May morning after rain

May morning after rain

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Weekend Snapshots

Discovery is always a good thing. So is family. So we combined the two this weekend. After harvest, we decided we'd take Friday and Saturday off before plunging into the next "harvest" on the farm - the second cutting of alfalfa. (Rain in the forecast has delayed that task for the past two days, though we haven't gotten any moisture yet. If we put hay down, it will rain.)

Anyway, our first stop was the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan. Just for the record, it was not "THE 'scovery Center" in Topeka. (Kinley always tells me I am pronouncing it wrong, and that's my best approximation of her version.) It's hard to compete with the REAL 'scovery Center, which is a learning experience disguised as play.

But we still enjoyed this museum dedicated to the Flint Hills, especially the film, "Tallgrass Prairie: Tides of Time," complete with "smoke," wind and fire.  
Our little cowgirls saddled up.
They also "branded" a steer - in a manner of speaking.
Kinley liked following the train and watching it emerge from the tunnels.
Grandpa and Kinley pretended to be prairie dogs.
Jill, Eric, Kinley and Brooke posed for an All-American family portrait on the eve of July 4.
Uncle Brent is as good at avoiding the camera as I am, so I didn't end up with a photo of him. We ate at the new Tallgrass Tap House in downtown Manhattan.

The guys went golfing, and the girls checked out the Manhattan City Park water feature. Well, we watched Kinley check it out!
True to form, she preferred the swings at the nearby playground more than any other feature. I pushed Kinley, and Jill pushed Brooke on the swings.
Photo by Jill
 It appears Brooke likes swinging just as much as her big sister.
 They also had a "photo op" for Grandma on a playground animal.
Kinley checked out the "big guy" at the park. Johnny Kaw, a 30-foot-tall pioneer wheat farmer statue, is Manhattan's answer to Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill. Johnny is the brainchild of K-State professor George Filinger whose "tall tale" proclaims that Johnny created the Kansas landscape, geography and pioneer trails. He dug the Kaw River Valley, planted wheat and invented sunflowers. Johnny even controlled the weather, lopping the funnels off tornadoes and wringing out the clouds to end droughts.

Conveniently, Uncle Brent lives near a playground, so we did some more swinging there. After a visit to Varsity Donuts and Powercat Grill, we headed for Topeka for the 4th, where I experienced my first-ever neighborhood parade, complete with fire truck. It was 4th of July Americana at its best. 
Coming soon: More on our 4th of July holiday weekend!

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