You may be asking...HOW is that possible??
The Buddies can SHOP, that's how!!
(L-R: Mandy, Sally, Paulette, Agnes, Marge, Katie Kay, Ker, and Hermy)
The weekend is over, and it was a blast! That doesn't mean that each and every one of us didn't have at least one grouchy moment in the 48+ hours we all spent together...I mean, it is NOT possible for 8 girls sharing 2 adjoining hotel rooms to NOT have at least one grouchy moment, right?
Here's a rundown of the weekend in numbers (I AM an engineer), and then I'll get into the details.
4 Airline Flights
3 Trips to the Airport
2 Hotel rooms
2 Shopping trips to the Country Club Plaza
1 Belly Dancer (at Tasso's Greek Restaurant)
A Gazillion Laughs
A Ton of Pictures
2.5 Hours in Nordstrom
A Few Wrong Turns
8 Exhausted, but ultimately happy Buddies
Remember...the Buddies have been friends for ages and ages...and as a complete group of 10 girls...for over 15 years. We know each other VERY well. We've been happy, sad, tired, grouchy, and stinky (keep the spinach and broccoli away from us!) together MANY MANY MANY times. Some of us are actually related to each other through marriage...we are all related to each other through the Love of our Heavenly Father, and it is by His grace that we still love each other and have remained friends to this day.
We've decided that our relationships are like a family now...even if you wanted out, TOUGH, we're committed, and we're all stuck with each other...which makes it so great that we love each other so much.
So, back to the weekend…I made it to KC just in time to pick up the first Buddy from the airport. As I waited on the curb for Katie Kay, I almost couldn’t contain myself…the fun was about to begin. KK walked out of baggage claim, and we started chattering away as we took off in search of a snack and a little browsing while we waited for the next flight to arrive. We headed back to the KC airport to meet 3 more Buddies. Their flight was a little delayed, so we parked and met them at the gate. When they walked off, we turned into a group of junior high girls as we jumped up and down and hugged and all talked at once.
After we picked up their rental car (a Caddy complete with sunroof, satellite radio, and a navigation system reserved by one of the hubbies), we made our way into downtown KC to find our hotel…the one with the rotating restaurant on top AND valet parking! We felt like princesses until we got up to our room and realized that all 5 of us would have to share the room and SINGLE bathroom for the night…no big deal, we just pretended like we were back at Hume Lake Camp. We got settled, freshened up, and headed to the Plaza for a YUMMY dinner at the Melting Pot – a fondue restaurant. The food was awesome and so was the conversation as we caught up and shared memories of years past.
You’d think that 5 girls in their 30’s (ok, so KK isn’t quite there, but whatever) would be exhausted after all the activities of the day…but NO…we stayed up talking…me on the roll-away bed, and the others crammed into 2 double beds. The birthday girl and I konked out about 2am…with just a glimmer of waking up when Mandy told a secret she’d been keeping FOR YEARS (we weren’t completely coherent, so we had to ask about it in the morning)…but the rest of girls stayed up talking til 4am!
On Saturday, we were slow and lazy…and Paulette and I finally ventured downstairs in search of coffee (can you believe our 5 Star hotel DID NOT have coffee in the room??) about 11:30am.
The trek to the airport to pick up the last 3 girls should have started by noon, but we were slow, the valet took FOREVER to bring the cars, AND, apparently KC is a HUGE place to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day, so there was a parade outside our hotel that caused our 20 minute drive to take 45 minutes…but the simple fact remains that Paulette and I had problems operating the elevator.
We started down to the lobby from the 24th floor, and at about floor 18 we realized that we left the directions in the room…so we tried to think quickly and figure out how to go back up to the 24th floor without going all the way to the lobby. Paulette hurried and pushed the button that said 24…but that didn’t work, we were heading down, so I tried to see what floor we were on and push a button for a floor lower, so the elevator would stop and we could go back up. I pushed 15. The elevator stopped, but when we pushed 24, it started back down again, since it was a DOWN elevator, I guess. Here we go again…now we pushed 12, but the elevator didn’t stop til we got to 9…I guess we confused it. So then we got off, and pushed the up button to wait for ANOTHER elevator to take us back up to 24. We grabbed the directions and headed back down…where we then realized while waiting for the car, that we had forgotten our sunglasses…this time we were smart and called the other girls who were on their way down and asked them to get the glasses for us…what did we do before cell phones??? (I’m not kidding…I placed and received no fewer than 60 phone calls from one or another of the buddies over the course of the trip!!)
