<$BlogRSDUrl$>
Interstellar Adventure
Adventure: the pursuit of life — Daniel Roy Wiarda

« Home | Happy Birthday to my Superman » | Chicken Dancers » | Workout Divas » | I have great ovaries! » | *sigh* » | He's at it again » | Best Laid Plans... » | Fair's Fair » | It was a Super Party! » | When you think people can't get any lower... »

Best Trip Ever!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

We even got to the airport on time! When we went to El Paso a few weeks ago, we were kind of pushing it, so I was glad Nick was relaxed when we got there early. Especially because we needed all that extra time to walk from the BFE parking lot to the BFE gate alllll the way at the end of the terminal at Love Field airport. See, there's this thing called the Wright Amendment that limits Southwest Airlines from flying outside Texas without first stopping in a bordering state. Well, a Missouri Senator recently got the state of Missouri exempted as well, and now American Airlines is operating like three gates or something out of Love to steal business from Southwest. So, if you'll remember, Nick and I got free tickets from AA to fly anywhere they do out of Love Field. Hey, free is free! We landed in KC with no issues and despite waiting forever for my golf clubs to come off the baggage carousel (our suitcase was the 4th bag off, the golf bag was the second to last bag off), we got our rental car (a Ford Escape this time - I liked it but we'll need more room in real life for bags and cargo) and got to Nick's buddy's house fairly quickly. Within five minutes we had beers in our hands and were sitting on the deck overlooking a huge, lushly green lawn and a creek. We spent the whole evening drinking beer, eating steak and yappin'. Nick's friend that we stayed with used to be his boss way back when, and the two of them told story after story. Let's just say the place they worked sounds like it was a little crazy. Saturday morning was spent on the deck again, this time drinking coffee and recovering from the massive amount of beer drunk the previous evening. Eventually, we rolled off the lawn chairs and went and played golf. Well, Nick's old boss and I did. Nick drove one of the carts and was the Pin Boy. Old Boss was a good golfer. But, besides going to the driving range once about a month ago, I haven't played in close to 4 or 5 years. My short game was quite rusty, but I really surprised myself off the tees. I had a few drives that were well over 200 yards, one approaching 250. Anyone need a lady for a co-ed scramble? We played about 13 or 14 holes (it was an 11-hold course...strange I know...part of the course had been sold off for development...green fees plus cart was $28 for all the holes you could play). Nick and Old Boss finished off a 12-pack of Miller High Life. I worked my way through 5 Sam Adams, and as we played, we watched the clouds roll in and the sky darken. I wanted to play one more hole, but Nick insisted we get off the course. It was a good thing, because right as we got in the car and pulled out of the parking lot, the skies opened and it poured down for a good couple of hours. We stopped off at a local restaurant/pub for a pint and some sandwiches before going home and showering. I slept off a couple of beers napped for about an hour, and then we went out on the town. One of Nick's old favorite stomping grounds was the Cigar Box. If you are ever in Kansas City, you have to go to the Cigar Box. When we walked in, I thought I had gone blind, but no, there were just no lights on in the place. Well, there were lights, but they were dimmed all the way to the setting next to "Off". There were only a few people in the place at the time. There were a couple of bar tables right at the entrance, followed by a long bar. Immediately to the right as you walked in was a large closet-sized humidor of cigars. A raised area of the floor to the right had a single table, a sound machine, and a couple of couches. The rest of the narrow space was full of small four-top round tables. Besides the three of us, I think there were four other people at the bar. When you sit down at the bar, you can't help but notice the painting hanging behind the bar. According to Nick, a guy offered up $10,000 for the painting, but the owner wouldn't sell. We asked permission to take this picture of it. We're 99.9% certain that the place is owned by some people that are 'connected'. I ordered a Cosmo, and it was one of the best I've ever had. I watched her make the second one, and I saw her add in Chambord and Grand Marnier, on top of an orange-flavored Vodka. Mmmm good. After a bit, the guy a bar-stool away from me gets up and heads over to the music machine up on the 'stage'. Turns out, this guy that I thought was just another drunk is actually Al Latta, regular entertainer at the Cigar Box, and somewhat of a minor local celebrity. He sings Sinatra, Martin, Elvis, Diamond and more, and is an absolute HOOT! He was dressed in black pants, a glitter-painted black t-shirt, a black sport coat and had a silver chain around his neck. The rug on his head looked like it'd been run over by a few drunks out on the street, but his performance was awesome. He's well liked and evidently packs 'em in 5 nights a week. After leaving the Cigar Box, we tried a place called The Quaff. According to Nick, it'd changed a lot. It now resembled a college bar, full of young kids, including a bachelorette party for a girl that looked about 12. Her party included a chick in a black bustier with a fuzzy whip in hand that was spanking just about everyone she walked by, and a girl with a whistle that I can only assume was calling 'party foul' penalties...constantly. I was ready to shove the whistle down her throat, and was