Full Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Phillips 66®, however the thoughts and opinions are my own. 

If there is one thing that living through a global pandemic has taught me, is that life is anything but consistent. 2020 started as any normal year for my family, our day-to-day activities were standard; wake up, get ready, get the kids ready, off to school, complain about the people who don’t know how to follow the written and unwritten rules of the school drop-off line, work, pick the kids up, make dinner (unless it was a Friday night when we would go out to one of our many favorite restaurants), sleep and repeat the next day. 

I’m tired just thinking about our daily routine from a year ago. 

In fact, things were so normal that I went off on a yearly business trip early in the year and then was planning on joining Phillips 66 at the Big 12 Basketball Tournament in Kansas City, which again was becoming a consistent part of our lives in March.

Until March 12th, 2020…

Consistency on this day was thrown out the window and it felt like the entire world was flipping upside down. It was on this day that my office shut down and all employees were asked to work remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was on this day that I got news that the Big 12 Basketball Tournament was canceled and interrupting a fun opportunity for my family. It was on this day that our then 9-year-old’s school sent all the kids home for virtual learning. 

In the following weeks, stay-at-home orders were issued for our metro area and for communities across the nation. Our Friday routine of eating out was now replaced with frozen pizzas and a movie nights until restaurants were allowed to open after implementing new CDC guidelines of social distancing and mask-wearing. Living with a global pandemic meant we were forced to find a new consistency while understanding that it could all change the next day.  

As restaurants were given the approval to open, we made a commitment very early on that we would be visiting our local restaurants. That was the consistency my family was looking for during a time of uncertainty. These local diners were the places that were providing many people jobs and keeping our community fed throughout this strange new world we were living in.

Phillips 66 is helping us Live to the Full while we establish our new normal and make the most of every day. We took one day this past month to visit three of our favorites in the Kansas City metro area and give back to them. Thanks in part to Phillips 66 we offered each place we visited gas cards to help their staff make it to and from work or ease whatever burden they are facing. 

Our first stop was at a breakfast and lunch only place, Ronnie’s, in Lenexa, KS. It was one of those places that we would drive by and always tell ourselves that we needed to try it, but would soon forget about it because it was a breakfast and lunch only restaurant. The moment we walked in the first time we felt at home. Living in a pandemic has its own unique set of challenges but when you walk into a place where you see social distancing and patrons and wait staff alike wearing masks, you know you are in a safe place.

From the moment we moved to the Lenexa area, we made it a point to find a good sushi place. Once we found Sushi UNI, we haven’t stopped calling in and placing an order, no matter how long the wait (which on some Friday and Saturday evenings can be longer than an hour). Every time I call, they say, “the wait will be 45 minutes to an hour. Is that OK?” “Of course, I wouldn’t expect anything less on a Friday night,” I would respond. Sushi UNI has become a family favorite and we are now on a first-name basis with the staff. 

The moment restaurants were given the approval to open, our first carry-out order was at our family sports bar, Brewbaker’s Bar and Grill. The family atmosphere has always been our draw, but when we started watching more sports at home, we knew that bar food was going to be a must and Brewbaker’s allowed us to have some consistency while watching sports from home. 

All this talk of food has worked up my appetite for a breakfast omelet from Ronnie’s, a spicy tuna roll from Sushi UNI, and a Cuban sandwich from Brewbaker’s… and I accept the challenge to eat all of this in one sitting.

Thanks again to Phillips 66 for being a part of the Kansas City community and partnering with me to give back to the local places we love. Be sure to try Mobile Pay in the My Phillips 66 app to limit contact with surfaces at the pump.

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