Dec. 15, 2016
Tomorrow is the big day. The big trip starts with a drive to Colorado Springs, Colo. And boy, am I ready.
The past few weeks have been exhausting with daily work on closing two houses. Mikey finalized the Bainbridge house this morning, and I signed papers on the Kansas City house last week. The movers are scheduled to deliver our stuff this weekend.
And I miss Mikey. He moved to Seattle a month ago, and I get to see him in about a week. Winston is going to be in for a big treat! He'll get a new big backyard, a new orthopedic bed (Merry Christmas, Winnel!), and his Mikey back!
Winston and I have spent many beautiful days enjoying our little backyard. He has a huge yard waiting for him in Washington!
As excited as I am to get to Seattle, I will miss Kansas City. Mikey and I have become friends with some wonderful people! And we are so involved in the running community here, I'm going to have a hard time not comparing the new place to the amazing group of runners here.
So this post is about what I'm going to miss most. I'm sure I don't have photos of everything important to me, and as soon as I publish this, I'll realize one or two people or places that should be here.
I know I'm moving to a place with a lot more trails with much more variety, but I still have my favorites here in Kansas City. I've considered the Swope Park trails as my home trails. They're about 20 minutes from the house, and they are fun! The mountain bikers here are friendlier than at any other trails I've run in the country.
Fall colors took their time to show up in KC this year. I took these photos in mid-October. The first photo is from one of the oldest sections at Swope. The other two are on a mile of trail that opened this summer.
One of the great things about living in West Plaza is an abundance of great running routes all around me. One that has become a weekly favorite the past two years is the Ward Parkway median. For those of you not familiar with Kansas City, Ward Parkway goes through several old neighborhoods with a variety of housing sizes. It has a large grassy area down its middle, so it has been perfect for mornings I don't have time or enough light for trail running or when the trails are too muddy to use. And it's so photogenic!
Brush Creek runs through part of Ward Parkway before going by the Plaza/My favorite section where the trees line each side of the grassy median.
Winnel and I routinely run by Ferment in the Nelson-Atkins Sculpture Park/Kansas City is known for its fountains. My favorite statue at one of these fountains is this faun south of Theis Park. I wish I had remembered to take its picture when the fountain was still on.
We lived so close to Westport, 39th Street, and the Plaza that whenever the weather has been nice, we walked to the art fairs, Water Fire, the Plaza lighting, and several races.
Most years we've had conflicts and have been unable to attend Water Fire on Brush Creek, but we made it again this year and happened upon a great view of the jugglers.
Plaza lights on my sunrise Ward Parkway run this week.
I'm going to miss Google Fiber! We were one of the first neighborhoods in the country to get it. We paid the construction fee and have enjoyed Internet for no charge for a couple of years. I have to pay for Internet at home again! Ugh! I'm so spoiled.
We've been conveniently close to the best parts of Kansas City. We are members of both the KC Rep and ballet. One of our favorite places has been Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Kauffman's fifth birthday celebration this September/We're usually in the theater side of Kauffman, but my sister and brother-in-law took us to the symphony side in October.
In fact, we've been to Kauffman with our friends Greg and Sam lots. They just moved less than a mile from our house, and now we're leaving them! Wah!
Before "A Midsummer Night's Dream" this October/Photo by random ballet attendee.
And our movie buddies Jim and Lance!
The tall one dressed as Mario for Halloween. Unpredictable, those two.
My sister and brother-in-law have been only 20 minutes away. In fact, I've stayed with them the past couple of nights.
It sure was fun to have a team that didn't suck for a couple of years!
I have had the BEST running buddies. Don and I started running together several years ago. We used to say a friendly hello as we passed on the Streamway Trail in Lenexa. And then we actually got to know each other after Don volunteered at the finish line of the Kansas City marathon one of the years I ran the half. We started doing our weekly long runs together shortly after that.
