Saturday, June 30, 2012

"...And Kansas She Said Is the Name of the Star..."

 Four weeks ago, the DH and I took a jaunt to the Mid-West to visit my sister and brother-in-law in Oklahoma. My DH, being the budget minded traveler he always is, discovered that we could save $100 each in airfare if we flew from our house to Kansas City, instead of Tulsa. Being unable to resist a deal, and never having seen much of Kansas, we opted for the cheaper flight and drove across Kansas to my sister's house in Claremore.

People often ask me where my favorite travel destinations are, and I always say that I find interesting things to see and do in every place I visit. This was certainly true of Kansas! If you have never been there (and I really had seen only glimpses), you'll love some of the fascinating sights, as I did.

Since I live in the capital of California, I make it a point to visit other state capitals, and I've been to many. After we left Kansas City (the airport is actually in Missouri!), we made our first stop at the State Capital building in Topeka. Unfortunately, the main part of the building was under renovation and we couldn't go inside. However, here is a very cool bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln in the lovely park directly in front of the capital building.

Our next stop was the Kansas State Museum, also in Topeka. The State archives are also located here. The museum itself is on the small side, but with wonderful, comprehensive displays tracing the origins of the state from the first native inhabitants right up through the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Here's another fantastic sculpture, this one done in marble. In the back is a Native American mounted on his horse pursuing the bison in the front.

After leaving Topeka, we took a detour through Abilene and made a run out to the Eisenhower Presidential Library. Unfortunately, we got there just after closing time so did not get to see inside.

Undaunted, we continued on through lots of awe-inspiring "amber waves of grain." About an hour later, we saw a sign for a town called Lindsborg, billed as "Little Sweden, USA." The town was founded by Swedish immigrants around 1870 and they've stayed in touch with their Viking roots.

On the main street of the old downtown are a series of Dala horses made of fiberglass and decorated to reflect the various shops and recreational areas. Dala horses are traditional Swedish folk art and wooden ones are sold in gift shops all over Lindsborg along with other Swedish souvenirs. Here's my DH with one of the largest of the Dala herd on main street in a fun shop that manufactures hundreds of horses in various sizes and decorates them to order.

No, we didn't buy this one. He wouldn't fit in the overhead luggage compartment of the plane and we didn't have a ticket for him!

Have you brought home an unusual souvenir? What was it and where did you get it?


Jennifer Tanner said...


I love that horse! Lindborg sounds like Solvang. Unusual souvenirs...I brought back two limited edition Coca-Cola bottles designed by Brit designers from Harvey Nichols in London.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Jen!
Yes, Lindsborg reminded me a lot of Solvang, CA, except Swedish instead of Danish. ;-)

Limited edition Coke bottles sound COOL!