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A trip to Tracy's in Kansas City

Our sister, Tracy, turned the big 5-0 in October, so she planned a wonderful birthday party, for us to visit her new home in Kansas City and spend time together for the weekend. Julie and I stayed at a nearby {fancy} hotel {not so much} and Valerie joined us a couple days later. Here's Julie and Tracy. Tracy's husband, her four kids, and her one grandson, also came to celebrate. Here is my sis with her youngest daughter, Jessica, a fourth grade teacher in Oklahoma.
As most of my blog readers know, I usually make cards for people, but when I saw this good one last year, I cracked up over it, bought it for Tracy, and hoped I would not lose it for when the time came. Who actually gets this thrilled about turning into a new decade? It beats the alternative, right?
The thrilling surprise for all of us was that Tracy's son, Garry, and his wife, Melissa, and their son, Hunter, flew in from Mountain Home, Idaho, to be there. Garry and Melissa got married right out of high school and he immediately joined the Air Force. They've lived in Japan and in Idaho and for the past several years, none of us get to see them very often. It was a nice treat to spend some time with my nephew and his cute little family.
Here is Hunter, who was all ready to go on the sightseeing tour of Kansas City.
Tracy was eager to show all of us her stomping grounds, where she works and lives. I must say, I had no idea how gorgeous Kansas City would be.
Heading to downtown KC.
Tracy moved there a few years ago after her job of many years at the Oklahoma City branch of the Federal Reserve shut down. She worked for a while for another company, but was extremely overworked.
She was eventually offered to go back to work for the Fed, and would be able to get all of her old benefits and job, but the catch would be that she would have to move to Kansas City, about five hours from her husband and their main home of many years in Oklahoma. So she did it, and they try to see each other as often as they can, but she's all alone way too much, in my opinion.
Fortunately, she has an excellent job and has worked very hard for the Federal Reserve Bank for a long time, so they reward her sufficiently.
Tracy took us on a tour of the bank, and we could only take pictures of the outside, plus a few inside where there is a museum. The impressive images of multiple pallets of money, that were being lifted and transported by robots will have to remain in my head. The security was extreme, as you'd imagine.
It was a brisk, chilly morning, walking up to the Fed.
Our tour guide, Tracy, had reserved a spot for each of us, so we got through without any problems.
This lovely view was from inside the building, just before I stowed my camera for the private tour.
The next few pictures at the museum were taken after our exciting VIP tour that Tracy took us on, down in the vault area where she works. Here's a fun mugshot of my mom.
Here's my step-dad, Joe. They drove their big motor home to Kansas City, and everyone was surprised to see them too. It was really nice for them to be there to support Tracy.
This is Jessica and Hunter, auntie and nephew to each other.
Money, money, money.
Here's Garry, or G.G., as we affectionately call him.
Brothers. They are so much alike in some ways. Jordan lives at home with his dad, but travels for work most of the time. He works on wind farms, climbing dangerously high to repair them, in Oklahoma and Texas.
Downtown KC, so much to do, so little time. I hope to visit the Hallmark Museum the next time I go there.
We had a delicious lunch out at Grinders West.
We traveled over this bridge a few times while I was there.
Kansas City has rich history and was a booming passageway to the west. There is also a lot of interesting architecture and some very lovely neighborhoods.
It's kind of odd that Tracy ended up living here, because coincidentally, she was actually born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1959, when my parents had first gotten married and my dad worked there.
Here's Tracy with her sweetheart husband, Jimmy, also known as Uncle Jimmy to my kids. They love him, he's always been so much fun for the kids to hang around. He is the kind of uncle who jokes around and plays with and teases them. Tracy's got a few pets that keep her company when Jimmy and the kids aren't in town visiting her.
Later that night, we went bowling. Here's Melissa ready to knock down some pins.
Julie was one of the better bowlers, when she wasn't texting, that is.
She was on a role! She made the rest of us look bad.
Tracy, of course, always makes everyone look bad, when it comes to bowling. She bowls on a league in Kansas City and has always been the most athletic girl in our family.
Garry and Jessica, catching up, and enjoying each other's company.
Here comes trouble. lol.
Since I had injured my right hand (falling off of my road bike in Austin), I had to bowl left-handed. I think because I concentrated so hard, I might have actually bowled better than normal, which truthfully isn't very good. But I was up for the challenge!
At one point, I even got a strike! (What a spastic picture of me. Oh well.)
Here's Aubrey, who takes after her mom in athletics, and is always impressive. During the last game when my left hand had gotten tired, I let everyone take one of my turns, but they bowled it with their left hand. It was quite entertaining seeing everyone try it. In my humble opinion, I think because I'd been using my left hand a lot in the last few weeks, that I did the best.
Uncle Jimmy, finishing it up.
We had fun shopping, looking for random things to get ready for their family pictures. Jordan needed pants. Tracy wanted to have them all wear black shirts and jeans since their whole family was all together for a rare moment. Julie was going to be the photog. Jessica loves Dr. Pepper. It's an Okie thing. I love it too.
The next day, we went shopping at a kitchen store that Tracy loves shortly after picking Valerie up from the airport. During our previous day's shopping adventure, I bought the black wool coat I'm wearing here because I was freezing. Who would have thought that the day I left Austin to fly to Kansas City, that I would have been sweating like crazy on my jog in the 95 degree temperatures? I didn't pack well for the cooler climate. Look at my springtime capri length pants to see what I mean.
It was a fun store!
We all managed to find something.
There are oodles of fountains in Kansas City, and many of them had been filled with pink water for breast cancer awareness month. The parks and views were gorgeous.
Melissa and Garry watching football.
Jordan and his two sisters, Aubrey and Jessica.
My camera kept messing up and many of my pictures didn't turn out. This was one of the better "bad" ones. Even though it's blurry, I wanted to post this cute picture of my nieces.
Dinner out at Lidia's was very nice.
Our big sis and her husband!
Aub, G.G., and Hunter.
Mom and Joe surprised all of us with treating everyone to dinner that night. Thank you!!
Valerie, Julie, and I made this quilt for Tracy. We each went to our local quilt stores and bought 1940's reproduction fabrics, one of Tracy's favorites. We made our squares in advance, then Julie and Valerie shipped them to me, and I sewed them all together. When we got to Kansas City, Julie did the final snipping, then we took it to a nearby laundromat to wash and let the fringing effect show better. It turned out really bright and cheerful.
Tracy loved it.
Here's Hunter helping "YaYa" with the presents. Tracy's kids spoiled her with fabulous gifts and none of us could read the beautiful card from Jimmy without bawling. Not even Jordan.
Here's mom again, all spiffied up after Valerie did her hair and makeup.
Valerie took a few pics of me while Julie was busy snapping tons of pictures of Tracy's family with her deluxe camera.
I took a few pictures of the gang with my camera too. I love black and white, so I made several in that tone. What a good looking bunch.
The rose garden where the informal photo session was. Gorgeous!
Julie's pictures were high quality, but here are some more of my point and shoot images.
Aubrey is my sister's first child, then Garry, then Jordan, then Jessica. What an attractive family they are.
More park views.
Jimmy and Tracy, happy together.
Tracy has pretty eyes. I love this picture of both of their eyes.
Garry and his pretty Melissa.
Aubrey, my niecie.
Jessica keeping Hunter warm.
Handsome Jordan Michael.
We got a few shots with the sisters afterwards. We missed our brother, Marc, this weekend!

