Our Changing Lives http://ourchanginglives.com VISIT LIKE A LOCAL Fri, 21 Jul 2017 10:15:20 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://ourchanginglives.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/cropped-IMG_6453-1-32x32.jpg Our Changing Lives http://ourchanginglives.com 32 32 How to Beat The Heat At Yard House http://ourchanginglives.com/how-to-beat-the-heat-at-yard-house/ http://ourchanginglives.com/how-to-beat-the-heat-at-yard-house/#respond Fri, 21 Jul 2017 10:12:45 +0000 http://ourchanginglives.com/?p=4362 Our visit to Yard House at the Legends Shopping Center was timed to take advantage of two things; Happy Hour specials, and their shady patio. Enjoying a Happy Hour in Village West is something that wasn’t available a few years ago. These days it is becoming a little more common, and we hope its popularity grows.

Happy Hour in Village West - Yard House - appetizers - cocktails - restaurant - Kansas City Kansas

Happy Hour in Village West

Many people had already caught on to the advantages of Happy Hour, so the Friday evening we visited was buy. Fortunately, our wait wasn’t too long, and soon we were sitting in the shade sipping a refreshing cocktail. The patio is a great place to do some prime people watching, so we were just about as happy as possible. We have had regular meals at Yard House, but for this evening we decided to piece together a meal from the appetizers on the Happy Hour menu.

Happy Hour in Village West - Yard House - appetizers - cocktails - restaurant - Kansas City Kansas

An obvious beginning for our culinary experiment was the Onion Ring Tower. For only $5.00, this Happy Hour dish is quite a deal. These beer battered rings are dusted with Parmesan, which makes them tasty on their own. Of course, they are served with two dipping sauces, Chipotle and Ranch flavored. It’s hard to say which was best, but let’s just say the Chipotle version disappeared first.

Happy Hour in Village West - Yard House - appetizers - cocktails - restaurant - Kansas City Kansas

More Happy Hour Deals

The original plan was to grab one main course to split. Once we started reviewing the Happy Hour food menu, the Vampire Taco caught our attention. We’ve tried many kinds of street tacos, but this name seemed unfamiliar. Come to find out, Vampire style means that the taco is wrapped in a tortilla that has been encrusted with cheese. To be honest, I thought it was the addition of roasted garlic cloves that gained it the unusual name. Whatever the reason, it was very good. Another $5.00 item.

Happy Hour in Village West - Yard House - appetizers - cocktails - restaurant - Kansas City Kansas

The main course ended up being the Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza without the mushrooms. Crystal isn’t a huge fan of mushrooms, and I am okay to skip them when it comes to pizza toppings. This menu item was $6.00, but certainly a lot more filling than the taco. It was a good finish to our eclectic dinner. We sat for a bit, as we finished our cocktail, but soon we decided to walk off some of our meal. Next visit we will have to trial a few different items, and have ourselves another appetizer meal.

Author's signatures.

 

 

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Overland Park’s 3rd Friday Local Life http://ourchanginglives.com/overland-parks-3rd-friday-local-life/ http://ourchanginglives.com/overland-parks-3rd-friday-local-life/#respond Wed, 19 Jul 2017 10:20:17 +0000 http://ourchanginglives.com/?p=4204 It seems like just about any Friday we can find a special event in the metro. Overland Park has it’s Local Life 3rd Friday, which is held in the old downtown area around Santa Fe Drive. The majority of the businesses involved can be found between 79th St. and 81st St.Local Life - 3rd Friday - Overland Park - shopping - live music - food - wine tastings

Makings Of A Street Fair

As the name implies, this event is held monthly on the third Friday evening, from 5 to 9 pm. During this time, businesses stay open late in the hopes of attracting sales. Couple this with plenty of street and sidewalk activities, and you have the makings of a small street fair. We will usually arrive around the six o’clock hour, and by then the crowds are a little larger.

Local Life - 3rd Friday - Overland Park - shopping - live music - food - wine tastings

One of my favorite stops is The Culinary Center of Kansas City. This turn of the century buggy shop has been converted into a contemporary teaching kitchen and cooking supply store. During the Local Life events they roll out the red carpet to make their location as appealing as possible. In June, they featured a Caribbean Grill theme. One of their chefs was grilling chicken out front, and it smelled delicious. They were offering free tastings, as well as selling small plates to visitors.

