On Wednesday, we got to the airport a little early to make sure everything went smoothly with the reservations. I will say that I was very impressed on how easy it was to get checked in to the flight, car, and hotel. I will definitely be booking a vacation ahead of time again! It was awesome! We had a layover in Denver both ways, which wasn't too bad. But we noticed that the Denver airport doesn't really have a whole lot going on. We were surprised at how scarce the options were for browsing and eating. Once we got to Kansas City, we hopped on a shuttle to go get our rental car. It was a Chevy Cobalt; not a bad little car! It was easy to drive and had a smooth ride. We had dinner at K.C. Masterpiece; it was yummy! We checked into the hotel around 7:30pm and then drove to visit at the Blanks'.
We got up late on Thursday and found one of our favorite breakfast places, Denny's. Yes, we realize that this restaurant is known for its old folks, but hey, their breakfast rocks! After we ate, we drove to get Grandpa for a day out. Back story: Brian received a Topeka visitors packet in the mail a few months before we left. He was curious about the Union Pacific train station; his grandpa worked for them his whole life. And there was mention of a Harley museum in the city. So...that's where we explored. Overland Station had some cool artifacts and historical memorabilia. They also had this giant model train area. It was cool; they made a whole city in one room! We went over to see the Harleys. They had all these old models, and we got to walk through the repair shop. Out back, they had all these new models. They had some sweet bikes! Later, Brian and I headed to the pasture with Grandpa. He wanted to get some apples, but really, he wanted out of the house! He's not a home-body. Grandma made us all homemade fried chicken; it's the best! Plus, we had fried ocra and fresh tomatoes out of the garden. Nothing beats fresh vegetables.
On Friday and Saturday, we visited with all the family and had a picnic at the pasture. Everyone had traveled to come to Grandma Doris' 100th birthday party. The senior center had a little birthday lunch for her, and all of us to celebrate. She was itching to get out of there, but I think she was happy to see everyone. Brian and I explored again and found a frozen custard place. So good! We found a Kansas sports store on the way back to the hotel. We browsed and got some cool Jayhawk stuff. This was definitely needed after Kansas won the championship. Woo hoo!
Sunday was the birthday party at Gage Park. Grandma Blank said there were about 100 people there. It was fun! Grandma Doris was a good sport and let people take her picture all day. Here are some fun pics that Ray took:
Tammy & Brian
Tammy & Brian
After a few hours, Brian convinced me it was time to go. So we took Diane with us and got some dinner at Long John Silver's (a.k.a. "Captain Ahab's) . We love the hush puppies! We drove back to the Blanks' and visited with everyone again before we had to leave the next morning. I always get sad at the end of a vacation; it is never long enough!
On Monday, we headed back to Kansas City to turn in our car and head home. All in all, we had a very fun time. It was great to see everyone and laugh at each others' stories. We can't wait to go back!