Holly Week – 6/10/2017

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!

Hogan Haae

Kansas City – 8/30/2014

We came into KC for the weekend to see Holly. This was the last weekend she was going to come into town before she had her baby girl.

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Of course we got to see my parents who seemed quite happy!

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But it wasn’t meant to be, mom wasn’t actually happy. She has been having issues with the dishwasher for some time now. I convinced them to go shopping with me to pick out a new one. I told mom that I would even install it for her that night. Needless to say, mom was much happier!

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I only had minor cursing while I figured out how to install it and it still hasn’t leaked! Then on the way home, we had a random bathroom/meal stop. I found the painting below on the wall in a McDonalds. Makes me want to do that to a wall in my house!

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KC – 5/4/2013

We timed this visit to KC for the same time that Holly was going to be in town. We actually didn’t want to see Holly, but we did want to see her baby, David Laughing

It had been a few months since we had seen David and he is growing up soo fast! Lucky for us, he is still cuddly. We spent the whole weekend around the house hanging out with family. Several of my uncles came over to the house for dinner Saturday night and we had a fantastic time visiting wtih everybody.

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Marci’s Wedding – 7/28/2012

My cousin Marci got married this weekend. I don’t know what we were thinking, but we came into town with only our cell phones, no camera. So all of the photos are of my immediate family, and none of Marci. The ceremony and reception were nice. We had an added incentive for going to this wedding. First, Holly and David were going to be there.

Second is that my parents were keeping the kids for the week. The kids were excited about this and Danelle and I were looking forward to peace and quite for a week!

I also got a great blackmail photo of Hiatt!

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Easter and Prom 4.23

We travled to Kansas City this year to celebrate Easter. Grandma Pat started off the wonderful weekend by taking the kids to the “Ball Museum” (Wonderscope Children’s Museum). They always love going there with grandma to play. Aunt Holly decided to join them.

After the trip to the museum, Hannah had PROM that night for her high school. It seemed like bad timing to have it the Saturday before Easter, but its a public school. Sonora decided to get dressed up with Hannah.

Getting dressed up is only half the fun. When the limo came to pick up the girls at my parents house, Sonora and mom had to get in and see how awesome it is.

Hannah thought that the limo driver was quite attractive, so I managed to snag a few photos of him. I’m a good brother!

You’re looking at some seriously concerned kids! Their dad (thats me) kicked the soccer ball over the fence. They were both judging the jump down and both decided that Corvin could do it. I didn’t let him getting the ball, opting to wait for the neighbors to throw it back over later.

Easter tradition for my parents is always to go over to Uncle Tom and Aunt Theresa’s house to celebrate. I remember doing that every year for as long as I can remember. Their current house has a nice stocked lake behind it. So after all of the eggs were found, the fishing began.

And finally, we ended up back at my parents house to do one final egg hunt.

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