Local Life - 3rd Friday - Overland Park - shopping - live music - food - wine tastings

And More Inside

Inside the Culinary Center, we encountered the sounds of a steel drum band. There is a large room that they use for events, and during 3rd Fridays it is always busy. Here we usually find local merchants offering tastings of small batch beers, wines, and spirits. There were also samples and small plates of food available for the crowd that had assembled.

Local Life - 3rd Friday - Overland Park - shopping - live music - food - wine tastings

Not everyone was selling spirits. A couple of vendors had brought their locally produced products. These will rotate by who is present each time. We have seen sauces, rubs, vegetables, snacks, and even locally made candies. It’s a great opportunity to meet some of our local entrepreneurs, and sample their wares.

Local Life - 3rd Friday - Overland Park - shopping - live music - food - wine tastings

Local Life Is More Than Food

This stretch of downtown Overland Park is also home to some nice shops. At The General Store & Co. we always find an eclectic collection of home decor items. If you are looking for that one-of-a-kind card or gift, this may just be the place you find it. It is certainly a fun shop to wander through, and quite a few of their items have a fun spin to them.

Local Life - 3rd Friday - Overland Park - shopping - live music - food - wine tastings

Not all of the shopping has to be done in the stores. Local vendors will set up displays along the sidewalk, and offer their home-made products for sale. We found a nice young lady who was selling her hand-made soaps and bath bombs. (I guess it’s a big deal these days.) I will give her an added bonus for her creative designs. When I first saw her display, I thought that she was selling slabs of rock.

Plenty of Tunes

Now all of this shopping, and sampling is fun, but what really makes Local Life a winning event is the music. Most months there are at least half a dozen bands performing. Many are in shops, so you have that funky ambiance while shopping. Another place to catch some tunes is right in front of the Overland Park Farmer’s Market area. It’s a good place to take a break with some pie from The Upper Crust (you can read more about this shop here>), while listening to a local band. Perhaps we will see you there in the coming months.

Author's signatures.

 

 

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The Truman Library-The Buck Stops Here And So Should You http://ourchanginglives.com/the-truman-library-the-buck-stops-here-and-so-should-you/ http://ourchanginglives.com/the-truman-library-the-buck-stops-here-and-so-should-you/#respond Tue, 18 Jul 2017 10:15:25 +0000 http://ourchanginglives.com/?p=4528 A visit to historic Independence, Missouri wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Harry S. Truman Library. We knew that he started life on a farm in a rural town. We were unaware of some of the experiences that shaped him to be able to lead the United States through one of the most turbulent periods of history.Truman Library-Harry S. Truman-Independence Missouri-museum-president-library

Truman Library – Humble Beginnings

The entrance to the Truman Library includes an amazing mural by Thomas Hart Benton. It represents the origins of Missouri as the jumping off point for pioneers heading west. No matter how many of his paintings we see, we are always captivated by his use of vibrant colors, as well as the animated facial expressions.

Truman Library-Harry S. Truman-Independence Missouri-museum-president-library

Our first stop inside the museum was to watch a 15 minute movie about Truman’s formative years. Here we heard about his service in World War I, and his early political years in Missouri. It also covers his courtship of Bess, who would become his wife. The movie concludes with his election as Vice-president to Franklin D. Roosevelt, which leads to his taking the oath of office of President upon FDR’s untimely death.

Truman Library-Harry S. Truman-Independence Missouri-museum-president-library

Taking Office in Difficult Times

On April 12, 1945 Truman was sworn into office. After the funeral for FDR, Truman sets to work reassuring the country of his dedication to a victory in the war. As a slight side-note, on April 18th Truman officially declared the first Mother’s Day to show “gratitude, love, and devotion” for mothers. This was a fact that we had not previously known.

Truman Library-Harry S. Truman-Independence Missouri-museum-president-library

The Buck Stops Here

The next section of the Truman Library explains the circumstances that faced Truman after he was sworn in. The country was in the waning years of World War II. By May, the war in Europe had ended, and it was time to begin the reduction of troops. Japan was issued a directive to surrender, but refuses. Expectations are that the war in the Asian Theater could drag out another year, and cost many more lives. Truman makes the difficult decision to use the newly tested nuclear weapons. On August 6th, and again on August 9th, the United States drops atomic bombs on Japan. The war with Japan ends on August 15th.

Truman Library-Harry S. Truman-Independence Missouri-museum-president-library

Post War Fears

Now that the war had concluded, the exhibits turn to the post war efforts. Americans were fearful that the end of wartime production would bring a return of the depression that had gripped the country prior to the war. Instead, the economy boomed from the relief of pent up consumer spending during the war. This area has displays that include many images often seen in our textbooks as we grew up.

