A trip to Wichita.... again....

Sat, 01/22/2011 - 09:46 — Carrie

       So yeah, I went to Wichita. The original plan was to go to Wichita, and immediately depart for a ski trip in Colorado. However, through a variety of circumstances, it became quite clear to those of us who were planning the trip that it simply was not the time for it. So I was left with a lovely plane ticket and no ski trip to use it for. 

Well, it was still good for Wichita.... and I just so happened to have some very awesome friends in Wichita who I had not seen in nearly 6 months... and after some finagling and rescheduling, there was even to be a dance the weekend the ticket was for. So I figured I might as well just go, anyway. 

I began to plan my trip. I had nearly 6 days... from a Thursday to a Tuesday, and there seemed so much potential in those days. Even though there seemed no specific awesome thing to do, just the thought of seeing my friends again made me happy. Then, a dropped suggestion regarding a posse of friends who would be passing through, just south of Wichita, on the very weekend I would be there, led to major plans and plotting. I called the posse, and they called Mark, and we emailed around, and adjusted some more plans.... and voila! It was all arranged for a Thursday night arrival, a Friday stay, and a Saturday morning departure. Far too short, but much better than nothing.

And so we arranged a couple more plans having to do with getting together with some other friends in Wichita and the whole weekend began to seem to me to be a wonderfully amazing time. I could hardly wait.

Wednesday arrived, the day before my departure for the midwest, and Massachusetts was struck with  a snowstorm of epic proportions. I began to fear for my flight. Sure enough, Wednesday afternoon brought me a phone call informing me of the cancelation of my flight and a rebooking for 12 hours later. So instead of arriving just short of noon, I would not get in until just short of midnight. 

Thursday morning came, and I could not help myself staring at the clock and thinking of where I would have been, had I been on the original flight. I fretted and fumed until it was time to leave, and then fretted and wished the plane faster until i was finally descending into Wichita. 

It's a very nice feeling to be flying into a city that is not home, and to be able to recognize landmarks from the plane. I saw Mark and Susan's house, a park I'd been to, several stores where memories had been made, and a couple other things. 

My heart was beating quickly as I stood in line to de-board. I began to feel my palms turn clammy, and the excitement was causing me to quake within. I shuffled off the plane, grabbed my suitcase, and began to walk, about as quickly as I dared, past the familiar shops and around the corner to security. There beyond, I could see those two loved faces of my friends, waiting for me. The first face lighted up, and my answering grin about split my face. Then the first face turned away.... so as to alert the sleeping second person of the greeting party of my arrival. Seconds later I was wrapped in a tight hug. I think this is my favorite part of any trip. Laughing out loud

Yup, I arrived safe. And we drove home. And there, more excitement was had when we saw a small white vehicle in the driveway, with some more beloved faces around it. We drove around the block because our driver was being teasingly vexatious. We laughed, and returned, where we were once again embraced. It was a wonderful exciting time.

The five days following passed in a blur and the next thing I knew I was home.

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Ok, maybe that's not 100% true. ^_^

So actually, we sat up and talked that night for quite a while. Bree was there, and several of us had not yet met her, so that was fun. Then, finally, we went to bed. Bree and Kim had to be sternly reprimanded and warned of being separated if they continued to chatter and giggle.... but they did hush and silence reigned over the house. 

The next morning we all got up and about at various times and shortly, bacon was sizzling on the stove and eggs were being mixed up. Breakfast was had by one and all and laughter and chatter surrounded the successful cooking of the bacon. Inside jokes and old memories were brought up and much joy was experienced by all.  

   

After some time, we cleaned up and bundled up and all piled into our beloved Ishmael to make the trek across town to Sara and Chad's cozy apartment.  We managed to arrive at last, after some confusion, a rather abrupt turn-around (Laughing out loud) and a quick phone call for clarification, we made it to the correct apartment house and after circumventing the building, picked a door and found our way to the proper unit. 

