Monday, March 17, 2014

What I Did Last Weekend, With Pictures And Everything

My daughter had a volleyball tournament this weekend in Holden, a little bitty town southeast of Kansas City. We always enjoy an excuse to go to the "big city" for a weekend, made even sweeter by my friend and Primary class assistant teacher offering us the use of her townhome to stay in (thank you, Miss Janet!). We felt as though we had hit the big time, because her house has a garage, something our 88 year old home lacks. (In fact, we liked the house and location so much that we threatened to stay there forever, and she might need to remember that we now know the garage code....)

We started our little weekend vacay as we start every trip, with my husband and kids arguing over who was doing the least amount of work carrying things to the car and putting them in the trunk, done while I am actually carrying out bags and loading the trunk (like a BOSS, I might add, because my mad Tetris skills translate to mad trunk packing skills). After a goodbye to the kitties, we were finally off.

We stopped at Koehn's Bakery in Butler (population 4,000), because you would be a fool not to. The bakery is owned by Mennonites, and believe me when I tell you they know how to make baked goods. Have you ever eaten a REAL angel food cake? Not one from a boxed mix, but one made with a dozen egg whites? Yeah, they make those. And the most amazing sour cream sugar cookies (that I have tried for years to replicate, but to no avail). And pies. And cinnamon rolls. And all kinds of doughnuts and the like. We walked out of there with $25 worth of stuff, and the only reason we didn't buy more was because the trunk was already packed to the gills.

The tip of the iceberg....

Told you I can pack a trunk.

Little bites of Heaven.

I drove after we stopped at the bakery. My husband fell asleep (he's a lousy Shotgun), the kids were wearing earbuds and listening to music, and I entertained myself by singing show tunes and cigarette jingles.

When in Kansas City, eat barbecue. Don't consider anything else until you've eaten barbecue. We went to Gates (the one at 32nd and Main), a somewhat intimidating experience, because the ladies who take your orders want you to give it to them RIGHT NOW. As a result, there's a tendency to blurt out the first thing you see on the menu, as evidenced by my son ordering the Mixed Plate, which he saw on a pictorial menu on the wall while he was waiting to get to the counter, and which he failed to note was actually a PLATTER and cost $19.95. Ever the trouper, he managed to eat it all.

Massive platter of meat. Look at the fries for
comparison. They are the same size as the ones
with my sandwich, below.

A respectable-sized brisket sandwich

The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping at a mall (the girls) and going to check out a couple of thrift stores but instead having to take the car to a tire center because one of the tires was nearly flat (the boys), then to the townhouse to unload while parked IN A GARAGE (this is HUGE to us, really), and then to eat again, because, well, why not? Supper was at one of my old haunts from high school, Minsky's Pizza (after you eat barbecue in Kansas City, then you need some Minsky's - get the original crust and don't go all yuppie or earthy-nutty-crunchy; get the damn pepperoni).

The pepperoni is hidden under all that delish cheese.

Saturday morning, after our Mennonite cinnamon roll breakfast, we headed to Holden for volleyball. In the dark, because mornings are DARK since the time change. And volleyball must be played starting very, very early, according to some secret rule book. Two of our players were not there for the tournament (spring break had officially started the day before), so we only had six players. That meant they all had to play every minute of every game. Which they did. And came in first in their pool. And won 2nd place in the tournament. And considering they have had a pretty sucky season due to coaching issues, this was an AWESOMELY AWESOME day for them.

One of three aces IN A ROW.

My brother, who just happened to be in a neighboring town for
a mandolin lesson, came by to watch a bit of volleyball.

Want to know what makes the day even better? This:

Want to know how to one-up THAT?


Here are the highlights:

The American Legion led the parade.

Followed by the volunteer fire department.

The local bank's entry.

Somebody running for something, in a green truck.

Next entry.

This chick just drove her undecorated car through,
with a sign on the side advertising her business.

End of the parade. Yes, he dyed his beard red.

Did I say highlights? It was the whole parade. It took about three minutes from the time we saw the police car at the end of the street to when the last parade entry passed us.

And the very, very, very BEST part of the parade?

This couple, there to watch the festivities:


After the beautiful, sunny, spring-like day on Saturday, we woke up to this on Sunday morning:

Yes, that's snow.

The rest of the weekend was uneventful, after the joy of packing the trunk (me, again) with the car parked INSIDE A GARAGE. We ate more too much. We enjoyed staying in a house that wasn't ours, like it was a real vacation or something. On the way home, I, the navigator, wasn't paying attention and missed a tricky turn and took us about 20 miles out of our way.

And when we finally, FINALLY got back home, I saw that some of my daffodils had bloomed.

And were snowed upon.

And looked very, very sad.


  1. Awwwh poor daffydowndillies! Sending you warm thoughts for a thaw.

    WELL DONE VOLLEYBALL TEAM. I can only hope that the secret rulebook is protected by more age-appropriate guardians!

    Holy baked goods, Batman! They all sound utterly delicious. And perfect. And wow! I definitely have a bit of a *thing* for baked stuff.

    So glad you had a lovely mini-vacation :D

    1. Those girls were awesome all day. Wears me out just watching them.

      These baked goods are delicious. Truly delicious. They taste like your Grandma made them in the kitchen.

  2. All I can remember is that your brother was in town for a mandolin lesson. So many questions and comments came to me from that one sentence.
    After that parade! And wow. Was the bakery also named diabetes express? It all sounded delectable.
    Congrats to the volleyball team!

    1. Long story. My brother lives in Columbia, which is a couple hours east from the town where he takes mandolin lessons. The town where we played volleyball was another 20 miles east of the town where he takes the lessons. Since he was close, he came by. My brother is very musical and very into the mandolin right now. He even goes to mandolin camp for a week every summer....

      The parade was something else! They made up in spirit what they lacked in numbers.

      The baked goods are worth every calorie, every fat gram, every carb!

      Thanks! How did Phoenix do with his tournament?

  3. Im with Christine. ..mandolin lesson? That's likesaying dulcimer lessons....kinda cool...nuff said...we have a Mennonite bakery in the next town over....OMG....again nuff said...

    1. Mandolin lessons. He plays bluegrass. Very well, I might add.

      You're going to go to the next town and visit the bakery, aren't you?