A casino. That’s what my house sounded like the morning of May 20th with my phone going off like a slot machine. If it wasn’t ding, ding, dinging with text messages, it was ring, ring ringing with phone calls. If it wasn’t ding, ding dinging, or ring, ring, ringing, it was ping, ping, pinging with Facebook posts. What was causing all this commotion? The weather. If it wasn’t raining at my house, it was raining at another Kitty’s house. So, after consulting the weather app on my phone and talking to Suz Tiede, who consulted a weather app on her phone, we came up with Plan B, which was to move the meet time back one hour. We would then re-consult the weather apps and make a decision to either go for it or reinstate the Kitty Kar Club. As the new departure time neared, it still wasn’t looking good for going by motorcycle so Plan C was launched. Plan C meant calling the Tea Room to see if we could come an hour later (which they happily agreed to) and delay our departure by yet another hour and kitty paws crossed, the rain would be out of the area by then. Why were we working so hard to make this work, you ask? Because it was Tutu Day and tutus in a car just ain’t as fun and crazy as tutus on a motorcycle AND we could see that once the rain moved out of the area in the morning, it would be dry the rest of the day. So, after more cups of coffee and tea than anyone thought they would have time to consume, 16 Kitties were on their way to the Park City QuikTrip. Unfortunately, Kathryn Langrehr who was coming from Hutchinson, had to leave before Plan C was announced so she made the wet, cold ride way before everyone else and moseyed on over to a donut shop to wait for the rest of the wet, cold Kitties. Lori Gibbs, who was completely geared up, sitting in her living room, staring at the front door, and watching the minutes slowly tick by until she could leave, jumped at the chance to join Kathryn as soon she heard Kathryn was already in Park City. Maybe Lori’s Road Name should be Gung Ho!
While I ran into light rain on the way to the Park City QT, it wasn’t raining IN Park City. I patted myself on the back and said to myself, “We outsmarted that stupid rain and planned this so darn perfectly!” As I pulled alongside a gas pump to fill ‘er up, there was Lori Gibbs sitting on a stack of firewood. “What are you doing just sitting there?”, I asked. “Can’t you tell?”, she responded. “I’m a bump on a log!” OK, now I’m thinking Lori’s Road Name should be Wackado!
Right on time Kitty after Kitty came pouring into the parking lot, each adorned with their beautiful tutus! Do rain suits and/or chaps go with tutus? Who cares! We all were beautiful and strutted around like we absolutely knew it! Suz Tiede, who had made five, yes I said FIVE, tutus for other Kitties (and one for herself), delivered them in the most adorable Kitty bags. She was so excited to show everyone her other most adorable Kitty thing, but in a moment of panic, she thought she had left it at home. Fortunately, her brain kicked into gear and crisis averted – she found it! Kitty glasses! Obviously, she didn’t learn in grade school if you bring something for yourself, you have to bring enough for everyone. Because you were so busy making six tutus, we’ll forgive you Suz….this time! Not to be outdone, there were two other Kitties who upped their game with fun accessories. Dawn Morse sported fancy schmancy kitty ears and Bobbie Cole looked like a Fairy Godmother in her tiara and waving about her magic wand, granting wishes for a dry ride.
With everyone present and accounted for (and Krista Cotterill saying go on without me, I’ll catch up), we fluffed up our tutus and got ready to roll with Kathryn Langrehr in the lead and Linda Moreland riding sweep. I think we might have gone five miles when our perfectly designed plan fell apart. Sure, we had let the rain pass in Park City, but before we got to Newton, we ran right smack into it. Not only was it raining, it was COLD! Kari Miller and Bobbie Cole were caging it due to some back issues Kari was having and Bobbie’s commitment to No Kitty Left Behind, and I had visions of them all warm and toasty and most importantly, DRY. I was already a little envious over Bobbie’s tiara, but now I was downright GREEN with envy! Fortunately, the rain didn’t last the entire trip. Unfortunately, the cold did. By the time we arrived in Abilene, we were frozen Kitties and I sure hoped that tea in the Tea Room was good and hot. Perhaps we should have worn our fleece-lined tutus!
Kathryn led us right to the door of the First Lady Tea Room and after Suz Tiede and I stripped Lori Gibbs (of her rainsuit! Geez, get your minds out of the gutter you naughty Kitties!), we all filed in and bee-lined it to the rest room. All those cups of coffee and tea were screaming to get out! We browsed around the lovely antique store which was right outside the Tea Room and eventually made our way to our tables. I’ve never had the opportunity to go to a tea party, but this is exactly how I imagined it would look like. Everything was exquisitely displayed with the most charming dishes and serving pieces. This definitely was the prettiest, fanciest lunch the Kitties had ever had the pleasure of enjoying, which might explain why Linda Moreland didn’t know how to act all gentle and ladylike. Not realizing her dainty tea cup wasn’t like a hefty mug at Flo’s Diner, she snapped that pretty little handle right off. I sure hope that wasn’t some expensive antique or you’re gonna have a lot of dishes to wash to pay that off Linda! The gracious owner and our host, Sarah, happily replaced her tea cup with another one, but henceforth, Linda refused to touch the handle. Wise decision Linda.
