, we just didn't take many pictures. Here's our best effort at a recap.

Our first stop in Kansas City was Worlds of Fun. Every body and thing at our house was due for an annual check up during our stay, and Bullwinkle was first up with his annual visit at Kansas City Freightliner, just around the corner from our site o' fun. The extra special treat of this two-night stay was meeting up with friends Anne and Craig, who were making their way home to the southern California desert. (We didn't get a picture of these two, but that's their beautiful Ellipse back behind Bullwinkle in the photo above.)

This was our third stop at Worlds of Fun. But, it was the first time we'd been there while the roller coasters were running. It was fun to watch (and hear) park goers enjoying the rides.

From Worlds of Fun, we made our way to our "home" park in Merriam on October 1st. Moments after we got parked in our most familiar surroundings, we were off and running. It seems there's always plenty for us to do in Kansas City, and never enough time. Between doctor, dentist and vet visits, and catching up with family and friends, we were always on the go.

We enjoyed an evening at Shawnee Mission East High School, where our niece and a hundred or so of her friends performed at the school's fall choir concert.

One afternoon, Paul and I visited the campus of crosstown rival Shawnee Mission West High School for a parade celebrating Paul's alma mater's 50th anniversary. The Junior ROTC group got things started.

The school invited its alums to participate in the parade. The handful of folks in this photo represented the tens of thousands of graduates from the '70s, '80s and '90s. Needless to say, most of the alums from these decades were working on this weekday afternoon!

The students, however, were celebrating in full force. Dressed in everything from togas to tie dye, they had a great time saluting the past. One of our favorites was the strings section of the school's orchestra. As these musical kids strolled along, they played the opening riff of The Beatles' hit "Birthday", then shouted the lyrics. They were definitely having a good time.

One of our annual Kansas City pre-holiday traditions is the baking of what seems like a zillion crescent rolls (from scratch, of course) for our family holiday meals. With the help of my happy baking nieces, we actually rolled up 14 dozen of the tasty delights. This year, we experimented and tried a couple batches of sweet versions. The chocolate chip and peanut butter crescents were a unanimous favorite.

We enjoyed time with many friends during our stay. We caught up with former co-workers, neighbors and folks we hadn't seen in a very long while. Like we said, though, there just wasn't enough time to see everybody. So, we're looking forward to catching up with more friends when we return next May. We were also fortunate to catch up with far away friends, like Cindy and Rick, who joined us for a virtual happy hour. (We just love Skype!)

We were also blessed to meet virtual friends for the first time during our stay. When we learned that fellow travelers Bridget and John were staying an hour or so south of Kansas City, we made a date to meet them over some tasty home cookin' at Miss B's Cafe in Louisburg. It was great to meet them both. We look forward to seeing them again down the road.

We met a few new faces during our stay, too. "Barlow" is niece Kate's special friend. Lucky for him, Uncle Paul approves! (It was great to see you both!)

As our stay drew to a close, we especially enjoyed celebrating Thanksgiving with our family. Here's Paul's half our clan at its celebration. We also enjoyed a wonderful dinner at my parents, but I didn't take any pictures. (Curses!) It was fantastic to spend this special holiday with everyone.

During our "downtime", limited though it was, we tackled a few special projects. Paul took care of a bunch of odds and ends for the moose and squirrel. I wrote a 50,000-word novel (and I use that term so loosely) as part of National Novel Writing Month, and knitted two scarves for the Special Olympics Scarf Project. (I encourage all you knitters and crocheters who pass this way to click on that link. It's a wonderful project in need of a lot of scarves! You'll find all the info you need to make your contribution. Then, stitch away! You'll be so glad you did!)

After these two very busy months, it's time for us to head south. We'll miss our family and friends, of course. But, truth be told, we really have to go. After all this activity, we need some rest!

More soon from the road.