Dennis and Debra (Dana's parents) came up to KC for a little getaway this week, so we've been hanging out with them. First up was a dinner at Houston's down on the Plaza. No lie, I had the biggest pork chop of my life there--at least 3.5" thick! They bake it for a while first, then grill it! Wow. And my Boulevard Wheat went perfectly with it. Laura branched out and got the maui rib eye, but I think both her and I are too accustomed to the filet's tenderness to really enjoy another cut 100%. I had the couscous for a side--first time I had tried it. It was...different, but I ate it all. It was served cold, something I was not expecting, but the fresh mint & tomato really made it work.

After work yesterday, we met up with Dana's family again at Vinino's down at the Power and Light District for some great Italian. Laura and I split the manicotti, which was tasty, but Debra's tortellini was a little better. Dana's calzone looked OK, but Nick's pizza looked (and smelled) fantastic. Good service, and the table water was poured not out of a pitcher but a nice glass bottle. It was still probably tap water, but the presentation was worth it. I never thought I'd like Pale Ale...I've been disappointed in the past, but Boulevard brews a fantastically crisp and flavorful Pale nice I had to order 2!

After dinner we crossed the street, stood in a fast moving line, to enter the Sprint Center to see The Brad Paisley Party, starring BP, Jewel, and 2 other country stars, who were largely forgettable. LA and I were really there to see Jewel perform, and though it was a short set, she didn't hold back. We had great seats right at the end of the center catwalk, where she performed Foolish Games. She even played the harmonics on You Were Meant for Me. Also in her set were Standing Still, My Hands, one from her new album, and at the very end, an impressive yodel.

We really could've enjoyed a full concert by her, but the headliner was Brad Paisley, and though he's a talented guitar player with a very talented band, played good old country party songs, like with phrases like 'mud on the tires' and my favorite 'I'd like to search you for ticks.' And the song about going to the lake all day and only catching hell, and choosing fishing over his girl, saying 'I'm going to miss her.' The brightest point was when he sat on a stool on the end of the catwalk and Jewel came out for a duet.

Unfortunately we didn't have a real camera, and Jewel's bright yellow dress thwarted all attempts at a decent camera-phone picture.

We got to be around 12-1am and slept and slept till 930am. We went down to the city market for breakfast at Succotash, got some milk & cream from Shatto at the wine store, looked around the antique store, bought some cupcakes and root beer milk at Baby Cakes, and might just be in for the day!

I might head out to get some bread, and LA needs some benadryl and band-aid plus ointment for her poison ivy. Poor poor Laura....and all this heat & humidity just seems to make it worse!
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