Our five-course meal started with a fruit kabob, scone and some sort of dipping cream for the fruit that quite honestly, I could have dipped a dog biscuit in and would have loved it. The second course was a dollop of red potato salad served in champagne glasses. Who knew you could use liquor glasses for anything other than, well….liquor?? Then came the main course of finger sandwiches which were chicken salad, cucumber and cream cheese, and apricot jam with almond butter on raisin bread. I think Linda Moreland felt a little more comfortable with this course since she could eat with her fingers and didn’t have to touch any of the dishes. I know we all felt more comfortable that she didn’t have to touch any of the dishes! Then came our sorbet palate cleanser served in egg cups with teeny tiny spoons that all had some sort of decoration on the top. Some were state names, some were President profiles and some just had fancy tops. All of them were darling! Like Linda Moreland, we just can’t take Bobbie Cole anywhere nice. Not wanting to leave a single bit of sorbet behind, she picked up her egg cup and stuck her tongue in it and lapped it up like a hungry kitty. Now, she might tell you that I told her to do that, but don’t believe her. They’re all lies – lies I tell you! And last but certainly not least, were the desserts! A chocolate covered strawberry served in a dish that had been repurposed from something else, such as a tea bag holder or a little metal basket, cream puffs and a piece of chocolate cake. While everything was served in small portions, we filled our tummies and had cup after cup of delicious tea. The whole experience was delightful! From the beautiful tables settings, to the lovely dishes, to the delectable food, to the lively conversations, to the laughs we shared. An absolutely perfect lunch!
While we were eating our small portions, Suz Tiede got a text from Krista Cotterill who said she had just arrived in Abilene. Given that the Tea Room was inside a building that wasn’t noticeably marked, I offered to go out and wait for her and wave her down. There I am standing on the corner in all my tutu fabulousness when I hear the roar of a motorcycle. Wrongly assuming that there can only be one motorcycle out on a cold day like this and it must be Krista, I started wildly waving it down. As it got closer and closer, I notice that it’s not Krista at all and in fact, it’s not even a girl! I’m pretty sure that biker dude thought I was way too crazy for him to stop to get to know better. Smart guy that biker dude. I made my mind up then and there, I was not waving first. Sure, it might not be the friendliest greeting for Krista, but fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Pretty soon, I see a bike coming my way. I resisted the urge to wave and kept my arms firmly planted at my side. Then I saw it….a wave! It’s Krista and I started waving like a tutu-clad lunatic! Let’s just stop right here a minute and give some mad props to Krista. She rode in rain that was worse than what we had and she shivered the whole way to Abilene and she did it all alone! Since we already have a Hard Core Kitty, Krista’s Road name may have to be True Grit!
As soon as Krista got in her seat and started warming up with some tea, Bobbie Cole and I started pimping 50/50 tickets. With 16 Kitties, this was going to be a pot worth winning! Not that I would know and not that I would care. I would take any size pot. Once again it was proven that even if I was in a pot with just one other Kitty, I would still lose. We gave our hostess, Sarah, the honors of drawing the ticket and we all were confident it would be either Lori Gibbs, Deborah Barker or Krista Cotterill who would win given our history of first time Kitties walking away with the loot. However, unfortunately for those three Kitties, the tradition didn’t hold up and Linda Moreland came away $45.00 richer! Hey Sarah, seems to me you could have Linda pay for that tea cup now!
Then it was time to get some group photos and we all know what an ordeal that can be and our first group photo was no exception. Suz Tiede wanted to get a picture with all the Kitties for whom she had made tutus. After seven attempts with Kitties looking everywhere but at the camera, we finally came up with a good one. Paula Franklin, who was high on catnip, was pirouetting in every single one of them and then even gave us a solo performance. I’m anxious to know how many times Paula practiced that pirouette in the privacy of her bathroom mirror. Well done Paula!
After settling up the tab and saying our thank yous and good-byes to Sarah and her assistant, we went outside to get a couple more group shots. Holy Toledo! We did it! We got not one, but TWO group pictures on the first try! Now that I know we can do it, my expectations are high so don’t let me down you frisky felines!
After making a quick gas stop, we pointed our noses south and made the journey home. Just like we predicted, there was no rain on the return trip and while it was a smidge warmer, it was still a pretty cool ride home. However, it was so much more pleasant than the “going to” ride.
I know the “going to” ride sucked, but I hope the other 15 Kitties can agree that it was so worth it to tutu our way to Abilene on our bikes where we could be loud and proud. Ken Stoppel, who is a friend to many of the Kitties, said something on my Facebook post that I thought summed up the day and our group the best. He said, “There are a thousand reasons NOT to do something like what you did today. It takes someone special to simply emerge and attack the moment. You guys killed it. Putting on your big girl panties is in your DNA.” Thank you to 15 Kitties for putting on your big girl panties and coming out to kill it!
And thank you to Suz Tiede and Kathryn Langrehr for planning such a special way to celebrate our Second Annual Tutu Day! You guys knocked it out of the park on this one! Kathryn, thank you for leading us to Abilene. I know the pressure of wondering do we keep going or pull over was great, but as always, you did a fantastic job!
Those who attended the “Tutus and High Tea” Road Trip were Queenie, Shorty (Deborah Barker), Lori Gibbs, Lady, Tink, Sugar, Star, Lil Pibble, Moonshine, Glitter, Squirrel, Sycho, BatKat, Ice, da Vinci, Winer (Paula Franklin), and Krista Cotterill.