August 13, 2012

Visiting Friends

This coming week I will be in Kansas City for the National Conference on Tobacco or Health. Held every two - three years, the conference brings together individuals working in tobacco prevention and control from almost all 50 states and many countries.

I arrived in Kansas City Friday afternoon and was picked up at the airport by my college friend, Kala, who lives in KC. Kala and I lived on the same floor at UNI and became friends almost instantly. She now lives in KC, which is very exciting. We've been talking about this week almost all summer - looking forward to catching up with each other. Coincidently, Kala had agreed to sing in a wedding for one of her friends in Des Moines Saturday night, so we headed straight for Iowa after Kala picked me up.

The trip to Des Moines worked out great because I had the opportunity to spend much of the weekend with two of my greatest friends, Megan and Lindsay, who are also identical twins and have been close friends to Leah and me our whole lives.

Megan and her husband Brian and their son Graham just moved to Iowa from Memphis and were kind enough to allow me to stay the weekend with them amidst the middle of their move. I must say, however, that their house looked lovely.

After catching up with Megan and Brian on Friday night, we headed to the Des Moines Downtown Saturday Farmers Market on Saturday morning.

We met up with Lindsay, her husband Adam, and their daughter Kendall. It was the first time I had seen Kendall, who is four months old, and she was just a bundle of joy.

We hung out for most of the day, which was so fun. We had dinner Saturday night and then headed to Lindsay's house for a backyard fire. It felt so great to be outside in warm weather...something we don't always get to enjoy in Anchorage.

Sunday morning, Megan, Graham and I went for a walk and then enjoyed some coffee before Kala picked me up to head back to KC. Before leaving town, however, we met another college friend, Kate, for brunch at Granite City. After we finished, Kala, her fiancé Derek, and I headed back to KC. We watched some Olympic action and then Kala and I headed downtown so I could check into my hotel. Kala then took me to one of her friend's bars which was really close to my hotel. Snow and Company serves "artful frozen cocktails"that are made from fresh squeezed fruit and homemade syrups with premium liquors.

We each ordered a drink (I had the 'Pink Lady' and Kala enjoyed the 'A Kick to the Peaches') and shared a hummus plate and a veggie wrap. 

Really refreshing and tasty, the drinks were quite smooth and not too sweet. The food was delightfully fresh.

I had a great first weekend back in the Midwest. It was great to meet up with good friends and experience some Kansas City flare. I'm looking forward to a week of learning and more dining and exploring in Kansas City.