Agnes and Marge were disappointed that we weren’t there to greet them at the gate…in fact, they had to wait about 30 minutes for Paulette and I to finally arrive. So, we picked them up and then headed to the next terminal to pick up Hermy. We parked and met her at baggage claim…where more chattering and hugging took place. Good thing Hermy had a small bag, because the car was PACKED tight with all that luggage…Thanks to B for letting me drive the H3 all weekend…my little car never would have handled it!
The plan was for the 5 of us to drop the luggage at the hotel and catch up to the other girls at the Plaza for lunch and an afternoon of shopping. Well, we had to check into the 2nd hotel room when we got back, so Paulette stayed downstairs to take care of that, and the rest of us headed up to the 24th floor. We dropped the bags, powdered our noses, and then headed downstairs to meet up with Paulette…who had worked her magic to get us adjoining rooms…but that meant ANOTHER trip upstairs to gather up all the stuff and move down to the 11th floor into 2 new rooms. Have you ever seen how much junk is in a shower that 5 girls were using??? It’s insane!! But, we ARE the Buddies, and we had the room packed and moved within 15 minutes.
By this time a few of us were grouchy because we hadn’t eaten any real food all day, so next on the agenda was to meet up with the other girls for lunch. We went to a yummy Italian place, where we all had to hug and chatter again…we were FINALLY all together!! Agnes and I took advantage of being on vacation and had a wonderful glass of wine with our soup and salad.
After lunch, the seriousness began…SHOPPING!! The Plaza is an AWESOME place to shop…but not cheap. We hit a ton of stores, tried on a ton of clothes, and spent a TON of money…at least some of us did!
We had dinner reservations at Tasso’s Greek Restaurant at 8pm, and since that "serious" shopping didn’t start until after 4pm, we had to pick up the pace. Half of us wanted to head back and make ourselves HOT for dinner, while the other half wanted to get that last 30 minutes of shopping in…so we split up and agreed to meet at the restaurant.
Tasso’s is AWESOME…and if you’re ever in KC, you HAVE to go! The atmosphere is a traditional Greek family restaurant, the food is unbelievable, and the entertainment (live band and belly dancer) is amazing! The birthday girl (Ker) was called up onto the dance floor to be recognized, and later she and I learned how to belly dance.
KK and Paulette beckon to the Belly Dancer
Sally & Ker get lessons...it's all in the hips!
Ker mugs with the horn player
It was very loud because of the music, but I loved it! We didn’t leave the restaurant until after 10:30pm, and we tried to drive through McD’s for ice cream, but they weren’t serving ice cream anymore, so my car headed back to the hotel. I wasn’t really watching that the Caddy stayed behind me…they had the Nav system, after all, so we were a little surprised when they called after we were relaxing in the hotel to say that they were on a highway to Des Moines, IA, and they were freaking out!!
They finally made it back, and the fashion show began! We had some leftover wine from dinner, and we made the rule that everyone had to model their goods. We hit the hay a little earlier that night…maybe 1:30am, and we said that we had to be out of the hotel by 11am on Sunday because the girls wanted to do more shopping, and we had an appointment to make purses at Lill at noon. Well, we didn’t exactly make the 11am deadline…and we were starting to get a little grouchy…probably due to lack of sleep and increasing age (we’re not spring chickens anymore, y’know)…but we managed to get everyone food and caffeine and make it to the purse appointment on time.
BUT FIRST, we had to stop at an establishment we had seen that was called…none other…than BUDDIES!! Check our the photos below…we took a vote and decided to stop during daylight and not when they were actually open…a wise decision, I think!
