Grandpa Gumbo

Look at me, it only took me another day to download my pictures. woohoo! It is all about the small victories, right people? Okay so when we landed in Kansas City it was 60 degrees and sunny. Perfect weather. My cousin Bekah picked us up and we went back over to Grandpa Gumbos to meet my aunt and other cousin. Then we headed off to dinner. Bekah and I had toyed with the idea of going to see the plaza lights if there was an opportunity. She thought we should go right then. Now heading out the door at 9:00pm on a Friday may sound like a normal event for most people, but for a preggo I was like ‘hmmm do I really care about the lights that much? Bed does sound like it would be fun’. But Bekah hadn’t gone to see them yet and she wasn’t going to be able to go any other night. That coupled with the fact that the next day was supposed to be 20 degrees, I thought it was probably the only time we could go. So I rallied and off we went.
 My mom used to have an apartment near the Plaza and she loved going to look at all the window displays at Christmas time. Every year we went back to visit we would go walk around.
 Here is beautiful Bekah.

 There are also carriage rides around the plaza and I remember one year the whole family went down there and took a ride. I remember seeing the cute two person carriage that couples who were out on a date were taking and then we piled onto the hay ride version of the carriage ride. I will admit I was a little disappointed, but it was still lots of fun.

Saturday we didn’t do a whole heck of a lot. The wind was blowing 40-some miles an hour and it was about 20 degrees. We went to the IHOP for breakfast and then hung out with Bekah and my Aunt Charlene until they had to run off to other engagements. Then I headed off to meet Steph over at Blawnde’s Blog for dinner at Panera. I have to admit I was really nervous to meet my first blogging friend….and to be really honest, I was kind of apprehensive telling my family how I knew her. So Steph, the cover story is we met through a friend and then became pen pals. In a round-about way that is true because I stumbled upon her blog by looking through the lists of blogs my friends followed…..I know it is a stretch of the truth, but we are talking about my grandpa who doesn’t have a cordless house phone, let alone anything resembling high technology. To try to explain to him what a blog is and why/how we form this crazy tight-knit community through it just wasn’t going to happen. But now we are “met in real life” friends, so I don’t even need to worry about stretching truth from now on.
Dumb me, didn’t get a picture of us together, but she did and she put it up on her blog. Should you venture over there, you will notice how gigantoid my head is compared to her. But the important thing about the encounter was how once we were face to face, there was nothing left to be nervous about. Basically we both already knew that we would like each other and have a lot in common, so it was really a ‘hey how’s this going?’ kind of encounter. We ended up meeting at 4pm (I like beating the dinner rush *whistles through her dentures*) and talking for almost 3 hours about just about everything under the stars. It was just really cool and I can’t wait until we get to meet up again.

Sunday we drove out to somewhere in Missouri and met my Aunt Marilyn and cousins for lunch.
So you’re looking at Big Butter, Marilyn, Francesca, a friend (bad Natalie for forgetting her name….Lelani maybe?), and Sophia.

 Over here we got Raquel, Grandpa Gumbo, and Aunt Charlene. All the kids are my Aunt Marilyn’s. Yep 3 girls. Wild.

 Monday I met my boss at his hotel at 7am and we headed off for a 15 hour day. Bleh!

 On Tuesday morning Grandpa Gumbo wanted to make us some corn bread for breakfast. He makes a mean corn bread, so I thought it would be fun to take some pictures of him.

 My grandpa has lived in this house since my mom was 3 years old. In fact I slept in her old bedroom. It isn’t a big house and sadly it needs some major TLC, but grandpa is stubborn, as old people never are, so even when given the opportunity to sell to developers, he refused. I have a million memories in this house of Thanksgivings and Christmases. It is hard because I really miss my momma a lot, but it was also good for me, if that makes any sense. I love looking through old pictures of her and when I was sitting in her room I found myself wondering how many days she spent in here daydreaming throughout her youth.

Now sleeping at Grandpa Gumbos was a hard-won affair. I didn’t realize until I struggled through my first night there how overly pampered I am. I thought about it and if I am not sleeping in my bed, with a body pillow, I am at a hotel with the other 8 pillows stuffed around me to lock me into position. At Grandpa Gumbo’s house I slept on a twin size bed with the hardest mattress known to man and one pillow. It was the flattest pillow I have ever seen. The first night I tried to roll up a spare blanket and use that as a wedge, but I ended up waking up about every hour (on the half hour for some reason) and my hip would hurt or I’d have rolled on my back. I went out and slept on the couch for a couple hours and that helped, but I got worried that Grandpa would be upset that I was sleeping on the couch, so then I went back to the hard tiny bed. The second night the wind was blowing so hard I couldn’t help but wake up. I finally gave in to waking up so often and just resolved that I would spend the next day yawning and trying to sneak in some cat naps. Let’s just say when I got home on Tuesday, I crawled into bed at 8:30p and instantly passed out. It was the most glorious sleep I have ever had.

Here is Big Butter showing us the future or something.
Again I was so happy to be able to get out to see my Grandpa. He has been having some trouble lately and so we wanted to go check on him. It was definitely low-key as far as vacations go. The best thing I did was take along my copy of “Pride Prejudice and Zombies” (A gift from Andy if you couldn’t guess). I ended up finishing it while I was there. Sometimes it is just nice to have a low-key family weekend though with no plans or expectations. Gives you a mental break.

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4 thoughts on “Grandpa Gumbo

  1. Ah, I love KC – especially the plaze at Christmas time. I used to go there all the time for work and I would stay at the Intercontinental on the Plaza (alert: only $150 on Hotwire) and if you don't get the IC you end up at the Raphael, equally as fab and right next door. Anyhoo, looks like an amazing trip with some good QT with the fam and a little time remembering your momma. Perfection.

  2. Love all the pics! And your story about us meeting up sounds about like what I told my family – just meeting a friend for a little while. And your head is not huge!! 🙂

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