Friday, September 19, 2014

Whiling away our days in Wichita...

We thought we would go to Wichita for awhile...after all, it was the largest city in Kansas, and we'd never been to Kansas before, so, off we went!  382,368 people live here according to the AAA book, which usually means "there's plenty to keep us busy for 3 or 4 days!"  So, we booked ourselves into the nicest campground we could find and settled ourselves in.  We had some maintenance work that needed to be tended to on the rig, and it turned out that a great service place was just across the street, so that worked in our favor as well.

Once settled, we went in search of the "almighty tourist brochures & info center" as we missed one coming in on a different highway than it was located on.  Perusing the magazine, brochures, booklets, etc we soon discovered that Wichita has a couple of museums and a Garden that seemed interesting...but not a whole lot more.  Hmmm

We started with the most important thing...the RV Service Center, to make sure they could fix our awning.  They could, but would need to order the parts.  Done. 

Next, we decided to drive through "downtown/old town Wichita".  We like finding the "old" parts of towns, where they have been revitalized and usually turned into fun shops and restaurants.  We love to see the old buildings; so that's where we headed.  It was Sunday, so the streets were pretty empty - which can be a good thing when you don't know where you are going and find a lot of one way streets!  We did find their "old town", and stopped for a nice lunch in a fun place, but the rest of the area hadn't done much else but a few more pubs.  We couldn't really find any shops to speak of, nothing to go "browsing along".  Kind of disappointing.  They do have a couple of fun areas we did happen along tho - one is on their Douglas Ave - it's a whole bunch of bronze sculptures, scattered here and there - no names, no rhymes or reasons.  I had to Google them to find out about them!  It seems that back in 1991 the city used a grant and commissioned artist Georgia Gerber to design about 30 whimsical sculpture.  Some are a bit more "serious" like the one called "Woolworth"s Lunch Counter" depicting the '60s Civil Rights sit in, but most are just fun.  

Another interesting area they have is the "Keeper of the Plains Plaza".  It's a point where the Big and Little Arkansas rivers join together in downtown Wichita. This land between the two rivers is sacred ground to the Native American people and is also home to the All-American Indian Center.  Standing at this point is a 44-foot tall steel sculpture.  Pretty impressive.  You can see him from just about anywhere. 

We tried going to the Cowtown Museum, it was closed for a private party.  We went to the Botanica Gardens instead.  Glad we did.  Lovely gardens.  There were more birds and butterflies flying around in this garden than I had seen in any garden ever!  It was kind of funny, they had a "special bird garden", but none was there, they were all out in the rest of the garden (having a grand ole time)!

The following day we ventured over to the Coleman Factory Outlet & Museum.  What a hoot to see all the old, original lanterns and stoves!  It brought back some fond memories for both Jack and I as we had both "gone camping" as youngsters.  He with the scouts and me with my family.  My how things have changed...and yet not so much.  An interesting history, the origin of Coleman lamps!  Coleman's "Efficient Lamp" has been produced in Wichita since the beginning, 1902, and the factory is still here today.   While we were there, we met the nicest lady who asked us if we had stopped in at the "nut house" yet?  No... "Oh, you must!  It's just down the street, has every kind of old fashioned candy & chocolate, it's great!"  "Great!" Jack said, so off we go!  Nifty Nut House, wow, what a place!  You could get lost there, well...we almost did!  At least I thought I lost Jack there!  OMG, not only every kind of nut there is in this world, but just about every kind of candy too!  Oh, and dried fruit, and a whole lot of other stuff.  Just, WOW! 

...kicking back in Wichita Kansas,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:

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