Unfortunately, my extrovert self was having a very rare introvert day…I didn’t even know I had those in me. I was ready to head home to Wichita, I had spent my wad, and I knew B would FREAK OUT if I showed up at home with another purse, so I wasn’t so into it. I took a couple walks with Marge to look in a few other stores, but the girls still weren’t ready to go, so then I went to get a quick manicure. That helped me calm down some, but by then the cute new flats I’d bought at Gap were killing my feet. I headed back to the purse store, and they still weren’t done, but they were getting closer. I waited it out, and hoped and prayed that we would grab a snack and hit the road. But, the girls weren’t done shopping…there were a couple more shops they needed to hit.
I took that time to run an errand I needed to do, fill up with gas, get my next caffeine fix, and pick up some BBQ for hubby at his favorite restaurant. By the time I finished, the girls were done at the Plaza, but they wanted to stop at Nordstrom in another mall. I had hoped we’d be on our way back to Wichita by then, and my grouchy side was rearing its ugly head, but I tried to be patient. Hermy and I headed to Tar-jay to get me some one-dollar flip flops so the blisters on my pinky toes wouldn’t get worse and to get an ice chest so the BBQ wouldn’t grow E-Coli as it sat in the car…and then we prayed that 2 more people would be ready to hit the road. We headed back to Wichita about 5:30pm (I had thought we’d GET TO my house by 3pm originally) with only one wrong turn. The other girls were a couple hours behind us.
Since we were living the life of celebrities (stay up late, wake up late, eat all meals late after you shop til you drop, etc -- eat your heart out Paris!), we weren’t ready for dinner until we got home and got settled – at 9:30pm. We tried to go to Jason’s Deli, one of my USUALLY favorite places, to grab some food to take home…we'd called and they said they didn't close til 10pm, but they had locked the doors and were ignoring us at 9;45 pm. Next on the list was On The Border…where they were AWESOME and let us in to eat at 5 minutes before they closed. Let me tell you…those margaritas we ordered were MUCH needed!! By the time we finished, the other girls had caught up to us, and we came home to get settled for the night.
We ended up making cocktails and playing Scattergories until 3am on Sunday night…and B was such a good sport. He had cleaned the entire house for me, so it looked great when we got home. We crashed and slept til 9am when I woke up and made scones, muffins, and coffee for everyone. We were dressed and out the door by a little after noon for...guess what...more shopping! No, we can’t get enough!
But, at least we headed for stores that I could afford...Accessory City and Gordman’s. We had to start gearing up for goodbyes after we all purchased similar hats at Accessory City...and it reminded us that our fun was about to end. We took one last picture of us all together outside of the store, and I hugged everyone goodbye though my tears.
A couple hours after the first group left, we got a call…a call we thought would tell us that they had arrived at the airport safely...but OH NO, that wasn’t it at all. The Nav system had routed them to a small airport on the East side of KC, instead of KC International...and they only had a few minutes to get to the right airport for KK to make her flight. Luckily, we were home, so we mapped where they were and got them back on track…and after some sweet-talking at the ticket counter, KK made her flight on time. Whew!
There were still 4 of us left to have one more night of fun, so we took some time to relax, work out, and gear up for one more night on the town. We grabbed my girlfriend M and headed out to a Japanese Steakhouse for some Teppanyaki…oh boy, was it good!! I think you’ll be able to tell from the pictures below how much fun we had.
C'mon, M...the shrimp goes IN your mouth (our chef was tossing snacks to us)
Don't you dare try to flip my rice away from me!
One last photo!
From there, we started to slow down a little. We came home, packed up, exchanged photos, chatted a little bit, and hit the hay…a little more down than before (at least I was). The next morning we didn’t have a lot of time as the girls were heading for KC, and I was heading to work. We stopped for coffee and said our goodbyes outside of the store. They followed me to my exit, and then I waved as they drove off towards KC…trying to keep my car on the road as my eyes teared up again.
It’s so hard to say good-bye. I love my Buddies, and I hope they know that, even though I had my grouchy moments over the weekend. We have changed as we’ve gotten older, and we are usually ready to head home at the end of our trips, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t love each other and enjoy spending time with each other. Our time together is so short now, and we always try to cram so much in, with so many different expectations. Our stories and laughter and pictures will live forever, and I will be forever grateful that my Buddies took the time and money to come visit me in my new home. I love you, Buddies!
Ok, so this is the longest post ever...but I don't want to forget anything about the weekend...and this is how I remember, so just humor me and act like you read it...at least I included lots of photos!