December 19, 2008

Our trip to Manhattan....Kansas that is

As mentioned in my previous post, I, along with Toby and my parents had the opportunity of going to Kansas to attend my brother Tim's graduation. He received his Masters in Marriage and Human Development at Kansas State University all while doing just a few extra curricular activities: he taught early morning seminary and 2 classes at Kansas State, he gave guitar and tennis lessons, and he even painted walls in houses to earn a little extra cash on the side. Oh and he made time to spend with his wife and children (just welcomed his 3rd addition in July). One word describes him perfectly: Superman! I am so happy Toby and I had the opportunity to fly out to not only see him graduate, but spend time with his family and get a taste of the place they have called home for the past 2 years.

Manhattan was such an interesting little city. Far different from the picture I was carrying in my head of pure flatness as far as the eye can see, dotted with a few farms and silos. And maybe a twister in the distant background with a little dog and young girl with bright ruby slippers. Hehe...just kidding. But stay tuned for the Wizard of Oz portion of my visit.
Even though I visited during the middle of winter, I could still sense the beauty of wide open fields and rollings hills which my nephew, Carter delighted in calling "mountains." Manhattan also had a definite college town feel to it. You couldn't walk into a store with out seeing the Kansas State "Wildcat" mascot plastered on a window or door. And they had a lot of cool little downtown hangouts where I'm sure many collegians gather for a beer or a bite to eat.

So before I go into some of the things we did, here is in intro to Tim's family.

This is Tim's amazing wife Jodi (very talented cook, seamstress, and mother of 3 who also has her Bachelors) and the sweet little baby is 4 1/2 month old daughter, Naomi. Isn't she precious?
This is high-energy, intelligent, funny, 5-year old Carter. He beat me at Uno almost every time we played. We also had fun watching old Donald Duck cartoons together.

This is adorable Miss Molly (as her parents call her). She is 2 1/2, very sweet, but can have a little sas when she wants to. In this picture she was eating the chocolate icing off the top of her doughnut. What a cutie.

And here is my fun-loving, always-has-a-movie-quote, but very spiritual brother Tim. Can you believe this guy is almost 31 years old? The fountain of youth seems to flow through the Rarick veins. I myself have people duped into thinking I'm 20 or 21 until I tell them I am 26, married, and have a 9 month old boy. I relish their astonished reaction every time.

Here is a quick rundown of my trip. I won't go tell everything as that will probably take me the rest of the day to finish, so I will just give the cliff notes.

I'll start out with a funny story. When my parents and I were at the airport, we soon realized we had WAY too much stuff to carry. Toby was enough by himself with his 22 lbs burrowing into my left hip! So as we struggled to carry a ridiculous amount of bags (definitely way over the approved amount) down a long hallway, my mom eyed a wheelchair and told me to get in so she could consolidate our load. Even before I sat down I felt completely embarrassed. But after telling myself I would never see any of these people again, I at down and my mom raced us toward our gate. As if we weren't drawing enough attention to ourselves with Toby and bags stacked a mile high on my lap, my mom suddenly let out a very dramatic scream. Apparently a folder that contained all their travel info flew out from under the mountain of bags and papers were scattered everywhere. At this point we were getting a lot of strange looks from our fellow passengers who whisked by (with out offering to help I may add). Feeling my face turn red, I just took a deep breath, picked up the papers and silently wished I was anywhere but there. Then as I saw my panicked mother ask someone if we were at the right gate, I started to laugh and thought what a great story this would be to tell when I got back.

Tim's graduation was on Friday, Dec. 10th. Here are some pics of the blessed event:

That evening, we went to Tim and Jodi' ward Christmas Party. Tim being a very talented guitar player serenaded everyone with some Christmas songs including a Harry Connick Jr. song and a cool acoustic version of "Silent Night."

Saturday Tim showed us where he taught his early morning Seminary class (we seriously have it so easy in Utah with release time) and played each other in ping pong for a good hour. That evening we went to a neat little restaurant called "Toto's Tacoz." And don't worry they served Mexican food, though my dad and I joked about the possibility of the meat being uh....something else. :)

If you look closely you will see Toto on a surfboard.

The "Oz Museum" was a just few doors down. Even though I was bummed that it was closed, I took a picture of my mom next to the famous ruby slippers.

Sunday was full of the usual church meetings and family time. Monday we took a very brief tour of Kansas State as it was around 5 degrees outside! A 45 degree drop in temperature from our previous week. But it was still exciting to see where Tim taught his Human Development course and see his office. I snapped of photo of one of the buildings from the car window but it didn't do the campus justice. Apparently all the buildings were made of limestone and I thought they had kind of an old, Hogwarts look to them.
Monday evening we all dined at a half-Irish, half-Mexican restaurant called Carlos O' Kellys (the Irish part of it being the pub and the Mexican part being the sit-down restaurant). It had really good food. And the beers were pretty good too.
That's what I heard anyway. :)

I forgot to mention that probably one of my favorite parts of the trip was at night when all the children were asleep and me, Tim and Jodi would just sit around and talk for hours about anything from Seinfeld episodes to family memories. It was a lot of fun.

Tuesday morning was our day of departure - it was also the day Manhattan received 8 inches of snow. It definitely made for a long and interesting commute to the Kansas City Airport. I failed to mention Manhattan is a good 2 hours outside of the airport, so with the recent blizzard that tacked on an extra hour. After many prayers our flight was delayed an hour which was a huge blessing for it caused us arrive right on time for our flight. The power of prayer!

Although it was sad to say goodbye and I had truly enjoyed my visit, I was really looking forward to seeing Nick. I had really missed him. And even though I knew he had really enjoyed his uninterrupted sleep and time to himself, I also could tell when I talked to him on Sunday afternoon that he was eager to see Toby and me as well. He listened intently to all of my long stories and didn't seem to mind at all that didn't leave out one detail (a true sign that he must have really missed me).

And as Nick and I drove home, our hands clasped tight with Toby sleeping peacefully in the back seat, I gazed out the window at the beautiful, snow-covered mountains, and had to agree with Dorothy: there really is no place like home.

1 comment:

Vindie said...

Debbie! It sounds like your trip was fun! Man I am really sorry I never saw you before we left to say goodbye. We had a crazy few days. Thanks for your friendship!

I hope you guys can come to California soon!

Take care and keep in touch!