My brother Herman is getting married! He lives in Warsaw, Mo, but is getting married in Sedalia. Family of course came in town to see the big day. In traditional Haake fashion, we did it our way. I started off the party of weirdness when the lady at the hotel desk asked for a description of the car. The photo below is what transpired.
I got a very strange look from the lady when she saw what I wrote. Family was already there and we all started getting ready for the wedding.
It didn’t take long before we were all dressed and waiting for the ceremony to start. Before long, Nikki and Herman were up there taking their vows and enjoying their party!
After the ceremony, we retreated indoors to the barn to celebrate more!
Mom getting a little crazy!
Hanging out with uncle Mike.
Mom, Kalie, and Hannah
Dad, Me, and Corvin
Look, a truck. I would guess a Ford, but I don’t see a tow truck.
Everyone except for Hayden.
Nikki and Herman entering the reception.
Somebody wrote on dad’s window…
I love out of town weddings because everybody stays in the same hotel and its a constant party. Here’s to Herman and Nikki!
My sister Holly is moving to Kansas City after being in Wichita for about 10 years. This is super exiting for me as i don’t often see her as its a very long drive from St. Louis. Now she will be closer and we can see her and her family.
This moving journey starts out on Friday evening in St. Louis though. I wanted to change the air filter in my van before we left. This requires tools and reaching back in the engine by the firewall to get the screws out. I had done this successfully and had it mostly put back together. Sonora came out and was checking out what I was doing.
I work hard at being a good father and I was in the groove. I asked her if she was interested in helping. I got a resounding yes. Before long, Sonora was leaning over working on tightening the screws to get the cover back on. That was when I heard the fateful sound of her dropping the socket deep into the engine.
On the photo above, I had to take out a majority of the plastic parts behind the battery before I found the socket. It took about 45 minutes, but I got it all fixed. I was glad to get if fixed up as we needed to take the van the next day to help with the move.
Holly said not to come too early as they were still packing the truck in Wichita, but we didn’t listen. She had lots of stuff pre-moved at my parents house. We got to KC before lunch and didn’t waste any time gathering the troops and starting the move. Hiatt, Tom, Kathy, Matt, Lauren, Mom, Dad, and Sonora.
We packed up Tom’s Expedition, Dad’s Flex, and my Sienna and headed out to Holly’s new house to unload without her. Along the way, I made some modifications to the boxes to help them find their stuff.
We just finished unloading the second load when they showed up!
Lots of trips in and out of the house trying to put things where they were supposed to go.
But it wasn’t all business, we did stop to have some fun! I taped David’s mouth shut.
Lindsay didn’t want to be left out of the fun.
And before long, it was family fun!
Henry wanted to help, but he had to work. Eventually he did get off work and we make sure to visit. His mustang is coming along nicely!
Moving was a lot of hard work and I can tell I’m getting older. By the end, I was going much slower. The hard work was worth it helping Holly and Jim out.
We came into KC for the weekend because Holly and family were going to be in town. Somehow it ended up being a mini reunion with family. Its always good to see everybody. First off is a video of Holly (and Jim)’s kids, David and Lindsay.
I got them to say “Kelly Clarkson” and “Welcome to your doom” multiple times in case you could not understand them.
Ok and now for family photos. I’ll name people from left to right.
Mike, Hannah, Kathy
Hiatt and Kris
Lauren, Kathy, Sonora, Danelle, Holly, Becky, Mike
As the night wore on, Henry needed a ride home, so Dad and I went out to pick him up from work. We found this car in his working parking lot. An interesting and harmless prank.
Then we swung by my cousin Matt’s house to pick him up and add to the late night party. A great night!
We went to Kansas City for Christmas. We decided to take our time coming into town. We left St. Louis on Friday morning and took a leisurely drive out US Highway 50 stopping in Jefferson City. First stop was the river.
With almost no complaints, Corvin and Sonora put their coats on and walked down to the river to take it all in. And maybe to throw rocks as well 🙂
After the river, we met Sean and Jennifer for lunch. We don’t get to Jeff City to see them enough, so it was great to stop by and catch up with them!
Eventually, we found our way to Kansas City where the fun began!
If anybody wasn’t sure where I get all of my fun from, the two photos above of my parents should give you some idea!
Peaches on the left and Heidi on the right.
As an extra bonus, Holly and Lindsay were able to come in town for a while! We missed David and Jim, but made the most of the time we had with the girls!
We even made it in time for the annual Christmas party on my dad’s side.
Back at my parents, the presents flowed and the kids glowed.
Henry continued some demolition on his old car engine.
Ohh look, its only 365 days till Christmas!
And most important of all, we have to sing our traditional song before we can open presents!
This was a week that started off bad and only got better! Danelle was going out of town for a girls 40th birthday party week and that left the kids and I to hang out. After thinking of lots of ideas of what to do with the kids, I decided to visit my sister Holly in Wichita, KS.
