Down South Where I (Wanna) Stay……

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This past weekend, we went down to San Antonio for the long weekend, because we had nothing better to do. Just kidding. I’ll tell you why, later.

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We got to see the Terminator(Aspen) and spend some time with family for Jaelan’s birthday. But, more importantly, we got away from the blistering cold! We did come back to about half a foot of snow.

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I was able to check out a couple of coffee spots, Local Coffee and Press Coffee. Both were awesome spots and served a great cortado. I found Press Coffee a little cozier and less crowded.Β Xavier and I tried out the Esquire Tavern on the Riverwalk for desserts and cocktails for Valentine’s. I highly recommend. Great space and atmosphere, and a little history. We had the VDay special and the pulled pork sandwiches, and the Bitter Flip cocktail. We couldn’t squeeze in Fiddy Shades, but maybe that was a good thing?

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We also went on a hike with the girls at a nearby park for VDay. May just be a new tradition. Right before we finished:

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Xavi: How many miles have we hiked?
Aspen: 5 days!! We walked for 5 days, Xavi!! (She sounded angry)

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I think she was tired by then, lol. It was only a couple of miles, jeez.

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Here are a few more photos. Sadly, I did not get any shot of the Riverwalk, next time. Have a great rest of the week!! πŸ™‚

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Kansas City Caffeine Crawl!!

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love coffee. If not, well, I love coffee.

This past weekend, The Lab, a beverage marketing company, hosted the fall edition of the Kansas City Caffeine Crawl, there is also one in the summer.

If you didn’t already know, Kansas City has a very rich coffee community and it is ever growing.

Naturally, when I found out that Kansas City has a caffeine crawl, I signed me up, albeit last minute, but I was able to go this time around. Thank you to Jason and Micheal from The Lab for saving my tickets! πŸ™‚

Xavier and I took the Sunday self driven Route 1. There are also bus routes available, but they sell out pretty fast. FYI: Xavier is not a coffee drinker, he just came along for the fun, plus he was a very helpful in getting us to the stops on time πŸ™‚

In addition to sampling some great coffee and specialty food/products, each crawler receives goodies bag filled with various coffee “swag”.

Here is our route and what each stop had to offer:

Stop #1: Parisi Cafe in Leawood.

Parisi is one of my favorite spots here. Kate, the GM, presented an innovative culinary use for coffee. She created a dish of coffee caviar, yes coffee caviar, with pomegranate pop rocks chased by carbonated plums. It was awesome. It included a demonstration on how to make coffee caviar. I thought the presentation was very informative, especially since I had never heard of coffee caviar. When you put the combo in your mouth, it literally creates a popping sensation in your mouth like fireworks. Xavier did try this one and he actually liked it. He also loved the carbonated plum, because he loves plums.

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Stop #2: Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard in Prairie Village

Foo’s staff demonstrated how to make coffee ice cream. They use a cold toddy method. Again, lots of useful information on other ways to utilize coffee. And what better way than coffee ice cream. After the demonstration, we were able to try the recipe and it is pretty much the best ice cream flavor ever. We also sampled their house blend coffee. I have never tried coffee ice cream before, and I am glad I got to try Foo’s. The process of flavor extraction and making the ice cream is so time consuming that Foo’s only offers ice cream coffee for special events/occasions. (Restroom break #1)

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Stop #3: Oddly Correct in Westport

Oddly Correct is a Kansas City staple. This was the first coffee shop I visited when we first moved here. This was also the first place that encouraged me to try coffee without any additives. So, I really like this place.

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We hit a snag getting to this stop on time and we only caught the last 10 minutes of Oddly’s presentation on Roasting variables. The presentation included tasting of brewed coffee roasted at different temperatures and comparing them to a control brew. You can definitely taste the difference. For those interested in roasting your own coffee, this was definitely an informative session.

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Stop #4: PTs at the Crossroads

PTs co-owner Jeff Taylor gave an informative session on direct and fair trade. At this stop, we were able to sample award winning coffees and Christopher Elbow collaboration chocolates, like 3 different kinds. The coffee was great and I really liked one of the chocolate, but did not catch the name 😦 (Restroom break #2).

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Stop #5: Blackdog Coffee House in Lenexa

Blackdog gave a presentation on the Chemex brewing system(which I use at home), and offered Ibis Bakery bread pairings with various jams and spreads. I tried all of them and they were all good. I skipped the coffee because I had had like a bunch of cups of coffee by this time and also because Restroom break #3. So, I thought I would give my kidneys and bladder a break.

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Stop #6: Homer’s Coffee in Overland Park

The last stop offered coffee samples paired with sweet snacks. My favorite was a Kenyan with the pumpkin soft cookie. It was delish. There was also a musical performance to close out the crawl.

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This was my first coffee crawl and I had a blast. I learned a ton about the dynamic coffee industry and enjoyed tasting the various offerings that each stop provided. I also learned how quickly coffee goes through my system, goodness.If you are a coffee lover, this event is definitely a must. Go here to find out more and see where the next crawl will be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Fun in West Virginia!!

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**A little apology for taking over a month hiatus from the blog. It has been a quite a bumpy and busy month, and I am finally catching up on a lot of things, including the blog. YAY!** I thought I would start back up with the girls’ last summer stop.

I am a little bummed that summer is “over”. The girls have officially started another school year, and we now have a 7th grader and a 5th grader. However, they have had a fun and full summer, visiting family and friends, in Texas and West Virginia.

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The girls spent their last bit of summer in West Virginia, visiting with my sister for the first time. She has a nice little property up there and the girls have been asking all year to go and visit. Our work schedule did not allow Xavier and I to join them, plus I am just bad at planning.