Truman Library-Harry S. Truman-Independence Missouri-museum-president-library

Post War Europe

The years of war had ravaged Europe, and it would take decades to revers much of the effects. This next part of the museum at the Truman Library shows the economic and social struggles that faced European countries. Unlike the United States which was experiencing an economic boom, Europe continued to wallow in economic and political strife.

Truman Library-Harry S. Truman-Independence Missouri-museum-president-library

The Marshall Plan was put in place to help Europe recover economically, but the political atmosphere continued to change. Communism had taken a foothold and was spreading across the continent. This set the stage for the development of the Cold War. We were surprised to learn that the United States sent about 590 airplanes full of materials to Europe daily during the Berlin Airlift of 1948.

Truman Library-Harry S. Truman-Independence Missouri-museum-president-library

A Political Upset

The year was 1948, and Harry Truman was facing election time. Besides facing a Republican controlled Congress, his support of Civil rights had created a rift in his own Democratic Party. In this section of the Truman Library, the focus in on Truman’s unbelievable victory. A light up display showcases his whistle stop tour, and visitors can listen to excerpts from his speeches at various stops.

Truman Library-Harry S. Truman-Independence Missouri-museum-president-library

Truman’s second term was marked by an increase of unrest in Asia. The Soviets had developed their own nuclear program, and China was in the midst of change from the fall of Mao Tse-tung. The Korean peninsula would be the site of the next armed action, as the conflict increased. The United States, under Truman, would enter the Korean War in as part of a NATO coalition. He would not oversee the end of the conflict, as he left office in 1952.

Truman Library-Harry S. Truman-Independence Missouri-museum-president-library

Heading Home

In 1952,  America was brimming with prosperity. Even with this success, Truman’s approval rating had been declining since the United States had entered the Korean War. Throughout the museum we found the written words of Truman himself. These offered glimpses into the mind of a man who seemed simple from the outside, but in reality was extremely complex.

Truman Library-Harry S. Truman-Independence Missouri-museum-president-library

Before we departed, we made our way into the Legacy Gallery. Here we found a life-size bronze statue of the 33rd President of the United States. Even though he left office with a 30% approval rating, history would eventually confirm the importance of his actions during his time in office. For the rest of his years he dedicated his time to developing his library, as well as educating youth on the importance of understanding your government and history. These were too important to leave to chance, so he made sure that ” The buck stopped here”.

Author's signatures.

 

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Getting Our Daily Bread At Le Pain Quotidien http://ourchanginglives.com/le-pain-quotidien/ http://ourchanginglives.com/le-pain-quotidien/#respond Mon, 17 Jul 2017 10:11:40 +0000 http://ourchanginglives.com/?p=4364 An especially adventurous day in Philadelphia required us to start with an abundantly sustaining breakfast. A visit to Le Pain Quotidien was just the thing we needed. The company is Belgian, and the name means “Our Daily Bread” (easier to spell), which is fitting for a bakery/restaurant combo.Our Daily Bread - restaurant - bakery - omelets - salad - Belgian

A Walk-able Itinerary

The walk from our hotel, The Logan Philadelphia, was only a few short blocks. Our Daily Bread is located just off the main route of the art district. From the outside it had the appearance of any inner city restaurant, but we would soon experience it’s unique appeal. The bistro-style tables outside hinted that this place probably has a good lunch crowd.

Our Daily Bread - restaurant - bakery - omelets - salad - Belgian

Once inside, we immediately smelled the fresh baked goods. A display of pastries looked tempting, but we knew our day would require a meal heavier with proteins. The early hour we arrived meant that the seating was readily available. We chose not to sit at the communal table, but it began to fill up before we finished our meals.

Our Daily Bread - restaurant - bakery - omelets - salad - Belgian

An Our Daily Bread Experience

We started by ordering a pot of coffee each. Now these pots are not what we see at many restaurants, they each hold about as much coffee as we knew we should have. The over-sized cups don’t have handles, which actually added interest to our morning routine.

Our Daily Bread - restaurant - bakery - omelets - salad - Belgian

Omelets were the chalkboard special for the day, and it looked like just the thing for our protein fix. Mine was a mix of three eggs, herbs, and diced tomatoes. The meal included a salad, and some fresh bread. Now we were a little taken back by the addition of salad to our plates. This was not some special breakfast salad, this was just a regular mixed green salad. As unusual as this was to us, it worked well with the overall dish.