I was supposed to leave on Saturday morning to get there. Unfortunately for me, I got strep throat. The whole trip was up in the air as we didn’t want to get anybody else sick. I woke up feeling fantastic Saturday after the drugs had kicked in. I decided the week would not be a flop, so we headed to the store and bought another kayak 0310. From there we went out to Simpson Lake to paddle. Each kid got their own boat and I got a canoe solo. I only had room for 2 on top of the van, so the Viper went inside making a very tight fit.
To make the paddle more interesting, we stopped in the middle and ate a picnic lunch. The Corvin and Sonora both had a great time paddling with me and being a captain of their own ship.
I called Holly to let her know I was feeling better. Somewhere in the conversation, it was agreed that we should still come to Wichita and visit them. When we got home from paddling, we hurried to put the boats and gear away in the garage and pack for a week long visit. And then the three of us took off for a week’s adventure. To keep things interesting, I didn’t follow Google’s route taking major interstates and instead took as many rural highways as I could. This ended up being a blessing at the end of the trip!
Of course being in a new city, you have to try new things. Just down the street from Holly’s house was a Spangle’s restaurant. The inside had an interesting theme and a first place trophy.
On our second day, we had an adventure planned. I had reservations for Corvin, Sonora and I (Holly’s kids were too small) to go to Strataca. Strataca is an underground working salt mine in Hutchinson, Kansas. We had a 9am reservation and I paid for all the extras since we would not likely come back (due to the distance away).
Below are some interesting notes from the waiting area.
This ring is now the top of the mine.
Freeze pipes used to freeze the underwater aquifer before drilling through. Ran brine at -26 degrees Fahrenheit.
Much of the salt pulled out of this active mine is used as road salt and some for livestock. In a different area of town, the Morton salt company mines salt that is used for food. Its said that there is enough salt in this area to handle human consumption for a few thousand years. Now lets go 650 feet underground!
I failed to mention that there is a high security underground storage company that is using some of the old mined out space to store important things.
Of course a trip to the salt mine wouldn’t be complete without visiting the original site where salt was found.
If you didn’t already know, going to a salt mine is hard work. We were underground for about 5 hours and the kids were ready to go (I could have stayed longer).
Anybody that knows my dad or I knows that we like strange things. When I travel I like to use RoadsideAmerica to find interesting things to see along the way. Surprisingly, there are a lot of weird things to see around Wichita. We started with a mock Stonehenge. I think its a stretch, but it was fun to come out and see the random rocks.
Also included on the site and nearby is Keeper of the Plains. Its a tribute to the Kiowa-Comanche Indians. The site was very beautiful to look at being at the confluence of 2 rivers. While waiting for sunset, we walked around the river walk. Corvin rode his unicycle. As the sunset approached, people started appearing and a anticipation filled the air as we waited to see if they would light the ring of fire since it was very windy.
The following day Holly took Sonora and her kids to the zoo while Corvin and I did two laps around the outside on our unicycles for a total of 8.01 tiring miles. Corvin and I stopped to enjoy the ride and hang out while the kids did zoo stuff.
It got too hot so Holly and company left the zoo before we finished, but we all had a great time. Back at the house, I had to laugh at David trying to open a case of soda with a Play-Doh pair of scissors!
Another gem from RoadsideAmerica, Jurassic Art: Welded Dinosaurs, is a fantastic thing to stop and see. This artist has some great imagination!
We followed that up with a trip to the aviation museum. We spent several hours here looking at planes, throwing some paper planes, and flight simulators.
Hang in there, we’re more than half way done, congrats if you’re still reading, but you are probably family 🙂
One of the best things about visiting a new city is the ability to see it with new eyes. Most places have interesting things if you are looking for them. Come home from dinner earlier in the week, I noticed a bunch of painted pianos near the street. When I asked Holly and Jim about it, they thought I was crazy and couldn’t think of any along the route. So we went out for a casual drive to prove I wasn’t crazy! Some of them even still played on a few keys.
On our last full day in Wichita, we took a road trip to Lindsborg, Kansas. There you can see Coronado Heights and while it may not sound exciting, the view is spectacular!
Now that we saw the building, we were all hungry, so we found amazing food in town at The Swedish Crown. I wasn’t sure I would like it, but the food was fantastic. The town has lots of painted horses to see as well.
On the way home, I spotted an oil refinery and drove as close as I dared to get photos before continuing on. Now I think I could have gotten further.
That evening, we promised the kids Chuck-E-Cheese, so we went just to play games. Then Snorkie came out to play with the kids back at the house.
We left Wichita early in the morning to get to our surprise visit. If your memory goes back to the start of this post, I mentioned rural highways and a blessing… Our last RoadsideAmerica visit was to Big Brutus. This is the largest electric shovel in the world. None of the photos do it justice for the size!
Sonora is still talking about going back to visit it again, so dad for the win! Overall a perfect week vacation. Thanks to Holly and Jim for putting up with us for that long!