I have always read about it, but had never attended an English afternoon tea until I tried it with my Nerdy 30s ladies. I was a little bit early arriving at Clock Tower Bakery & Café in Overland Park, KS on Saturday, February 10, 2018, but I did not mind. I was on the waitlist to get in to this event. It gave me time to look around the café and the table set up. It also gave me the chance to bond with one of the gals on getting somewhere early to find good parking. Everything looked like the cutest thing ever, but of course, I had nothing to compare it to. There was an etiquette list, a menu with a long selection of teas, all kinds of little sweets like checkered cake, macarons, chocolate eclairs, cream puffs and scones, all kinds of little salty treats like sausage rolls, cucumber sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, and other edibles I am missing I am sure. I was apartment hunting at the time and having conversations with the gals about the safest place to live, whether it was better to live in Kansas or Missouri (Kansas won), and what it’s like being married and having a husband who encourages girl time every once in a while, thus she was at the afternoon tea.
I had eaten lunch before going, but immediately regretted that decision once I saw the tower of mini food. If you check it out, they require reservations so they have plenty of time to prepare and I highly recommend not eating a meal beforehand. You will have enough to fill your belly and then some just with all the British snacks to go with tea. And the tea is truly traditional with milk and sugar. So many different kinds to choose from like Buckingham Palace and Monk’s Tea. The only downside for me is I am not really able to drink caffeine that is not coffee in the afternoon without feeling wired at night. It kept me up, but it was worth it for the experience of British afternoon tea.
Sunday, January 7, 2018 – Webster House: It sounds like some dictionary house, but it is a restaurant and shop where the Nerdy 30s gals got to celebrate one whole year of existence. (Since then it has been a little over two years.) The meals are on the pricey side here, but they do have herbed potatoes that are worth getting an extra side for. I would recommend this place for special occasions. I mean, there’s a coat check service and you can reserve separate rooms for your party with each room decorated with walls of different themes. The one we had our party in was a library theme so the walls look covered in bookshelves, which was cool.
We had a little recognition ceremony for the Assistant Organizers. These ladies plan events and lead them in different areas like book club, brunch, escape rooms, DIY events, movies, winerys, deep thoughts, and more. Without them we would not be able to have all the fun experiences around Kansas City that we do! They went home with some of the first prizes and gifts. Then we played a Two Truths and a Lie game. This was my first time playing it, but we each received a sheet with all of our individual statements and had to guess which one was the lie for each girl. Whoever had the most points at the end got to pick a prize first. I got to take home a striped notebook labeled “notes” and I was happy about that. Then we had prizes for the most active members. An organization that meets regularly is nothing without its regular attenders. Next we played a Nerdy 30s Trivia Game. It’s exactly as it sounds: we identified nerds based on facts like the youngest member in attendance and the nerd who hates spiders. Those who got the most number of questions right could select a prize first. At the end we had door prizes. I still have my games to this day.
This anniversary party was by far the most fun I had at a Nerdy 30s event up until that point and it will definitely stand out in my memory for a while. I was looking forward to our anniversary party this year, but sadly I was snowed in that day and couldn’t make it out. Next year!
I still haven’t tried out all the pizza places around the KC area, but Grinders is already at the top of my list of go-to places for pizza. I will be doing a separate post on that to go with all my other pizza posts, but it was part of the The Escape Artist KC adventure. Before I went with my Nerdy 30s girls to check out a breakout room, I had heard of breakout rooms at work (where I used to work, not my current work) and it sounded like a fun thing to try with a team or a group of friends. So when I saw this breakout room as a Nerdy 30s event, I knew I had to try it out.
For those of you who are wondering, Nerdy 30s is a group of girls I met on Meetup.com who are all around their 30s and want to do activities that are more nerdy and less partying. I’ve talked about two other events on here, one was a sushi thing and another was the bellydancing thing. Nerdy 30s has helped me explore Kansas City in a fun way without feeling like I have to do all the typical “young people stuff” to meet new people.
The Escape Artist KC was the first breakout room I tried. I hope I will get a chance to try some other ones. We shall see. Us Nerdy 30s girls met at Grinders to talk and get to know each other a little bit before going into the breakout room. It was interesting listening to the girls’ stories of ones they had tried before. When we got to the one we were trying, it became apparent we were part of a mystery story and were the detectives to solve it. I loved the hunting for clues aspect and clues being locked up and using a whiteboard message to help us look for more clues. I won’t say exactly how it went because I don’t want to give anything away for the business, but it was really fun. From the last picture you will see we broke out with about 16 minutes remaining.
This is definitely a team-building event. You are locked in a room with a group of people for about an hour and can only leave if you figure out the mystery and put together all the clues.