Our Daily Bread - restaurant - bakery - omelets - salad - Belgian

Crystal has a thing for avocado, so I could even guess which variety she would pick. Hers was also stuffed full of diced tomatoes, and came with an identical salad, as well as the fresh bread. The meals were good and filling, but the star for me was the bread. The Daily Bread is appropriately named, and it was well worth the stop just to be able to taste theirs.

Our Daily Bread - restaurant - bakery - omelets - salad - Belgian

Too Full For Dessert

We finished our meals, as well as our coffee, and decided it was time to continue our exploration of Philadelphia. My wish was to grab some pastries for the road, but I was so full I decided against it. Looking back, I mentally kick myself for not getting another taste of their delicious breads. I guess we will just have to make another journey to the East.

Author's signatures.

 

 

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We Found Wyandotte County’s Hidden Museum http://ourchanginglives.com/wyco-museum/ http://ourchanginglives.com/wyco-museum/#comments Fri, 14 Jul 2017 10:15:23 +0000 http://ourchanginglives.com/?p=4245 It’s a shame that so few people visit their local historical museums. The Wyandotte County Museum located in Wyandotte County Park is a prime example. How many of the county’s residents can say they have visited this historical site?Wyandotte County Museum - Hopewell Indians - Quindaro - Kansas City Kansas - B 25 Bombers

Wyandotte County Museum Needs Your Love

We dropped in on a Saturday morning to check out any updates. Although they are open a few hours on Saturdays, we figured we would see some other guests. Besides staff, who were extremely welcoming, there was no one else to be seen. Now I guess that is a good and bad thing. It was bad because obviously this is a great place to learn about the history of Wyandotte County. The one good thing was that we had the place to ourselves. By the way, we would much rather share it with lots of others.

Wyandotte County Museum - Hopewell Indians - Quindaro - Kansas City Kansas - B 25 Bombers

We find that local museums are a perfect place to start when exploring a new town or city. It is a pace where you can get a grasp of the districts and townships that made up the early beginnings of a city. Then when you are out and about you will be able to better understand the relationships that places have to one another. The same goes for the Wyandotte County Museum. We started in the gallery that showcases the original inhabitants of the area. The Hopewell Indian Tribe occupied the are until about 300 A.D. as hunters and gatherers. Many of the Hopewell artifacts on display were found near 61st and Leavenworth Road.

Wyandotte County Museum - Hopewell Indians - Quindaro - Kansas City Kansas - B 25 Bombers

Exploring Wyandotte County Museum

In 1804, Lewis and Clark made camp at Kaw’s Mouth, which would later be named Kaw Point. Located at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers, the group made camp here for three days. During their time in this area, they witnessed their first viewing of buffalo. They also saw a flock of Carolina Parakeets, which are now extinct.

Wyandotte County Museum - Hopewell Indians - Quindaro - Kansas City Kansas - B 25 Bombers

The museum progresses in chronological order. As we moved through the displays, we passed forward in time. Native Indian tribes lived in the area, with the Wyandot being the most dominant. French Canadians called them Huron tribe, which has become synonymous with a local Indian cemetery ( You can read more about it here> ). Over time, the area saw vast changes, and in 1859 was organized into Wyandotte County.

Wyandotte County Museum - Hopewell Indians - Quindaro - Kansas City Kansas - B 25 Bombers

Some of the most popular artifacts in the Wyandotte County Museum are the over-sized maps. Here visitors can explore the changes that have occurred in the county since the early 1900’s. One map even has the names of many of the land owners, and those from the area will see many familiar family names.

Wyandotte County Museum - Hopewell Indians - Quindaro - Kansas City Kansas - B 25 Bombers

Something For Everyone

The museum isn’t large, but they still attempt to allow all visitors to have an interactive experience. In one gallery children have some hands-on displays that allow them to see some of the challenges archeologists face during exploration and recovery. In another section of the museum they have an assortment of garments from various occupations. Children are encouraged to try them out, and dress up as various members of the community.

Wyandotte County Museum - Hopewell Indians - Quindaro - Kansas City Kansas - B 25 Bombers

As we continued to explore the East Gallery, we came to the World war II exhibit. During wartime, a bomber plant in the Fairfax district was tasked with producing B-25 Mitchell Bombers. While these were first produced in California, the Kansas City, Kansas plant would end up fabricating over 6,600 of these aircraft. manufacture of these planes began in August 1940, and would continue for five years. Our time was running out for this visit, so we made our way back toward the entrance. One last conversation with staff, and we were heading out the door with a renewed appreciation for the rich history of Wyandotte County.

