July 17th- Julie and I started our trek to Wichita. Our plan was to leave at 6am and make it to St. Louis by 6pm. Julie wanted to stop by Dunkin Donuts and run over to Chris' apartment for a last breakfast of sorts. We managed to be at his house by 7:30 (which, of course, is NOT 6am like we had told him...whoops). After eating a couple donuts (don't judge me...I was over-eating out of sadness), we decided that it would be best if we let Chris get ready for work.
After our goodbyes, I set the GPS and we were on our way. I decided that I knew a better way and told Julie to go against the ol' GPS. Yes. I thought I was smarter than a satellite. I am not. Lesson learned.
After a stop at an Arby's that was built in 1992 (gotta love the colors "dusty rose" and "country blue") and a stop for gas at the gas station/truck stop Little Nashville (in Nashville, IL...where I coincidentally have been before for a wedding rehearsal dinner, no lie), we made it home (well, MY home) to St Louis.
My mom had gone to a concert that night, but that didn't stop us from having visitors the moment we pulled in. With my grandparents living across the street and me giving my sister-in-law a play by play of our trip, we had 6 visitors within moments of getting in. I was thankful that my brother said he would go pick up pizza from Imo's (OHHHHH how I love you, Imo's) while we rested and played with my niece and nephew. My grandma walked across the street to their hizzy and brought back over a little ice cream and peaches action. Golly, I love my grandparents.
After everyone left, we continued to eat leftover pizza (which can only be described as provolone cheese on a cracker) until we passed out from exhaustion.
July 18th- I woke up bright and early out of excitement of getting to see my mom. She's pretty much a rock star these days and didn't get home until the wee hours of the morning. We finished off the rest of the cold pizza for breakfast and decided to drive around for a little bit until lunch time. I decided (thanks to Laura's awesome suggestion) that we would have Chevy's for lunch. Chevy's is pretty much Tex-Mex bliss for those of you that don't know.
Laura, Julie, and I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon shopping until we had to go home to get ready for the Cardinals game.
Right before we had to leave for the Cards game, Ali (my STL BFF) walked in with his dramatic flair on full display. I literally fell over laughing when I noticed that he spilled his Vitamin Water on his crotch and it looked like he peed himself. It was too good.
At the Cardinals game, we parked really close to the stadium and enjoyed the game (including when my brother's best friend, Brad, was on the Jumbo Tron because he was chosen to move up to some plush seating....that was weird).
After the game we headed to Show Me's (the Missouri version of Hooters) to meet up with the most random group of people known to exist (Laura, Ali, Julie, Brad, Brad's brother, Angelo, and myself...). Ali, Laura, Julie, and I left around 11:30 to run over to KCLC to steal some CDs. I love free music day.
July 19th- Julie and I met my grandparents and my older brother's family for breakfast at First Watch and then it was Wichita or Bust with a fresh batch of new music to discover...
We made it into Wichita just in time for her dad's birthday party. I love that she was nervous about how many people were going to be at my mom's house on Friday night. Talk about meeting every single person in her family at one time (not just her parents, brothers, sister-in-law, and nephews...we're talking aunts and uncles, too). The good thing was that I was able to differentiate between her twin brothers by the sole fact that Jeff had Bell's Palsy (a condition where half of your face pretty much doesn't work) at the time. We later laughed at the fact that Julie COULD have told me to look for the one with glasses or the one with the wedding ring. No, no, no...learn the medical condition that will no longer be in effect the next time you are in Wichita.
After some delicious lasagna, taking a special liking to her nephew Adam (the kid jumped up on my lap and let me snuggle bug with him!!), and very interesting conversation with her uncle and uncle's friend, I made my way downstairs to pass out from the day's events.
July 20th- Oh, Monday. Move-in day. I was up by 8:10, out the door by 8:35, and at Julie's new apartment complex by 9. While Julie was signing the lease, the giant moving truck was making its way to the back of the gated community (believe me...it was a big deal). We spent the morning unpacking while the moving guys brought stuff into the apartment. Wait. While the moving guys brought stuff into the apartment and made me feel bad about my life choices.
(Examples: "You need to find a man!" and "Why don't you have children??" Nice, right????)
Around noon, Jennifer, Julie, and I went to meet her brother Jim for lunch at Freddy's. I had been given a list of places that I needed to check out by a variety of Wichitans (...or is it Wichitanians...or is it Wichita-ans...???) from Charlotte. I believe Beth was the gal that suggested that gem.
After lunch we continued unpacking and made a special trip to Home Depot to find wood to make a bed frame. Dang....we are awesome with our carpentry skills. What I forgot to mention was that it was hot as blue blazes (oh, yes...I just said "blue blazes") while unpacking, because we didn't realize that the only thing that kept us from air conditioned-bliss was the stupid breaker box (not the fact that the power company just hadn't been there like we originally thought). After spending the day in the heat, we decided to go cool off at the Warren Theatre and watch Away We Go. After the movie, we went to have dinner at Taco Tico. I had heard the words "Taco Tico" many times from Chris on varying vacations ("I wonder if there will be a Taco Tico on our way?!?!?" is not an uncommon question...), so I must have built the place up to be magnificent. I'm not sure if I can properly say this. It was not magnificent. Not even a little bit magnificent. The manager (yes, the MANAGER) was a lovely Indian man who did not speak English. When I asked for the Tico Tots (verbatim from the menu), he gave me a look of confusion and just stared at the board above his head as I pointed to my selection. I'm just going to believe that Chris wants to go to Taco Tico just for the memories (and to possibly make fun of the manager who may or may not speak English and who may or may not know the items on the menu).
We spent the remainder of the day watching 13 Going on 30 and singing "Memories" from the musical Cats. (One of those things didn't actually happen, can you guess which??)
July 21st- After waking up and running a few errands, we went to Cinnamon's Deli to get a little to go food (I ordered a roast beef sandwich that I drowned in horseradish sauce....little did I realize was the fact that I accidentally chose "Hot" horseradish sauce...what a sad, sad horseradish experience that was). While chowing on our grub at Julie's place, her parents came over to compliment us on our unpacking and situating skills. Okay, okay...maybe they didn't really compliment us on any skills that we may have, but they visited and that was nice. After they left, I spent the rest of the afternoon hooking up various cords and hanging pictures until we had to go meet Julie's friend, Amy, and her husband, DJ, for dinner at Granite City. I'm realizing after typing out all of the places that we went that we really ate a lot while I was in Wichita. Stupid Wichita with your vast array of delicious chain restaurants (because Wichita is a test-market for restaurants, you know...) and best friend stealing skills. That night we settled in and watched about 30 minutes of the cinematic classic Howard the Duck before we both fell asleep.
July 22nd- After waking up, showering, and packing, we went to The Good Egg for breakfast and then made our way over to the Wichita Airport. I met a boy on my flight (who Chris later told me I shouldn't trust because the guy was on the soccer team at Tabor College and those are guys you just don't trust...unlike the baseball team, I guess), so that helped hurry the flight along. I had a layover in Atlanta and then made it home by 7pm. Chris picked me up and we went to PF Changs for dinner. Dang. I ate out a lot that week.
All in all, I think it was a pretty successful trip...minus the fact that I had to leave one of my best friends in Kansas.