u.s. road trip…days 14-16

got to my aunt mary’s in wichita pretty late (are you noticing that i skipped the drive from fort collins to wichita?  good on ya.  that’s exactly how exciting it was), but, as she’d earlier told us, she was away at a barbershop competition – she conducts one group and trains another…i think.  the woman is the single busiest musician i’ve ever met.  in addition to that, she teaches music at middle school and works with (conducts?) her church choir.  anyway, my aunt rita and uncle jack let us in, and hung out to chat for a while.  the next day we went out with my aunt pat, uncle frank, and their daughter susan to a kids’ museum called exploration place in which chris and i experienced the only good kind of tornado – a virtual one – and partook of their vegetarian option:  pb&j with french fries.  excellent.  we stopped for a piece of pie with susan on the way home, and as the family would be making their way over that evening, we decided to buy a pie.

the guy behind the counter heard us discussing whether or not it would be enough, and decided to throw TWO pies in for free!  that’s a lotta pie.  and typical kansas hospitality.  best part was, there was no showy stuff about it.  he even let us pick which kind!  not long after we got back, family started to arrive, and this was a reasonably big group.  7 aunts and uncles, 6 cousins, 7 second cousins, and that’s not counting me and chris!  needless to say, it was a full house…the kids ran around and played while uncle mike and aunt mary jammed…aunt pat showed us pictures i never knew existed of family i’m too young to have met but knew by name…a really good evening all in all.

next day my aunt rita picked us up and we went for lunch at a place that specialized in everything (le monde)  – delicious – and then took us on a tour of wichita, complete with history and a walk around the university – a really beautiful campus with loads of art scattered throughout.  then aunt mary and aunt pat took us out for mexican with susan (seriously…we ate this much)…and aunt mary must have read my mind, because she said, ‘you guys probably haven’t gotten to work out the whole time you’ve been traveling….you wanna go to my gym tonight?’  now, normally after 2 beers and a big plate of comida mexicana, working out is the last thing on my mind, but right at that moment, nothing sounded better.  so that was what we did!

on our last day, mary woke us up bright and early and had breakfast waiting, complete with jamaican blue mountain coffee – does it get any better??? and we were on our way into the state that’s bigger than any european country…the one you don’t mess with…think big hats and bigger steaks…


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