Author's signatures.

 

 

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A Walk in Spruce Harbor Park http://ourchanginglives.com/a-walk-in-spruce-harbor-park/ http://ourchanginglives.com/a-walk-in-spruce-harbor-park/#respond Thu, 13 Jul 2017 10:10:46 +0000 http://ourchanginglives.com/?p=4124 The Delaware River area in Philadelphia is a great place for a stroll. Just south of the Ben Franklin Bridge, we found Spruce Harbor Park. It is advertised as a pop-up park, which has been around for about four years. It certainly highlights the potential for other urban waterfront areas.Spruce Harbor Park - urban park - pop up park - Philadelphia - hammocks - waterfront - Delaware River

Duck, Duck, Goose

Located at Penn’s Landing, this seasonal park is a great place to wile away some time in a relaxed atmosphere. Paddle-boats allow visitors to survey the area from the water. Kayaks and canoes are also available for rent, and a large area is sectioned off from the main river channel for leisurely boating.

Spruce Harbor Park - urban park - pop up park - Philadelphia - hammocks - waterfront - Delaware River

Along the water’s edge we found these pens of floating planters. These are surrounded by floating barges for visitors to rest and replenish their vitamin D in the sunshine. Food options are abundant from nearby vendors. Pizza, sandwiches, and even ice cream treats were being sold during our visit. Beer and win drinkers are not forgotten, and there was even one vendor selling cocktails. Game courts are accessible for those looking to play bocce, ping-pong or shuffleboard.

Spruce Harbor Park - urban park - pop up park - Philadelphia - hammocks - waterfront - Delaware River

Relaxing In Spruce Harbor Park

Crossing over to the shoreline offers additional seating options. A large berm has quite a few Adirondack chairs available, which offer a view of the waterfront. Plenty of sunshine in this section means that it was a good spot to work on our tans. Just behind us was the Christopher Columbus monument. In this area they have over-sized versions of Jenga and chess. More seating here allows people to watch the matches.

Spruce Harbor Park - urban park - pop up park - Philadelphia - hammocks - waterfront - Delaware River

One of the most unique areas was filled with hammocks. Stretched between trees, this was a perfect spot to relax in the shade, while looking up at the color-changing LED lights in the canopy. This feature of the park seemed the most popular during our visit. It certainly set the mood for relaxation, and we were amazed at how quiet everyone in this area remained. It was super calm.

Spruce Harbor Park - urban park - pop up park - Philadelphia - hammocks - waterfront - Delaware River

Spruce Harbor Park - urban park - pop up park - Philadelphia - hammocks - waterfront - Delaware River

Anchor’s Aweigh

As we continued strolling, we soon realized that we had moved beyond the park’s zone, and into a new area. A naval museum is located next to the park, and although we didn’t visit, we did enjoy looking at some of the vessels anchored there. Being from the Midwest, we are probably not the best ones to ask when wanting to know what type of ship we are viewing. it was enough to know that they are big and beautiful. Our walk had brought us to a good place to cross back toward the downtown area. We took our last look at this awesome park, and entered back into the busy day.

Author's signatures.

 

 

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4 Days Of Action Filled Wichita Attractions http://ourchanginglives.com/4-days-of-action-filled-wichita-attractions/ http://ourchanginglives.com/4-days-of-action-filled-wichita-attractions/#respond Wed, 12 Jul 2017 10:21:30 +0000 http://ourchanginglives.com/?p=4377 We know that the picture doesn’t necessarily exemplify non-stop action, but it was one of my favorite captures. There is a good chance that the gorilla is wondering just how much fun he would have checking out some Wichita attractions. Now we didn’t have time to do everything available in Wichita, but we certainly tried to get a good taste of the flavor and vibe of the largest city in Kansas.

Wichita Kansas - attractions - museums - art - pop up park - drinks - Hotels - zoos
Left to Right: Sedgwick County Historical Museum, Museum of World Treasures, Mid-America All-Indian Center

 

Let’s Get Our Brains Humming

When seeking good family-friendly attractions in a city we’ve not explored, we find it a good approach to check out the local museums. In Wichita there are over a dozen museums, but our stay limited the number we would have time to see. A good first stop in the exploration of any city is the local historical museum. Our stop in the Sedgwick County Historical Museum allowed us to get a better understanding of the city we were about to explore. (read more about this attraction here>) This must-see attraction is housed in the four-story building that was the original old City Hall.

