After almost a month in Kansas we followed the yellow brick road to the Oz Museum in Wamego KS. Taking lots of pictures with Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion, we even managed to make it next door to Toto’s Tacos. On our way back we stopped in the state capital Topeka to the see the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site. We learned a lot about desegregation and the NAACP from the ranger with the handlebar mustache and even got to explore what a classroom would look like back then. To finish off a wondeful day, we celebrated Havdalah at a beautiful park with a scenic lake view. After saying goodbye to Shabbas we made s’mores over a bonfirwe and sang more songs.
After getting a good night of rest we braved the heat and visited John Brown’s cabin in Osawatomie, KS, the cradle of the Civil War. We learned about the fighting that went on during “Bleeding Kansas” over whether Kansas would be a free state or a slave state, and our curator told us how Jews helped fight slavery too. To cool off, we spent the afternoon at Science City at KC’s downtown Union Station. Going to an interactive museum, we explored science from a child’s eye.
Later in the week we got to view some art at the famous Nelson Atkins Art Museum. From seeing Egyptian mummies and tomb treasures to sculptures of giant badminton birdies laid out upon a lawn, it was a fun night for all. Spending Friday night with the Ohev Sholom community we had the pleasure of joining them for Shabbat services and a BBQ. After shmoozing and eating we left to view a free outdoor movie in downtown’s Crown Center.
On Saturday after sleeping in we went to Winstead’s for lunch.
Winstead’s is a group favorite and the best diner in town, it has the best grilled cheese and milkshakes! Then we visited the Steamboat Arabia Museum on the riverfront. The Steamboat Arabia sank on the Missouri River in the 1850’s and was excavated in the 1980’s. Due to being immersed in sediment without oxygen or light, all its contents were preserved perfectly. It is the largest collection of pre-Civil War artifacts and shows what tools and goods people needed for frontier life. Even though we experienced a major rainstorm that cancelled our baseball game, we enjoyed a fun and dry evening at Powerplay arcade.
After an even later start on Sunday, we put on our Shabbas best to go to church with Paul, our favorite worker from the ReStore. We spent an interesting and interactive morning as guests at his church. We then had lunch in the Plaza shopping area that looks like an Italian town and got to revisit the fountain that we saw the second night of the trip. Visiting there now as a family was quite a chane from our first time there. After a nap we ate, swam, and BBQd at Elissa’s house, who is a member of Ohev and cooks for us. All told, it has been a great few weeks!
by Natalie, Rebecca, Rene, Hanna, Orianna