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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Today’s favorites come from Heather Cole, Assistant to the City Manager of Columbia and Columbia Tourism Ambassador.

Wow, I feel a little like that nun in the Sound of Music doing a little number about a few of my favorite things. Lucky for you this is just a blog – because I can’t sing, play guitar or rhyme. Okay, so I’m a 30-something with a BF and no Mini-Me’s, who has lived in CoMo for about 12 years now. I work downtown and I play downtown. If I could wiggle into a swanky loft downtown, I’d do that too. I love outside adventures, music, food and beer. So with that demographic in mind, these are a few of my favorite things. (C’mon…you can’t read that last line and not sing it Julie Andrew’s style!)

When the dog bites…
Best Park: Stephens Lake Park

SLP Fairy Dooropens IMAGE file

I love Columbia parks, but this one has to be my primo pick because of all it has to offer. Not only is this beautiful park great for a run, a swim or stop at the splash-park in the summertime, but it’s also great for sledding when Snowpocalypse hits in the winter too! It’s also host to great music events including the free concerts at the SLP amphitheater on Thursday evenings and of course, serves as the new home to the Roots & Blues BBQ! (The Avett Brothers are coming!! **Squeal!!**)

But what makes SLP even more unique than other parks? A fairy lives there. Before you stop reading and call some kind of hotline for assistance – hear me out. I stumbled upon a tiny little fairy door built into the base of a tree one day in SLP. Ppffft! OF COURSE I OPENED IT! Inside was a tiny tin painted with ivy. The tin contained a handwritten note from a fairy introducing herself as Willow, a tree fairy who just moved to the park and was trying to make new friends. The tin also contained a tiny pencil for people to leave messages back and forth. There were tons of messages on there – some questions and some welcoming messages. This was the CUTEST project I think I have ever stumbled upon. I mean…seriously? Her favorite meal is dandelion soup for crying out loud! That. Is. Awesome. We have some mega cool creative folks in this town. Am I right?

When the bee stings…
Best Event: The Boone Dawdle

I HATE having to pick just one!!!! Maybe I can come up with a pseudonym and do another guest blog with a totally new list of awesome things in town. (If you see a blog in the near future from “Sue Perman”…it’ll be our little joke. Just laugh to yourself.) Back to biz-naz: The Boone Dawdle. This event meshes so many awesome things into one event. Films, music, biking, food and fun! This event takes place in August as a mid-year fundraiser for the True/False Film Festival. You bike from Flat Branch Park to Les Bourgeois Winery. There are plentiful fun stops along the way with bands, ice cream treats, silly activities and games. When you get to the Blufftop Bistro, you get amazing music, food, drinks, prizes and best of all….an outdoor screening of a great film on the blufftop overlooking the Missouri River. It even features special guests, like film Directors for Q&A time.

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Last year, we stopped for a photo opp on the moon. These were our best “no gravity” faces. Obviously. I also got solid advice from the mysterious “Advice Machine” which told me to sing to my cat in his native tongue to get him to stop meowing at me all the time. That’s solid stuff there. Solid.

When I’m feeling sad…
Favorite brews: Logboat Brewing Company

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This place is pretty new to CoMo and is already wildly popular. Not only do they have great brews on tap (try em all with the sampler flight!), but they also have an AWESOME yard with plenty of outdoor space for games or general outdoor laziness. “But I wish they served food” – said no one, because the food trucks frequent this place on a regular basis! Hit me with an Ozark Mountain Biscuit Company Haughty Hillbilly sandwich and a Logboat Lookout Pale Ale and I AM GOLDEN!!
Disclaimer: Those are not all for me. And if they were…don’t judge. But they weren’t.

I simply remember my favorite things…
Best BBQ Sauce: Sycamore Restaurant

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(Photo courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

Yeah…it’s that good that it deserves its own “best of” category. The BBQ sauce they put on their pork sliders and meatloaf is so amazing that I could probably have an I.V. set up to pump this straight into my veins. (Yes, I know – that defeats the purpose of getting to taste it, but I think I need this BBQ sauce to live.) This place has great food, the bartenders make great drinks, it’s charming…AND they participate in Earth Hour by having a nice candlelight dinner hour every year. Who loves the Earth? Sycamore does.

And then I don’t feeeeeeeel…
Best Dessert on the face of the planet: U Knead Sweets

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(Tira Mizzou Cupcake)

You can’t go wrong with pretty much anything in this place but if you’re looking to really knock your sweet socks off – the Tira-Mizzou Cupcake is a must hog…I mean have. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll only eat half and save the other half for your boyfriend, but you won’t. You’ll eat the entire thing because you can’t stop yourself because it’s soooo good and then you’ll have to make up this wild story to tell your boyfriend about how you fell down on the sidewalk by the creek and the other half rolled away into the mouth of a crocodile and even though you wanted to get all “Romancing the Stone” on that croc and fight him for that cupcake, you decided to let that cake go because even crocs need good cupcakes. True story.

Sooo baaaaaad….
Best cat in town: My cat Simon of course.

Simon Catopens IMAGE file

Just kidding (but not really), I mean CAT-TV! Columbia Access Television is an independent community media center that operates the public access tv channel for Columbia.  CAT-TV makes it possible for anyone in the community to get training, use equipment and have your own tv show! They have a fun and helpful staff that can take CAT members from no-experienced newbies, to producing and directing all stars. James Cameron got his start here. (that’s a lie, I’m just name-dropping now.)

But seriously…how cute is my cat?

Thanks for tuning in to hear about some of my CoMo top picks. I hope you get a chance to try them all out.

Cheers and a Happy Friday to all!

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