Category Archives: travel

2014 in review

I was horrible at getting things on here for 2014.  In an attempt to rectify that, I’m going to share our big events from each month.

January 2014

I started my first of three boot camps for the year.  I.Am.Addicted.

Kenny and Luke played basketball and indoor soccer.

February 2014

Kenny made it to the Mathletic’s regionals and his team placed 2nd out of the 4th graders!

March 2014

We went to Lawrence, KS for St. Patrick’s Day.  I love Lawrence so much.  I love showing the boys the KU campus.

We did not go anywhere for Spring Break because we didn’t want to leave one of our dogs, Camille, alone.  She was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth back in November.

My second boot camp stated after Spring Break.

Both boys started baseball and outdoor soccer.

Ryan Lochte did a clinic for our swim team.

April 2014

I turned 36 and Luke turned 7.

May 2014

Nicole came in town and I got to see her for a little bit.  This was the first time I’ve seen her since her wedding.  It was way overdue.

Luke finished first grade and Kenny finished fourth.

June 2014

Kenny turned 10.

We joined Round Hill Bath and Tennis Club with a lot of friends and had the best summer there.  We will definitely join again next summer.

Kenny and Luke tried out for competitive, year round soccer and made a team.  Kenny stayed with the same team as last year.  This was Luke’s first time to try out.

We put Camille to sleep on June 27, when she was no longer able to get up.  We miss her so much!

June 27 also happened to be our dating anniversary.  Eric took me out on our first date 16 years ago.

July 2014

We spent the 4th of July at Round Hill and then watched Meadowbrook Country Club’s fireworks for the last time.  It closed this fall.

Kenny and Eric went to a Cub Scout camp.  That ended up being the end of Cub Scouts for Kenny.

We took a quick trip to St. Louis.  I saw Nicole (again!), went to the Arch, the zoo and the City Museum.  The City Museum was amazing!

August 2014

Eric turned 35.

We took the boys to their first concert – American Authors, The Script and One Republic at Starlight.

Kenny started fifth grade and Luke started second.

Both boys started outdoor soccer and Luke also played in some fall baseball tournaments.

Luke started Cub Scouts, they both joined their school’s running club and Kenny started Mathletics and choir.

Kenny’s soccer team did their first traveling soccer tournament.  We all drove down to Arkansas for Labor Day weekend.

September 2014

Kenny accidentally shut Mac’s (our dog) tail in the door and severed part of it off.  Our kitchen looked like a crime scene but Mac was tough.

Eric and I went to the Theory of a Deadman concert (Black Stone Cherry opened).

Eric and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary.

I started my third boot camp.

October 2014

Eric and the rest of the SWAT team went to Iowa for a week of training.  They do this just about every year.

I went on my first Sweat Crawl.  Think pub crawl, but instead of drinking you go to different gyms for quick 30 minute workouts.

Kenny and Luke ran the last 1.2 miles of the KC Marathon with their school running club.

The boys dressed up as the Grim Reaper for Halloween.

The Royals made it to the World Series and lost in the seventh game to the Giants.  They had such a good year and it was so fun for the city.

November 2014

Kenny and Luke started indoor soccer and basketball.

Kenny and the rest of the fifth graders had Colonial Day at school.  They dressed up, danced, did activities and even ate food that had to do with that time period.

Thanksgiving was pretty low key since none of our out-of-town relatives came to KC.

December 2014

Mac turned 7.

Luke celebrated the sacrament of Reconciliation at church.

Kenny and the rest of his choir sang at Crown Center.

MythBusters came to KC.  Eric took the boys to see their live show.

Eric and I went to the Black Key’s concert (St. Vincent opened).

Eric became Hattie’s godfather.

We spent Dec. 19-the morning of the 25th with my family and then the evening of Dec 25-Jan 1 with Eric’s family.

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Filed under camille, eric, family, holidays, kenny, kenny - 4th grade, kenny - 5th grade, luke, luke - 1st grade, luke - 2nd grade, mac, music, my boys, sports, travel, vacation, year in review

NOLA

Eric and I went to the ASCA World Clinic (for swim coaches) again.  Last year it was in Las Vegas and this year, it moved to New Orleans.  We had a fun week down there learning, sightseeing, drinking and eating.  We both thought NOLA was much better than Vegas.  Vegas is fun for a weekend, but not for a whole week.