What a wonderful time we had in Kansas City. I look forward to going back again. Thank you, Tracy, for an awesome planned weekend! Happy birthday once again.
We are family, I got all my sisters with me. And Mom peeking over us.


Julie V. said…
Wow, good job on detailing the trip. I am too lazy to do it myself. You got some great city shots Kelly! That was a nice weekend and glad we go to share it together. Too bad our big bro couldn't come. We missed Marc!
Kelly said…
Thanks, Julie! It took me more than a month to finally do it! But since I am procrastinating doing other things, like decorating the house for Christmas, I got inspired to upload and journal the trip. Thanks for your comment. I love comments.
Lonna said…
WOW! That is a lot of fun things to have done with almost ALL of your family members. I don't think that all of my siblings have been able to get together for quite some time. The celebration and the pictures look like fun.

I love that you were able to get a few pictures of the Fed, it is always crazy to me when security is so tight,and hush hush.

What a fun family you have, and so nice of all of them to take a left handed turn for you in bowling, now that is some family love.
what a great trip. looks like you had a total blast and what a fun occassion to celebrate. i loved the pictures.
Bobbi said…
Cute coat, cute quilt, happy birthday celebration, and good b/w photos! Fun to have family to love.
Anonymous said…
Thanks Kelly! Nice photos of our trip!

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