The simple pleasures of home shine brighter
when the spirit of God intertwines our hearts
with His gentle Joy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Coming Home . . .

Dear Ones,
The love of my life, "Mr. Ed" may just have a newly acquired nickname. . .  "Mr. Romantic". You see ~ "Mr. Ed" (aided by our son) booked a weekend getaway for the two of us in Kansas City to celebrate our 42nd Wedding Anniversary!

Our Fortieth Wedding Anniversary!

"Mr. Ed" and I spent our first wedding anniversary in Kansas City while he was on furlough from Basic Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana and in transit to AIT to Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Aberdeen, Maryland. So when he began asking where I wanted to go for our anniversary. . .Kansas City was my choice!

We arrived on a Friday evening and after checking into a spacious room, we dined nearby @ Paleos and Bill an authentic Tuscan dining experience. "Mr. Ed" ordered the Lasagna; I ordered the Bowtie Pasta, a house speciality, with mushrooms and chicken breasts. Served with the sweetest bread and basil, olive oil dipping sauce. Ladies, this has to be the best Italian cuisine I've ever tasted!

We were quests at Hampton Inn and had a lovely room! The king~sized bed made us feel like royalty and we slept as sound as babes. The breakfast was absolutely marvelous! BUT. . .my all time favorite was the glazed, raised doughnuts.

. . . A Moment For Reflection. . .
As a child growing up in Kansas City, my Moma would occasionally take me to work with her @ Alberta's Beauty Salon in The Townhouse Hotel one block off Minnesota Avenue. In the Coffee Shop, the male waiter dressed in white shirt, black bow tie and black trousers with a starched, radiant white linen cloth draped over his left arm would ask, "Your usual Miss Carmen?" MoMa always replied, "Yes, please!" MoMa's usual was a pecan sweet roll, warmed until golden brown on the grill with a square pad of butter placed in the center. A cup of black coffee, poured at the table with the silver pot left at the counter.

Now turning his attention to me, he replied, "And for this lovely young lady, may I suggest a raised, glazed, warmed Kansas City doughnut?" I was smitten!!!. . .with the doughnut!!! There's nothing, sweeter, lighter and more delicious than a raised, glazed Kansas City doughnut! MoMa let me have my doughnut served with hot tea which was poured into my cup from my own silver pot.

. . . Back to Our Weekend. . .
After our fulfilling breakfast, we lingered over Robust Roast Coffee and plotted our itinerary for the days excursion to include. . .

Bass Pro/ Legends Kansas City Outlets/

Cabela's Kansas City, Kansas Retail Store is located just off I-70 and I-435 near the Kansas Speedway. In addition to offering quality outdoor merchandise, the 180,000 sq. ft. showroom is an educational and entertainment attractions, featuring a décor of museum-quality animal displays, huge aquariums and trophy animals interacting in realistic re-creations of their natural habitats.

We didn't realized , until we arrived, that Cabela's is across from the . . .

Kansas Speedway

The noise was fierce from Cabelas. . .  and this was just qualifications!

For lunch @ Legends we chose Panera Bread. I've heard from our local friends that my homemade Potato Soup sounds similar to Panera's Baked Potato Soup. . . and with one coming soon to our home town, we thought we'd check for ourselves. The soup was delicious ~ but, oh my, the strawberry cream scone combined with hazelnut coffee was truly divine!!! I'm going to need a ton of willpower when Panera comes to town, ladies!!!

After a wonderful day of exploring the shops of Kansas City, we dined at Mimis Cafe in Overland Park. I've dined there before with my dear friend, Cheryl. The French decor has such a charming ambiance. I adore their meatloaf! "Mr. Ed" was advantageous and tried the Cajun Chicken Alfredo. He sang praises of the Carrot Raisin Loaf , while I devoured the Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf.

We enjoyed our quiet evening and movie before turning in.

The following day, ladies, is one I will forever remember. . .well into my Senior days. This is the day that will bring a smile to any clouds in my future. For on this day ~ "Mr. Ed" took me home. I shall always be grateful to him for giving me one of the greatest gifts a husband can ever give ~ the gift of healing.

