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Sat. Sept. 28 to Fri. Oct 4- Platt City MO to Wichita KS

Saturday- We had lunch with Bob’s college roommate Carl, and wife Juanita, at a little local café in Platte City. We had dinner with nephew Aaron, wife Casey, daughter Rory, and son Jack at the Ground Round in St. Joseph.

Sunday- We went to the pancake breakfast (free) at the park. The plan was to go to the City Market in downtown Kansas City, but I became ill. I did not want to be far from a bathroom!

We watched the Redskins lose, again…

In the evening, Bob went to meet up with niece Stormy, her husband and one of her sons. I stayed home. They had a great visit. It turned out that her father, John, who passed away in May, had all the family pictures. So Bob wants to get to see all of them at some point.

Monday- I was feeling better, so we did our usual Sunday tasks. We went to lunch with niece Brandy at the Tin Roof restaurant in Weston MO. Lunch was not only fun, the food was really good.

When we left lunch, we went to the mall in St. Joseph, to meet up with Bob’s 2nd cousin, Scott. That was interesting…Scott had contacted Bob, based on both of their Ancestry DNA. Scott was adopted by a family in St. Joe and is related on Bob’s father’s side of the family. He knows who his mother was, but they discussed who might be Scott’s father. He looks a lot like Bob’s first cousin Jim, but the state information about Scott’s adoption does not seem to match anyone in the family.

Scott has Cerebral Palsy and his wife is a little person, so it was interesting meeting them. It was not at all what we expected.

We stopped in St. Joe for gas, as the price was $2.29 vs $2.49 in Platte City.

We returned home, ate dinner, walked the dogs and had a quiet evening. I found on FB that friends Judy and Fred had a fire in their Alfa. The rig is destroyed. They were at a park with family, and at 2 AM, Judy woke up when she heard a bang. She got up and found the refrigerator on fire. (we no longer have a propane refrigerator, we have a residential refrigerator). She woke Fred up. He told her to get out. He used the fire extinguisher, but it did not put out the fire, as it was behind the refrigerator. He got out without incident. They lost everything, including their clothes. They are not full timers, they have a home in Washington state, so they do have somewhere to live.

When it rains, it pours! They had lost their dog, Millie, a few months ago. Then the Alfa  fire. Four days later, Judy had a stroke. So it is a very bad time for them. We will miss them at Paradise this winter!

Tuesday-  We left Basswood at about 10 AM. We traveled back to I-29, turned south on I-475, then west on I-70. We traveled about 30 miles, then turned south to Topeka.

We drove into Shawnee County Park at about 11:50. There was a sign on the office, that they would return at 12. The gal arrived back just before 12, with her lunch. She checked us in. We set up in site 44, where we could get satellite. $18 senior rate, for 50A W/E.

The park ranger had suggested the Blind Zebra for lunch. So we drove the 3 miles to the restaurant, which turned out to also be a brewery. Bob had the Octoberfest beer, which he liked. He also had a sample of the Hazy IPA which he said was very good. We both had their BBQ special which was very good.

We stopped at Walmart for me to pick up some Omeprazole. I have been taking Zantac, from Costco, so I wanted to change over until they figure out about the cancer causing agent.  

We returned and took a short nap. Then we went to Baskins Robbins. They had my German Chocolate Cake flavor this month! We ate dinner at home. We were watching the weather carefully. There was a tornado north of us, in another county.

Bob had noticed that the rig had been heating up when we climbed hills, again. So he washed the radiator. We will keep an eye on this issue.

Wednesday- We woke up to rain. We left around 9:30. We traveled to Truckhenge. A local attraction. The gate was closed, but I did get these pictures at the entrance.

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Obviously, down the road there was more that we could not see, but basically it was a waste of time.

We went to downtown Topeka. We drove to the Brown vs Board of Education National Historic Landmark, which is the Monroe School.

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We did not go into the museum, as we wanted to make the 11 AM Capitol Tour. The tours were  9-11-1-3. We left and went to the Capitol. They have free parking underneath the building for visitors, which was very nice. We were sent into an 8 minute movie about the renovation of the Capitol, which took 14 years. There were 4 of us at the beginning and we were joined by a school group. The website states that the tours are for 25 people and when there are more there would be another tour. We were well over 35 people but they did not have a second tour.

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The building originally started at the center, as seen below.

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They ended up adding two other wings, making this a  4 prong building. Below is the capitol complex.

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While we were waiting for the tour to start, we saw this picture of Pres. Eisenhower.

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On the floor in the visitor area, there was a map of the Kansas counties. Bob is originally from Doniphan County, the farthest on the top right of the state. He lived in a town called Iowa Point, in the upper right corner of the county. He went to Atchison Hight School in the city of Atchison.

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The tour started and we walked down “Constitution Hall, sort of a tunnel,  with pictures on both sides,  to the Rotunda.

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The view of the inner dome is composed of 256 glass panels. The 900 lb. chandelier is a replica of the original fixture, which was donated in 1942 to the WWII scrap metal drive.

Around the bottom floor, under the rotunda, there were these murals on the walls. There were actually 8 murals, here are four of them. They were painted by David Overmyer.

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They show the struggles of the pioneers and significant topics in Kansas.  There was a “Liberty Bell” on this floor.

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The floor itself had directional squares pointing to the N, S, E, W.

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We hiked up a long flight of stairs to the next level. On this floor, we found the Cage Elevator which goes from floor 1 to 5. We did not ride it.

