Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blues Fest 2010

Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival celebrated it's 25th anniversary this year and we were there for the celebration! Known as King Biscuit Blues Festival since it's inception, the name had to be changed several years ago. But thanks to a very profitable, successful festival, it's going back to the King Biscuit name!

Dad has been stage managing the main stage for years and years, John has been working the stage crew for 7, and I make my way down there whenever I feel like it. (one of my main deciding factors is if Corrie is going!)

Corrie, Anson Funderburgh and me
John and Chad
Kerrice and Corrie
 We had a blast! Music was fantastic, weather was great, and we just enjoyed seeing everyone. Kerrice joined us this year and she made friends with everyone she met!
We saw B.B.King, Dr. John, Taj Mahal, Marcia Ball, Reba Russell, Anson Funderburgh, James Harman, Wolfman Washington and the list goes on.
One of our favorites was Preston Shannan, the first act on Saturday. We were staying out of the sun,
chilling behind the stage, still recovering from Friday...when they started to play. A really solid set...Preston was great on the guitar and backed by a talented band. When they did their version of "Purple Rain", we all just looked at each was really well done. Just a great, great start to our final day at the Blues Fest.

With Preston Shannan

Dad and B.B. King

Exhausted, we drove home on Sunday, talking about all of the fantastic music we heard and realizing how lucky we were.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ichabods in Colorado

We are pretty involved with Washburn University. John graduated from there and currently works for Washburn, and he was just elected to the Washburn Alumni Board of Directors. For several years now, Washburn's first football game of the season has been against Colorado School of Mines. The game this year was in Golden, CO and we talked about going. Plans solidified when I found out Ray LaMontagne and David Gray were going to play Red Rocks the Monday after the game. I talked John into it and in turn, he talked Javier and Brenda into going with us. We turned it into a fantastic weekend!

Drove to Denver on a Friday, I scheduled a detour at the outlet malls in Castle Rock, everyone bought something at Coach! We made good time and checked into the Sheraton Denver West--we got great rates using Hotwire. That night Washburn Alumni gathered at a sports bar near Cherry Creek for a get together. Our friends Robin & Scott were there and we had a lot of fun visiting and trying new beers. I'd done a little research and read about a burger place in the Cherry Creek area, after hearing some more great things about it, that's where we went for dinner. Cherry Cricket was was great and we had a blast hanging out at the teeny bar in the back, talking with the bartender.

Washburn played on Saturday, it was sunny and warm, and we cheered the Ichabods on to victory. Yes, Ichabods. If you need more info on why the Ichabods are the Ichabods, go here. "What's an Ichabod?"
We stopped at a joint right across from our hotel for happy hour...Jose O'Shea's...seriously some of the best margaritas I've ever had. And I love margaritas.

Sunday, we drove to Colorado Springs. We had brunch at the Broadmoor and it was outstanding...gorgeously done, everything you could possibly want. We changed into some casual clothes and took a drive. Patsy's for some saltwater taffy, then checked out Green Mountain Falls, where John and his family vacationed for years. Finally ending up at one of my favorite places, Garden of the Gods. A few hours were spent here...

At the end of the day, we were finally hungry again and I casually mentioned that there was a good German restaurant nearby, Edelweiss. So happy that the gang said that sounded good! Oh my goodness, I was in heaven...gemichste salat, rahmschnitzel, spatzle.

On Monday, we touristed up and got out to see a few things. Breakfast at Snooze in Denver was a very wise decision. So was the Denver Museum of Nature & Science--it was free that day to Colorado residents. We tried to pay but they waved us on through. Then back to Golden to tour the Coors Brewery. Time was running out but we stopped at another place I'd read about, Empanada Express, right there in Golden. Venezuelan empanadas and arepas, some fried yucca and plaintains...all good!

Breakfast nirvana...


We were worried about getting to Red Rocks on time...we had general admission and wanted to make sure we got there to have seats together. I was warned about the trek to the amphitheatre but I truly had no idea. Combine the altitude with my general outofshapeness, and I was wiped out by the time we made it to our seats. Brenda thinks they should take pictures of us and put a sign at the bottom of the steps..."If you look anything like these two women, don't attempt".
It was worth it, the show was great...beautiful setting, gorgeous night.

We packed a lot into that long weekend! I love Colorado and hope we can go back soon.

Friday, August 13, 2010

My kind of town...

Chicago is. We went for a long weekend in July with our friends Javier, Cheri, Scott & Robin and had a blast. It was John's first trip to Chicago and I hadn't been in over 15 years. The trip was planned by Washburn Alumni, but it was very much a do your own thing kind of trip.

We started off with a Chicago architectural boat tour and I highly recommend it! That night we went to a great cocktail party hosted by Washburn for us and Chicago alums. We drank all of the free cocktails we could, then walked to the original Pizzeria Uno where, amazingly, our group of 7 got right in and ate ourselves silly.

The next day was spent in Wrigleyville. Drinks at a friend's apartment, Cubs game, and more drinks at Murphy's Bleachers. Again, we found ourselves happy & hungry, so we trekked all the way to a Costa Rican restaurant we'd heard of, Irazu in Bucktown.

