On Thursday my husband and I left the kids with his parents and drove four hours east to Kansas City.
I previously had written about how anxious I was leaving the kids at home with their grandparents. It only got worse as the week progressed, to the point I thought that I would need to take Xanax by the time we were going to leave. Wednesday night I was up late making sure everything was in order in my emergency binder and cleaning my house, thinking, “If anything happens to me I don’t want anyone seeing my kitchen sink like this…” Crazy, I know. I was still a little apprehensive when we left but I felt better as the day went on.
As we drove we tried to not talk about our normal conversation topics, which are work and our kids, so it was harder than I imagined to find something to talk about. A lot of it ended up being questions like, “who is your favorite Star Trek DS9 character?” or “What is your favorite Star Wars movie?”
The drive is a long one, but interesting. The landscape changes dramatically from where we live; the flat farmland changes to bright green rolling hills and prairie and then to tons of trees.
We stopped along the way to eat lunch and to do some shopping. When we reached our destination we checked in to our hotel, which was in a great location in Midtown. We had a few hours to spare, so we hung out in our hotel and then ate at Ragazza’s Food & Wine, an Italian restaurant at the end of the block.
The restaurant was packed, but we somehow managed to get seated right away without a reservation. It was quite noisy and difficult to have a conversation. Luckily that wasn’t a big issue because we were busy eating the fabulous food. It was also a great change of pace to not have to constantly pick up crayons or toy cars from the floor or to clean up spilled drinks.
My husband ordered a beer an I ordered a Ragazza Sparkle, which was made with homemade limoncello and sparkling wine. It was very good.
For an appetizer, we chose eggplant fries, which were incredible. They were very garlicky and covered in fresh basil and parmesan flakes.
Next, my husband ordered a KC Strip steak with roasted potatoes. I ordered the chicken saltimbocca, which was delicious: it was roasted chicken, prosciutto, and sauteed greens on a bed of polenta. I forgot to snap a photo until after I had already eaten some of it.
After our meal, we walked to the historic Madrid theater, about five blocks away. My husband had bought me tickets to see Pete Yorn in concert for my birthday. It was a small venue and we had very good seats.
Pete Yorn put on an incredible show. He played many of my favorite songs, played a couple covers that had been influential to him, and spoke about what inspired several of his songs. He played for about two hours. At the end of the concert, I was able to shake his hand, which was a great surprise.
After walking back to our hotel, the long drive, walking, drinks, and late hour had tired us out so we decided to call it a day.
We had a king sized bed with the most comfortable mattress. I don’t think I moved at all during the entire night and had a refreshing eight hours of sleep with no interruptions (for the first time in a long time), just what this mama needed! It was also wonderful to have a leisurely shower without having to stop and help my daughter go potty or hurry because the kids’ Netflix program ended. It’s the little things in life.
After checking out of our hotel, we wandered down the street to Blick’s Art Materials, where I enjoyed browsing and bought some new Pebeo paints. Then we stopped at a liquor store on the Missouri side of Kansas City, where my husband the craft beer connoisseur, picked out several different types of beer to take home with us. I got a bottle of limoncello so that I could make the drink that I had the previous night.
On the way home, we stopped at an Old Navy outlet where I bought two new dresses and a pair of sandals. My husband found a couple shirts and picked out four sundresses for our daughter and four shirts four our son.
A couple hours later we stopped in Abilene at the Russell Stover’s factory where we bought some chocolate for ourselves and a box of my mother-in-law’s favorite chocolates with coconut as a gift for watching the kids.
When we arrived home we found out that Oscar wasn’t feeling well and hadn’t wanted to eat or drink after lunch. He and I had a lot of snuggles and I tried to get him to eat and drink with limited success. After giving him some Motrin he slept well until around 3:30 a.m. when he only would sleep if I held him. Without any obvious symptoms other than a fever and clinginess, I think it may have just been teething that was bothering him.
My daughter had lots of fun sleeping over at grandma and grandpa’s house, especially because her cousin also spent the night. She had lots of stories to share.
My husband and I had a wonderful time spending some much-needed time alone together. Even though it was a short time away filled with lots of driving, it was fun to be together and I hope we are able to spend solo time together again soon.