Last Friday I got to go to Kansas City with 3 friends from church--Brenda, Carmen, and Crystal (in this order in the pic below). I had originally thought of the idea after 3 of our husbands went to El Salvador in September for a missions trip, and the other husband past away in September. After discussing it, we all decided to go at some point when there would be Christmas lights up at all of the shopping areas. Even after deciding this, it still seemed to take forever to get a date down. Isn't that the way it goes for moms? We barely ever get away, and when we do, it takes forever to plan because we have to do it around our husbands schedules, or whoever can watch the kids for us. The picture below was taken by some nice passersby who were celebrating their anniversary and I guess we looked just as friendly to them as they did to us because they were going to ask us to take their picture before we stopped them and asked them first. They did a nice job, didn't they?
Brenda's husband was able to use some hotel points and put us up in the Intercontinental Hotel which is across from an outdoor shopping area known as The Plaza, and looking out our balcony doors we could see the lights on the Plaza. Very nice hotel where people met us at our car as we drove up to check in and they were wearing uniforms and top hats. We parked in a bright parking garage. When checking in, we all got a little gift bag from Tiffany & Co which had some nice smelling cologne samples in them. Crystal and I had an elephant made out of a towel sitting in a chair for us when we got to our room--reminded me of what they do on cruises. Such a nice hotel that they didn't even have a room with vending machines, and Carmen wanted some Peanut M&Ms. But, a nice employee went to the employees lounge and got her a pack of M&Ms, and even though they weren't peanut, we were all impressed that he did that nice act for her.
Yes, even though I didn't snap too many pictures, I seemed to get a few of bathrooms LOL! The first one is from mine and Crystal's room; notice the bidet toilet? We were going to try it out, but just never did. The next two pictures are of a bathroom in the hallway. No regular paper towels for this room; after you washed your hands you dried them with a hand towel and then threw them in a hamper.
We arrived in KC around 4:30, checked in, then walked to the Plaza. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory. Their menu is HUGE. We divided up into pairs and split a meal which ensured that we had enough room for the cheesecake. We decided to get different flavors so we could try each others. I got White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut. Brenda got Turtle. Carmen got Lemon Raspberry, and Crystal got Peppermint. They were all delicious. The pic of our cheesecakes were half eaten before I remembered to snap a picture. Then, there were 2 huge dollops of whipped cream to go along with the slices. Two moms couldn't finish their slices, so they brought them back to the room, and Crystal set hers on the balcony to keep cold through the night and finished it up in the morning. Brenda's was not put on the balcony, but she ate it in the morning anyways, and is still alive, so it must have not gone bad!
As we walked back to our the hotel, I snapped a few pics of some carriages and lights. Next time we will take a carriage ride; it was only $10 a person which I thought was reasonable.
After getting back to the hotel, we decided to go to an indoor shopping area called Crown Center, and visited their outdoor plaza area. We went to see the Mayor's tree which, would you believe, is taller than the Rockefeller Center tree, and the White House tree? Also, each year, they use the wood from the tree to make ornaments for the following year which they sell and the money is donated to charity. Pretty cool. With all of the lights, this plaza was beautiful. There were people ice skating, some fun play things for kids, and the fountain was even shooting up water to holiday music. To watch and try to listen to the video, you might want to pause my playlist above.
When we got back to the hotel again, we played a fun game of cards called Dutch Blitz. Then we decided to go to bed. I think the time was now 11:00. Our two rooms were on the first floor by the lobby. Crystal and I had an adjoining room to a conference room, and Brenda and Carmen had an adjoining room to another guest room. Well, there was a holiday party going on and Crystal and I had to fall asleep hearing the music and karaoke going on. I must have been tired enough because even with that commotion, plus all of the people walking past our rooms, it didn't take too terribly long for me to fall asleep. However, as I usually do when in a new place for the first night, I woke up several times during the night, but was able to keep falling back to sleep. I know that it wasn't until about 1:00 am when the party finally ended. Brenda and Carmen were awaken at 5:20 by the couple in their adjoining room let's just say doing what couples sometimes do in a hotel room. Brenda called the lobby to have them go knock on the couple's door, but they didn't. One hour later, Brenda called again and this time security knocked and there was no more interruptions for Carmen and Brenda. One other thing to talk about sleeping...Brenda and Carmen said they would wake up about 6:00 or 6:30 and Crystal and I said we could sleep until 9:00 if given the chance. It was decided that if Brenda and Carmen did wake up early, they were going to go get some breakfast and bring it back to the hotel, and Crystal and I would set our alarm for 7:30. When the alarm went off, we both laid around in our beds for another 30 minutes, but then got up and started getting ready for the day. Around 9:00 we had packed up our stuff, had our jackets on and were ready to go next door to let the girls know we were ready to check out. All of a sudden the phone rang and it was the early birds calling to say they had slept in and were just waking up! This was all hilarious, but at the same time us two late risers couldn't help but tease them because we had set our alarm just for them and could have kept sleeping longer.
We finished our day at Oak Park Mall which is a very nice mall. Carmen introduced us to the Teavana store which sells amazing tasting teas. We all did a little looking and shopping, and then hit the road to come back home. We had such a fun time. We did get a little silly, but we all agreed that the rest of our stories will follow the slogan from Vegas: what happens in KC stays in KC. Don't read too much into that because after all, we are just 4 Christian moms from Wichita, KS...as far as you know!