Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's been so long since I was visiting Julie ...

... that she's even come home to visit for a week and gone back to Ohio! That means that I'm WAY behind on my blogging about my trip to Columbus.

The trip started with a v.e.r.y.l.o.n.g. day at the airport in Kansas City, Tampa &
finally Columbus and then ended with two tired friends, an exhausted dog and lots of pictures to share the weekend.

Here are my survival supplies for waiting in the KC airport for 4+ hours, then traveling to Florida and then up north to Ohio. Originally I was supposed to get into Columbus around 4pm on Thursday, but I didn't get to Mike & Julie's house until 10:30. I was exhausted that night and we pretty much went straight to bed.

I did get to meet Hayes Thursday night, but we got to spend a lot of time playing on Friday. I left with TONS of photos of the little girl, but this is one of my favorites. I think she looks a lot like Minners :)

Julie & I had a semi-successful day of shopping at the outlet malls. It was a good thing that my suitcase expands.

We walked past Huntington Park baseball field on our way to dinner. I got some great pics!

Here are Devan, Katie, Mike & Julie walking across the street to Boston's. We headed to dinner in the Arena district and there was a lot going on down there that weekend.

My GIANT beer! It took me quite a while to get through it :)

Julie & Me waiting for our food.

After dinner we walked a bit to get to an outdoor festival that had a rap cover band playing (that was actually really good), tons of food & drink tents and we had a GREAT time doing some people watching. Last time I was visiting during the summer, we went to a wine tasting festival there. The girls were getting tired of just standing around and we had to make a decision. Go home to bed, or keep moving & do something else.

On our way to dinner, we had walked past The Big Bang Dueling Pianos bar. We weren't sure if we could get it, but we did ... and we actually got tables right up next to the stage. I've only been to see dueling pianos twice (in New Orleans during the Final Four weekend, and here in KC on the Plaza), but it is always a good time. Instead of just 2 pianos, they also had someone that would play the drums or guitar if the song could use it. There were about 6 musicians that rotated through and all of them were AMAZING! We stayed until they closed and heard every song you could ever think of to request. I would definitely go back next time I'm visiting!

Katie, me & Julie enjoying the show.

The boys performing in their own (air) band!

The next day, we slept in since we didn't get home until 3:15am. Julie & I took advantage of the BEAUTIFUL day and went to the pool. Mike got up early to golf with neighbors and then came home to work in the yard. Here he is relaxing after a VERY long day of making his yard AND the neighbor's yard look nice.

That night, we couldn't really make a decision of what to do, so I suggested that we just continue our lazy afternoon by staying in and enjoying the patio. Mike went to the grocery store and Mike & Julie prepared a super yummy meal for me. They were so nice and wouldn't even let me step in the kitchen to help. So, I sat outside and enjoyed a cool beer and continued to work on my photography with Hayes as my model!

Hayes is such a lucky girl to have a HUGE yard to run & play in. Minnie would be totally jealous if she saw it. I wish that I could have brought Minnie with me, because I know she would have enjoyed playing with Hayes. If only her plane ticket wouldn't be as expensive as mine ... maybe I would travel with her.

Here is Mike grilling up some great BBQ chicken for us.

And Julie setting the table. We had BBQ chicken, salad, corn on the cob, pineapple, rolls and maybe more. We were all very full ...

... but not too full to miss out on a trip to Graeter's Ice Cream! Graeter's has THE BEST ice cream around! I got a chocolate/peanut butter flavor this time, but in the past I've had their chocolate chip and the black raspberry chip (they are known for their French Pot ice cream & big chocolate chips)!

Sunday was another good day. Julie & I did some work on our 10-year reunion and we also ran a few errands. Here is another pic of Miss Hayes looking very cute!

Sunday night for dinner, we took Erik's foodie advice and headed to The Thurman Cafe in German Village. This place is TINY (I counted only 11 tables) and is such a dive & local favorite that it was featured on Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel this year. Erik assured me that our 1hr 40min wait for a table would be well worth it.

He was right! Check out this burger! :) I got just a simple (if you can call a 3/4 lb burger simple) cheeseburger, but they have about 20 different types of burgers and I'm sure they are all amazing! Mike & I were both members of the clean burger plate club and Julie had some great grilled chicken on a salad. I don't think you can go wrong at a restaurant like this.

I must have been in such a food coma that I didn't get any pictures taken of the last few hours of my trip. I left Monday around noon and got home around 2:30, so the traveling home was MUCH nicer. I even had front door service going to and from the airport. Thanks to Dad for taking me and to both Mom & Dad for watching Minnie while I was gone.

It was a great trip and it was very nice to see Mike & Julie and all their friends in their hometown again! Thanks for letting me come play! :)

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