June 9, 2004

The adventure continues.

Before I get started with my latest witty dialog, I thought I’d share this with you…

create your own personalized map of the USA

or write about it on the open travel guide

The red states are the states we have been in. To qualify, we have to actually drive in the state, airport lay-overs don’t count.

Anyways, we got up this morning, skipped breakfast and hit the long, flat road. We followed one of the road trips in our “Great Plains” travel guide (no home should be without one) and enjoyed the sites of Central Kansas. Granted, it was raining but the countryside was still beautiful.

We stopped at an old, late 1800s type restaurant in Council Grove called “The Hays House” and had a wonderful lunch. Complete with dessert – Earl had a peach dumpling and I had strawberry pie on homemade crust. Out of this world. I asked Earl how to make a crust for a pie, since I’ve promised that I’m going to cook much more when I get home, and he said to pick up the crust at the grocery store. If I’m going to cook more, I’m doing it from scratch. He rolled his eyes. He won’t be rolling his eyes when I make a homemade pie complete with homemade crust!

But I digress.

After Council Grove we continued north to Junction City, toured around the downtown a bit before hitting the interstates (70 and then 135) and heading back to Wichita. The rain had slowed down to a drizzle, but not enough for us to walk around Wichita, so we opted for a movie instead. We went and saw the third Harry Potter movie (which was quite good) at a local theatre chain called Warren Theatres. This theatre was the best theatre I have been in my adult life. First of all, it wasn’t expensive ($7.00/person – vs $8.50 at home), refreshments were cheap ($14.00 for both us, usually its $22) and the theatres were beautiful. Art deco design, carpeted, NO COMMERCIALS and just a typically friendly midwest atmosphere. There’s even a sitting room complete with fireplace, theatres with a balcony that are for adults only, and theatres with “crying rooms” where moms can take their unhappy kids and still watch the movie while not disturbing the rest of the crowd. There’s even a diner in the theatre. Two thumbs up for Warren Theatres.

After the movie we went to a local diner for some meatloaf and mashed potatoes. We had a very chatty waitress who seemed like she wanted to be our best friend.

Tomorrow morning we are going to hit the road and start heading east. I think we’re going to take the round-about way on the way home. We haven’t decided if we’re going up to Iowa and over I-80 or to Kansas City and by way of St. Louis and Indianapolis on I-70. Maybe we’ll flip a coin when we leave to decide.

Wichita, Kansas

Earl and I left Oklahoma City this morning and headed for our next destination on our Americana Tour, Wichita, Kansas.

After another great buffet breakfast at Embassy Suites, we hit the road, opting for two-lane U.S. highways instead of the interstates. We headed northeast from Oklahoma City to U.S. 81, where we turned north and drove through the plains and lots of lots of fields of wheat. We stopped in Medford, Okla. for gas and a potty break – we thought about buying some subs for lunch, but the entire gas station/diner came to a grinding halt when we walked in, as everyone looked at us like we just parallel parked a flying saucer. I think the N.Y. tags scare people as they automatically assume that we are from the city of New York. Of course, we live nowhere near NYC, but people think “New York” means “New York City”, so there you are. I feel like telling them, no we are not going to mug you, and no we did not see the airplanes hit the World Trade Towers on September 11.

So then we continued onto Wellington, Kansas and opted for Sonic. We love Sonic. I dare say that Sonic has pulled ahead of Chick-Fil-A as my favorite fast food establishment.

Earl seemed to be getting bored with the prairie and the wheat, so I jumped on the Kansas Turnpike and finished the drive to Wichita, arriving at our hotel at 3 p.m. The area here is kind of weird. All the residential areas around the hotel seem to be behind these brick walls. Everything is a gated community. Honestly, it initially struck me as somewhat snobby. We’ll have to do a little more investigating.

For supper we headed to Old Town Wichita and ate at the Larkspur. Very tasty. Highly recommended. Old Town seemed a little downtrodden on a Tuesday night, so we walked around a bit and then headed back to the hotel.

Tomorrow were debating on going on a road tour of Central Kansas or changing plans completely and heading off to another destination. I love the adventure!