From what I heard, the girls had a blast up there and we might even make it an annual summer destination for them. They love it up there and they also learned a lot about living off of the land and survival skills. Plus they get to ride around in a four wheeler, a tractor, and have water balloon fights. I was uber jealous.

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They also learned how to shoot, and Boogie looks like a natural. Don’t worry, my sister is a professional with weapons and an awesome teacher. She is a former military police with a tour in South Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq, under her belt. If I want anyone to teach my girls about guns and gun safety, it would be her. They also learned about fire safety and how to start a camp fire.

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And of course, Aspen’s favorite were the animals. The girls got to help out around the place and feed the animals every morning. But they stayed away from the big pot belly pig named Becky.

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Since, I was not up here, pictures were very limited, but here are a few and a couple of videos of the big girls learning how to shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 33 and 34: Finally, Friday!!

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Hope everyone had a great weekend! Though it is with a weary heart that I inform you that the Houston Rockets season ended unexpectedly, on Friday 😦 It was an awesome series and good luck to the Trailblazers.

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This week’s post is 2 weeks worth, since we were out in Florida for last week and didn’t do a Friday post. It was a late Spring Break trip for the girls and the family. The weather down there was excellent, lots of sunshine and the water was awesome. Clear and clam for the most part. The girls were so happy to be at the beach, they swam and played the whole time. We had a great time and was very thankful to have been able to get away from Kansas weather. We also made a stop in Nashville, which surprisingly had lots to offer than I expected and super friendly folks. Some places we were able to visit were Crema, the Broadway Strip, and Slider House. We missed out on Barista Parlor and Pinewood Social due to the weather, maybe next time.

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Highlights:

Last week’s highlight was definitely the sunshine and the beach. Not sure if I can top that this week, so here are a couple of convos from the girls, and some photos:

Jaelan

Jaelan: This is one of the best meals ever! This is good!

Me: Jaelan, I have made this a thousand times.

Jaelan: Well, then, it must not have been good, because it has never tasted this good.

Me: Thanks a lot, Jaelan. SIGH.

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Aspen:

Convo 1:

Me: Ok, Terminator, time to get out of the bath tub.

Aspen: Not, yet, I’m not done being a mermaid!

Me: ok, 2 more minutes.

Aspen: Ok, because, I, I, I am a golden mermaid, swimming with my friends to explore the wide world. I swim with my tail. *Splashes water with her legs everywhere*

Me: Ok, well, mermaids need to get out of the bath tub so they can go to bed.

Aspen: But I won’t be able to breath if I get out of the ocean! NO!!!

Convo 2:

While playing at the beach last week, the waves knocked Aspen down and she fell into the water and her hair got wet. This is what she yelled out:

“Ahh!! My beautiful, beautiful HAIR!!”

She is going to be a handful when she gets older. SIGH.

Week 33 and 34 Gallery:

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The Kansas City Ren Fest

The 35th KC Renaissance Festival (09-21-2013)

A couple of Saturdays ago, we went the 35th Kansas City Renaissance Festival at Bonner Spring, KS.

It was a little more scaled down compared to the Texas Ren Fest, but it was just as great and we had a good time, albeit sore feet and a cranky Aspen from all of the walking.

Here is how it went and some of what we saw:

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The Plaza Art Fair

The 82nd Plaza Art Fair (09-20-2013)

Last Friday, the family and I went to the 82nd Plaza Art Fair at the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, MO.

Here is how it went and what we saw:

(I was not able to take that many photos of the art because they gave us stinky faces, wagged their stubby fingers, and/or growled at people who took photos of the art. So no bueno. Instead you get to see a lot of “us” in the photos! πŸ™‚ Also, it was night time so the photos are a bit on the dark side and taken with my handy dandy iphone 4, no I have yet to upgrade. App used was Visual Supply Company.)

Houston vs. Kansas City: 5 Things You didn’t Know

No, this post is not a preview for the upcoming football game between the Texans and the Chiefs. Sorry. Instead, it is a short compilation of a few random differences between Texas and Kansas/Missouri that I have come to find out in my short time here in Kansas City. Listed by importance to me, from bleh to what!? Here they are:

1. Fountains: There are over 200 registered fountains in Kansas City, hence the moniker, The City of Fountains. Houston has 2(according to my research, you can correct me if you want), it’s called the Waterwall at the Galleria, and The Mecom Fountain at the Museum District, that drives everyone nuts. I am sure there might be a couple more, but I am positive it is nowhere near 200+.

2. Terrain: Kansas City is nice and hilly with lots of green, even the inner city is has plenty of trees. Houston is flat with lots of ditches and potholes.

3. Vehicles: Texas, requires a yearly vehicle inspection along with a yearly(or you can opt to renew for 2 years) registration renewal. Kansas only requires a one time inspection upon the vehicle’s first registration, and that’s it. For how long? My research didn’t get that far.

4. State Income Tax: Texas does not have state income tax, but Kansas does. So, this did not sit in well with me. I consider this important.

5. Education: Kansas, with their stupid state income tax, requires students/parents to pay for their books….in public school. Really? Texas requires no such thing, they just test the heck out of your kids. The Missouri side of Kansas City? Don’t bother, the whole school district lost its accreditation. It’s the main reason why we decided to live on the Kansas side. This is very important, this is my kids’ education. I can’t have slow kids. I’m just being honest.

There you go, 5 things you didn’t know about Houston(Texas) and Kansas City(Kansas/Missouri). And, if you did in fact already know, good for you!

Here is a couple of Kansas City point of interest photos, will periodically post more as they are photographed:

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The Bloch Fountain in front of Union StationmemorialThe National World War I Memorial, with my family walking towards the museum.