Head a little East of downtown, and you will find yourself in Old Town, which is home to the Museum of World Treasures. This old paper warehouse has been completely transformed to hold an amazing variety of artifacts. Kids of all ages will immerse themselves in the wonders that are found in the three story building. (read more about this attraction here>)

Located on a point of land overlooking the Arkansas River, travelers to Wichita will discover the Mid-America All-Indian Center. Here guests can learn about the history and cultures of the original inhabitants of the lands. The center has some interactive exhibits that help make history come to life. I can say from experience that these are fun for all ages, even us almost grown-ups. (read more about this attraction here>)

Wichita Kansas - attractions - museums - art - pop up park - drinks - Hotels - zoos
Left to Right: Sedgwick County Zoo, Old Cowtown, Tanganyika Wildlife Park

 Let’s Take This Outside

Not all Wichita attractions are indoors. In fact, there is an abundance of outdoor activities, so it’s easy to find something that will entertain everyone in your group. Our first outdoor visit was to the Sedgwick County Zoo. The big draw is their new elephant exhibit, which we found to be completely engrossing. Don’t just stop there, as there are tons of other areas to explore. (read more about this attraction here>)

At Old Cowtown, travelers will be transported through time to the days of the western frontier. The time is the 1860’s, and Wichita is just getting its start as a stopping point on the Chisholm Trail. Character actors help bring the past to life, as they interact with visitors. Be sure to stop in the saloon and mosey up to the bar for a refreshing drink. (read more about this attraction here>)

Just west of the city we found the suburb of Goddard, Kansas. This town is host to Tanganyika Wildlife Park, which is different than a standard zoo. Here guests can interact on a closer level with many species of animals from around the globe. We fed giraffes, lorikeets, lemurs, and even the rarely seen Okapi. This uniquely Wichita attraction is a place to make memories that last a lifetime. (read more about this attraction here>)

Wichita Kansas - attractions - museums - art - pop up park - drinks - Hotels - zoos

Taking Art To The Streets

While we did drive our car to Wichita, many times we found areas that were quite walker friendly. Our trip was hosted by Visit Wichita, who was quite engaged with us throughout our visit. While we started with a solid itinerary, our host was able to suggest a few “hidden gems” that we had not uncovered. One of these is the ICT Pop-Up Park located on Douglas Avenue, which is one of the main east-west thoroughfares. We dropped by after breakfast one morning, and found that the park is frequented by local food trucks. We grabbed a couple cups of coffee, (There is always room for another cup.) and talked with some of the other visitors to the site. They pointed out the sculptures that are strategically placed nearby, so I took a stroll to get a better vantage point.

Many of the sculptures create an interactive desire in those around. A restaurant counter frozen in time beckons travelers to hop on a stool for a photo opportunity. Smaller scale replicas of the Keeper of the Plains line the street-side sidewalk of the Pop-Up Park. The use of moving water helps bring an added layer of realism to the art. All of these elements work together to help create a bond between those who created the art, and those who merely wish to enjoy it.

Wichita Kansas - attractions - museums - art - pop up park - drinks - Hotels - zoos
Left to Right: Keeper of the Plains, Mort’s Martini Bar, Mosley Street Melodrama

After Hours Wichita Attractions

So far everything we have highlighted has been daytime activities, but don’t worry that the nighttime will be uneventful. Each evening the river lights up from the five fire drums located below the Keeper of the Plains sculpture. Be sure to arrive early to take a look around the plaza area behind the statue. The fire show runs for 15 minutes, and looks especially amazing from one of the two pedestrian bridges that lead to the statue.

A trip to Old Town isn’t complete without dropping by Mort’s Martini Bar. On Monday evenings they cut the price in half on their 160 varieties of martinis. Of course, they have specials just about every night, so don’t worry if your schedule has you there on a different day. By the way, Mort’s has live music seven nights a week, so you can always find some great local tunes.

Speaking of entertainment, while you are in Old Town be sure to schedule a visit to Mosley Street Melodrama. This local live theater hosts interactive comedy shows, as well as musicals. be sure to come early for the barbecue dinner. You certainly won’t leave hungry. Be aware that some of their shows will be topical to the region in and around Wichita. Fortunately, if you visited the history museum you will be able to keep up with the references.

