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Deep Thoughts #2 at Opera House Coffee & Food Emporium

 

Saturday, March 3, 2018 – This was not the first Deep Thoughts event of the Nerdy 30s Ladies, but it was the first one I went to. I had been looking forward to an event where all us girls can talk about anything that is not guys, love life, relationships, and hair and makeup or whatever. Anything else at all. As usual, whenever an event was located downtown, I’d stress about parking. Luckily, I think on that day I was able to find a parking spot on the street somewhere a couple of blocks away. When I got to Opera House, I noticed right away this was not your regular coffee house. There was a coffee station, couches, and tables where you could enjoy your coffee selection, and around the corner another station where breakfast and lunch was served. It’s like a place where you can shift from breakfast to lunch with a simple set change. It’s like a sit-com! The girls I met that day were from all over the country and it was really nice to talk to each of them. One was from Germany and shared the same interests in writing as me. It was refreshing to talk to her. I can’t remember all our topics, but I remember talking about our jobs and spaces we live in. But most of all, I remember the feeling of walking away knowing I had made some new girl friends who had other interests besides typical girly stuff and I fit right in. There’s no better feeling in the world.

 

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Blind Date with a Book

It was a Saturday of course. This particular Saturday was on February 24, 2018. I can’t believe it’s been a little over two years already! I feel blessed now thinking of all the moments I’ve gotten to share with my Nerdy 30s gals. I know I’m still behind in documenting our adventures, but I bet I’ll be able to catch up soon now. I also think if you’re going to go on a blind date, the best option is with a book. It shows up with a story to tell and you can stop it from speaking at any time and pick up where you left off at any time. If you don’t like it you can sell it or gift it to someone who will like it. If you do like it, you’ll be able to discover a new genre and find more like it to read. Win-win.

On this particular blind date, we met at La Bodega. I’m pretty sure it was during brunch hour, not just because I’m looking at the eggs I had, but because this group loves meeting during brunch hour. Don’t ask me how many of us were there. I honestly don’t remember anymore, but if you see the table of books, you’ll see there was a good number of us. La Bodega is a Spanish restaurant known for its tapas. Yummy.

I brought my absolute favorite book of all time, the one that made me fall in love with reading, A Ring of Endless Light. I read this novel for the first time in fifth grade and I remember sneaking it under the covers at night and waking up at 5:00 a.m. to find out what happens next. It was the first book I found out what “couldn’t put down” meant. I am still inspired to this day by this book to keep reading and keep writing. It is an oldie and a goodie.

Since each book is covered in a brown paper wrapping with just the description on the outside, there is no way to know what book you are picking, but of course, you do get to decide based on the words used to describe the content. I ended up with Beloved, a classic, but yet not one I enjoyed. Maybe if I studied it in school it would make it enjoyable to me, but on my own, no. So unfortunately you’re not going to get any words from me about it.

Hey, a blind date doesn’t work out every time, right? At least this one I didn’t have to delete a number or anything…XD…but seriously though, this was a lot of fun and I’m glad I went. I wouldn’t have had my first sangria and I got to go back to a restaurant I like eating at, but don’t get to go too often due to distance. But the best part was getting to get together with my girls and discussing a lot of different books across the board as well as why each book was special to the lady who brought it. Another win-win if you ask me. 😉

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Afternoon Tea at Clock Tower Bakery & Café

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.

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The Fabulous One Year Anniversary Party

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!

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Brunch and Chalk Walk at Cafe Europa

Saturday, September 9, 2017 – (I’m still working on the format for these posts) Us four ladies were going to go to brunch at Cafe Europa and then to the Chalk Walk, but due to a riot/march going on over near the Chalk Walk in Kansas City, we decided to be safe and not attend. (For the record, I know I’m behind on documenting these events and I’m working on catching up.) However, I can honestly say I had a good time at brunch. Two of the ladies I had met before, one from belly dancing, and another from the sushi train. That familiarity helped. The only other girl I hadn’t met before was from New York and I knew right away she’d be interesting to meet and I was right.

For some reason, even though usually I can’t really have coffee as it goes right through me, whenever I meet up with someone inside a coffee shop I’m in a different mindset, one where I will order a coffee. I will be honest and say that since this was so long ago in terms of having a cup of coffee and remember what it tasted like, I don’t remember what it tasted like, but I do remember it being good. I also do remember the beautiful, colorful paintings on the wall so I took a picture of them to share. I can’t remember anymore exactly what I ordered to eat for brunch, but I do remember it being good. My stomach never lies. It’s like my second brain.

We had a lot of laughs over stories about where we are from. Again, I don’t remember all of them in great detail, but I do remember the topics being around weird blind dates, relationships, sickness, injuries, and grandmas. This kind of sounds like typical girl stuff, which goes to show that even if you don’t know each other all that well, you can always connect on the topic of relationships.

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Grinders and The Escape Artist KC

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.

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Belly dancing show at Uptown Arts Bar

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.

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Sakura Sushi Train

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.