This is a few days late, but better late than never, correct?? We just got back yesterday evening from a trip back to Kansas, it was fun but as usual jam-packed, so we’ll probably still be trying to catch up on laundry, grocery shopping, errands, sleep, etc. until the next weekend rolls around 😉 Trips are fun but man, they mean crazy catch-up the following week, that’s for sure.
Last week was kind of a blur; we tend to keep busy but last week was insane. Monday I had a long appt. that took most of the afternoon. Tuesday I spent my precious lunch hour and my evening running tons of errands to prep for the trip ahead. Wednesday I chaperoned at Pete’s school for a half day, and by Thursday we were on the road.
Pete’s new preschool is pretty awesome, they do tons of field trips, but to keep them going they ask parents to help out by chaperoning. My first gig came up this past week, and that’s how I found myself in possession of two curly-headed boys for the day.
We took the Metro downtown and hit up the Farmer’s Market, Monona Terrace, and had a picnic on the Capitol lawn. This will be their class’s regular Wednesday line up for the rest of the summer. We missed our bus back because of one last frantic trip to the Capitol bathrooms, which was kind of a bummer because I got a parking ticket due to our waiting another 30 minutes for the next one. GAH. Oh well, it was still fun so I can’t complain. 🙂
Thursday we were going to be Kansas bound. Usually we knock out that first drive in one day, and were trying something new this go around and thought we’d knock out the first leg of the drive down on Thursday. Because we planned to leave as soon as possible on Thursday, Wednesday night was kind of a bust. We did last-minute laundry, packed, I pulled together my camera equipment (2 shoots planned this trip), and there wasn’t much time left for making dinner. Nor did we really have any desire to cook. So off we went to Old Chicago down the street for a quick meal. It was kind of an interesting evening, as we were right in the path of the DERECHO OF DOOOOOOOM.
Okay not really of Doom or a Derecho at all when it came down to it, but you know: EXCITEMENT AND BUILD UP GALORE. Even I was excited, darn it. Everyone was talking about it. But it never got as nasty out as they were predicting so I’m assuming we were on the far edge of the whole thing, or Kansas has completely desensitized me to horrible weather. At any rate: we went out in it to get some dinner, and had no problems. It was raining kinda hard but certainly wasn’t awful, and the wind wasn’t bad either. There were some cool cloud formations though. And it did make packing a little more interesting, watching all the reports on the weather. Pete got this amazing shot of the weather as we drove home from Old Chicago:
(I hope you noted the sarcasm.)
We left for Lawrence Thursday after work, and I mean: I made sure that when Scott got off work at 4pm, Pete and I were both home and our bags were packed; all we needed was to gas up the car and hit the road. Which is exactly what we did. We drove as far as Des Moines and then stopped for the night. I bought some cheese, landjaegers, crackers, grapes, and melon while out running errands earlier in the week, so we had a mini picnic for dinner in our fancy schmancy hotel room. You know, the Econolodge.
I won’t bag on it too much; it may have had mis-matched 90s furniture and really old TVs, but that thing was clean as could be and the beds were comfy, so you’ll have no complaints from me. We sailed in at 9pm, slept, grabbed some breakfast (not the worst Continental Breakfast I’ve had), then hit the road again – it was perfect for what we needed. The rest of the drive went quickly on Friday, I am really glad we broke it up. Usually on the way down we try to do all the driving in one day, and usually by the time we stop for lunch (usually Des Moines) we are all exhausted. Our days of doing the drive in one day are over for awhile, methinks, which is fine by me. Only one hiccup on the drive on Friday, and that was the wicked storm we drove into. The sky was kinda pretty so I took a photo, not realizing just how bad we were about to get clobbered. It was a torrential downpour for 10 miles, as in our-wipers-at-full-blast-could-not-keep-up kind of downpour. I was positive that we were going to die on a Missouri highway.
But YAY WE DIDN’T DIE AFTER ALL. Once in the safe arms of our old hometown of Lawrence, we scooted over to the hotel to get settled in for a few days. We stayed at the Comfort Inn on the north side of town; it’s brand-spanking new (well, under a year old anyway) and is all pretty and shiny and the rooms are huuuuuuuuuuge. Huge. The bathroom is huge, the bedroom area is huge, there is a huge entry. All-around ‘benormous’, as Pete referred to it. I think this will be our new go-to hotel when we’re in town, needless to say.
