Kansas Part II: Topeka

We went to the Capital of Kansas for our second stop in the Sunflower State. The RV Park that we selected seemed to be recently constructed and was kept very clean. It was also very centrally located to downtown Topeka.¬†However, it was located just off of Interstate 70, and the road noise was fairly obnoxious. I’ll just tell you, there is not much to do or see in Topeka, Kansas. No offense to the locals, but our stop here was a bit underwhelming.

The irony of this chapter from The Lower 48 in 48 Tour was that we ended up being parked here for three long weeks. There were several factors that contributed to this prolonged stay in such a boring spot. Since we are on a fixed income now, it was cheaper to rent our spot for a full month. As at most RV Parks, rates are available on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The longer you stay, the cheaper the rate. When we did the calculations we determined that it would be cheaper to pay for a month and leave after 21 days, as opposed to paying a daily or weekly rate. The second reason we stayed is because I needed to schedule a dermatologist appointment. Getting in to see a dermatologist always seems to be a bit challenging, especially as a new patient without a referral. Mike called around for me on the first day we arrived, and found me an appointment 21 days later. The third and final reason we stayed longer than we wanted was because we were in the middle of finalizing our 2014 tax return. We needed to stay in one spot until the return was finalized, so our CPA would know where to send our overnight package containing the paperwork we needed to sign and mail to the IRS with the money that we owed.

The best thing about Topeka turned out to be that it was located only one hour from Kansas City, MO. We made three different visits to KC, and enjoyed every minute we were able to explore that fun city.

The courthouse in Manhattan, Kansas. The "Little Apple" is home to Kansas State University. This stone must be indigenous to the region, because several public and university buildings are built from the same materials.

The courthouse in Manhattan, Kansas. The “Little Apple” is home to Kansas State University. This stone must be indigenous to the region, because several public and university buildings are built from the same materials.

Cessna helping her human with some fishing on a sunny afternoon.

Cessna helping her human with some fishing on a sunny afternoon.

We attended Palm Sunday and Easter Services at a beautiful historic Methodist Church in downtown Topeka.

We attended Palm Sunday and Easter Services at a beautiful historic Methodist Church in downtown Topeka.

Downtown Lawrence was hoppin' on a random Saturday afternoon. I couldn't believe how many people were out strolling the sidewalks and enjoying the pretty weather in this cute little town.

Downtown Lawrence was hoppin’ on a random Saturday afternoon. I couldn’t believe how many people were out strolling the sidewalks and enjoying the pretty weather in this cute little town.

Our first outing in Kansas City, MO included a stop at the famous Arthur Bryant's Barbeque spot. We stood in line with the masses. I got brisket and burnt ends. I liked the brisket. Mike got sliced pork and ribs. He liked the ribs. In our humble Texas opinions... Cooper's Old Time BBQ in Llano is still the best BBQ on the planet.

Our first outing in Kansas City, MO included a stop at the famous Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque spot. We stood in line with the masses. I got brisket and burnt ends. I liked the brisket. Mike got sliced pork and ribs. He liked the ribs. In our humble Texas opinions… Cooper’s Old Time BBQ in Llano is still the best BBQ on the planet.

After our barbeque lunch, we visited the 18th & Vine Jazz District. It probably would have been better if we had been in the area after dark when the bars were open and the music was playing.

After our barbeque lunch, we visited the 18th & Vine Jazz District. It probably would have been better if we had been in the area after dark when the bars were open and the music was playing.

Our spot at the campground in Topeka.

Our spot at the campground in Topeka.

Not much to look at while driving down the highway in Kansas.

Not much to look at while driving down the highway in Kansas.

Mike took the dogs out for their morning walk just after sunrise and was surprised by about six hot air balloons floating directly over our campground. I was still asleep in the bed. Just goes to show you... You snooze, you lose.

Mike took the dogs out for their morning walk just after sunrise and was surprised by about six hot air balloons floating directly over our campground. I was still asleep in the bed. Just goes to show you… You snooze, you lose.

Kansas City skyline.

Kansas City skyline.

Our campground was just about 3/4 of a mile down the street from Lake Shawnee, which had an 8- mile paved walking trail circling the edge of the lake. This was a good spot for our daily dog walks.

Our campground was just about 3/4 of a mile down the street from Lake Shawnee, which had an 8- mile paved walking trail circling the edge of the lake. This was a good spot for our daily dog walks.

