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Tuesday
Sep062011

Tour de Kansas (and Missouri)

I hope you all had a nice Labor Day weekend and enjoyed the last unofficial days of summer! We took an extra couple of days off and visited my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and second cousins across the state of Kansas and Missouri, covering over 700 miles.

After flying from New Jersey to Kansas City we headed to my grandparents farm in Dodge City.  On the way, we were sure to make a stop in Kinsley, KS at Midway USA, the midpoint between San Francisco & New York.

 


Next up the farm, and I was excited to show my husband my grandparents farm. I have so many great memories from visiting the farm while growing up; cooking with Grandma, 'helping' Grandpa out around the farm, and having way too much of fun with my cousins.

 

 

 

This is the farm where my Grandpa was born and where my mom grew up. My husband really enjoyed the tour around the farm and town, and all of the history. Speaking of history, that tow truck on the right in the picture below was converted from my Grandpa's school bus growing up!


Our visit to the farm was too quick, but we made the most of our 24 hours. I was able to see some adorable little twin cousins that I hadn't seen in years. They probably wouldn't want me to call them little or adorable, now that they are big 4th graders that play tackle football!

I have to end it with  the food highlight, which was trying calf fries, or some may call them mountain oysters. They were fried, and really didn't taste too bad, as long as you didn't think about what you were actually eating.

Next stop, my Grandpa in Topeka. I can always count on him to have some cold Boulevard Wheat Beers on hand for me. I wish I could get Boulevard Beer in New Jersey, they have a good IPA & Pilsner too.


My Grandpa has a crazy elaborate model train set up in his basement, so we played trains. 

 


One of my other 'not so little' cousins (he's in his 20's) took us out to dinner at a yummy Mexican restaurant and then my aunt surprised me with a birthday cake. Did I mention it was my birthday weekend? If you want to be spoiled on your birthday weekend, go visit your aunts, mine spoiled me all weekend! Back to the cake, not only did she make me a cake, but she made a cake from Kiss My Whisk and told me that I've inspired her to enjoy cooking again. I couldn't have asked for a kinder compliment, and I promise I'm not offended that her chocolate cake was prettier than mine! 


My second cousin made the party! Isn't she a cutie? 


After a quick trip to Topeka, we were off to Lake Lotawana, but not without a stop in Kansas City for some BBQ.  Our usual go to is Jack Stack's BBQ, and if you are ever in Kansas City make sure you go there! Since we'd been there a couple of times and it wasn't on our way, we decided to try Oklahoma Joe's. It didn't disappoint, especially the pulled pork I ordered, but Jack Stack's is still my favorite.


Now onto Lake Lotawana. We did some skiing, but you've seen pictures of us skiing when we were in Lake Norman, so I'll show you pictures of my cousin skiing.


Your eyes aren't fooling you, she skies backwards. Not only does she ski backwards, but she has this delicious little one. 


Below is a picture of my cousin and I in matching shirts. Since we were babies, our moms dressed us in matching clothes like twins, so why stop when we're 29/28? 


Once again, your eyes aren't fooling you, we look nothing alike and it's beyond us why our moms dressed us like twins. Although, I think they have gotten over the fact that we look nothing alike and are happy that we grew up to be friends.

Remember, how I said my aunts spoiled me? Well my aunt at Lake Lotawana made me two pies. A Black Bottom Pecan Pie and a French Silk Pie. Yum!

 

The recipes to these pies will be in separate posts, I just need to harass my aunt and cousin to mail them to me.

We had a wonderful time with my family.  We look forward to our next visit to Kansas, and you guys know you are always welcome to visit us!

 

Reader Comments (3)

Looks awesome, can I come next time? I have Kansas relatives too!

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDWFMBA

You're always welcome to join! I had no idea you have Kansas relatives, where are they?

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

Nice!

September 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharla

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