This week’s Touristy Tuesday comes from back home in Kansas City, Missouri! Home sweet home. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hotdogging and all the adventures that come with, but after six months living out of a suitcase in hotels I was more than ready to go back home to the Midwest.
I dropped Abe off at the airport, handed off the keys to the Wienermobile (more on that mistake later) and then boarded my own flight the next morning.
When Abe and I have flown before I never had to worry about my checked bags. He has a military ID so we just check everything free and don’t have to worry about weight limits. On this trip home I had stealthily distracted the American Airlines desk attendant with Wiener Whistles while he grabbed my bag, which I saw weighed in at 58 lbs. This came back to bite me on the return trip though when that woman had a much sharper eye. Whoops!
My dad picked me up at the KC airport and then we stopped by to pick up my step mom Maggie from work. After hugs all around we headed home where I met the latest addition to our family: Jake – a 4 month old golden retriever puppy!
My sister came down for the Thanksgiving holiday the next day and brought her own new dog with her. As tradition in our family dictates, Thanksgiving always means a trip to the dog park!
The first few days of break were strictly filled with family and food, two things I’ve missed quite a bit on the road. It was so nice to have a fridge to peruse and have multiple home-cooked meals!
Friday morning I headed over to Sean’s house. Like everyone else it seems, Sean also got a new dog while I was away. He just adopted Checker’s so we took our own trip to the dog park to catch up on life, running, and school.
In my house the Friday after Thanksgiving means only one thing: Christmas Decorating! We have never done Black Friday and always swap the good deals for putting up the lights and garland.
Another tradition that has been in our house throughout these recent college years is that I always bring my international friends home for the holidays.
Naturally, they are always suckered into sharing the lights duties with me. This year was no exception! Zahra, one of my dearest college friends, came into Kansas City stopped by for the annual tradition.
Once our house reached “best on the block” status, Zahra and I headed down to the Kansas City Country Club Plaza to meet up with some of her friends for dinner.
And by dinner, of course I mean a little shopping too! We ended up eating at this vegetarian place that was simply divine! Zahra has the most hilarious friends and it was so fun to hang out with them. (Sorry Abe, but it was nice to hang out with new people and not eat Mexican rice and beans for a night!)
Kevin, a fellow Mizzou J-Schooler, adopted a new nickname for me: Hot Dog. While normally I deplore all wiener-related nicknames while on the job, there was something about his French accent that made this absolutely endearing.
After dinner we went over to Crown Center Plaza for ice skating. If you are ever in Kansas City for the holidays you have to do these two things: see the Plaza Christmas lights and go ice skating at Crown Center.
It’s like going to NYC and seeing the Rockefeller Christmas tree! You just have to do it.
With only two days left to see friends, I was determined to squeeze in as many friend dates as possible. Saturday I met up with Lauren, another college friend. We had LOTS to talk about: new jobs in the advertising industry, weddings, and more.
Lauren is getting married to her fiance Anthony this summer and I’m one of the bridesmaids. This is actually going to be the first wedding I’ve ever been in! They’re a cute couple and I had to get the scoop on the engagement, the planning process, and their new dog! (Are we noticing a trend with the new fur children everyone seems to be adopting!)
On Sunday I made the familiar trip back to Columbia to see my friends still finishing up at Mizzou. I popped in to see Zahra at 103 Belvedere, my old apartment. It was fun to go back and see what it is like now. Good news; the slumlords have now installed a front door to the building and Zahra hasn’t had any squirrels fall down the chimney like I did. I’m a little jealous because the night club next door was also torn down. Lucky girl, she’s living high class!
Afterwards I did lunch (read: cupcakes) with Katie, Emily, and Brittany in downtown Columbia. A cupcakery opened right before I graduated that none of us had tried out, so we tested out all of the flavors: tiaramisu, red velvet, cranberry, and sweet potato. Yum!
While we had swapped the cocktails for mini cakes, it was a moment right out of Sex and the City. Having not seen them in six months there was a quite a bit of catching up to do – some conversations you just can’t have over the phone!
I forced the three of them to wander campus with me for a bit. I’ll admit, I miss walking by the columns every day and just being in school! Coming back to Mizzou really made me confident and excited about going to Georgia in June.
We also went on a scavenger hunt over at the Mizzou Alumni Association in search of my brick. For graduation, my mom got me a lifetime membership to the alumni association and that included a brick in the final installment in the Legacy Walk. I vaguely remember what I had put on it, so with four sets of eyes we scoured the sidewalk looking for it.
Surprisingly, it took less than a minute – Brittany found it in no time!
Tarah and I met on the crew team but are now both avid runners. We did our first half marathons together last yea and she just did the Chicago marathon. While I spent most of the weekend just catching up with friends, it was great to hear what they’re all up to these days!
With that I headed back to Kansas City for the night and was off to the Southwest the next day. Sadly, when I arrived I realized that I had left the WRONG set of Wienermobile keys! Whoops! My lesson was learned… sitting, alone, in the smoky filthy Penske break room, I waited for the Wienermobile to finish getting maintenance done. Buy hey, that’s just one more adventure for the week!