I had heard of belly dancing while I was at university, but heard of it was the sole extent of my involvement with this type of Egyptian dance. I really had no idea what exactly it was until last summer when I had the opportunity to go with this girl who goes regularly to watch belly dancing at Uptown Arts Bar in KC. Every first Saturday of the month there’s this Arabian nights show at the bar where you can get in with a small cover charge and enjoy whatever you normally get at a bar. That particular night I made a new girl friend, enjoyed a cherry limeade kind of drink that had tequila in it, and learned how to belly dance. Yes, I got called on stage at the end of the show and learned a basic dance move called “pop the car door.” It was amusing and thankfully it’s a small stage so I didn’t get stage fright and I was up there with a bunch of other girls so it was nice to feel like another one in the crowd, learning something new. The first time I had tequila and it allowed me to enjoy watching belly dance in all different body types. I had thought in order to belly dance you had to be one certain body type, but boy was I wrong and I’m glad. Anyone can learn how to belly dance and my favorite was watching this one girl dance to this death metal sounding tune whilst balancing a giant sword on her head. I definitely never imagined I’d witness something like that. I don’t know. These kind of events are hard to describe. You really had to be there. I enjoy going out and trying new things.
I’m not going to do this on every post like this, but for this first one like this I want to set the stage. I feel like this wasn’t just about getting sushi with two girls I had never met before. We didn’t do a lot as far as actions go in this event, but I enjoy new experiences and this is me documenting them, even if it’s just three girls who have never met before getting sushi.
I don’t remember the names of the sushi I tried, unfortunately. As they passed by me on the train I didn’t think to write them down like a real journalist would or anything. Before this past Memorial Day weekend, the only other time I had tried sushi via conveyor belt was in Cancún. Even that kind wasn’t the real deal because the sushi was packaged already if I remember correctly. It wasn’t bad or anything, but it was nothing compared to this sushi. Nothing because I can’t even remember how it tasted. Don’t get me wrong. Cancún is still an awesome place to visit, sushi aside. It’s not really known for the Japanese food. But you knew that already.
A sushi train is the kind of thing I can imagine seeing in New York. I bet they have that there. But I haven’t been to New York enough times to know for sure. New York does have excellent Taiwanese beef noodle soup though. I’ll give the Big Apple that. Enough about that though, this post is about sushi. It’s so exciting to see your food being transported to you like it’s a person travelling on a mission to reach your stomach. The train at Sakura Sushi Train Restaurant in Shawnee, KS off of Nieman is an Amtrak and very cute, reminding me of those Christmas toy trains, even though the train looks nothing like those trains.
The key to why the sushi tasted so good is the freshness. I mean, I kind of always knew sushi made and consumed right away tastes better than sushi that’s been sitting for a while, but I didn’t KNOW until I had this sushi. I’m sure the quality of the ingredients has a lot to do it with it too. People can spew a ton of facts at me, but until I experience it myself or see it firsthand, I can’t really grasp something as real.
I also think the excitement of meeting new people enhanced the whole experience. I made two new girl friends that day. One’s from the area and one’s from the East Coast like me. I love how barely five minutes in and we started talking about meeting guys and dating. I guess discussing relationships is a universal interest among women. It made for a good laugh. I remember talking about Orlando and Philly and how much the girl from the area loves sushi. Listening to these girls talk about who they are and what they like to do made me feel how normal it is to flow into a conversation with someone new. Once you start talking, everything else falls into place. Let’s just say I haven’t had good sushi in a while.
OK, so a while ago I said to Stay Tuned…
I’ve been meeting some new people in the city I live in and in general doing a little more exploring than I’ve done before. I also started a new job. I want to share my experiences piece by piece. It’s taken me a while to get started because I’m a perfectionist and I like organizing a “format” for how I want to do these posts. In between I might throw in some fictional pieces, so just check out the categories and tags before assuming anything is a real-life blog.
I think the bravest thing someone does sometimes is show up. Not go fight in a war. Not stand up to a bully. Not shoot a bow and arrow through some sort of coronation ring. Nope. Not any of those things that is typically considered a brave thing to do.
I’m talking about showing up to an event. People take one look at you and start sizing you up. You haven’t even opened your mouth yet and you are being judged by every eye in the room. At least all the sober ones. (Let’s be honest. The inebriated ones ain’t gonna remember you after it’s all over.)
I was at a party over the weekend and I felt brave for showing up. I knew the host and a couple other people on the guest list, but the majority of the people on the guest list I did not know. Right before going I had this nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach like the kind of feeling you get if you’re a quiet one like me and sitting in class hoping the teacher doesn’t call on you or the kind of nervous feeling you get before having to give an oral presentation to the class.
Showing up to a party where you don’t know most of the people is in a way, going to battle. You don’t know what these people think of you from how you act to what you say to what you’re wearing. You shouldn’t care what these people think, but there’s always a part of you that will no matter how many parties you’ve been to. Once they’ve met you, it’s all over. You can’t change what they first think of you or go back in time and make them not ever know you.
You may walk away without them remembering you, but you now exist in the world to them and there’s no way to make them think you don’t exist. Even if they forget about the party, meeting you will inevitably come back up in their memory, filed away with all the other fuzzy party memories. It just takes a key to unlock that drawer and once Tinker Bell comes flying out of there, ain’t no way of stopping a mixed up memory from surfacing, like trying to tell the difference between a thimble and a hidden kiss.