Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rock Chalk

On a whim, Chris and I decided to take a trip to my alma mater -- The University of Kansas AKA KU, home of the Jayhawks (a completely fictional bird, if you were wondering). I have been feeling really down lately. There are so many horrible things going on in the world right now, and no matter how much I try to avoid the news for self preservation, I still think and hear about all of the messes to be cleaned up. When thinking of alternative vacation spots, because of the horrible political unrest in Bangkok recently, I began to become more and more depressed. How about a cruise out of Florida again? Oh wait, there's a horrible oil rig spewing oil all over the gulf. How about a trip to Ireland and the UK? Oh wait, the volcano may still be spewing ash preventing our flight from taking off. How about Greece?! No? There are riots and horrible economic issues? Hmmmmm . . . where in the world is there not something terrible going on? Anyway, to turn a horribly pessimistic post into a happy one, we thought it best to get the heck out of dodge for a weekend. Lawrence, Kansas is quite the idyllic little college town (at least for the two of us liberal, hippie wanna bes). We decided to bring the dogs along this time, renting a really crappy motel room where they accepted dogs.

One of the things I'm sure Ollie (our standard poodle) misses most about Lawrence (his childhood home) is their AMAZING off-leash dog park -- the "mutt run". It's this huge amount of land for a dog park, where the dogs can romp around with each other, or walk free on the trails with their owners. The dog park was our first stop as SOON as we got into town.

My boys have such cute butts.

Can you spot the Wembley dog in this picture?

I'm not sure what the heck Ollie is doing with his mouth wide open.

Ollie encountered a turtle for the first time!

It wasn't scared.

So, after wearing the dogs out, we sat down with the picnic lunch I had packed. Whole wheat flat-out wraps filled with a hefty portion of Sabra hummus, cherry tomatoes, sweet pea sprouts (from our CSA), and red onion. They were delicious!! I think this will be one of my "go-to" lunches for the Summer (when I am going to try to lose a ton of weight in a month in order to prepare for the beaches of Thailand, which we still plan to go to considering things have calmed for now). We also had our CSA strawberries, carrots, and pretzels.

The doggies were so hot after their run around the dog park -- this was Wembley's solution:

Then we took the dogs to the motel for a quick air-conditioning cool down. And it was off to Mass. (Massachusetts) Street for a stroll down the street of seemingly endless shops, bars, and restaurants. We knew we'd be eating dinner at our favorite place -- Zen Zero. I always get their Thai Spicy Basil Tofu dish.

The dogs were surprisingly well behaved as we ate outside on the patio. I guess we sufficiently wore them out.
Chris relaxes on ZenZero's patio with a Free State beer.

Then we had to hit up the BEST ice cream shop -- Sylas and Maddy's!! Mmmmmmmm. We walked our food off, but after that, headed back to the motel for reading and relaxation. We, unfortunately, couldn't head out to the bars, because every time we tried to leave the dogs in the motel room alone, they would bark like mad.

Sunday morning we got up and got a scone, muffin, and two coffees and headed back to the dog park to re-wear out the dogs. They had a great time again, and so did we.

We walked them around campus, and got this obligatory "family" portrait (minus Chris who doesn't claim KU, even though he loves it).

Then, it was lunch at our other favorite place -- Papa Keno's pizza! Of course, afterwards, another trip to Sylas and Maddy's. It's always the goal to hit that place up as many times as our stomachs will allow in a trip. This time it was twice, as we were only in town for about 24 hours. I then bought a new KU t-shirt (I love t-shirts), and Chris bought a growler from Free State Brewery along with a Free State t-shirt.

My Southwest pizza -- jalapenos, onions, tomatoes, and a little crumbled bacon!
Don't worry, he didn't eat it all!

It was such a great trip. I felt it helped renew my happiness, my outlook on the world, my outlook on our dogs (who behaved so well, unlike they have been lately), and our relationship got a much needed happiness charge. We had been in a bit of a sulky rut lately . . . this was just what we needed.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU!

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