This year Nick’s brother, Alex, had 3 home games with the Wichita Wings (professional indoor soccer) surrounding Christmas, so we decided to go back to Kansas for 10 days of “vacation” and visiting family.  We started out Thursday afternoon once Nick got off work and drove as far as we could. Friday we made it in town and headed to the stadium for the soccer game.  It was a great win against the MO Comets.

Saturday we headed up to Hesston to visit with a college friend of Nick’s then took Alex out for lunch and to see The Hobbit.  Saturday night we went to Nick’s dad’s house for dinner and had family time with them and Nick’s step siblings and their families on Sunday.  It was nice and relaxing.

Monday we headed to Harper, KS for Christmas with the grandparents.  We attended their church for the Christmas Eve candlelight service and caught up with others from Harper.  It was bitterly cold so we couldn’t do much other than play games inside . . . Nick continued to win at Rook and Dominoes.  I cooked a simple Christmas dinner for the 5 of us and it was fun and relaxing.

Wednesday morning we left early and headed to drop Alex off in Wichita then went to Kansas City to visit some of my “family”. We went to the McKeefery’s and played and hung out Wednesday, including another game of Phase 10 which I finally won.  Thursday we met up with some friends at a local coffee shop owned by friends, the Friendly Bean. We then went for lunch as well before Nick and I headed out.  After having some car troubles driving on Wednesday so we’d tried to spend some time looking at vehicles.  We played a bit with kidos then headed out for a night on the town.  We hit the Liberty Memorial before sunset then went to 75th Street Brewery for some local beers.  Then to the Plaza to enjoy the holiday lights and dinner at Jack Stacks Barbeque.  Said to be one of the best in KC.  Nick of course was not that impressed with the sauce, but the quality of the beef was terrific.

Friday, we headed back to Wichita with a pause to look at a car on the way in town. We relaxed a bit before heading to the 2nd Wings game for a win against Syracuse. Saturday we hung out and did a bit of car “shopping” online from The Donut Whole, before grabbing a burger with Nick’s mom then to the 3rd Wings game with another great win against Chicago. We drove back to Denver on Sunday and overall it was a relaxing fabulous way to spend the Christmas week hanging with family and friends with no stress about presents/food or anything other than just enjoying being together.

For New Years, we had a small gathering with friends at our home – hors d’oeuvres, games, and staying up late enough to see all of the continental US receive the new year!