Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A little piece of Heaven....

With all the excitement of Christmas, I almost forgot that Nick and I had planned a little get away shortly afterwards. My cousin Whitney lives in Kansas City, but was going to New York for the holiday, so we decided to go to KC while she was gone and she graciously let us stay in her house (thanks Whit!!). Not having to pay for a hotel made it MUCH easier for us to take the trip in the first place.

We were planning on leaving Friday, 12/28/12, around 5pm. I took off work a little early so I could spend some time with the kids before we left. I went to work at 9am and on my where there, the check engine light come on. Not good. I got off work around 1:30pm and decided to run to Auto Zone because they do free diagnostic checks when your check engine light is on. They ran the check and wouldn't you know it......a transmission code comes up. Blah. We were going to take my Jeep to Kansas City. It doesn't get great gas mileage, but we have a truck that gets even less than the Jeep or a really old car that gets 32 miles to the gallon, but isn't exactly reliable to drive 300 miles. So we decided to take the truck. I was a little bummed because it costs a LOT more to fill up the truck than the Jeep, so that took a chunk out of our budget.

Then, Brooke met me at our house with the kids so we could hang out for awhile before leaving. And Tommy slept the WHOLE time. I was super sad. He had no idea what was going on, but I did! I hated that we'd be leaving him without having spent any time together that day. I was starting to think maybe we shouldn't go, but Nick convinced me that all would be fine, so we dropped the kids off at Brooke and Michael's and headed out!

The 2 hour drive alone with my husband was worth the trip in and of itself. I think we got to talk more on that drive than we have since we had Tommy :) No interruptions, no crying from the back seat, no potty breaks........just 2 hours of being ALONE!! We got to Kansas City around 8pm and decided to go to dinner at the Salty Iguana (whitney's suggestion). She even had a buy one-get one free coupon, so I knew it was fate!! And it turned out to be EXTREMELY delicious! It was Mexican food and they had a cream cheese and jalapeno sauce that was to die for. LOVED it. Then we went back to the house and watched a movie. From start to finish. That hasn't happened in like.....2 years.

We only slept in the next morning until around 7:30am but it was nice because even though we were awake, we didn't have to get up to get crackers and juice and change diapers. I missed my babies, but not the work that comes with them ;) I told Nick it would be ideal if we could go on a family vacation and just take a nanny so that we could see the kids, but not have to do the hard stuff! Horrible, huh? After we got up and around, I decided to highlight my hair and take a long, hot bath while my hair dye was setting. Good decision. It was delightful. We had reservations to do a brewery tour at 2pm, so we headed that direction and decided to go ahead and find the brewery and then go eat lunch somewhere around there. We stopped at a Quik Trip and got the recommendation to eat at a place called The Bronx. We tried to go there, but it was PACKED. Like, we couldn't even get in the parking lot. So we ended up at a place called KC Smoke Burgers and I am SO glad we went there. Seriously delicious.

Each burger came out on it's own little individual smoker filled with hickory chips. The burgers were HUGE and juicy and awesome. That picture was after I'd eaten about half of it. I highly recommend going there if you're even in Kansas City. There was no wait and it was pretty cheap for what we got!

After lunch, we slowly but surely made our way to the brewery.
We'd just eaten a ton of food and then had to park a mile away (ok, it was probably only 1/8 mile, but it felt like FOREVER) and on the top floor of the parking garage that had NO elevator!! We lugged ourselves into the brewery and then went to check in and realized I didn't have my ID. I didn't think I'd need it, but I had to have it to go on the tour. So we went BACK up to the top of the parking garage, got my ID and went BACK down all the stairs to the brewery. Then we realized we didn't lock the truck and my purse and Nick's fire arm were in there. Sigh. I let Nick make that trip solo. Luckily, he was able to lock it without going back up all the stairs :) We probably should have ate lunch AFTER the 45 minute walking tour that involved 3 flights of stairs.
 Our tour guide's name was Ami (she pronounced it Ahh-mee). I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be pronounced aim-ee but she seemed to be going through a transgender thing, so she/he was a little awkward, but had a few lame brewery jokes up her/his sleeve! She didn't know a lot about the place (they were volunteers, which I was REALLY surprised to find out. Who volunteers their Saturday to give tours?!?) but she did a decent job of explaining how everything worked. They kept telling us not to touch the shiny pipes, which of course made me want to touch them. So I did. And I liked it.

I'm not a huge beer fan, but Nick is and it WAS pretty neat to see how they make it and bottle it and everything. There were rooms and rooms FULL of pipes and tanks and valves. I have no idea how anyone could keep straight what was going on in each room and each pipe. Crazy.

We got 8 free beers at the end!! They were probably about 6oz each and I could only drink about 2 drinks of each one before I felt like I was going to hurl. I just don't really like the taste of beer and a lot of those flavors were REALLY bitter. Even Nick wasn't enjoying a few of them. But he pressed on and finished them. What a champ! :)

But that left me to drive through all the traffic to the mall. Which normally I wouldn't mind if I was in my own car. But I HATE driving his truck because it's huge and I always feel like I underestimate how much room I have on the road. But we made it to Legend's Outlet Mall in one piece. I got to shop cheap clothes for my babies and Nick went to Cabela's, which was right next door. I didn't find much. Just a jean jacket for Tess and a tank top for myself. Oh and a booball (football) sweatshirt for Tommy that he LOVES!

When we were done shopping, we went home and napped (lame, but true) and then went to dinner. We drove around forEVER looking for someplace to eat. We came across the Griswold's of Kansas City!

This house had lights on every square inch of their property. Pretty cool! The house across the street from them looked pretty similar.

We finally came across a Macaroni Grill and went in to eat. We were one of three tables, but it took a good 40 minutes for us to get our food. Right when we were starting to get frustrated, she brought it out. Thank goodness, because we were STARVING! It was 9:30pm and we hadn't eaten since before we'd napped, so we were super hungry. We had pasta and it totally hit the spot. There was a K-Mart (aka--dreamland for me) close by, so we went there as well. I didn't like it as much as ours, but it satisfied my shopping needs :) We went home after that and watched another movie and then went to sleep.

The next morning was back to reality! We headed out around 11am (after some Dunkin donuts, which were good, but not all they're hyped up to be). We stopped at Bass Pro and another mall on the way home and ended up getting fast food to eat in the truck after we waited 25 minutes at Buffalo Wild Wings just to get our order taken. We were ready to be home with our babies!!

My mom was waiting here at the house for us with them. Being the saint she is, she had done all of our laundry AND cleaned our house. Have I ever mentioned that she's a wonderful lady? Thanks mom!! And thanks Whit, for letting us stay at Casa De La Whitney!

We had such a wonderful time and it was truly refreshing to be alone and to have the freedom to do what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it! I told Nick that we need to do that at least every 6 months. Even if we stay in town but let our families keep the kids for the weekend. It was seriously the revival that I needed to get through the next year!

I had a great time, honey!! I love you and am SO glad we got that time together!

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