Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Overland Park Arboretum Holiday Luminary Walk - 11/28/2014

Every year for the past 15 years, the Overland Park Arboretum has presented the Holiday Luminary Walk throughout the gardens.  The entire route is lined with real candles and there are many other special lighting arrangements and features along the 1+ miles of walkways.  The show is only for two weekends (Friday and Saturday) each year after Thanksgiving.  The Walk is a fantasy for young kids.

The Walk also has a Bonfire where Boy Scouts lead the walkers in singing Christmas Carols.  Warm Louisburg Apple Cider is provided to keep the sing voices well lubricated.  Farther down the path, you can take a horse drawn wagon ride.  The next stops are the Gnome Village, the miniature rail line, and Santa is in the house for the kids to take their Christmas gift wishes.

We were fortunate to have wonderful weather with temperatures in the upper 50's....not too bad for late November.  Sigrid and I were joined by our friend Edel DeMaria last Friday as we took the walk through the beautiful woods at the park.  The Arboretum is actually located in Bucyrus, Kansas which is just south of Overland Park on US 169 Highway.

There must be miles of electrical cords used in the displays and thousands of candles.  Staff constantly roams the trails to keep the candles lit and to repair the ones that people inadvertently step on.

One of the musical shows along the trail.  A little farther down the trail, there as a flutist.  These are magical sounds in the woods at dusk.

The beauty of the park speaks for itself so most of the photos don't need commentary.

The bonfire where the Scouts lead us in singing Christmas Carols.  It has been a very long time since I sat at a bonfire.

Edel and Sigrid enjoying the warm Louisburg Apple Cider as they sang.

It was pretty dark as we arrived at the horse drawn wagon ride.  Edel and Sigrid took the ride and loved it.  It is actually much darker than it appears in the photo.  I really needed a tripod at this point but with my bad hip, it was just a challenge to walk the park without carrying a heavy tripod.  I also feared people tripping over the legs of the tripod in the darkness when I set it up.  After all, they couldn't walk the five foot wide trail without stepping on the candles off to the side of the path.

I always look for an opportunity to take an abstract is tonight's attempt....nice moon with a few clouds.

Santa's shed with a mile long line.  I probably  should have snuck in the side to photo Santa but I didn't.

An outdoor miniature rail set up.

The Gnome Village.

Another great evening......Chinese to follow for hungry walkers.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oktoberfest in Hermann, MO with KCPL Power Partners Club - 10/15/2014

Sigrid and I traveled to Hermann, MO to join 24 other members of the KCPL Power Partners Club on 10/15/2015.  Of the 24, 12 brave souls traveled to Hermann on Amtrak.  Most spent the night before returning to Kansas City or Lees Summit.  We were there in the middle of the week so we avoided the crowds.

After visiting the chocolate shop, we went to the Stone Hill Winery for a tour, wine tasting, and lunch.

Visiting before the tour.

We had a great tour guide.

The weather was great and the leaves were just starting to turn color.

The wine cellar is massive.  During Prohibition, it was used for growing mushrooms. 

Wine tasting with Ray after the tour.

Lunch time.

I had the German Sampler Plate.

Sigrid had the Chardonel Chicken.  Both were great but I wished I had gotten the chicken.  It was super.

The Amtrak people were late arriving due to a personal injury on the train coming from Kansas City.  The injured elderly lady was not part of our group.  She did require an wishes to her on her recovery.  Due to the delay, we split our group for touring and then gathered at 1:30 pm for lunch when the Amtrak people finally made it.  Everyone enjoyed lunch.

That is a 1,000+ pound pumpkin.

Doug Dahl, club president, traveled with us in our Honda Odyssey on the trip.  Sigrid and I took the train when we visited Hermann for Valentines Day in sense risking Amtrak twice in one year.  Life is never dull with Doug around. 

After lunch we went to the OakGlenn Vineyards and Winery for the view and more wine tasting.

After leaving the winery, we stopped at a highly rated German Bed & Breakfast and Restaurant to pick up a brochure for the next trip to Hermann.  It turns out that the owner is actually Swiss.  He enjoyed talking to Sigrid in German.  The 3 hour drive back home went quickly.  Another adventure in the books and on the blog.