Awesome Weektrip to Springfield and Bolivar

Yesterday Samantha and I returned home from a trip to Springfield and Bolivar. We went up last Tuesday and came back Sunday.

Sneak peak photo of the Saturday BBQ:

BBQ Fun on Kevin's back deck

Tues – Samantha catches up with friends
The first night of the trip Samantha got to hang out with her weaving students along with Amy and Cheryl. I got us a room at a inexpensive but decently furnished hotel in Springfield. We were trying to eat healthy this trip so we had Chipolte for dinner, it was tasty but a tad pricey.

Wed – Most excellent birthday bash
WednesdayI had a great lunch rendezvous with Kevin, Scott and Muthu. The first two are Drury alum and the latter is head of the Drury CIS department. We had soem great discussions about work, cars, cameras, solar, SSDs and various other tech related topics. We also talked about family, travel and entertainment in general. Those guys are awesome fellows: smart, interesting and very personable.

It was also Kevin A.’s birthday so of course we had to have that lunch rendezvous at Mexican Villa (National Ave. location). The food was delectable, but again the company was even better. We got to spend a whole hour eating and talking which is a nice change from rushed 30-45 minute lunch breaks.

After lunch I headed out on a crosstown walk towards Kevin A.’s house and made it about 3.8 miles before Samantha picked me up. She had been having lunch with her friend Kevin Z. (not the same Kevin as prev paragraph) and had also been helping him pick out some props for a commercial.

Springfield MO Walk Map

At 4PM Samantha and I headed to Campbell 16, with a short detour at Krispy Kreme, where she dropped me off right as Kevin A. was pulling into the parking lot. We had planned to meetup at 4:25PM andwatch the 5:15PM showing of STAR TREK for Kevin’s Birthday! There was a 4:15PM showing that hard already seated and I suggested we check and see if we could get in before the movie started, sure enough we made it in as the G.I. Joe trailer was finishing and Star Trek was beginning. We got some good seats and the proceeded to enjoy the movie…

Star Trek was awesome. One of the most enjoyable movies I’ve watched in quite some time :-).

After Star Trek it was time to go to Kevin’s to setup the StarCraft command center. Yes, we call Kevin’s office the StarCraft (SC) command center.We are big fans of SC and it is a testament that the game is currently selling well within the Top 15 PC games TEN YEARS after it was released. Yes, you read that right, a 10 year old game is still a best seller.

Since this was Kevin’s bday, I had brught two projectors along for us to play SC on. We enjoyed the 5 foot screen for playing a couple games, but ended up having to switch him back to his nice LCD monitor because of neck strain (much like sitting in the front row at a movie).

Amongst all this we took a break and headed for some Taco Bell with Samantha. It was actually some of the best Taco Bell we had every had, very impressive.

Next it was back to SC until it was bedtime.

Thurs/Fri – Great Food, Great Family

Thursday Samantha had lunch with Sarah and Amber while stayed at Kevin’s and did some work. Afterwards Samantha took me out to lunch at Colton’s where I had my favorite onion tanglers, free rolls, free peanuts, and peach sweet tea. The total was $8.57 for a huge meal with leftovers, and we left a niec $5 tip since the fellow had provided good service and didn’t balk at our minimalistic ordering :-).

Then it was time to head up to Bolivar for some fun activities with her mom and grandparents. Samantha may write more about this, but here are some highlights:

  • nice long walk to, and around, the park
  • delicious Mexican food, good American food
  • tasty homemade treats including MUFFINS! Also soup and dessert pizza

Saturday – BBQ party time!
We said our farewells to family and headed to Springfield for a BBQ at Kevin A. and Shannon’s. Bentley the dog was also in attendance. There were grill troubles so we ended up ordering pizza but it really hit the spot. Later in the night Melissa and her boyfriend came over too. We played a lot of washers and a bit of croquet, though nobody played as well as Kevin’s grandma (inside joke). We also got to checkout the tunes on everyones iPods and mp3 players.

Bentley the dog is always popular

Finally, Melissa and her b/f left so after some cleanup Samantha and Shannon watched Bride Wars while Kevin and I rocked out some more SC. The movie was apparently pretty entertaining and Kevin and I were undefeated! We spent the nigh there.

Sun – headed home
We left Springfield pretty early so we could get home and be productive. Samantha sanded the trim. I finished up the chimney cover and installed Windows 7 on my recycled HTPC (home theatre PC). We finished the night with a movie double-header: Vertigo and Ghost.

I started some of our big solar batteries (the batteries weigh 1800lbs x 4) and got up on the roof to install the chimney cover. Samantha caught up on some reading, took some good photos and cooked a delicious dinner.

Wrap-up: Almost a complete success
The past week flew by. I think Samantha got to do significant hanging out withwhat seems like a dozen friends. I was super-pleased with my week and even finishe some good work. The only thing we didn’t get to do our trip was meetup with Jess and Neil. They were in Springfield at the same time we were, but unfortunately Jess’ cell phone provider was having some technical difficulties :-(. We shall all persevere and make it happen eventually!  No I’m pumped up for the rest of Spring/Summer.

PS Coming home to a clean home – we left the house in great shape, and it was really nice to come home and have everything spic and span :-).
PSS Gorgeous wedding spot – Kevin and Shannon are getting married in Key West this fall. They showed us pictures from their recent week long reconnaissance visit to Key West, the church is gorgeous! They hired Samantha to do their wedding photos and I think they are going to turn out gorgeously! I’m the best man, so I have begun preparing bachelor party activities and plans :-).

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