We spotted a bald eagle on one of our walks at Lake Shawnee. He had just caught himself a big fish, and had settled in the tree to finish his fresh lunch.

We spotted a bald eagle on one of our walks at Lake Shawnee. He had just caught himself a big fish, and had settled in the tree to finish his fresh lunch.

This was in the window of an antique store in the historic Westport neighborhood of Kansas City. Chuckle Chuckle.

This was in the window of an antique store in the historic Westport neighborhood of Kansas City. Chuckle Chuckle.

Another store in the Westport Neighborhood was Pryde's - opened in 1968. Mike and the dogs were waiting outside... or I could have spent an entire day (and lots of money) on all types of kitchen gadgets. This is the mother of all kitchen stores, I can assure you!

Another store in the Westport Neighborhood was Pryde’s – opened in 1968. Mike and the dogs were waiting outside… or I could have spent an entire day (and lots of money) on all types of kitchen gadgets. This is the mother of all kitchen stores, I can assure you!

The City Market in Kansas City is open on weekends from 6am until 3pm. Fresh produce, fresh cut flowers, spices sold in bulk, food vendors selling every sort of ethnic selection (Vietnamese, Brazilian, Indian, Italian, etc). The smells and colors had me in a huge tizzy. Mike didn't have as much fun as I did because it was packed with humans shoulder to shoulder - he hates crowds. He was nice to accompany me, but I enjoyed this outing much more than he did.

The City Market in Kansas City is open on weekends from 6am until 3pm. Fresh produce, fresh cut flowers, spices sold in bulk, food vendors selling every sort of ethnic selection (Vietnamese, Brazilian, Indian, Italian, etc). The smells and colors had me in a huge tizzy. Mike didn’t have as much fun as I did because it was packed with humans shoulder to shoulder – he hates crowds. He was nice to accompany me, but I enjoyed this outing much more than he did.

I thought this random building in downtown Kansas City was exquisite.

I thought this random building in downtown Kansas City was exquisite.

Date night at the Kansas City Intercontinental Hotel listening to live jazz music.

Date night at the Kansas City Intercontinental Hotel listening to live jazz music.

This wonderful foursome gave us a taste of the jazz music for which Kansas City is so famous.

This wonderful foursome gave us a taste of the jazz music for which Kansas City is so famous.

I didn't know that Kansas City is also known as the City of Fountains. It has more fountains than any city in the world except Rome, Italy.

I didn’t know that Kansas City is also known as the City of Fountains. It has more fountains than any city in the world except Rome, Italy.

My favorite spot in Kansas City was probably Country Club Plaza. Sevilla, Spain is KC's sister city. This upscale shopping/entertainment district was packed with architectural details resembling those from  Sevilla's Bario de Santa Cruz (where I lived during my senior year in college).

My favorite spot in Kansas City was probably Country Club Plaza. Sevilla, Spain is KC’s sister city. This upscale shopping/entertainment district was packed with architectural details resembling those from Sevilla’s Bario de Santa Cruz (where I lived during my senior year in college).

2 thoughts on “Kansas Part II: Topeka

  1. Donna

    Hey girl, hope you are enjoying some good spring weather; it seems it has rained here at some point every week! Thunder and lightning woke me up and I was unable to go back to sleep and thought I’d check in on your travels. After our couple years of drought conditions I said I’d never again complain about all the rain! Well … I am trying to keep my promise! Kansas sounds just ever so exciting! Hopefully your next stop will bring more excitement; although it appears you and Mike can have a good time anywhere. I believe if Mark and I were in an RV for more than a few weeks it might be over! Give me a week or two … I’m good! Enjoy your travels and stay safe! Until next time …

    Reply
    1. Dina Martin Post author

      Hi Donna! You have no idea how excited I get when someone I actually know sends a message on the blog – as opposed to the usual spam messages. Now I hope reading an update on our travels helped you fall back into some deep sleep! ha. We are in Iowa now (Des Moines), and there is a bit more to do here than at our last stop. All the rain has really helped Texas, I am getting homesick seeing all the bluebonnet pictures from home this year. I think they are prettier than I’ve ever seen them. Hope you’ve had some good views on y’alls drive to the country. Talk to you soon! Thanks again for keeping in touch.

      Reply

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