We had planned that last morning to venture one more time to Cabela's as our last stop would be my "Decorating Diva 's",  Mary Carol's ~ Nell Hill's @ Briarcliff Village. Having two hours until Nell Hill's opened ~we headed to Cabela's ~ or so we thought!

Our anniversary weekend just happened to be the NASCAR Race weekend @ the Kansas Speedway . . .the same exit for Cabela's . Traffic was backed up for nearly two miles in any and all directions at every exit to Cabela's.

So~o~o . . .we decided to go on to Briarcliff Village. . . except now we had missed our exit!

Briarcliff Village . . .bask in the breathtaking view of downtown Kansas City.

Overlooking the bluff behind Briarcliff Village . . .Corporate Businesses.

Pat @ Nell Hill's checking what other shops are in Briarcliff Village.

Being the adventurous souls that we are, we took the road less traveled. . .and it has made all the difference in the world.

As we drove down Parallel Parkway, I suddenly began to recognize familiar landmarks from my childhood. I asked "Mr. Ed" to get into the left handed lane and make a left at the bottom of the hill. A heavy sigh ~ then he maneuvered the car ~ and gave me that " you're going to get us lost" look. After you turn left, you'll go a short distance, over a bridge, then you'll make another left. You're going to be on a road that looks like a lane in the country with some treacherous hills and curves ~ so go s l o w !

As we slowly meandered and maneuvered, I told him with tears welling in my eyes, "This is where my life began." Up the hill and to the left is the house where my Dad carried MoMa over the threshold on their wedding day. This is the road where MoMa taught Bubba to drive. This is the drive where daddy brought me home  the  day  I  was  adopted. . . where Bubba waited on the porch. I turned and told him "Mr. Ed" you've brought me home.

The house that we saw wasn't the same house nor did it stand in the same spot, but the drive was the same. The neighbors house above ours on the hill was the same. Warm, sweet, healing tears flowed down my cheeks and a peace came over my being that is beyond words.

Home. The place where MoMa married Dad and brought three wayward children together in love. . . I  was  home. . . suddenly it became apparent to me the meaning of "coming full circle". Home.

As we journeyed back onto the roadway and navigated our way to reach our destination we traveled through the bottoms of Kansas City along the river. We could see where "Mr. Ed" had briefly worked with my brother @ BRAY Truck line. The drive from Parallel Parkway across 5 Highway to the Fairfax Plant @ General Motors where my Dad was employed for 35 years before his retirement. We passed the Red X store. I remember hearing my Dad say to MoMa, "I'll be late getting home tonight 'cause I'll be picking up your cigarettes @ Red X." (Boot legging so he didn't have to pay Kansas sales tax!) We turned on Riverside to Briarcliff Parkway.

Fascinating Fountain @ Briarcliff Village!

Nell Hill's Briarcliff Village Store.

Window shopping has some unexpected joys!

A cat that resembles . . .  Maurice!

Arriving far earlier than expected, we did some window shopping, sight seeing, snapped some photos and had a quiet rest on a park bench ~ and just enjoyed some quiet moments together.

Nell Hill's Briarcliff Village Store.

One of the matching urns that flank the doors to Nell Hill's @ Briarcliff Village.

Our shopping experience was delightful @ Nell Hill's Briarcliff Village Store. We visited briefly with Mary Carol and purchased pottery urns, handled basket weave bowls, a flat hanging basket and the tiniest salt cellar spoons. I adore Mary Carol's Nell Hill's Briarcliff Village Store. Perhaps we'll return someday.

It's about time YOU got home. . .
I'm OUT of cat food. . .
The squirrels and birds need water in their bird bath. . .
WHO'S going to change my litter pan. . .
Oh, yes. . .and that other cat resembling me. . .
P L E A S E !!!

We are home, once again. Another wedding anniversary celebrated together. . .and while it was a memorable getaway. . .nothing can compare to Coming Home.

Until next time. . .
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