Greetings abounded and smiles and hugs were again forthcoming, before our lovely hostess retreated to the kitchen to finish cooking our amazing brunch. Her guests amused themselves in the meantime with a hilarious book about cake disasters. ^_^

Breakfast was duly served and exclamations of pleasure and enjoyment and appreciation were made over it, then, after a quick clean up, we all retired to the living room to sit around and talk and laugh. More time passed, and the afternoon began to wear away. Eventually, we decided to get out of the house for awhile and see what fun we could make for ourselves. Our friend Hannah, who had joined us for the morning, bid adieu and departed. The rest of us, minus Chris and Chad, bundled up and headed out. 

We were, at first, undecided as to where to go, but a nearby hat store was settled upon and we took ourselves there. It was awesome fun.  The hats were way cool and we had a blast trying them on and taking pictures, and modeling the various styles. One of my favorite memories from the weekend.

Back in the car afterwards, those of us in the two backseats began a whispered communion about various upcoming birthdays that we decided must be celebrated that evening. Our driver was suspicious, but we just giggled and refused to answer his questions. We stopped at a post office to mail a package, then went to the library. 

The library was fun. Laughing out loud We stopped and admired the world's largest book, then searched unsuccessfully for a certain movie. At this point, a certain love for old revolving doors somehow came up and Mark decided we needed to find out if Wichita had such a thing. It was declared an adventure and the Quest for the Revolving Door was hailed with much enthusiasm by most. And what better place for information about the city than at the library? After visiting several reference desks, we gained the information of a revolving door, (which may or may not be old) at city hall. City hall was only a couple blocks away! It wasn't too terribly cold out, and we headed off on foot to try to complete our quest. 

We met with several adventures along the way. Including, but not limited to, a hopscotch game, cast iron boots, frozen people, real frozen people, running across streets, and laughter and chatter. 

We finally arrived at city hall, only to discover, to our dismay, that the revolving door was *not* the right type of revolving door. We were disappointed, but determined not to waste a trip, several of us went through it, anyway. Then we turned around and trekked back. 

The trip was far more fun than the destination, anyway. ^_^

A quick... er.... well.... it was supposed to be quick, anyway..... stop at Walmart to pick up some, *ahem* necessary items for that evening was made next, and we returned then to Sara and Chad's house where we sat around and played games and ordered pizza. The pizza took time in coming, but we had taken plenty of time decided exactly what kind to get, and no one really minded all that much. 

It arrived in due time and was heartily enjoyed by all. Then, several of us gathered in the kitchen to prepare for the celebration with the materials at hand; a heart shaped cake, candles newly acquired  from Walmart, and some thick white icing to pipe on in the shape of names. Soon, the cake glowed, and we proceeded into the dining room singing. It was a fun time, and the cake was delicious. 

After the cake, we milled about and did this and that and finally, reluctantly, we decided that it was time to go home. We said goodbye to our hosts and piled back into Ishmael. 

When we got back, the fun was hardly over. We sat around and talked for quite a while more, and then, when I was ready to retire, Mark pulled out his computer and we all looked at pictures from the day. Obviously, I didn't quite retire at that point.

Late as we stayed up, bedtime nevertheless came far too soon, and we went off to our respective bedrooms. More laughter and chatter ensued before the house settled into the quietness of the night. I do believe that Friday was my very favorite day of the whole weekend. Laughing out loud

Saturday morning was less than happy. After a quick breakfast of bagels and toast and such, Sasha was packed up, people were packed up, and Mark, Susan and I waved a sad farewell to Kim, Gabe, Chris and Bree. 

We almost managed to kidnap Kim to keep her here, but she was too fast. They also left behind their sleeping bag. Tongue

Once they were gone, it dawned on me that I still had practically the entire weekend ahead of me! I was sad that Kim and Co. were gone, but I was determined to enjoy every minute and not think about the time I would have to leave. 

With this in mind, the three of us headed out to Mark's coffee shop. No, it's not actually *his* coffee shop, but it's the one he frequents and I had heard about it and wanted to see it. It was very cool. And their coffee was really good. I actually liked the coffee a bit more than the coffee at my coffee shop, but I like my coffee shop best, still. :) 

We hung out at the coffee shop for awhile, having deep meaningful conversation, and round about 1 or so, headed back to the Hansen's for a nap.