We stayed at the Marriott on Canal Street.  It was a nice hotel (clean rooms, nice workout facility and in a great location).  My only complaint was that you had to pay $14.99 per day for wi-fi.  They did have it free in their lobby but that’s just not the same.

We spent the week mainly walking around the French Quarter:

– Bourbon Street

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Flea Market

Saint Louis Cathedral 

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Jackson Square

– Ghost tour.  I liked the ghost tour.  The one thing that I don’t really understand is why they act so dramatic during it.  The history and stories are really interesting.  If they stopped acting so cheesy and just told everything normally, I think it would be even better.

– Riverwalk (FYI:  the shops there are closed until 2014)

St. Louis cemetery

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– met an Olympian swimmer (Peter Vanderkaay).  Ian Thorpe, aka the Thorpedo, was scheduled to be there too but he hurt his back and had to cancel.  Boo.

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Eric really wanted to go to the World War II Museum but we just couldn’t find a good time to go since it closed at 5:00.

Favorite bars:

– Finnegan’s Easy – we watched a lot of games here

Old Absinthe House

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop

The Funky Pirate – you can listen to Big Al sing the blues

Spirits on Bourbon – fun dueling piano bar

Favorite restaurants:

Cafe du Monde – Has been around since 1862 and has the best beignets.  Yum.

K-Paul’s – Had the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had and I’m not even a mashed potato person.

Mother’s – Get the Ferdi’s Special po’ boy.  You won’t be disappointed.

Coop’s – This was recommended to our friend from NOLA residents and everybody liked what they had.

I ate way too much fried seafood but it was so, so good.

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Hutch

We ran down to Hutchinson, KS for a weekend so the boys could FINALLY go to the Cosmosphere.  We tried to go over Spring Break but the weather got really nasty and we had to postpone it.  We got into Hutch around 4:30 and decided to go to the Underground Salt Mine.  I have to tell you, I liked it better than the Cosmosphere.  They take you down 650 feet in an elevator and then you can walk the tour at your own pace.  Along the way, they have videos that you can watch.  They also have two fun rides.  One was a train that took you into the mines more and the other was a tram that did pretty much the same thing (but they were both fun).  I loved the dark elevator ride up and down.

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They also store some of the costumes from movies there.  There aren’t a ton there.  The majority are kept close by.

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We hit the Cosmosphere the next day, which was Eric’s favorite place on this trip.  We did the all day pass even though we knew we would only be there for four or so hours (we had tickets to an MMA fight in KC that night).  We did get a little bit of a discount since we had been to the Salt Mine the day before (just bring your receipt in).  There is a lot to look at.  A. Ton.  After we saw everything, we all went to see a planetarium show.  After that, Luke and Eric went to a movie and Kenny and I went to Dr. Goddard’s Lab.  Dr. G’s Lab was fantastic.  If you go to the Cosmosphere, make sure you go to it.

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(Hurricane simulator)

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Filed under eric, kenny, kenny - 3rd grade, luke, luke - kindergarten, my boys, travel, vacation

What’s going on here…

Here’s just a quick update on what’s going on with us:

–  Eric and I went to Vegas for a whole week for ASCA’s World Clinic (for swimming coaches).  It was a lot of fun and we learned a ton.  We got to talk to Olympian Tyler McGill, see Phelps’s coach and listen to great speakers.  I took a Build a Pool class because we are really hoping to have our own facility sometime in the near future.  Hopefully I will have more news on that in the next few months to year.  A week was a long time in Vegas but we were lucky enough to have my parents take the boys Monday-Friday and then Eric’s mom took them Friday evening-Sunday night.  We walked the entire strip, went to the top of  the Eiffel Tower, saw an illusion show and played craps.  We did not come home big winners.

–  Our dogs developed not only pink eye but some gastrointestinal problems after being at dog place for a week.  It was not fun, not to mention an extra expense that we were not expecting to pay.

