End of Summer Vacation Ideas

It is almost fall!

My favorite season of all!

Though that does not mean I cannot day dream of a few end of summer vacation ideas.

It is the middle of September, and October is just around the corner. School is starting. Cold weather will be coming. So, why not have a last hurrah? Here is a list of ten of my favorite places I have visited. Both big and small. Perhaps one will spark an inspiration in you to have one final summer adventure.

  • Blue Bicycle Book Shop- A lovely bookshop I went to in Charleston, SC. It had a variety of new, used, rare, and signed books. Located in the Historic District around the King Street area there is also a lot of other local and chain shopping. Plus, many fantastic dining options. I go slightly more into detail here on my post about Charleston.
  • Middleton Place- Also on my visit to Charleston, SC. A historic plantation that not only offers a house tour, but also a stable tour, roaming sheep, restaurant, two gift shops, other historical buildings, Eliza’s story and the plantation’s history of slavery, and multiple gardens with wildlife. Again, check out the Charleston blog post here for more information.
  • Jaliscos- The best Mexican restaurant in Hays, Kansas. Perhaps your end of the summer vacation is all about food. Hit up Jaliscos. I highly recommend the queso and pollo bandido.
  • The Market Shop- One of the best small business home stores I know. Located in downtown Salina, Kansas, so one can shop many other great local stores in the area. They have a cottage vibe to their home decor goods. Also, many other fun items such as hilarious tea towels, baby gifts, and clothing. I write about them for having great puzzles in my post here.
  • Wonders of Wildlife- Located in Springfield Missouri; this is actually an amazing museum/aquarium/zoo/wildlife center by a Bass Pro Shop. Being a public historian geek; I was amazed with how well they set up the museum flow. Plus, you see so many animals and fish. Truly feel like you are on an actual adventure. Did I mention you can feed manta rays?
  • Windsor Castle- Here is a big adventure, and may be hard to visit in COVID times, but oh well! Windsor Castle in England is one of the most amazing places I have seen in my life. Honestly, I could go into detail about it for paragraphs, but ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING PLACES I HAVE SEEN IN MY LIFE… pretty much sums it up.
  • National World War I Museum- Located in downtown Kansas City (which is just an amazing area in itself to visit) It does not look like much from the outside, but when you step inside you see why it is the leading authority in the country on World War I. Not only is the museum exquisite and beautifully set up for visitors; it also houses a gift shop, cafes, archives and libraries, a full on no man’s land trench, a poppy field inside the building, and also a monument tower which you can ride an elevator to the top to have one of the best views of Kansas City.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art- Art. So much art. You will not get through this museum in a day there is that much amazing art. I have been twice, and I do not think I have seen the entire museum. Not only paintings and sculptures though. You could see pieces of furniture, knight’s in shining armor, or fabulous gowns. Plus, a wonderful representation of different ethnicities and cultures. Located in NYC.
  • The Wizard’s Thatch- Yet again, we visit overseas. Unless you do not live in North America…then never mind. Located in Stratford-upon-Avon, the birth and resting place of Williams Shakespeare. It is essentially a knock off Harry Potter store. But, its a damn good time. Not only will they send your letters by owls, but they also offer spells, wands, brooms, and many other magical items for sale. I absolutely bought a butter beer from their cafe inside. And again, there is great shopping surrounding the area. Just honestly visit Stratford-upon-Avon all together. Great town.
  • The Majestic Theatre- Finally, my favorite theatre in the world. The home of the best musical in the world. Phantom of the Opera. At the moment… it is very closed due to the pandemic. However, I would feel unfaithful if I did not put it on the list. Hosting the longest running broadway musical; you get the epitome of New York Broadway style in this place. When the show is open I highly suggest going to visit. Hey, visit the outside of theatre even if it is not open.

Though I love the places I have been… I thought I would still offer a list of places I want to go. Perhaps you can get there before me and let me know how amazing they are.

  • Arizona… literally anywhere in Arizona
  • The Grand Canyon
  • A portion of Route 66
  • Derry, Northern Ireland
  • The Pyramids of Giza
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Shakespeare and Company Bookstore
  • The Evil Knievel Museum
  • Tuscany
  • The giant Van Gogh Painting in Goodland, Kansas.

A Summer of Baseball Continues

In my head summer invokes many images; swimming, lemonade, fairs, and heat, but it always makes me think of baseball. I love going to baseball games. The atmosphere always makes me think of being a kid in a 1930s movie. A game gives you such great American baseball imagery: the organ music, hotdogs and peanuts, and of course the game itself. I love the love for your team that is just in the air at a baseball game.