The nap was lovely. I slept hard. We had to be at Sara and Chad's that evening at 4, and at 3:30, there was a knock on my door. I vaguely heard it, but it worked it's way into my dreams and I slept on. Next thing I know, Susan was gently shaking me. Seems I'd overslept a bit and had not much time left to get ready. ^_^

I packed up my stuff for the dance that evening and away we whirled. The afternoon was spent in snacks and good conversation and fellowship with other Wichitan Peeps. Then it was time for the dance.

Much fun was had by all. We danced many fun dances including: Gay Gordon, Road to Spencer, Virginia Reel, Hole in the Wall, and many others, even an awesome new dance with a polka step at the end. We also squeezed in some waltzing, and at the end were able to pull off not only Posties Jig, but also some swing dancing. It was awesome. Laughing out loud

When we were finally stopped, it was discovered that most of us were rather hungry. Off to the traditional after-dance stop of Braums for food and ice cream. The evening ended thus and was declared a rousing success. I thought it was, at least. Smile

That night, back at the Hansen's, we sat up and talked a bit, and finally headed to bed, so as to be fresh and alert when greeting the morning and church. 

Well, we weren't exactly 100% fresh and alert, but I was up in time to see Susan off to church. Then Mark got up and we sat around while he played guitar and discussed music and such. Then we headed off to Mark's church.

It was a very interesting service. I'd classify the church as a sort of a mega-church. It was certainly very large. The music part of the service was a huge production and several soloists and an enormous choir sang. The sermon was very good. Encouraging, and exactly what I needed to hear that morning. I enjoyed it very much. Smile

Afterwards, we decided to find a place to eat. I expressed a rare opinion and said I felt like having some Italian. This intrigued Mark, who rarely went out for Italian, and we settled on Carrabas, a nearby, rather upscale place. We sat in the parking lot for a bit hemming and hawing over whether we would actually eat there, or go to a nearby mexican place. Finally we decided that, since we were there, we'd just eat there. Susan was called and she started on her way to join us, and Mark and I went in to reserve a table.

They seated us in a corner by the bar. It was very cold. Mark yelled at the hostess and she re-sat us. 

Ok, he didn't yell. But he did express our dissatisfaction in a very polite way and the rather annoyed hostess had us moved. :) 

The second table was by the kitchen and much warmer. Tongue

Susan was going to still be awhile, so Mark and I ordered. He got a ravioli dish, and I got Chicken Alfredo. We also got salad. 

Susan arrived while we waited for our dinner, and she ordered the lasagna. Her salad got there just as our dinner's arrived. Mark tasted his ravioli and decided it wasn't stellar. I had a bite and had to agree. The Alfredo was delicious, though.

Then the cook came by. Turns out, there were out of Lasagna, but could they interest her in the Manicotti instead? She said that would be fine and in due time, the Manicotti arrived. It was greatly enjoyed, and we were all pleasantly surprised to discover they had taken Susan's meal entirely off the bill due to this substitution. It pays to go to an upscale place sometimes. Tongue

Also, Mark had a self-revalation. He does not care for Italian food.

After dinner we went back home and Mark and I both took naps. I think Susan lay down for a bit, as well. Sunday night we all.... um..... we..... um..... wow. I have no remembrance of what we did Sunday night. Maybe it will come to me later. 

Anyway, whatever we did, I'm sure it was fun. Laughing out loud

Monday morning found us back at the coffee shop. This time, I ordered a mocha and a breakfast burrito. Mark had a southwest wrap and we cut them both in half and each had half of each. Both were excellent. Laughing out loud

We hung out there pretty much the whole morning, and called it lunch as well as breakfast, then it was back to the Hansen's for another nap. Oh I like taking naps every day. ^_^

Except.... I couldn't sleep. I meant to sleep, I really did. I lay down, and my eyes and head were tired, but I could feel the caffeine from the coffee coursing through me, making my heart beat hard and making me feel jittery. I decided I needed to get all that energy out. So I got up.

I bundled up, told Mrs. Hansen of my intention, and then went out for a run. I ran for just over a mile, making it full circle back to the house. Then I walked back up to a nearby park and sat for a bit. It was a warm-ish day and very pleasant. Plus, it gave me some lovely alone time to just read and think and pray. Then I came back home. 

