Party Season Has Begun

Posted on November 12, 2018 by under Events.    

It’s the most magical time of the year. #PartySeason has officially begun. Some of our favorite events happen around this time of year. We missed a few of the parties last year because we were out of the country for my big 4-0 celebration in the Bahamas but since we were here this year and didn’t travel I was hoping we would be able to hit some events.

A few weeks ago I got offered tickets to Light Your Heart. I immediately asked Brian to check on our calendar. As luck would have it, we were available on that day so I confirmed but then at the same time, I also asked about Brew Ha-Ha. Big Brothers Big Sisters didn’t have the event last year but, as we are on the mailing list and received an invitation, I knew the event was back this year (although, the ticket price had almost doubled). Anyway, it was then that I found out that work wasn’t planning on sponsoring it this year. It’s Brian’s most favorite fundraising event so I gave him the bad news.

A couple of days later, I got a Skype message asking if I would for sure be able to attend. I said if work has tickets to the event, Brian and I will for sure 100% be there. As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one who asked about the event. I’m glad people asked because work changed their stance and decided to purchase some tickets. It made Brian’s day when he found out we were going to be able to attend after all, of course!

Here are a few pictures from this year’s Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Brew Ha-Ha event at Flint Hills National Golf Club.

Everything starts at the Flint Hills National Golf Club clubhouse where you check-in and pick up a beer mug or wine tumbler (or both). We loved that you didn’t have to pay extra for the wine tumbler this year. At the last Brew Ha-Ha it wasn’t part of the $150 ticket. However, they did increase ticket price to $250 this time, so throwing in the wine tumbler was probably the least they could do.

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The wine tumblers this year were very nice. Not only were they free/included with your ticket but they were also high quality, insulated, metal ones. We liked them so much we get some extras at the end of the evening.

In the past, others have given us their beer mugs because they didn’t want to take them home so we’ve amassed quite a collection of Brew Ha-Ha beer mugs over the years. We were super excited to finally have some official, limited edition Brew Ha-Ha “wine snob” wine tumblers to add to our collection.

You can spend as much time at the clubhouse, where everything starts, as you want. They always have a wonderful band there, playing music for everyone’s enjoyment and there’s plenty of beer and wine. This year they served BBQ sundaes (which I didn’t have — not much of a BBQ person), buffalo wings, and pretzels with mustard cheese sauce. Brian and I are always eager to sample everything that all the lodges have to offer so we never stay too long at the clubhouse. We usually just stay long enough for Brian to get one pour in his beer mug. The beer options at the clubhouse were River City Brewing Co’s Saison Brux, Dim Wit, and Old Town Brown. They had La Malta Garnacha and Riondo Prosecco so, when Brian got some beer, I ended up getting some prosecco for my wine tumbler.

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You have several options for getting around. You can either hop on the party bus, ride one of the golf carts (they had several running this year, which was a welcome change — the golf carts were usually hard to come by in the past), or walk on the golf cart path. Believe it or not, the party bus method actually takes longer than walking because the bus has to go outside of the neighborhood and completely go around. There are stop signs and you have to wait for main road traffic. Anyway, your best bet is either walking or grabbing one of the golf carts.

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Knowing what we know, we only took the party bus once. We would have done more walking except the temperature was a bit colder this year. You could really feel it riding the golf carts because of the wind but it sure beat walking.

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Our first stop was Devlin Lodge to say hello to our friend Joe Parten (Carrabba’s). He is a generous supporter of local nonprofits and has supported this Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraising event every year that we’ve attended.

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This year Carrabba’s served chicken Marsala, chicken Bryan (our absolute favorite thing to get whenever we are dining at the restaurant), and sausage and lentil soup. They had a grill setup at the front and you could smell the amazing aromas as you approached the lodge.

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Inside the lodge Central Standard Brewing was pouring Sun Ra, Wizard of Hops, and Louetta. The wine options were Tilia Malbec and Portlandia Pinot Gris. Not much of a beer drinker and not a lover of dry wines, I opted for water — but that didn’t stop me from having some fun with the CSB girls.

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We also took a selfie with Joe, which was become a bit of an event tradition.

