Saturday, July 21, 2018

A picnic near the river

One day while the young people were in town, it wasn't quite as hot as it had been.   Although I hadn't planned to take any photos, where I go, so goes my camera.  One friend said it is like another appendage. 

Although we brought blankets and a cooler, we left them in the vehicle.  I had planned to picnic by the river.

I remembered when several of my internet friends got so excited when they saw Canadian geese, or their return, and I just rolled my eyes.

We have tons of them here and they never go away because people feed them.

Why leave when you have all the comforts and none of the migrating to worry about.

I had planned to take a photo of the river, but got the head of a goose.

Ironically, I cut off the head, photographically speaking, of the same goose, but managed to get its mate and a couple of crows hiding in the grass.  A fun fact: Canadian geese mate for life.

I followed the antics of the geese and their crow friend, all of whom seemed oblivious of others and vehicles, too.

We decided to let the geese have the shade near the river, and we found a shady picnic table in the park, where we could still see the river and eat our lunch without worrying about honking geese begging for food.

Thank you so much for joining the youngsters and me today as we navigated our way around the Canadian geese near the river.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday Smiles 281: At the Ice Center

I'm here to join Annie at Annie's Friday Smiles. Some of you may have been here last Saturday and Sunday when I shared that I had two teens and a tween who stayed with me for several days.  To catch everyone up, I took care of these youngsters as their mother was dying last year and until their aunt could come from California (a state in the U.S.) to make funeral arrangements and take them to live there.  They asked to visit me while on summer break.

We did a lot of fun things, and on this particular day, we visited the Wichita Ice Center.

We even took a walk through the Ice Sports Store, which was filled with lots of sports clothing, pucks, and ice skates.

The Ice Center has it all from figure skating, a professional sized Olympic rink, a professional sized NHL (hockey) rink, and children's skating programs. 

There are full-length viewing windows and a health center on the second floor.

There is also a 1000 person seating area in the Olympic sized rink.  You might not realize it from the outside, but this was a HUGE place.  I assure you, my photos don't do it justice.

Hockey, figure skating, and what they call "leisure skating" are all included in this building.  Skating lessons are also offered to young and old alike.

Although I promised I would never show their faces, or even their genders on my blog, they wanted to send a picture of them going to the Ice Center to some friends.   I just hope I didn't give too much away!

Image of hockey rink taken from the internet
I had never been on ice skates before, and I assure you, I hugged the edges, but at least I didn't break anything, and didn't bruise my ego too much, either.  After the skating session, we got to stay and watch the Zamboni (the machine that smooths and resurfaces the ice) in action.  Then, as if we hadn't had enough cold that day, we went out for double scoops of ice cream.

Thanks for joining the youngsters and me today and thanks for your continued visits.  Now let's visit Annie's Friday Smiles, where it never hurts to begin the weekend with a big smile, just like Annie's. Feel free to join in with a post of your own, too.

Thursday, July 19, 2018


On my quest to find free and inexpensive things to do while the youngsters were visiting,

we ventured downtown.  If this is your first visit, or you haven't been here in awhile, I have three young people visiting from CA (a state in the U.S.) who I took care of last year after their mother died of breast cancer and before their aunt could arrive to take over their care.

I thought we might try to find more of the Keeper of the Plains replicas that had been painted by local artists and donated to the city.  They had already seen the Keeper at the river, but had not seen any of the statues. 

It's hard to tell what they look like with all the background distractions in the Pop-Up Urban Park in downtown Wichita.

Apparently I failed to get a view of the back of this one.


Again, a front view, but no back view.


This one was called Day Trip and it appears I remembered to get a decent photo of the back.

Here are the backs of the other two, although they don't show a great deal.

If you want to see a photo of the real Keeper and more of these replicas, please see this post I wrote in June, 2017.   Below are the ones I found on the internet after I wrote the post in 2017.

This one shows the night sky and glows in the dark.

This one contains about a gazillion bottle caps.  Personally, I liked seeing them in this environment, because there are so many distractions in the Pop-Up Urban Park.

While downtown, we checked out a few of the bronze statues

the city placed on this street.

Apparently, I got distracted, because we saw a LOT of these statues and sculptures that I didn't get photos of.  Somehow spending time with young inquisitive minds is about the only thing that keeps me from taking photos.

On our way to lunch, one of the few days we ate out or didn't pack a lunch or snacks, I decided to find a mural my foodie friend Sally told me was going to be painted over soon.

The story goes that the artist who painted the mural had died and the building's owner wants to cover it up, since it can no longer be repainted or touched up as needed. 

However, the son of the artist wanted it to remain and was trying to get a petition to keep it there.  It must have been a genuine beauty when it was first painted.

I kept fighting the sign that was in the way of taking a good photo, but the youngsters were just happy to see it.   It's amazing what art can do to a conversation as they explained how big the celebration was/is in CA.

On the way to the restaurant, I noticed that Jack's Drive-In was finally open again.  It has been an institution in Wichita for years.  Here you are looking west toward the river and the Minisa Bridge.

Some of you may remember this postcard of the large print I bought Sally at Christmas.  This is looking east over the bridge and you can see Jack's in the back right.

The restaurant was sold several years ago and the new owner spent a ton bringing this hamburger "joint" back to its former glory.

Thanks for heading downtown and around town with three young people who surprisingly didn't get bored with me today.