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Friday Favorites

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Happy Friday! Today’s favorites come from Tourism Development Manager, Julie Ausmus –

It’s Friday in July, my favorite day of the work week and my favorite time of the year! Throw in a payday, and it doesn’t get much better. Before I leave on vacation to one of my favorite places with some of my favorite peeps, I’d like to share some of my other favorites:

Favorite summer activity in The District: Dog Days Sidewalk Sale

Dog Days - from The District FB

(Photo by The District)

I always look forward to the Dog Days of Summer Sidewalk Sales downtown. The sidewalks are full of merchandise – at special ‘dog days’ prices, and people are everywhere, shopping, eating lunch – there’s just always a good vibe in the air. I’m really not much of a shopper, but these sales somehow change that for just a little while. Some of my favorite places to check out are American Shoe, Calhoun’s, Tiger Spirit, Dryer’s, My Sister’s Circus and this year, now that I have a grandbaby, I couldn’t resist checking out Little Owl Boutique. (That was probably a big mistake!) It’s just fun shopping outside on the sidewalk, and I am ALL about finding a great bargain!

Favorite summer event: The Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair from FB page

(Photo from Boone County Fair Facebook page)

Along with the “Dogs Days” of summer comes the Boone County Fair. I was raised in Boone County and enjoyed the fair in my small hometown, Centralia. So when my three kids were younger we always made it a point to go to the fair. They just wanted to spend time on all the rides and eat funnel cakes and cotton candy, but I’ve always enjoyed walking through the multipurpose building and checking out all the 4H projects the kids have worked so hard on these past several months. I was in 4H as a youngster and vaguely remember sewing an apron or something lame, but the kids nowadays really impress me with some of their projects – all deserving of blue ribbons I think. And you can’t go to the Fair without checking out the animals! The amount of time, devotion, dedication, and love the kids put into raising their animals is amazing. I’ve always wanted a cute little lamb to take home with me.

Favorite place for live music: 9th Street Summerfest

Julie and Randy Houser - 9th St. Summerfest

(Julie and Randy Houser from 9th Street Summerfest!)

Summerfest on Ninth Street, of course! I’ve been to several of these concerts, and year after year the entertainment keeps getting better. The ticket prices are always reasonable, the crowds are big (but not overwhelming), and the beer is cold. I just love the atmosphere, and there’s never a “bad seat” in the house.

Favorite lunch: International Cafe

International Cafe

(International Cafe menu – find it on their website)

This favorite I owe to my co-workers. They are always introducing me to new things and pushing me out of my comfort zone – for my own good. Until a few years ago, I had never been near or inside the International Café. I don’t know if it’s because it was “hidden” for years on Hitt Street (it’s now on 9th Street) or if I was just being Judgey McJudgerson thinking that “international” food would be awful – after all I’m all about burgers and fries. So when I was introduced to gyros, hummus and taziki, I was hooked! My favorite is the Greek Salad or chicken kabob sandwich with taziki. Whenever someone in the office says “I’m hungry, what should we have for lunch?” I’m the first to yell “International!” (Editor’s note – this actually happened in the office today)

Favorite local landmark: The Columns

8thStCir 3 92111

(Photo courtesy of the Mizzou Botanic Garden)

I graduated from Mizzou back in the 80s. I worked part time as a student in the Arts and Science Dean’s Office so I spent a great deal of time walking all over campus delivering packets of “timely” information to department heads (this was before we had email – hard to imagine, right?!) I always enjoyed the beauty of the campus and the history that came with it. I spent a majority of my work breaks sitting on the columns and enjoying the view. At that time the columns were 90 years old and I was always in awe of their massive size and history. I still enjoy taking a work break and walking to the columns. They are still a beautiful sight with great history and they bring back some of my favorite college memories!

Favorite place to shop: Columbia’s antique shops

Midway Antique Mall

 (Photo from Midway Antique Mall’s Facebook page)

As I get older I’ve come to realize that there are many things I really enjoy now that I did not enjoy when I was younger, and vice versa. As I kid, my friend and I would travel around Boone County with her parents to various flea markets and antique stores. I always thought they were just buying a bunch of junk, honestly. We always wished we were at the mall instead – or the Parkade Center as it was called in those days! J Now I’d much rather be at a flea market than in a mall! I don’t know what it is specifically but I just enjoy walking through Midway Antique Mall, Itchy’s Flea Market or Artichoke Annie’s looking for that special eclectic treasure. Or maybe it’s just because I like to see things that remind me of my Grandma Emma and Aunt Pearl. I usually come home with some type of miniature trinket, a book or a piece of furniture that is going to be my next big DIY project. (We all know how that goes – I have 4 projects in my basement that I’ve yet to start – darn Pinterest!) Anyway, like I said before I’m all about finding a great bargain and these flea markets usually have some of the best.

Thanks for allowing me to share some of my favorites.  Columbia has a lot to offer and even though I’m heading out of town for a favorite vacation spot, as next week comes to an end, I will look forward to coming home to my favorite – CoMo.