Saturday was spent negotiating Michigan Ave. where Transformers 3 was filming. We had breakfast at a place we'd spotted the day before, e.leaven, delicous! We made it through the crowds and did some shopping. We ended up on the 96th floor of the Hancock Center for two and a half hours drinking the most delicious mojitos we'd ever had. Then we hit Tiffany's where Cheri did some major damage and John bought me the sweetest pair of earrings. I've decided that we should always have cocktails before shopping for jewelry! Again, happy & hungry, I dragged us several blocks to get some food at Portillo's.
That night we went out for Italian at a place Cheri's friend had recommended, Rosebud on Rush. We went for a long walk afterwards and ended up stopping at Billy Goat Tavern to pick up a cheeseburger for Robin. (I think she and Scott were suffering from too much fun)

Sunday, we were a little lazy and walked to Millenium Park and grabbed some breakfast on the way. We'd flown out but were taking the train back, so we ordered pizza from Gino's East to take on the train with us. I wanted Lou Malnati's but was talked out of it. I really didn't care for Gino's East, especially when compared to the Pizzeria Uno from Friday night. Next time, it's Lou Malnati's!

It was our first time on Amtrak and we loved it! (Except for Cheri, I don't think she liked anything that day) But John, Javier and I would definitely do it again! It was a long trip, but time flew and we spent most of our time playing cards in the observation car.

We can't wait to go back!

Monday, July 26, 2010


A belated post with July goings on. 4th of July party at Javier's house! A little rain, lots of beer & food and more fireworks than should be allowed. (Children pictured are courtesy of our friends Shayne & Autumn)

Soon after, it was time for Fiesta! We'd be on our way to Chicago a few days later, so we only had one night to hang out in North Topeka, eating tamales, drinking beer, eating tacos & tortas, drinking beer, eating enchiladas, drinking beer and drinking beer.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kunst und Bier

Art and Beer. That pretty much sums up our weekend. It was a nice start to the summer, I can't believe it's June already. Friday night was spent with my family. Uncle Robert was in town for a golf tournament and we spent a fun evening at Mom & Dad's. Saturday morning, we got up a little early and hosted a breakfast for friends. Cheri brought the champagne! After a few cocktails, we headed over to Washburn and the Mulvane Mountain Plains Art Fair. This is one of my favorite events in Topeka. We always see fantastic pieces in all price ranges. Several pieces in our home are from past years. This year we came home with two Asian prints for our upcoming master bedroom makeover, a few pieces of jewelry and two prints from an artist I've admired for a while. Check out her etsy store, Rural Pearl.

The first weekend of June also means it's time for the German Fest! Javier and Cheri came over & we left for North Topeka about noon and got in line for lunch. Sauerbraten, bierocks, German potato salad, etc. The line was a little long but moved quickly and we were happy to buy a couple cold beers for appetizers. Afterwards we found a shady spot in the biergarten and settled in for a couple of hours. We remarked that we hadn't run into any friends and then we saw the Ybarra family. John Ybarra brought a pitcher over to our table and we helped him drink it. I discovered that mixing a little frozen margarita into my beer was delicious! It reminded me of one of my favorite summer drinks, wheat beer & lemonade.
John even found time to fit in nine holes late afternoon!

Friday, May 28, 2010


We went to Kansas City last weekend to hang out with John's brother Tim and his wife Jennifer. We had tickets to see Martin Sexton in concert at Crosstown Station. I've been listening to Martin Sexton since my days at KSYM 90.1 in San Antonio. My station manager and friend, John O'Rourke, handed me a cd and told me it would be good for my folk show. It was and I fell in love with the sound. I've heard for years that he is fantastic live. And I think he tours often. But in all this time, I've never seen him perform. It's been a mix of timing and timidity. I think when you've got a short list of people you just have to see don't want to be disappointed.
In no way was I disappointed. This was easily one of the best concerts I have ever been to.

We started off the night with a few drinks on Tim & Jennifer's patio. Then moved downtown for some beer & apps. When we headed to Crosstown Station, we found out the concert was sold out. And apparently, Martin got off his bus and gave the fans looking for tickets an impromptu concert. None of us had been to Crosstown Station and it's a great bar for live music. We got pretty close to the stage and settled in for some music. He has an amazing voice and blew us away from the start. When he went into "Helter Skelter", I lost it. We all just had the best time. I can't wait to see him again.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Yes, it is me. I'm still alive and well.

I just gave up blogging. I felt self-induced pressure to post and thought my little goings on weren't interesting enough. And really, wonderful things went on in the months and months since I last posted. We went to Vegas in November with our friends Corrie & Chad. We had much fun in the house with our roommate and friend Javier. Christmas was joyous and we had my family over all day for food, gifts, naps, etc.

But it was winter and I don't function well in winter, particularly this long, cold winter. And I began to wonder what the purpose of this blogging was. What did I want to say, to share? We have no children to post cute & adorable pictures of, and yes, that is a little "poor me". We have a full life filled with friends & family. And so many things to be grateful for.

So all of this to say...I'm not sure what the future holds for this particular blog. I enjoy writing a bit and I would like to share pictures and use this as a scrapbook of sorts. And honestly, I may turn this into a little self-improvement blog, hold myself accountable. There are so many things I'd like to do for me. Most importantly, I want to be healthy & active and take care of myself. Then there are little things like meditation, learning Spanish, improving my photography skills, becoming more organized. Things like that. And then I'm not so sure I want to share that stuff with you people.

It is May. There's a bright, big, beautiful world out there. Let's make the most of it.