Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Kansas Adventures

Just after Christmas my parents and I jetted off to Kansas for my cousin Laura's wedding. Before I left, I had more than one conversation like this:

Co-worker: Doing anything fun over the holidays?
Me: I'm going to my cousin's wedding
Co-worker: Ooh, like a destination wedding?
Me: Sort of...
Co-worker: Someplace warm?
Me: Kansas?
Co-worker: Oh. [looks at me with pity]

Actual view from hotel window

But Kansas was actually fun times. First off, there were lots of things that you don't see in Seattle.

Second, the food was amazing. Things that I maybe shouldn't be eating every week, but fantastic "I'm on vacation so yes I want 'salad' that is covered in mayonnaise" comfort food. It seemed like more than half the meals were buffets, including a breakfast buffet with endless cinnamon roles, and a Sunday brunch at a retirement home which had literally 15 choices of pie. On the last night we were desperate for something a little "lighter" and ended up at Applebees. Applebees. Truth be told, part of the reason was that we were also in the mood for some alcohol, and it was Sunday in a nearly dry county and it appeared that Applebees was the only heathen spot that would serve. If you know my parents, you will be as delighted as I was to imagine them at Applebees with margaritas in hand. 

Proof that it happened

You know what else was great about Kansas? The shopping. One afternoon we decided to wander around downtown Newton and found all kinds of great stuff. We walked into a thrift shop and I immediately gravitated toward this vintage purse:

Oh, but I don't need that, I told myself. What would I do with it? Would I ever use it? much is it?
[checks price tag]

Then we went to a Christian bookstore, and I got to revel in the massive Amish romance novel section. 

...and snicker at the outfits on the covers of the historical novels.

These dresses brought to you by Bob's Discount Halloween Hut of Horrors

We also went to The Kauffman Museum, which had a bunch of Mennonite heritage stuff. My favorite thing was this picture of two women at the Mennonite World Conference in 1967, showing how diverse Mennonite style can be...

Speaking of fabulous Mennonite women, on the last day we visited my Mom's aunt Laura. Laura is my grandmother's youngest sister and stayed unmarried until she was 45. When my Mother was growing up, Laura was working at a shop in the nearest town, living in her own place, socializing with the other single ladies of Glasgow, and decorating her apartment and buying gifts for her nieces and nephews with her sweet disposable income. Today, she is a lively woman in her 80s whose apartment is still better decorated than I fear mine will ever be. She also produced the #1 best quote from the whole weekend. When asked what she was looking forward to in the new year, she thought for a moment, and then said:

"I'm looking forward to going out to eat."

GIRL. YES. I feel that. 

I was back in Seattle in time for New Year's Eve, and attended a party where we decorated shirts with puff paint. Olivia decided to immortalize great-aunt Laura's words. 

Happy New Year! May your vintage finds be cheap, and may all your gastronomic dreams come true!

1 comment:

  1. Great food in buffets, margaritas in hand, shopping, and a wedding – I have to say, this was an amazing vacation for you! It’s good to hear that you had a great time during the holidays. It’s definitely the best time of the year to unwind from our job and relax. I hope you’ll get to enjoy yourself again on these year's holidays. Cheers!