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Below is a pic of me and Stephanie. She was one of my case managers/match support specialists when I was a Big Sister. I’ve had different people assigned to our match over the years and they shuffled people and balanced everyone’s workloads.

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Here’s an obligatory selfie of me and Brian, a must at every event we attend.

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Our next stop was Dower Lodge, where Uno Mas was stationed. They were serving Bam Bam Shrimp Tacos and Seared Pork Belly Tacos. Both were delicious!

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Shrimp Tacos

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Pork Belly Tacos

I have yet to get something from Uno Mas that I didn’t like. They’re probably my absolute favorite taco truck. As much as we love Carrabba’s, Dower Lodge was Brian’s favorite lodge this year because that’s where Walnut River Brewing was pouring Warbeard (currently his most favorite beer), High Beam, and Coffee Porter. The wine options were Colonia Las Libres Bonardo and Quinta de Aveleda Vinho Verdo. Again, not much for me to drink so I kept drinking water.

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We ran into my coworker Melissa and her husband Toby and so we got to catch up with them for a bit over delicious Uno Mas tacos and drinks. Then the four of us traveled (via golf cart) to the other side of the course for the other three lodges: Rohde Lodge, Wilcox Lodge, and 4D Lodge.

Rohde Lodge had Bang Bang Shrimp and Pumpkin Creme Br?lée from Bonefish Grill, Aero Plains Brewing’s Wingman Wheat and Aero Plains Pale Ale, and the following wine options — Sketchbook Pinot Noir and Mud House Sauvignon Blanc.

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Wilcox Lodge had Prime Rib and Lobster Bisque from Woodfire Grille at the Kansas Star Casino. Hopping Gnome’s offered their Earl of ESB, Sepia Amber, ICT IPA, and Design District Coffee Stout. The wines were Domaine Grand Bois Cotes du Rh and Shoofly Chardonnay.

Finally, at 4D Lodge they had chili and creme br?lée cheesecake bites. What a combo! LOL. This is the lodge where Nortons was stationed, serving Ozone, Polka Dot Princess, LuvBug, and Infamous Butcher. The wines were Thomas Gross Shiraz and D’Arenberg Hermit Crab White.

As you can tell, I didn’t really drink much but I enjoyed a lot of food. I probably would have drank more if they offered the beer milkshakes again — those are amazing! Unfortunately, Freddy’s didn’t participate this year, which was a bummer, but there were several new things that were good such as the addition of Sunflower Espresso and also the live music at every lodge. The fancy video displays along the cart part were also a very nice touch.

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No Brew Ha-Ha event is ever complete without a picture with my two favorite Big Brothers Big Sisters women: Tammy and Shelly.

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And a clubhouse selfie with the Washingtons (Jimmy and Evette) at the end of the night. And another selfie of just me and Brian for good measure.

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But, that wasn’t it for that weekend. We had Light Your Heart at the Wichita Marriott the very next day. This was a crazy weekend with Saturday being super hectic and crazy (even more than usual). I’ll tell you about it in another post. For now, let’s focus on some fun party pics.

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It was a rainy day so Brian dropped me off at the door before parking the car. On my way in, I ran into Mike a local photographer who takes pictures for Splurge! magazine. We’d come to know Mike just from running into him at various events over the years. He is a super nice guy who is always friendly and smiling with that big smile of his. He was leaving to photograph another event as we arrived.

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I also ran into Jenn Canare, one of Jenni’s old friends from school. She is a long-time supporter of Heartspring who was actually honored for her contributions not too long ago. She was volunteering at the party.

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This obligatory selfie of Brian and me should come as no surprise.

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We also took one with Cindy and David.

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And also with my friend Denise who I used to take Zumba classes with at Genesis Health Clubs. I rarely ever see her any more and wouldn’t see her at all if it weren’t for these types of events.

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The table is always so elegantly set and then, of course, they always have the desserts already out on the table. It makes your mouth water.

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You typically only get a couple of dessert options — some kind of chocolate cake and some kind of cheesecake. For this year’s Light Your Heart, the didn’t offer any kind of chocolate cake for dessert, but you did get three options: a dulce de leche cheesecake, a carrot cake, and an apple pie.

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I took several pictures so you can get a good look at each one.

