Thursday, February 22, 2007


This time last week I was sitting here waiting for the day to get over so I could start my vacation. The Whistler had been on vacation for TWO weeks, and I was ready for a break! So I took a long weekend, my parents took the kids, and we headed out to Topeka, Kansas. I know, I know...Kansas?!!? What could there possibly be in Kansas worth driving for?

Well, to begin with, we drove through Chicago. An old college friend of mine that I haven't seen in about four years lives there, and once we had decided where we were going, I got ahold of her to see if she could meet up with us for a while. We ended up meeting at a McDonald's, but we got to sit and talk for an hour or so, and it was really great to reconnect with her. I don't have a lot of "girl" friends around at home that aren't also family, and I didn't realize how much I missed it until I was there talking with her. Have to work on that, won't I?

After that, we drove through quite a bit of snow to get down to Topeka. I was a little disappointed about all the snow on the ground, because part of the reason we went was to get AWAY from the snow. We arrived on Saturday morning, checked into our hotel, and went to sleep! Later that afternoon we finally managed to get up and do a little driving around. Hubby really wanted to go to CiCi's pizza, so we looked for one of those, and after a little side-street adventure, finally found one. It was great! They have a buffet all day, every day (unlike Pizza Hut.. grr), and the selection was pretty big. Not only that, but when one of the more unique pizzas (as in not pepperoni, sausage, or cheese) was gone, they'd replace it with something different, so it was always changing. I had a piece of spinach pizza, which was better than I expected, and a sort of chicken alfredo with mushrooms, that was also excellent. Besides pizza they had a little bit of pasta, some cheese bread, three types of salad, and three desserts. Yum!

Once we were stuffed with pizza, we didn't really feel up to much else, so back to the hotel we went to watch tv and get some more sleep. Sunday morning we stayed in and watched TV.. they were playing a marathon of Beauty and the Geek, and for a while we just couldn't turn it off. Oops. For lunch, we went to Sonic, also tasty, and not readily available at home, thus its appeal. After lunch we drove over to the Topeka Zoo, which was only a couple of blocks from our hotel. It wasn't the biggest zoo, and the animals weren't very active thanks to the snow, but it was still a nice time. They had quite a few animals that we don't have at the zoo at home, including gorillas, giraffes, elephants, and a hippo. The gorillas were out, and seeing them was probably one of my best memories from the zoo. As you can sort of see in the picture, they had a covered walkway through the middle of their area. When we got there, I didn't see any animals outside, so I started to walk away. Hubby says, "What about that one?" There was a gorilla ON TOP of the walkway. I had thought it was a statue! But he climbed down the side of the walkway, then came running at us, beating on his chest. It was pretty cool, if I do say so myself.
After the zoo we decided to drive around Topeka, and see what sights there were to see. Unfortunately, there wasn't much except for the Capital Building, which was HUGE, and very pretty. The downtown area was pretty empty, not a lot of shops, or much of anything. Only a few people walking around, even. It was kind of sad, so we went back to the hotel to go swimming. We had dinner at a Coyote Canyon steak buffet, which was also very tasty.
And the next day.. it was time to go home. We woke up early, packed up, and hit the road. On the way home we drove by Kansas City and St. Louis, both of which I think I'd like to spend time in the next time we go on vacation. An added attraction for hubby is the Budweiser brewery in St. Louis, so I'm sure we'll go there one of these days! But probably in the spring or summer when it's nicer outside. All in all, it was a nice vacation. It was really good to get out of the house, and even out of state for a while, even if we did spend half the time driving. What with all the snow keeping us pretty much in the house for quite a while before we got to go on vacation, we were ready for a change of scene. And the kids had a great time at my parents' house too. They love visiting Papa and Grammie, but they're always very happy to see us when it's time to go home too!

3 fellow footsteps:

Sara said...

I'm glad you had a good time!
I had wondered what there was to do in Kansas, but I agree sometimes it is just nice not to have to go to work and just veg in a new place.

Mags said...

You know, just getting away from your everyday surroundings, even if it's to do ordinary things like eat pizza and watch tv is great.

Especially when the kids are away somewhere...I'm glad you got to take a little vacation for you and Billy.

Skittles said...

Sounds very nice a relaxing! Some private time for just the two of you :)