Wichita Kansas - attractions - museums - art - pop up park - drinks - Hotels - zoos

Some Well Deserved Rest

There are tons of places to stay in Wichita, and lodging choices abound throughout the city limits. During our visit we actually had the opportunity to stay at two hotels. The first was the Hotel at Old Town, which allowed us to be in close proximity to tons of dining and entertainment venues. Like so many of the businesses in this area, the hotel started it’s life as a warehouse in 1906. These days it has been transformed into an elegant Victorian-era decorated boutique hotel. This place certainly went above and beyond in making us feel welcome.

Wichita Kansas - attractions - museums - art - pop up park - drinks - Hotels - zoos
Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Wichita

Our second stay was at the Hyatt Regency Wichita, which is located beside the Arkansas River. This urban hotel is right beside the river walk, and offers dramatic views of the area. The decor is contemporary, and the location is within walking distance to many downtown attractions.

As you can see, our list of Wichita attractions is diverse, but no where at all close to complete. We hope some of these will fit into your itinerary, as you plan your own adventures in Wichita.

Author's signatures.

 

 

*While we did receive support from some of the businesses listed above, all of the writing and opinions are our own.

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Historic Sweets At Shane Confectionery http://ourchanginglives.com/historic-sweets-at-shane-confectionery/ http://ourchanginglives.com/historic-sweets-at-shane-confectionery/#respond Tue, 11 Jul 2017 10:11:23 +0000 http://ourchanginglives.com/?p=4126 Philadelphia has so many firsts that there seems to be one on every block. Shane Confectionery has the distinction of being the oldest continuously run candy maker in America. It was by chance that we ended up finding this unique shop.Shane Confectionery - candy- chocolates - Philadelphia - caramels - Berley Brothers

 A Sweet Old Store

As we strolled down Market Street, on our way to the Delaware River, we happened upon the curved glass windows. This is not a normal shape for windows, so it grabs your attention. A sign hangs above the sidewalk touting the existence of Shane Confectionery since 1911. We would discover that the business actually started in 1863, and was ran by Samuel Herring. He was already running a confectionery supply store next door. The family name was well known in the candy business, so the new venture was quite successful.

Shane Confectionery - candy- chocolates - Philadelphia - caramels - Berley Brothers

None of this was known to us as we stood on the thresh-hold of the shop. The promise of hand-made chocolates, as well as the interesting window-fronts, is what beckoned us to enter. Inside we found aging wooden floors, antique cabinetry, and walls lined with glass front displays. The candy selection was unbelievable. Bags upon bags of various treats can be found lining the counters. Even more are seen along the walls. Large mirrors reflect the colorful sweets making the variety appear even larger. Behind the counter, a staff member assists customers with their purchases.

Shane Confectionery - candy- chocolates - Philadelphia - caramels - Berley Brothers

Shane Confectionery Stays Old School

We wandered the shop, as we waited our turn to purchase. In a back room we found a candy making area, but no one was tending it at that time. The cabinets behind the work areas were filled with unique ingredients, which are sourced locally when possible. Our turn arrived, and we discussed our options with the clerk . She told us that many of the candies are not made in-house. She pointed out that the chocolates and caramels are still made in the shop. That was enough to point us toward our purchase of some caramels. The choice was perfect, and we strolled down the street enjoying our sweet treats.

Author's signatures.

 

 

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Catch the Streetcar to BRGR Kitchen & Bar http://ourchanginglives.com/brgr-power-light-decent-dining/ http://ourchanginglives.com/brgr-power-light-decent-dining/#respond Mon, 10 Jul 2017 10:16:42 +0000 http://ourchanginglives.com/?p=980 If you travel on the streetcar route in KCMO, you will find an assortment of unique dining and entertainment venues. As the streetcar moves along Main Street, one of it’s stops is at 14th Street. On the corner, at 11 E. 14th Street,  you will find BRGR Kitchen & Bar. This modern style eatery focuses on handhelds, and especially burgers, hence the name BuRGeR. This is one of three locations that can be visited in the Kansas City metro, with the other two in Johnson County.BRGR Kitchen & Bar

Our First Visit To BRGR

On a First Friday evening, we decided to catch the streetcar from the Crossroads, and head to Power & Light for a bite to eat. The Kansas City streetcar certainly makes it a lot easier to quickly travel from one entertainment district to another, without the headache of finding a new parking spot each time. We were fortunate enough to catch the tail end of Happy Hour at BRGR, so we celebrated with one of their cocktails. The KC Collins sounded interesting, so it was ordered up. It turned out to be a standard gin Collins with the addition of some blackberry liqueur. It was a refreshing twist on one of my favorite drinks. The Happy Hour eats are mostly appetizers, and weren’t what we had in mind, so we dove into the regular menu.