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I didn’t get to try the apple pie or the carrot cake but I can tell you the dulce de leche cheesecake was amazing. Better than any chocolate cake they could have served. Even Brian liked it and he’s usually more of a strictly chocolate dessert only kind of guy. Full dinner menu below for your reading pleasure.

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Speaking of chocolate, we found these Cocoa Dolce truffles at each place setting which was a nice treat. I think they meant for you to take it as a parting gift. Mine didn’t make it past the salad course.

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Brian’s didn’t make it either. LOL.

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Here’s a picture of the main course. Dinner was actually quite good, as these events go. The London broil, green beans, and potatoes were satisfying. I didn’t eat the tomato or my dinner roll. The dinner roll thing shouldn’t come as a surprise as I’m not much of a bread fan. I usually only eat the rolls when I’m at Texas Road House, for obvious reasons. They have the best dinner rolls ever.

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Lamphouse was there so Brian and I got some fun photos. We love taking these and giving them to grandma for her to show off to friends.

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We also got an official event photo.

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Fast forward to this past Saturday. Another weekend, another party. It is #PartySeason after all. Brian and I had the pleasure of attending the Cattle Baron’s Ball for the first time ever. Tickets weren’t through work. We actually got in thanks to our friend Joe. He is a huge supporter of the American Cancer Society so Carrabba’s had seats that he wasn’t going to use. The last time we were at dinner at Carrabba’s he mentioned it and asked if we wanted to go. Not one to turn down free tickets to an awesome party, we naturally and predictably said yes. These next few pictures are from that event which was held at the Hyatt Regency downtown.

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In keeping with the Western theme, they had Clydesdale horses there.

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I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who took photos with the beautiful Clydesdales. The sweet horses were so patient.

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It was both a treat and a surprise to see James (DJ Carbon). I didn’t expect to see him working so soon after his surgery. What a trooper!

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Here are a couple of pictures of the ballroom.

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The event coordinators did a magnificent job on the centerpieces and all of the Western details. There were little touches of country everywhere you looked.

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I specially loved the wine bottles that served as flower vases atop a patch of burlap. The bottles were tied together with twine. I thought it was simple yet creative and perfect for the event.

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The bread they served was pretty good. It reminded of a larger loaf of the same type of bread served at Carrabba’s.

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Dinner consisted of a big chunk of beef (these were cowboys they were feeding after all), with a side of veggies, mashed potatoes and beans. I thought it was good but it was “done” enough for Brian.

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Dessert options were limited compared to Light Your Heart. This time you had a choice of chocolate cake or cheesecake, which is usually what you get at these types of events. Light Your Heart was more of an exception with the three dessert choices.

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I sat at the place setting with the chocolate dessert in front of it. Brian wanted the chocolate dessert too so he slyly traded his cheesecake for the chocolate cake next to it. That’s one of the perks of being the first people at the table. You get dibs on dessert. And, if you end up with one that you like less than another, then you can just trade it. People are usually too polite to say anything (or too drunk to notice) and they just eat what’s in front of them. LOL.

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I’m sure the cheesecake was just as good but we had cheesecake the previous weekend and we really wanted the chocolate cake. The chocolate cake was very good. Though, I must admit, the dulce de leche cheesecake was much better.

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Brian and I took advantage of picture taking throughout the evening. Here are a couple of photos he took of me.

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Of course, we took some selfies!

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I really wish I was more of a drinker because they had open bar all night long. Not just beer and wine either. They were making cocktails. I drank a few different concoctions before settling on ruby red grapefruit juice, vodka, and Sprite. Basically, a bastardized version of the Deep Eddy’s ruby red grapefruit cocktail I’ve been hooked on drinking of late.

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Oh, I had to take a picture of my cowboy boots. It’s not often that you can wear cowboy boots at a “ball” type event. Only this one.

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Anyway, we didn’t stay too late. Just long enough to claim our silent auction winnings. We love attending parties but we are by no means party animals. We actually got home at a pretty decent time on Saturday night. That’s pretty much it for the party roundup. Until next time. GNG.

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  • Sixth Annual Brew Ha-Ha on November 4, 2012
  • Brew Ha-Ha 2015 on November 20, 2015

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