My trip to Kansas City with Ingrid was a much-needed escape and was, for the most part, amazing and wonderful. I would tell you it went without a hitch and that we were both skipping down the sidewalks hand-in-hand, our Swedish girl-braids glinting in the sun and swinging side to side as we laughed and flitted about… but that would have been a lie. Because one does not skip when she is trying with all her might not to soil her pants.
Although I have only dared venture away from my young family with zero children in tow twice, both times I have gotten quite sick only days before I was supposed to leave. The first time, I was pregnant with Emil, on my way to see Mary in Baltimore, and got so sick I ended up down for the count for an entire month and hospitalized twice! Needless to say, that trip was canceled. But this time, the day before I was supposed to leave with Ingrid, when I woke up with a really nasty stomach virus and horrible headache and body aches, even though I felt horrible, I vowed to make myself better (somehow, somehow!) before the trip. I knew that Ingrid had already caught this bug, so I wasn’t worried about getting her sick. I just wanted so badly to go and not miss the concert that she had already bought tickets to… and all the fun we had planned. So I rested as much as I could and even went to bed at 6:30 that night.
By the next morning, I was not 100%, but I was much, much better. So at around noon on Thursday, we left for Kansas City. The drive there was healing. Either the distraction of being with my friend or the giddiness we felt as we drove away from our responsibilities for a couple of days seemed to make my stomach issues take a backseat. We roared with laughter and listened to music and talked and smiled the whole 3 1/2 hours, and when we arrived we were so charmed by the little neighborhood we had decided to stay in (okay, the little neighborhood Ingrid decided on since she is the queen of figuring out what’s cool). We decided to forgo a hotel for AirB&B (where you rent out someone else’s place or in our case, a floor of their house) and it was perfect. So much more personal and interesting (and cleaner, in this case!) than a hotel. Plus, there’s so much character that you can miss when you are closed up inside a hotel. The place we stayed in was in a very hip neighborhood on the Westside of Kansas City with old houses intermixed with modern ones and restaurants, coffee shops, and a couple really cute stores as well. We were a block away from Little Freshie’s (pictured in the first photo of this post and the two directly below), a very simple (and tiny!) coffee shop with amazing coffee (Oddly Correct) and even more amazing orange chocolate chunk scones. They also sold local goodies. I brought back some coffee beans for Andrew and some locally made ketsup for Oliver that was sooooooo much tastier than the sugarbomb that is Heinz ketsup. He actually appreciated it and ate some with his dinner last night! We got settled in and went to dinner at The Westside Local (pictured in the second photo of this post) which had amazing food (having not eaten anything the previous day or that morning, or for lunch… okay, I was starving). Their parmesan parsley french fries were incredible and though I could only stomach a few, their gloriousness was not lost on me.
Later that evening we experienced Sigur Ros. I do not say this lightly: they are incredible, but seeing one of their shows is crucial to understanding just how amazing they are! And there were all walks of life at this show, which was just baffling but really cool to see: a bible-thumping mother with her teenage son; a (maybe autistic) guy with his partner(?) spouse(?) daughter(?); a whole lot of hipsters; a whole lot of hippies; a few just average normal types; old old people; young young people; people of every color and shape and size. And they all seemed to be having a wonderful time, bundled up in coats and blankets and scarves (or in my case, all of the above) under an open sky full of stars. Even through some pretty nasty… eh, em… issues with my lower GI… it was still an incredible concert. We had a great place to go “home” to, and slept in a bit the next morning before heading out to check out the city. We drove around quite a bit looking for cool vintage clothing shops that had unfortunately closed, but we did find a great flea market and spent the entire day looking through them as long as we wanted to. It was a serious novelty!
Our second night we ended up staying in and chatting and flipping through channels after we realized we were too late to catch a movie, but the down time was really nice too. And frankly, neither of us felt like getting all dressed up to walk to First Fridays (opening of all the art galleries down the street from where we were staying) but another time when we are feeling glamorous, we shall be back, Kansas City! We both picked up a few little things for the kids (vintage books and a firetruck for my boys) and I found a great pair of vintage Frye boots in my size that I ended up wearing all weekend long (not that I need another pair of boots… you see my weakness?) and an old kitchen scale that Milo has had a great lot of fun with weighing different items.
I returned to a bunch of little boys in a bathtub chatting away, and a very tired but happy Andrew. While I was off galavanting with my girlfriend, he had managed to take them all around town for fun times and nearly finished pulling up grass in the back yard for the expanded garden plan. We spent the rest of the weekend outdoors, mostly in the back yard, working and smiling and getting rosy cheeks in the sunshine. And by Sunday, my virus seemed to have completely taken off, leaving me appreciative of health, family, friends, good weather, and hard work ahead.