Monday, October 29, 2018

Kansas in the Rear View Mirror

Today is hotel day, since my flight back home leaves at 5:55 in the morning and the airport is over an hour away from my daughter's home. But before we left...

When its wings are closed, the underside is a dirty brown and it totally resembles a leaf

The clouds have been an atmospheric ballet
After making as sure as sure can be that I left nothing behind (like I did in the Beast, oops! Luckily the guy who bought it let me know and will mail my stuff to me, kind man) it was time to hit the road. The temperature was a cool 61 degrees, the sky brilliantly blue and the trees putting on their Autumn finery a thing of beauty.

We stopped for some Indian food at Swagat. It's a beautiful restaurant and the food is fantastic. Our server acted as if we'd come in a dozen times before, so much so that I wondered if I'd ever been there before. Maybe some other life, I don't know.

Lamb vindaloo for me,
with maybe the most perfect rice I've ever eaten

Michelle made the most of the buffet. Twice.

Now it's almost time to pretend there will be sleep, in anticipation of my 3 a.m. wake up call. And that's why god invented Netflix. And

With no flights home available (a first in my 17 years of living on and traveling to and from Culebra) and the who-knows-when 7p.m. ferry, hopefully Culebra will be coming into sight very soon. Homeward bound!

Have a move with the moment Monday. Do something motivating.  

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A Glorious Autumn Day for...Something Different

Yesterday we traveled to the very pretty college town of Lawrence. Again. We've gone there for art, we've gone there for meals, we've gone there for walkabouts. One year we went there for my birthday. But yesterday we went to do something I've never done before, to watch a competitive eater named Raina Huang. I could give you a lot of conflicting thoughts about competitive eating but, in truth, it was just fun and funny and we met some really nice people, so I'm just chalking it up to a good experience. And the trees were in amazing color!

The event was held at Burrito King, a small drive up, walk up Mexican place owned by Max and Angelina (as we found out later). We came up to find Max washing off the concrete pad with tables with a high pressure hose, so sat at a table conveniently out of spray range on the grass. He asked if we were there to see Raina and told us she was going to be late. It was happy hour and no alcohol was sold there (what???). We asked if it would be okay to have a drink there and he said no problem. I figured he was either the owner or a guy who worked there who didn't care what we did. Around the corner was a liquor store. We asked if he wanted a beer and after a second of hesitation, he declined. Oh well!

A Bug we saw along the drive 

I forget what this building on campus is, but it was beautiful

Wow mode

More oh my!!
Drinks in hand, we ordered a couple of tacos and a side of guacamole and chips, with three kinds of hot sauce. The green sauce was the best, the tacos were good (yes, of course I was thinking of Zaco's) and no photos because, I have no idea why except that I forgot. 

We talked with Max for awhile; he'd come from Mexico 12 years before and was not going back to Mexico any time soon. Then he told us his wife was in touch with Raina and they were going to be at least another hour. He headed off and came back with beers for all of us waiting. All three of us. The other person was a guy named Chad who was also a Raina fan. He turned out to be a really nice guy who had served in war zones and knew a lot about the current state of legal CBD in Kansas. He showed us a video of his wife, selling jewelry from their basement in her own podcast. Another nice guy, Kansas is full of them. 

Time passed and it got colder. On the verge of leaving, Raina and Mitch (and Nala the dog) showed up. Hooray!!

Michelle and Raina (she's very tiny - how, I have no clue)
Raina and Mitch got themselves set up, after many apologies. They'd been in Colorado the day before and got the time zones confused. It happens! 

Mitch, Max and Raina
Let the games begin!
If you've never been to a competitive eating event (in this case they were only competing for time, 40 minutes - Raina was the first woman who'd ever accepted the challenge). We all made bets on how long it would take her. I foolishly bet 14 minutes. Everyone else bet between 7 and 9 minutes. 

I was going to post the video I took, but it came out badly, with the sound cutting in and out in a very annoying way, so that is how that goes! If you want to see Raina's video's, you can go to her YouTube channel here (not for the food squeamish), or learn more about her here, on her Raina Is Crazy website. All I can say is she had a really unique eating style, very messy and better seen than described. That burrito was gone in four minutes. Mitch took 7 minutes. Insane. 


Before I finished this post, a man from Minnesota who had written asking about the Toyota, or more semi-affectionately called The Beast, said he was very interested in it. From 7 hours away, we sorted things out and this morning he showed up, we swapped cash for vehicle and he headed down the road. Now it's back to planes, trains and who knows what happens next but it was one small step for humankind and a HUGE step closer to home for MJ. 

He said he wondered why, in the ad, I said it was too big for me,
that he considers this model a small to regular vehicle.
Well, therein lies the difference, sometimes size does matter!
I tell the story of a man I knew when I was young who, when my patience was stretched as far as it would go would say 'MJ, wait ten more minutes. Just wait.' Over and over, even when 10 minutes were like football minutes and sometimes takes days and weeks, I re-learn the lesson that things usually will work out and all the fretting was for little but an unnecessary upset stomach. I was resigned to driving to Florida (which would have been fun, in seeing the fall colors and especially seeing Francie and a few others along the way) to sell it. I was ready to pack it up, literally, on Monday. And the Universe delivered Jay instead. 

Bye Bye Beast!
Have a tremendously thrilling Tuesday! Do something transferrable.