Jennifer and I met not even two years ago. We had each beaten the other at a couple of Trail Nerds races and cooled down together. Because our paces are so close, we thought we'd be good for each other's training. Mikey calls her my "NBF," short for New Best Friend, because we hit it off so well so fast! Our conversations usually ended with, "I do that, too!" or "My husband says that about me, too!"
That wonderful lady is starting our big adventure with Winston and me. We're picking her up early tomorrow morning, and we're going to go play in Colorado Springs for a day.
Don ran with Winston and me yesterday/Jennifer with us in January. I swear we run in warm weather, too.
Kansas City's running community has spoiled me. I have two amazing groups of runners I know and love! I know there will be a lot of runners in Seattle, but I'm going to miss these people so much!
I love running off road, and I love running fast. So I get in both. The Trail Nerds put on FUN races, including a good time after every race.
Christy has really been getting fast this year! She placed third at the Alternate Chili Run this year and got under 1:30!/Ken, like me, runs both pavement and dirt. He and I have carpooled to several races and run a couple together when neither of us felt like pushing it/Jean and Kim after the Alt Chili Run. They represent the combined qualities of friendliness and sense of adventure that the Trail Nerds have!/Photos by Ken and Christy and maybe Jean's husband, Scott, who is a great runner, mountain biker, and trail gnome.
The leader of the Trail Nerds, Bad Ben! The trail runners of KC have this hard-working, early-rising, friendly man to thank for getting us all together in the mud, snow, and brutal heat to have a blast and not get (too) lost in the woods/Photo by Mile 90 Photography.
My pavement friends are amazing, too! Especially those on the KC Running Co. team with me. I wish I also had pictures with our wonderful Saucony reps, Terry and Kerry. These two companies have really taken good care of me and made me feel appreciated. Thank you!
Michelle and I have always wished we lived closer, so we could run together more!/Candice makes me laugh every time I get to hang out with her/Jana and Val have the best store. And Val already has plans to stay with me in the summer :)/Photos by Michelle's husband, Jeff, Val, and Jana's boyfriend, Gerry.
Brad and Troy run the best racing company. We runners know that when we run a KCRC race, it's going to go smoothly! And they're great guys, too! I've known Troy before he even had a staff and both of them well before they opened the stores! When we visit Kansas City, I'm going to make it a priority to get to their races to see them and all my other running friends!
At the Great Santa Run this past weekend. I was so glad I got to squeeze in one last KCRC race before I leave. Also, I don't usually sit on Brad's lap/Photos by Gerry (I think) and courtesy of KC Running Company.
I also had to say goodbye to my fish and invertebrates a couple of weeks ago. I don't know whether I'll have an aquarium ever again. I love my critters but have mixed feelings on the environmental impact of keeping them. But I have thoroughly enjoyed having them in my living room the past five years and already miss them.
I found a good home for my little aquatic critters. With someone who knows even more than I do about saltwater biology and probably can care for them better than I did.
I hope this post came across as a celebration of my time in Kansas City. It shouldn't be read as sad or as a loss. I actually didn't love Kansas City at first. I found it boring for many years. But after we bought the house in 2005, Kansas City started a metamorphosis. Downtown came alive. We found fun places to watch live theater and ballet. We began eating at new locally owned restaurants. We found neighbors who make us laugh and enjoy being at home.
It's been fun, but I have to say, I'm looking forward to Seattle. Even more, I'm looking forward to Bainbridge Island. Even though I'm a little shocked at myself for moving out of the city, the island seems to fit us so much better. I'm ready to tell everyone back in KC all about the beautiful new places I go on adventures.
Don't forget to follow Winston and me on our big road trip. Even if you don't have an Instagram account, you can still check that link every day or two to see where we parked the Element each night.
I'd never seen downtown Kansas City from this view before yesterday. Riverfront Park is a basically a crummy little parking lot and boat ramp with a fantastic view of downtown. As I drove by the river yesterday, I could see the ice floating down the river and thought I'd check it out. I ended up finding something new in my last week here. See you in the spring, KC!
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