very nearly to that point when Nick and Old Boss decided it was time to leave. Sunday morning Nick and I had an awful, disguting breakfast at the Waffle House. Nick wanted to go there, not me. But I went along. I was doing OK until I saw the pile of dead fruit flies laying across the window sill. I stopped eating at that point. We watched England vs. Ecuador in the World Cup with Old Boss. I like soccer football, but Nick and Old Boss just went on and on and on making jokes and comments during the game. Why the hell did Old Boss have it on then if the two of them were just going to make fun? Of course Beckham scored a goal off a beautiful free-kick to bring the score to 1-0 somewhere in the 60th minute of play. Ecuador couldn't get much off after that, and England won. We left Old Boss behind, and headed over to meet Nick's friend Cara and her boyfriend Ink at the Broadway Cafe. It's a very cool coffee shop. Good atmosphere for artists and writers. When we pulled up, we lucked out and got a front-and-center street parking spot. Lined up outside the coffee shop under the front windows were a line of black-backed chairs. A couple of guys in punk-ish attire were smoking roll-your-owns out front, watching a white guy in a mowhawk and a black guy in a stocking cap play a game of chess. We ordered our coffees inside and waited briefly on Cara and Ink. Once they arrived, we chatted for a bit, then headed to Gates BBQ for lunch. Kansas City BBQ at it's finest. Their schtick is greeting yelling at their customers "Hi, May Help You"as soon as the patron walks in the door. OK, while standing in line. But definitely before you would expect to order. And if you're not ready to order, be prepared to be assaulted with a progressively louder "Hi, May Help You's" every 10 seconds until you do order. And just order your main item. "Pork on Bun" I yelled. But even though I'd ordered, I still got an earful of "Hi, May Help You's" as the patrons in line behind me mulled over their order. Sides and drinks are ordered at the register as you receive your main item. Condiments, sauces, silverware, napkins and other items are located around the corner. Don't ask, just order, keep your head down, pay and move through the line. BBQ Nazi, anyone? The BBQ was good. Different from Texas BBQ. According to Nick it's the fact that they use Hickory instead of Mequite to roast their meats. The coolest part about the place was that their ceiling fans were on old-style pulley systems. Oh, and as we left, a bum asked me for change. Surprisingly, he was a very polite bum, but Nick had all the cash, and he's not as nice as I am. As we got in the car, Nick told me they ask everyone for a quarter. Once they get 5 or 6 quarters, they go to 7-11 and purchase a very cheap bottle of gin that could double as rubbing alcohol. After lunch, we went to tour Ink's house. He has a very cool house, but the dude has a problem. He's stuck in the 70's. Everything in the house was retro. Some of it was kind of cool, but some of it was soooo 70's. The saving grace of the house was the garden. Then we went to the mall to find some souvenirs. Instead we found an Elvis shop and a pair of checkered Vans for Nick. He'd been asking for some for a while. I was on the "No" end of it. Checkered Vans? Yuck! Then again, they weren't going to be on my feet. So, as part of his birthday gifts, I meant to get him some. Then forgot what size shoe he wore. I'm glad I waited, because he needed a bigger size. We had to order them. So we're waiting on the shipping. After the mall, we went to go meet another of Nick's friends. Math Whiz and his wife and their darling baby girl. Math Whiz used to be neighbors with Nick. Their apartment balconies backed up to each other, and that's how they got to be friends. Math Whiz is actually a math teacher at a private school and is super smart. He's a really funny guy, if a bit talkative, and he and Nick have some funny schtick that they do together. We had a nice visit with them as well. We got pizza for dinner. On the way back, I wanted to get a picture of a cool car we'd seen in the neighborhood. Sadly, the guy was bringing out the trash, so I couldn't stop and get a good picture. So I had to do a drive by. Yes, that's a Buick with rims. Monday we spent doing a bit of sight-seeing before our flight. We went drove around the Plaza area of Kansas City, but it's just like a big outdoor mall with shops I can see anywhere. So, we went over to the Westport area and did some shopping at a thrift store. I found a cool pair of shades for $10 and Nick got a cool pair of Wingtips for $24. We walked up and down the block, looking at the bars and restaurants and shops. Then, we went back to the Cigar Box for lunch. Wimbeldon was on TV, but it was on rain delay, so they were showing the 2005 final. We left before it was over...I wonder who won? We headed over to Crown Plaza and did a bit more shopping. We played in the fountain outside for a bit, had a latte and then departed for the airport. Major bonus once we checked in. We'd been upgraded to first class! Woo Hoo! So, the trip back was extra comfy and we enjoyed a complimentary beverage as well. Smooth landing, short wait at baggage claim, loooong walk back to the BFE garage, and we were on our way home. It was great to meet Nick's friends and put faces with all the names I'd heard about for the last year. Nick and I travel well together I think. Except he wants to drive all the time. He's a granny good driver. But he's too cute for me to be peeved for more than a few seconds, so I was happy. We had a great time on our vacation. I love you Nick baby, I hope you had fun too.

6/27/2006 01:14:00 PM :: ::
11 Comments:
Post a Comment
<< Home

InterstellarLass :: permalink