Susan was, by then, back from the store where she'd gone while we napped (or supposedly napped) and we sat around and talked for a bit. Plans for an impromptu celebration for Mark's up-and-coming birthday were discussed, and when Mark woke up, we brought out the cake and enjoyed that. It was much fun. Smile

Then the three of us went out to dinner. Mark took us out for Pho, a Vietnamese soup with beef and rice noodles. It was delicious. And I ate a hot pepper. Cause Mark double-dared me. And cause I wanted to. Tongue It was hot. Way hot. Very way hot. So hot that I could feel it burning down my throat into my stomach. Then I accidentally bit my lip and that burned more than anything. But the burn soon wore down, and I began to think it hadn't been that bad. I even put a couple of the peppers into my soup. It gave it a nice flavor. Maybe I'm starting to like spicy things more than I used to. Tongue

After Pho, we went to Cocoa Dolce. Oh wow. The chocolates there were amazing! So many different kinds of truffle-like artisan chocolates. Mark was paying, so Susan and I went wild.... 

Just kidding. ^_^

Mark and I each got 4 1/2 and Susan got 3, and a gelato. It was so hard to pick which to eat! And they tasted sooo good! I knew I liked chocolate, but wow. Very tasty. Laughing out loud

We headed home after that to watch a movie. We picked "The Crown Jewels" with Jerry Lewis. Very funny. Laughing out loud

The movie itself was not owned, but it was found to be on YouTube, so we pulled it up and tried to figure out how to watch it. First, hooking the computer up to the tv was considered, but Mark didn't have the proper cables, so he pulled out his projector. I thought that idea sounded fun, but our next problem was where to project it. 

I don't know about you, but most people have an abundance of things on their walls, from pictures, to shelves, to tall pieces of furniture. It took awhile, but we finally figured out a decently blank wall, with seating nearby, with removable pictures, and enough room to get the projector far enough back from the wall so the picture wouldn't be tiny. 

We watched the movie. And laughed together. Good times. Then we shut off the projector and just watched YouTube videos of various comedy sketches and stand ups for the next several hours. Being my last night, no one was terribly eager to hit the hay. 

We did finally have to call it a night, however, and off to bed we went. Somewhere around 2, I think. Smile

Tuesday morning, I packed. Then we considered our options. Mark had, earlier in the weekend, mentioned a music store nearby. It contained mandolins. I was in the market for a new mandolin, and so I wanted to go. Off we went. 

The music store was located across town a bit, and we pulled up and parked. Then we walked in. 

There, on the wall, I saw her. She was beautiful. A Weber Bitterroot with a very delicate sunburst pattern in natural colors, with an off-white binding. Oh, it was a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

I didn't get it down right away, though. First we went to the back of the store and played a couple of the mandolins there. We also played a way awesome Banjolin. That was so much fun. Laughing out loud

Then I went back up to the front of the store for the Weber. Carefully, I lifted it off it's hook and carried it back, along with another mando that was near it. Handing the lesser instrument to Susan, I gently tuned the Weber and began to play. If I wasn't certain before, I knew now. I was in love. Totally. I never realized you could fall so in love with an instrument. Tongue

But, it was far more than I could possibly afford, or even justify spending any time soon. I'd have to be a far better player than I am to be comfortable spending that much. So for now, I shall just dream about her at night. My beautiful Weber Bitterroot Mandolin. ^_^

*ahem* Anyway. So we left the store after awhile and went to find some lunch. I voiced a preference for grinders and we parked downtown to locate a sub shop Mark had been to before. They were pretty good grinders. 

Then it was back to the house to mope for a couple hours until my plane was supposed to take off. A nap was briefly considered, but since we only had a couple hours, we decided to not waste the time. Instead we sat on the couch and made awkward small talk, while watching the clock. I had been keeping an eye on my flight, since it had been showing up on the website as being delayed a bit, but there was still plenty of layover time to make my connection, and I thought little of it.

Then, I updated the page and noticed.... the flight was delayed over an hour, meaning I'd have just over 10 minutes in Atlanta to make my connection. 

