I’ve been to Mardi Gras too many times, and this is just one more. I’m the bridge between two groups that all come together to get drunk and walk the streets. This year, Hanna’s friend Jen came to join our crew. The first step is always getting in costume. After the pink suit I wore last year, most of the group wanted in. Cory came to the rescue getting us jump suits and iron on patches so we could become the Ghost Busters.
With costumes on, we went for lunch before heading out to the party. Its fun to go in costume and gets looks!
Once properly fed, we took the Metrolink down to the party. This gave us a chance to mingle and warm up to the party, and time to sober up on the way home. Here are a few photos from Mardi Gras itself. We got a lot of “Who ya gonna call” yelled to our group and requests for photos.
Towards the end of the evening after a few too many libations, Cory bet us he could walk right up on a stage and touch the balloons. We didn’t think he could/would.
He is in the orange jacket going up the stairs in the photo. Not only did he go up and touch the balloons, he got them to play the (our) theme song for the movie Ghostbusters!
It got dark and cold quickly and our group was loosing conscious thought quickly. A stop to the bathrooms, then we could leave.
Every year when I write up my thoughts and recap the event, I wonder why I do it. But every January, I start asking my group who is coming with me.
Laura wanted to check out Tilles Park’s Winter Wonderland. We decided it would be best to visit on a carriage. So we split a large carriage and invited Josh and Jen to join us. We all met early as we were quite excited to get our ride. The kids were super excited and we all bundled up for the cold.
Once we got started, we had quite conversation as we took in all of the lights around us. Its impossible to get a good photo from a phone, but here is an idea.
After viewing the lights, we had everyone over to our house for dinner. Its amazing how much you can prepare for a group in a hurry. Luckily the house didn’t burn down while we were gone with the ham in the oven.
Josh and Jen invited us over to their house to make apple cider. Ok, the real goal was to get the juice so they could turn it into hard apple cider. But all good things take time and we needed to start with getting the juice out of the apples. Several of their friends showed up.
The process consisted of a few steps. First we had to clean the apples by cutting out any bad spots. They are then placed in the blue bucket to clean them of debris.
Then next step is to pull apples out of the bucket and on to the table. There, we’ll cut them in half and place them in the manual hopper. We take turns turning the wheel to grind up the apples to much smaller chunks and juice.
Once the bucket is full of apple parts, it is dumped into a cheesecloth bag inside of the press. Once the press was full, it was time to start turning the press to get the juice out of the apples.
The juice in the bowl is apple cider. When the bowl is full, it was moved into containers and put into storage until it could be brewed into hard cider. We of course had to sample each type of apple cider.
The spent chunks of apples were taken to the mulch pile while the rest of the process continued. Of course, it wasn’t all work. We had fun and stopped for lunch!
After an amazing but short week without the kids after dropping them off for the South Dakota Kayak Challenge, we were missing them! So we drove back to KC to pick them up. As always, there is something going on at my parent’s house.
Herman, Cole, Jen, and Henry were back working on Herman’s mustang again. They got it running and put it all together. I ended going out with them later that night to test drive it all over the city and didn’t get back till 2 am.
While the madness outside was going on, Hanna and Kalie were making some sort of cake pop dessert that looked like poop!
Sonora got to ride in the Herman’s mustang!
And my parents were wore out from us generally being so crazy!
I’m quite happy to have times like this with my family and to get my kiddos back!
Our friend from college, Josh was in town with his wife, Jen, and their kids around Thanksgiving. They live in Virginia, but Josh grew up in St. Louis. He and Danelle were in the Honors College crew who went to London for a semester and then meandered around Europe for a couple of months. Another Honors College friend, Mark, brought his girlfriend Jung. She passed the test – that is a Blues hockey teddy bear she is holding!
As a blast from the past, Mark even wore his sweatshirt from Gamma Pi Alpha (GPA), our honors fraternity. Weren’t we a clever bunch! We couldn’t believe that:
1. He still has the sweatshirt.
2. It still fits.
3. It looks brand new!!
We spent a good deal of time playing with Chromecast. We took turns with Google Maps on Hogan’s phone linked to the TV, showing each other fun places we’ve lived or done research and looking into the places we are planning to visit next.