–  Kenny and Luke are both doing great at school.  Luke’s mid-term report card looked like this…

–  The boys fall sports are in full swing.  Kenny’s soccer actually started at the beginning of August and his football and Luke’s soccer didn’t start until mid-September.  It was nice to have it broken up a little.  Sporting KC used Kenny’s soccer team in a coaches’ clinic and it’s on You Tube.

–  My work is starting to pick up right now after a nice month lull in August.  Back in June, the owner of our team and I flew to Colorado to look at an infant aquatics program for babies as young as 6 months.  Non-walking babies learn how to float on their back if they were ever to fall into water and the walkers learn how to float and then swim to the side of the pool (or wherever they are).  Most people have seen the video of this.  It shows the baby in pajamas or clothes falling into a backyard pool and then floating safely.  I remember seeing it the first time and thinking someone should pick up the baby.  When we went to Colorado, we honestly sat there all day just watching baby after baby and it was AMAZING.  So amazing, the team has invested a ton of money to send one of our head coaches out there for 6 weeks to get trained.  I would like to get trained some day but I just can’t be gone for 6 weeks at this point in our life; not with the boys being so young and Eric’s schedule.

–  My SIL is getting married in less than 2 weeks!  It still feels like it should be a few months away.

–  Eric and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on September 20th (but actually celebrated in Vegas).

I think that covers all the big things.  Now, off to do more work…

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Filed under anniversary, camille, eric, family, kenny, kenny - 3rd grade, luke, luke - kindergarten, mac, my boys, travel, vacation

Day trip to Omaha

We took a quick trip to Omaha on Friday to go to the zoo.  I WISH we would have had tournament tickets because the Jayhawks were playing there that night.  The zoo was fun – their indoor stuff is so much better than KC’s (but KC’s outdoor stuff is better than theirs).  Luke was kind of funny because he’s not normally afraid of things.  We  saw the desert dome as we were driving up and he automatically said that he was afraid to go in it.  He went in it later without any problems but it was a funny little start to our day.  We ended up driving longer than we were in the actual zoo but it was a fun day and nice to get away.

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Filed under eric, kenny, kenny - 2nd grade, luke, luke - preschool, my boys, travel, vacation

Groupon vacation

We took our first Groupon vacation a few weeks ago.  It was for a two night stay at the Lodge of Four Seasons down in the Ozarks and included free golfing (which we didn’t use), two free drinks and 4 free breakfasts.  The rooms at the hotel were okay (nothing special) but the rest of the hotel was great.  We rented a jet ski and boat from the marina there and used all the pools.  We would go back in a heartbeat. 

Day 1:

– drove 3 hours from KC to the Ozarks

– explored the hotel

– rented a jet ski

– swam in pool #1

– swam in pool #2

Day 2:

– breakfast in the hotel

– moved our 10:00 boat rental to 10:30 due to the storm that was moving out of the area

– 4 hours of tubing and riding in the boat

– swam in pool #3

Now get ready for a ton of pictures:

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Filed under eric, kenny, kenny - 1st grade, luke, luke - preschool, my boys, travel, vacation

9 years ago

…I was in Amsterdam, with my driver yelling, “the Twin Towers, they’re gone, the Pentagon, it’s gone, the White House, it’s gone.”  That wasn’t quite 100% accurate, but not too far off either.

…I was in Amsterdam, trying to figure out what hell was going on back in the USA.

…I was in Amsterdam, absolutely horrified as I watched the news reports.  I still remember the shots they showed of the poor people choosing to jump to their death when trapped by the flames. 

…I was in Amsterdam, buying these papers:

…I was in Amsterdam, trying to get ahold of my family and friends.  Everyone was more than a little freaked out when they couldn’t get ahold of me.  I had a record number of voice mails when I got back to the US and was able to access them.

…I was in Amsterdam, trying to figure out if it would be better to stay in the Netherlands for a few extra days or go back to the US as soon as possible.   

…I was in Amsterdam, feeling bad for the stranded passengers that were trying to get home to the US but still not ready to have them on my flight.  I know that sounds horrible but our plane would have been full of fuel and passing right over the east coast.  In the end, our flight left with crew only a few nights later.

God bless all those who lost their lives on that day.

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