I already spoke of going to the Hays’ Larks this year, but I also have been blessed to go see my favorite team this summer… the Kansas City Royals. Kauffman Stadium may be one of my favorite places on the planet. The K has many great features since its renovation in 2009. The most distinguished being the 84 feet wide and 105 feet tall scoreboard in the outfield. At the time it was the largest high definition LED display in the world. The stadium includes multiple food areas, sales, and kid’s games.

The best part of a Royal’s game, in my opinion, is if you go to one on a Friday night. Every Friday home game there is dollar hot dogs and fireworks. I love fireworks. I do not care how many times you see them in your life; there is something always magical about fireworks. Everyone looking up at the same spot in the sky completely entranced… I just love that high of a level of communal happiness.

Check out the Royals’ website for tickets, schedule, stats, roster, and merchandise. Finally, get yourself to a Royals game at Kauffman stadium on a Friday night! I promise you that is summer feeling you do not want to miss.

Remember #TogetherRoyal

Mildred’s

Need to stop for breakfast or lunch in downtown Kansas City? Head over to Mildred’s. There are two locations located in the crossroads art district and the historic 9th street district.

Established in Downtown Overland Park, Mildred’s has been a staple in the local cafe scene for over 25 years. What started in the mid 1990’s as a simple “Ma & Pa” has grown into one of the most popular breakfast and lunch establishments in the downtown area.With an abundant variety of scratch made baked goods, extensive specialty coffee and espresso bar, notably delicious sandwiches, salads and soups, Mildred’s has all your bases covered. The “Standard Breakfast Sandwich” is known to many as being the ultimate breakfast sandwich in the city.”

-Mildred’s website

I went with the breakfast hash, mimosa, and a chai latte to go. I am obsessed with chai tea lattes. The drink is a staple part of my diet. Anyone else out there who is a fan of chai; I suggest Mildred’s. The menus of both locations contain food and beverages that can be found online, so you can see what other items might interest you.

Finally, the building and decor of the restaurant was fantastic. I loved the aesthetic and colors. It definitely has a downtown restaurant vibe that could cater to a variety of customers. I went to the historic 9th street location, and appreciated the continuation of the art deco style seen throughout the district in the building, windows, and tiles. It also had a loft or warehouse ceiling that tends to be in downtown buildings.

Make sure you visit one of the Mildred’s locations for either a quick bite or a nice sit down breakfast or lunch in Kansas City!

Larks 75th Anniversary

I was very fortunate to have an opportunity to work with the Hays Larks Baseball Association as a research assistant during the beginning of the year in preparation for the 75th anniversary season. I really learned a lot about the team, players, and organization while going through old newspaper articles from the past 75 years. Microfilm at the Hays Public Library became my new best friend. I assisted with the project back in January through March. So, it is really exciting now to see the 75th anniversary weekend happening June 18th through June 20th. If you are in Hays, Kansas and want to see a baseball celebration… get to Larks Park! Friday June 18th is the big night. The Hays Larks’ facebook page states the plans for Friday night are

The Hays Larks will celebrate their 75th anniversary season at Friday night’s home game against the Denver Cougars. Game time has changed; it will be an hour earlier, with first pitch at 6 p.m. at Larks Park.More than 60 Larks Legends are expected to return to Hays this weekend. They will be introduced between innings at Friday’s game. After the game, there will be a free concert at the park, with the band Homebrew performing.Larks baseball cards are available for purchase starting Friday, at the Phaze 2 apparel store at the park. The store also will have available for purchase 75th anniversary caps, t-shirts and women’s tank tops.Also at Friday’s game, raffle tickets will go on sale for a Larks jersey signed by Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman. A total of 150 tickets costing $20 each will be sold, with the winner announced once all tickets have been purchased.Larks fans also can view signs on the back grandstand of former Larks who went on to have notable careers in the major leagues.”

-Hays Larks Association

Even if you cannot make it to the Larks’ 75th anniversary you should really take advantage of visiting the park during the rest of the summer. Admission is free, there is great seating, concessions, raffles, and merchandise for sale at the games every time the team plays. Plus, they are a pretty great team to watch. If you are in Hays, Kansas anytime this summer, but especially the weekend of June 18th-20th you need to hit Larks Park.

Lastly, if you find Larks History fascinating check out their facebook page. They constantly update it with “This Day In Larks’ History” posts. They are a great association you should look into whether you are a baseball fan or not.