Just about two weeks ago, Kent and I met his Mom in Orlando and hopped a plane to Kansas City, Missouri with Topeka on our minds. We were going to visit Kent’s Grandpa Jim, who turned 88 the weekend before we arrived.
A quick note on grandparents – they are the best. My experience with grandparents was with my mom’s parents, Mema and Poppop, as my dad’s parents passed before my parents even met each other. My Poppop died when I was in 3rd grade, my Mema in 8th. So, it’s been nearly a decade since I’ve had grandparents and as I’ve matured, I’m sure my relationships with them would have grown too.
Kent’s grandpa is especially cute. Born and raised in Kansas, he calls sneakers “tennies” and the refrigerator is an “icebox”. He owns a bunch of hats in just about every style you could think of. He dusted off a pair of cowboy boots he bought a few years ago and passed them along to Kent. His house is a shrine of his family, I could watch Kent and his cousins grow up as I walked through the halls.
I’ve never traveled west of Tallahassee, so this was my first dose the midwest. It was a chilly trip, probably in the 50-60s? A side note about Kansas – they have fir trees everywhere. It was kinda like seeing Christmas trees everywhere – aka weird.
Most days Kent, Diane and I moseyed around Topeka with Grandpa. We ate delicious food and strolled through the enormous, sprawling parks in Kansas. Saturday night we went to Lawrence with Ryan and Lindsey, Kent’s cousins. We walked through Kansas University, ate in Downtown and ended up in a bar above a coffeehouse in what seemed like a renovated home from the 1900s. More about all that stuff is on Yelp.
Note above, everyone’s in normal clothes and I’m like “60 degrees? Scarf. Long sleeves. Shiver.”
The four days were the best, you could tell the trip meant the world to Grandpa. I keep finding my thoughts wandering back to my own grandparents and family in general – Kent and I are both so lucky to have great families that are so hard to leave. ’til next time, Midwest.