What is so enjoyable about holidays?
Is it the food?
The time off school (and away from the newsroom)?
The calm that seems to sweep the country?
In part, it’s all of those things. But, my number one, favorite thing about holidays is the opportunity to spend time with family.
Given only a day turn-around between Germany and newspaper training, I have had no where near enough time with my family in the past three months. Since arriving back in the States, with busy schedules (on both ends) and a couple hundred miles distance, I didn’t have to chance to get back together with my family.
That’s where an extra day off school comes into play. On Sunday morning, my mom, dad and sister made the drive from Husker-land to Jayhawk territory for one night of quality family time.
First things first, my gorgeous sister, Marian, and I hit up the stores.
Note: I adore T.J. Maxx. Low prices, cute clothes and cool kitchen accessories? Good, better and best!
She is almost as indecisive as I am about frozen yogurt. I guess we really are related.
After our afternoon dessert snack, Marian and I went back to my place to change, get ready and head over to Dan’s
Notable #1: While my sister and I were out on the town, my parents were supposedly checking into the hotel and going for a walk. When Marian and I got done shopping and snacking, I gave my parents a call to coordinate on dinner plans… No answer.
What? Don’t parents realize that they are obliged to pick up the phone anytime that a child calls?
Marian and I finished getting ready and went over to Dan’s, since he was going to this rumored dinner with us.
Notable #2: As Dan, Marian and I were waiting around in the dining room of Dan’s scholarship hall, Marian asked, “Where am I?” I thought it was funny that she phrased it that way, although I can understand her confusion. Scholarship halls are unique (to my knowledge) to KU. It is an alternative to residence halls, where the people share responsibilities of cooking, cleaning and other tasks.
Anyway, just when I was beginning to feel a strong affinity toward Little Orphan Annie, I finally heard back from my parents. They were just back from a walk and still needed to finish getting ready.
Dan’s place is conveniently close to Mass Street, so I suggested we meet down there for dinner. While my parents de-smell-ified, Marian, Dan and I enjoyed the nice weather by walking down. Along the way, we snapped a few shots.
For a relatively small down, Lawrence has a good number of fabulous foodie destinations. Although, there is a good mix of chains and locally owned restaurants, I always go for the local food.
One of my very favorites is a top-notch Mexican restaurant, Esquina. And, I don’t throw “top-notch” around lightly. I mean, think Chipotle times 10. Yes, I do dare say that.
Most impressive of all is that Esquina is still young on the food-scene. In fact, my family hadn’t even been in town since Esquina opened last spring. So, my choice for dinner was natural…
Suffice it to say, my parents were impressed. My mom even wanted to show off her dish!
I am a big proponent of walking after meals. Not only does it help with digestion, but it’s a great way to continue conversation while enjoying the (fleeting) good weather.
More pictures followed…
All the girls.
As the good daughter that I am, I was obligated to take my parents by 3 spoons. Oh, the sacrifices I make…
After some good bonding time, my parents dropped Dan, Marian and me back off at Dan’s hall.
I shot a round of pool with Dan and Marian. Then, since I am already a pool pro, I retreated to the kitchen so Marian and Dan could redeem their respective confidences.
The past few weeks, I had been asking Marian what I should bake for her. As was the case with frozen yogurt, she was a little indecisive. That was until she read about my PB Chocolate Chip Blondies from the other night
Marian and I spent a bit more time with Dan and then went back to my place for “a sleepover.” Alas, no nail polish or pillow fights were involved.
The next morning, we slept in delightfully late. Then my dad dropped my mom off and all of us girls went to Target for some more shopping.
To conclude all-too-short of a visit, we met back up with my dad at 23rd Street Brewery for lunch.
I wish I could have spent more time with them, but it means so much to know my parents and sister are only a phone call away. Family is such a blessing. Can someone please tell that to my 14-year-old self?
Questions: How did you celebrate the holiday weekend? Do you come from a large family or small family?