2011 FloraDora Gala

This year, I was lucky enough to be offered tickets again for the Circus Flora annual fundraising gala. Since the people raved about having such a great time last year, I couldn’t deny them the food, show and all-you-can-eat/stash cake pops! Who would have thought that dressing up like adults would garner such fun? I’m thinking the open bar and free food may have something to do with that, along with the fun entertainment.
Group shot in the drizzle
We thought this year, we would go for a more casual look and it’s good that we did since there was a small downpour as soon as we got there. Having that many people crowded under one tent can make for even the non-claustrophobic a bit panicky. The rain did subside rather quickly and I shot out of there to get my hands on the finger food deliciousness.

Once we had our fill, we all filed into the Big Top for the show. There were a couple of acts that we had seen last year:
Lasso Lesson
Swinging girls

And there were some new ones:
Down down baby
Juggling on horseback

Since it was a fundraiser, Bob had to participate:
New Bidder!
We tried for the vacation home in Aspen, but alas, it was just a little bit out of our price range. But that didn’t stop us from tearing up the ring during the dance party afterwards.
We be flossin'
The forbidden dance
Hula girl
Another wonderful evening under the circus tent. We will see you next year! Here are the rest of the pictures.

Happy 30th, Brandon!

Ok, maybe more than slightly sunburned
Okay, so it’s a bit late, couldn’t be helped. Our house decided to have a power surge during one of the many storms in May and we were without a computer for a couple of weeks. And then life took over and some things fell to the wayside. So, finally, here it is: welcome to your 30s, man, it’s all downhill from here.

But what a way to celebrate! A group of us trekked across the great state to Kansas City for the I-70 series (aka Cards vs. Royals series) and partied there for the weekend. It began with the obligatory tailgating:

Dudes, Meat, Etc.
Men, with beers and brats. They are very happy.

Women, with beers and chips. They are very happy.

The Lonely Hotdog
Food. Happy.

We were actually pretty comfortable there that we didn’t want to go but we finally packed it up and headed in for a quick but entertaining game. Our seats were high but it had a great view and we were in the shade most of the time, that’s always a plus. It’s always great to look out at stadium and see that half (if not more) of the crowd was wearing red. And we won, so made it worth the drive and dealing with obnoxious Royals fans.
Another view

For dinner, we had to go for Kansas City barbecue. That is the one good thing about KC. This time, we tried out Gates BBQ. It was good barbecue, but I’ve had some fantastic barbecue in my time and I would say that Pappy’s in St. Louis is better. And the Memphis ribs just fell right off the bone, just the way I liked it.

We then hit the town as only 30-year-olds can do…we went down to the Power and Light District and parked ourselves at the Flying Saucer for a good while, just hanging out and drinking. Can’t you tell that we are huge party people?
Matt is sunburned
But I guess too much fun in the sun had us turning in pretty early (yes, yes, we are old).

And of course, the next day, after driving through Stormaggedeon, we had to stop by Shakespeare’s Pizza, a Mizzou institution.
Shakespeare's Pizza
There have been enough people to rave about this place so I was excited to try out the “famous” pizza. And for sure, I can see why hundreds of college students flock to this joint. Now, I can say, I’ve had Shakespeare’s pizza, I’m part of the club.

Brandon, it was a great party, what are we going to do next year?

For the rest of the weekend pictures, click here.

Supper Club: May 24, 2011

Italian Roast Chicken, Pancetta Green Beans, and Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Entree: Italian-Seasoned Roast Chicken. A wonderfully seasoned and juicy chicken breast. Katie wasn’t able to find bone-in chicken breasts so she had to adjust the baking time a little bit and it turned out perfect. And she thinks that she forgot the fennel so if you don’t have fennel laying about, it’s perfectly okay.

Side Dishes: Pancetta Green Beans and Goat Cheese and Chive Smashed Potatoes. These are two really easy weeknight dishes that you can whip up in 20 minutes. I love how the balsamic vinegar give the green beans a bit of spark (and anything with bacon makes things taste better). The goat cheese was not overpowering and the chives give the mashed potatoes a fresh taste. These are good, light summer side dishes.

Chocolate Hummus
Dessert: PB and Dark Chocolate Hummus. I’m a foodie, I’m up to trying anything but when I heard about this, I hesitated. Really? Chocolate and chickpeas? I was not very optimistic about it. But I’m glad I tried it because it surprised me. Bob equates it to diet peanut butter, the flavors almost taste like peanut butter, but it’s not bad. The first taste was odd, but then I tried it again. Before I knew it, I was just dipping my graham crackers in with gusto. If you are adventurous, you must try this recipe, it’ll definitely pleasantly surprise you. Just a tip, make sure you purchase chocolate graham crackers to go along with it, it tastes much better with them.

East Carondelet Mouses Races

Ready to Rumble
That’s right, I went to some mouse races in East Carondelet. Where is East Carondelet, you may ask. Well, you cross the river to Illinois, get to Cahokia, take a few turns around some trailer parks, drive through a couple of cornfields and there you are. If you blink, you would have missed it.

Okay, so when you get invited to mouse races, you can’t say no, especially when you’ve never been. They were so ridiculous, I loved it! Come on, you’re betting on mice and they are so unpredictable! For example:
Wrong Way, Mice!
If you had chosen 1, 2, 3, or 4, you would have lost since they all WENT THE WRONG WAY. We even had one mouse make it almost to the end and turn around and run back to the beginning of the track.

Now if you were lucky enough to choose a winning race, then you would look like this:
I won!

They even had Mouse Roulette. You purchase playing cards and if the mouse steps on your card, you win.
Rodent Roulette Round Deux

This was a great time, who would have thought I would be up there yelling for my mouse to win? If mouse and races come up in the same sentence next time someone talks to you, you jump on that opportunity to go. You won’t regret it.