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On this floor, there was a large mural in the east wing, Tragic Prelude, which features abolitionist John Brown. The people did not like the mural, as it shows John Brown so large. ( this is the John Brown who was hung in Harpers Ferry WV). In his left hand is a Bible. In the right hand is a rifle. Note the tornado in the left corner. It is to show the coming storm( the Civil War). I have tried to get the whole mural in this.

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This was just outside the ceremonial Governor’s Office.

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The Governor is a woman. She signs bills here. Behind where I am standing to take the picture, is the actual entrance to her office. Here is the winning quilt of the Kansas State Fair.

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The Governor is highlighting the Kansas County Courthouses. It is a rotating display. Here is the Doniphan County Courthouse, which just happened to be there!

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In the Rotunda area on this floor, there were more murals, depicting the history of Kansas. They go from the land rush to Amelia Earhart and Pres. Eisenhower.

In the West wing, there was another large mural, painted by the same artist.

We went up another flight of stairs. On the base of the stairs, was the Kansas Seal.

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Our next stop was the State Library. The library was designed by a woman in 1900. We walked up stairs and across a glass floor. The glass floor was for the natural light.

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This picture above shows three floors. The kids are heading to the next large mural, outside the old Supreme Court.

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The above mural is about Brown vs Board of Education. The artist, Michael Young, of Kansas City, created this mural in 2018, to depict the legacy of the 1954 landmark US Supreme /court desegregation case, with roots in Topeka. This mural is very detailed. The boy on the teachers left, has a Band-Aid. The newspaper boy, in the right corner has a snickers bar in his pocket…

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This is the Old State Supreme Court. The court was moved into a more modern building. This room is used for legislative hearings, and is not open to tours when the Legislature is in session. There were 7 Justices. Their pictures are around the room, up until 1974, when the court moved to the new building. All the new Justices pictures are in the new courtroom.

Next we  moved to the House. There is seating for 208. In Kansas, the Republicans sit on the left and the Dems on the right. Different than most of the states, where the Repubs. are on the right and Dems on the left. Most of the visitor seating is where we are seated. If the area becomes too full, then they open the far side, behind the Speaker. They have the usual buttons to push for votes. On the left and right sides, under the curved portion on the top floor, is where the votes show up on the screen. The Chandeliers are electrically moved down for cleaning. They had a lot of dust, so they must be due to be cleaned! There is lot of stuff on the desks, mostly sports memorabilia. The interns sit in the hard chairs up by the front on the right.

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When they renovated the Capitol, they found murals which had been painted over on the ceiling. They had to renovate them.

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Next we moved to the Senate.

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This room is much smaller, but more ornate. They do not vote via a machine. It is all done by voice vote. Note the stain glass windows, decorative ceiling.

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Note the copper pillars. They are decorative and were done in Italy.

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Note on the bottom of the column, there is a round vent for outside air to enter the room. Needless to say, since the renovation, the building is air conditioned.

The tour guide, then dumped us! He took the kids to the place where they could join the tour of the Dome. We had, by now, missed the 12:15 tour of the Dome. We were disappointed. He did not even give us directions on how to get back to the Visitor Center. We had to wander around trying to find our way back down.

When we finally found the desk in the Visitor Center on the ground floor, the guide was sitting there. I let him have it. I thought it was rude to just dump us on the 5th floor and I let him know it!

We left and went to a nice little restaurant called the Wheel Barrell. We had great sandwiches and Bob had a nice Octoberfest beer. Below, the picture is of the Veterans Memorial, in front of the Great Overland Station.

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The Great Overland Station is the 1927 Union Pacific Railroad Station. Looking at the pictures of the inside, we decided not to pay the admission and go in.

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We went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse. It was pouring rain when we left the restaurant.

Thursday- We left the park at about 10:00, after dumping our gray tank, driving south on I-35 to Wichita. We drove through town to McConnell AFB. We are staying at their FamCamp. We have 50 amp W/E for $14 per night. We are staying for 4 nights. There is a full hook up, part of the park, but those site are reserved for active military.

It was Bob’s birthday, so we went to Prost, a nice German Restaurant for dinner. Bob had a nice Octoberfest beer for with dinner. WK beer

Needless to say, I was the designated driver!

Friday-  We went to Costco for gas, $2.19 vs $2.29 on base. We ran in and picked up a few items, then we went to find the Pizza Hut Museum. Yeah, there is such a thing! We love quirky little museums…

This museum is located on the campus of Wichita State University. It is the original Pizza Hut building.Two students started the pizza business with assistance from family and friends in 1958 in this building on campus. They built the business from there, until they sold Pizza Hut to Pepsi in 1977. The museum is free and has student docents. 

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We walked in and there was no one there. We wandered thru looking at the various displays.

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Both of us remember that we had one of the Pizza Hut frisbees!

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We went to lunch at a very nice little restaurant called Tanya’s Soup Kitchen. It had really great Yelp ratings and we know why. There was as long line. You order and pay, they give you a number, and you sit at a table and they rapidly bring your food. Bob had 1/2 a Rubin with potato salad. I had Delilah’s Light lunch, which was sliced chicken breast, apricot relish, sharp cheddar, and romaine on an onion Kaiser roll. It came with the small soup of shrimp and sweet potato soup. It was all delicious! They have a real winner!

Our next stop was at the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House.  “The house was but they do offer tours. The house was commissioned in 1916 and completed n 1918. It is named after the first owners, publisher Henry Allen and his wife Elsie. It was the last of the architect’s famous prairie house, which emphasized horizontal lines, earth tones and a continuous blending of interiors with exteriors” taken from the website.  Here is the front and the side.

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We returned to the rig, had a short nap, and a quiet evening.

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