I've flown enough to know: That is not enough time to make a connection if everything goes as scheduled. So I called the airline. They confirmed that I would almost certainly miss the connection, but if that happened, they would just reschedule a flight once I reached Atlanta. 

Unfortunately, the next available flight to Boston was the next morning... meaning I'd spend the night in and airport. 

Or.... I could reschedule both flights, spend the night in Wichita, and take a flight the next morning. I called work and they said that was fine, so reschedule I did. 

With those plans finalized, and realizing that we had the entire evening before us, we went to take naps. Tongue

Waking up from the nap, Susan expressed a desire to go to a meeting at her church that night. She had been planning on going, since I was supposed to be on my way home by then, so now with the change of plans she realized her dilemma. Go to the meeting and miss some time with me, or stay home and miss the meeting. She went back and forth, but finally, on the assurance that Mark and I were certain to do little but sit around and mope, as was our custom the last night before these get-togethers were over, she finally decided to go. 

Off she went, and a few minutes later, Mark appeared, still a bit bleary eyed from his recent nap.

True to what I'd said, we did next to nothing that evening. I don't even think we left the kitchen where I had been sitting. We didn't even have much of a real dinner. I didn't, anyway. Mark cooked something. I just snacked and such. We talked a bit, and by and by (I always thought that was the funniest expression) Susan and Mr. and Mrs. Hansen arrived back home. By then the evening was getting on, and after brief, un-interesting conversation, we moved into the living room. More random conversation followed, and we all pulled out our laptops. 

Soon enough, Mark went to bed. He had to be at work in the morning and was looking rather more sleep deprived even than I was. Susan and I opted to stay up longer, and we lounged about on the couch until 2 in the morning talking about....

Well now, wouldn't you just like to know all we talked about? Tongue

It was very deep, meaningful conversation, as is often the case with my particular group of friends. I love Susan's and my late night chats more than anything. Smile

Around 2:15, I finally got to bed..... and set my alarm to go off the next morning at 5:10. You do the math. ^_^

I woke up on schedule and took a shower. Then I packed up the last of my items and carried my luggage up into the living room. Susan was up, looking less than awake. She was going to say her goodbyes at the house and let Mark drop me off at the airport on his way to work, since he worked right by the airport, anyway.

Mark was soon up, as well, and we took all my stuff to the car. Then I said goodbye to Mrs. Hansen and turned to hug Susan. 

I hate saying goodbye to friends. It was very sad, so I won't go over it. But I did nearly cry. :'(

I went outside, said goodbye to Mr. Hansen, and climbed into Ishmael for the ride to the airport. Not much was said on the ride. Both of us were a little bit tired. Tongue

We got there, I checked in, grabbed a quick breakfast, and hugged Mark goodbye. Then through security I went. On the other side, I put all my luggage back together, (they had had to take it apart because of the suspicious binder, acquired in Kansas. I was much amused by that. ^_^) turned to give one final wave to Mark, who still stood on the other side of security, and disappeared around the corner.

  

The trip home was uneventful. I slept. Which was wonderful. I only do that when I'm completely and utterly exhausted and oh boy was I then. I got home in due time, and my dad picked me up from the airport. We stopped to grab some lunch on the way home and as soon as I arrived, I collapsed onto my bed. I was very thankful that I did not need to go into work that day. Tongue

Thus endeth my narrative of my most recent adventure in Wichita. I hope you have enjoyed reading it. Please leave a comment. Laughing out loud

     

     


*leaves a comment* Just

*leaves a comment*

Just kidding. Laughing out loud
1. Oh man, I loved the hat store. So cool! I really wanna see the pics from that. I have grand plans and ambitions to go back there today and buy that yellow knit hat.
2. I wish you had come to the meeting at church Sad
3. I must find out where this chocolate proprietor is. !!!!!
4. Plz to come back soon. Laughing out loud

Lol

Mark put up pics from the hat store.... I think Susan may have some as well, though. I know I didn't take any. 

The chocolate place is in Bradley Fair. Smile

And yes, I shall have to come back again, soon. ^_^

I can't :P

I can't leave a comment Tongue

but I made this little knowing hum-sigh Smile And there were a few parts were I did lol

Loved reading this, though. I really enjoy your style of writing, Carrie. And I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time Smile

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