After we got settled in Beah et al. met up with us for a day of shopping and lunching. We hit up Free State for lunch, as if there would be any question as to where we would go. The kidlets fell right into their cousinly weirdness in no time. I forgot how much I miss this place: the good brews and loud clinky happy noises, and the glass blocks in the wall upstairs that you can peek into for a wavy view of Liberty Hall, and the way that the women’s room smells of heavenly, beautiful coffee (thanks to La Prima Tazza next door). Sad face.
Ummm as a side note: if anyone heads to Free State in the next month or so, be sure to get the German Chocolate Trifle. LAWDY. So good.
And then, we went shopping.
And did more shopping, and had ice cream, and then even more walking and shopping and being happily weird together.
And then they had to go back home, and I was really sad 😦 We were exhausted after that hot hot HOT day running amok downtown, so off we went back to our hotel to cool off, get some rest, and I cleaned my camera equipment. Quite thrilling 😉 Scott ran out and picked up some Yello Sub for our dinner, so that part actually was exciting. Crab Californian, oh how I’ve missed you.
The next morning we were out of the room to get some breakfast (have I told you about Pete’s undying love for hotel Continental Breakfast? Because: seriously. He drags himself half-asleep straight out of bed and weaves for the door, mumbling about going to the kitchen). Pete decided it was the Best Hotel Breakfast Spot Yet, and that’s saying something because he is clearly a bit of a connoisseur. Scott’s parents were meeting up with us that morning, so after breakfast and getting ready they were off for a day in KC checking out trains and BBQ. I headed to Java Break, my most favorite coffee shop in the world, where I hid in a booth and got ready for the wedding shoot I had that day.
Nikki, my trusty 2nd shooter, met up with me there and we then had a quick lunch to hash out deets (La Parrilla, it was quite the Tour of Lawrence for me this weekend). Then off to meet the bride! We were hoping for portraits and a First Look in the park but the weather didn’t cooperate – it was thunderstorm city. That’s okay, though – we made do, sneaked in a few shots outside between storms, and regardless of the weather: it was a beautiful, lovely day inside the Carnegie Building 🙂
Hello, they had pie instead of cake. PIE.
That and a killer band.
After the wedding Nikki and I were both kind of dead on our feet, so we headed back to the hotel and after backing up our files, zonked out. Slept like the dead.
Sunday Nikki headed out and after some breakfast, we checked out of the room (much to Pete’s dismay). Off we went to KC, where I had a shoot with a cute little lady (and more PIE!).
After the shoot we headed to my brother’s place, where we met up with my parents and sister Tinnie. We hung out, had lunch, and made a TJs run.
We left Momo in TJs. STRAIGHT UP LEFT HIM THERE. If it was not for Tinnie innocently asking where he was, he would have been lost forever. Instead we made Scott turn around and head back to the store. Going off a tip from my brother, I found Momo tucked near the pedals of one of those Rascal scooter shopping things they had near the entrance. Thank goodness for siblings, man, they will never let you down 🙂
After some hugs and good-byes we left. But not without my brother making his cat wave bye-bye to us from his apartment door. Never stop being so weird, brother.
We then headed back for Des Moines. We got a room for the night at the same cheap Econolodge, hit up Old Chicago for a late dinner, and hit the hay. The next morning we finished our drive. I was never so happy to see that Wisconsin sign.
We stopped in Potosi for some lunch at the brewery. The service was awful – it took 50 minutes after ordering for us to get our food (!), and they weren’t exactly busy at 2:30p… We’re willing to give it another chance though, as the food (when it finally arrived) was way better than we were expecting. Really good. So give it a shot if you are in the area, just try to go well before you are ravenously hungry.
And then we were finally home! Even Pete was happy to finally get home (if only because we made him wait to open his new birthday toy train set until we were safely home). After unloading the car and making a quick train set up, we coaxed Pete to the pool. And can I just say? Even though we were thoroughly exhausted after a looooong several days and even though the water was on the chilly side, that swim felt awesome.
And that’s all I’ve got for now! It’s nearing midnight so I need to get some sleep. I hope everyone had a great weekend and wonderful Father’s Day weekend! Will be back at the blogging on here in no time.