Only Burgers?

With a name like theirs, we felt it appropriate to test out their burgers. Crystal had their standard BRGR Burger, which comes with chopped caramelized onions mixed in with the patty. I chose the Juicy Lucy, which we were told is their most popular burger. While the flavor was very good, I was surprised at the size of the patty. Perhaps they should purchase smaller buns, so that they match up better. Another option would be to make the patties bigger, so they fit the bun better. Although the name implies this is just a burger joint, they actually have quite a few options on the menu. As a matter of fact, I made note of the Ale-battered Fish & Chips for a future visit.

A Good Choice On A First Friday

For sides we chose The COMBO, which allows customers to pick three of their offerings. Our choices were regular fries and sweet potato fries, as well as onion rings. The rings come with a special sauce that has a slightly sweet taste, but pairs well with the onion. While the meal appears smaller in the pictures, we were both stuffed by the end, and actually were not able to finish our meals. Still I believe presentation is important, so they could work a little on the appearance of the burgers. The place was crowded, but being in the P&L on a First Friday, it was to be expected. Overall we were pleased with the meal at BRGR Kitchen & Bar, and left satisfied and ready to do some exploring. Have you ever visited this place?

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Below Street Level At Courthouse Exchange http://ourchanginglives.com/below-street-level-at-courthouse-exchange/ http://ourchanginglives.com/below-street-level-at-courthouse-exchange/#respond Fri, 07 Jul 2017 10:16:40 +0000 http://ourchanginglives.com/?p=4322 We were famished after our day of sightseeing in historic Independence, Missouri. The Courthouse Exchange had been suggested to us as a dinner option, and we were ready to test it out. We had seen the outdoor patio used as a beer garden during the Santa-Cali-Gon Festival, but on this cool day it was empty.Boulevard Beer - Courthouse Exchange - Independence, Missouri - historic - restaurant - burgers - sandwiches -

That Old-Time Feeling

We entered at the street level, which is at 113 West Lexington, on the square. Immediately you have to go down a floor to reach the restaurant. This was a little unusual, but it has been in business since 1899. We are guessing that in those days, being below street level helped regulate the interior temperature on hot days.

Boulevard Beer - Courthouse Exchange - Independence, Missouri - historic - restaurant - burgers - sandwiches -

Upon entering the restaurant, we found thick rock walls, old wooden beam ceilings, and a long bar. This certainly exudes a cozy, and muffled atmosphere. Being located across the street from the courthouse, we can only imagine the political conversations that have taken place in this historic basement. Large pew-style seating lines the walls, and the lighting is adequate, but low enough to lend a mysterious undertone to our visit. A look around the place uncovered a large banquet style room in the back. (Pictured at top of article) The walls are covered with familiar images of local people, places, and events.

Boulevard Beer - Courthouse Exchange - Independence, Missouri - historic - restaurant - burgers - sandwiches -

Courthouse Exchange Dining

We took a page from Harry Truman’s notebook, and decided to have dinner. The menu lists daily specials, and being a Saturday it was the Frisco Burger, which I chose. It is pretty much a standard cheeseburger, and it comes with all of the regular toppings. It was certainly flavorful, and cooked exactly as I had requested. For my side, I opted for the applesauce, upon the recommendation of our server. What a delightful choice. It is made in-house, and has just enough chunkiness to give it texture, and the flavor was amazing.

Boulevard Beer - Courthouse Exchange - Independence, Missouri - historic - restaurant - burgers - sandwiches -

Crystal has a preference for a certain green fruit (or vegetable, I’m not sure), so she ordered the Turkey Avocado & Bacon sandwich. It is served on toasted wheat bread, and it was quickly obvious that she really enjoyed it. Since I had picked the applesauce, she chose the fries. This allowed us to sample both sides . the fries were crispy, and good, but nothing out of the ordinary. Of course, the applesauce put up quite a challenge in the taste department. (Yes it was that good.) We were pretty worn out, so we finished our meal, and skipped the dessert options. That was unfortunate, since I bet Harry Truman would have had a piece of pie.

Author's signatures.

 

 

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