Tallgrass Prairie and Harry Truman Home. September 24, 2015

Breakfast in the Homewood Suites at the Waterfront in Wichita was not very exciting.

How I miss the Five star lodging!

We never even saw any of the waterfront in Wichita at all. It turns out that the waterfront is a development on Beech Lake, an impoundment.

We made a stop at a grocery store in Kansas before our next stop. We bought some cookies.

8lWhen we were planning our trip, Steve was really excited about making sure that we would stop here. Have I mentioned before how Steve is interested in this type of stuff? Me not so much, but if it makes Steve happy, then I am happy.

Look how big these sunflowers were! Speaking of big, Steve’s beard was quite big by this point. Steve doesn’t have the beard anymore.

These sunflowers had really tiny heads.

Long long ago, this was the range of the Prairie. We saw an interesting movie about the prairie.

Prairie as far as you can see!

Here I am, big hat, no cattle!

Beautiful wild flowers.

We walked a little past this “Beware of Bison” sign. There wasn’t a gate here. The bison are afraid of the grate and won’t go past it. As we were not in a vehicle I decided that this should be the end of the trail. Steve unsurprisingly obeyed.

The grass was taller than I am!

Good bye Kansas! Hello Missouri!

A view of Kansas City from Independence Missouri.

We went to the Harry S. Truman visitor center in Independence Missouri. There was a short orientation film but not many exhibits. We really weren’t impressed. I think that maybe we should have gone to the Presidential Library. We did no research about this at all. Next time, we will be better prepared. I think if you paid money you could go for a ride on the mule driven wagon.

This was the Harry Truman house. We did not go in. We would have had to wait too long to get a slot for the tour. So we just did a drive by. This was really Bess’s Mom’s house. Harry never had much money.

We are staying at the Hotel Vandivort in Springfield Missouri. It was a former Masonic Temple. There is no relation to Harry Potter and he who must not be named.

The hotel had a really funky vibe that I liked. They had self parking with a magnetic card that operated the gate to enter and exit. Steve did not like this at all. He has problems figuring which way to insert the card. Does it go right side up? Down? Front of card? Now did I flip it and turn it the right way or not? Eventually he got it all straightened out and parked the van.

The room was quite pleasant, and very modern. The screen on the wall had different slides of old time Springfield. The room also had hard to figure out blinds. Just not as hard to figure out as the parking lot gate!

Don’t you just love these Do Not Disturb signs for the door?

I wanted to take them all home, but really what do I need with them?

Since Steve was mad and the hotel looked like some kind of Chamber of Commerce Get Together was going on we didn’t eat at the hotel. The restaurant was just off the hotel lobby and there was a lot of noise. By now you should remember that Steve hates NOISE! So we walked down the street to a restaurant that Steve thought looked good.

8The Aviary.

The restaurant was also noisy but since it was only 1/4 the size of the hotel restaurant it was not quite as noisy as the Vandivort Restaurant would have been.

We shared a Caesar Salad.

I had salmon with lots of vegetables and rice.

Steve had steak frites.

No dessert for us as I ate too many cookies in the car today.

There were lots of sorority sisters in the restaurant. Why do all these gals looks so pulled together and pretty? They appeared to be very tanned, had on lots of foundation, mascara, and styled hair, which for most of them in various shades of blonde tones. I wish I had the energy to spend that much time on myself. Steve is laughing because he knows that I am pretending to take a picture of him, but in reality I am taking a picture of the sorority sisters!

I remember one time asking a lady that I knew who served on a board with me how much time it took her to get ready in the morning. She told me 30 minutes on her hair and 30 minutes on her face. I told her that she looked wonderful, but that I would never be able to look so good. I may be “lemme lemme upgrade Linda”, but high maintenance I am not. I just take a shower, comb my hair, throw some clothes on and if I really want to impress someone I may add some lipstick. Although now I don’t even put on lipstick as if I go to a store I wear a mask. Some people think high maintenance means liking nice stuff, which I do. I think it means requiring lots of time and money to look a certain way.

Steve found out that the Bass Pro Shop store is less than 2 miles from the hotel. They are supposed to have many fish in aquariums in the store. When we were at Cow Creek Steve also got a recipe for beef jerky from his guide. We may be buying lots of supplies and fishing equipment tomorrow. Oh My Land!

Back to the Hotel Vandivort and a good night to all!

Did you pledge a sorority in college?

Are you decent?

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

Santa Fe Mexico to Kansas! September 23, 2015

Up for breakfast for our last night in New Mexico. No one else was up except for the waiter!

I had the French toast with berries. It was berry good!

Steve had the gloppy omelette. Or maybe it was an enchilada!

Then it was one last shut of the door and out the door we went!

We soon left New Mexico.

Good bye mountains!

With each mile the mountains got further and further away.

Soon we were in Texas and we found a grocery store to stop at in Amarillo Texas!

There were lots of wind turbines in the Texas panhandle.

So after Texas it was on to Oklahoma. Steve was fascinated by the signs for clean restrooms at the Sunoco station. I admit that I was so fascinated that I had to take a picture!

Sure enough they had clean restrooms, they just weren’t in working condition.

So the normally family restroom had to be shared. Good thing that they finally put up the sign to tell patrons to lock the door. I am sure there were a few “whoopsies!”

We found a small supermarket in Oklahoma.

They had big logs of ground beef. I am not sure how many hamburgers or meatloaves you could make with that much beef. I found it totally unappetizing and I love meat!

Where we are located the ground meat is sold in small trays, just like the packages on the upper left of the screen. About a pound and a third. I know this as many of my recipes call for 1.5 pounds of beef. This annoys me to no end. I don’t like to adjust my recipies, so my meatloaf is probably a little less tasty than it should be. I have noticed some of those big logs of beef in our area, but way back then in the dark ages of 2015 when we took this trip it didn’t seem to happen as often.

I did find it interesting how small the produce area was compared to the snack area.

I am sure that processed food is much cheaper here than fresh fruits and vegetables as all the crop land if any is for growing animals. I think the other land is for wind turbines and oil wells!

Oklahoma was flat and wet, but beautiful as every where we have seen in the United States.

Oklahoma has the nicest rest areas of any that we have been to. I made sure to tell the ladies at the information desk this. The ladies seemed to be quite happy about this!

Then it was on to Kansas! No, you are not seeing things, the window was a bit smeared because of all the rain, and the photo was enlarged to the state of distortion.

We had dinner at Firebirds which was very near to our hotel.

The Double Black Diamond Martini was so good! After having to lay off the booze while we were at higher elevations it was nice to have a fruity martini again. Of course you know how I like a fruity martini!

I got a little bit annoyed at the waitstaff who told me it was “okay” to skip the appetizers and just have an entree.

A small loaf of bread with butter.

Steak Salad for me.

Salmon for Steve.

Then they said it was “okay” that we didn’t want to share a slice of carrot cake or another dessert. Since when do I need the servers okay to not pad the bill?

Then it was back to Homewood Suites in Wichita.

What is your favorite fruity martini flavor?

Have you ever been to the rest areas on the Oklahoma interstates?

Should I take all my pictures of food before someone took a bite?