Last Friday was my sisters birthday and we were planning to leave Olive up there anyway, so I said why don't I drive up, take you out to dinner, stay the night? Everybody loved the idea!
Olive was staying there for our Camp Cousin exchange program. Every summer, my sister and I swap kids around so they get some quality extended time playing with each other's toys. I'll bring Olive up, she'll bring Olive back along with my niece, I'll return niece and leave Josie, the goal is 3 nights per kid but we'll see. It had to be very carefully scheduled this year between other camps, trips and events... we made a spreadsheet.
Back to Friday night. We had a great time in downtown Topeka! Dinner at Iron Rail brewing, I had pulled pork tacos and hush puppies.
Then we went to Brew Bank, a pour-your-own beer place that I'd never heard of. You charge up a little card, then there's a wall of beer and wine taps. Put the card above the one you want and start the tap and it starts taking cents off your card. The beers are 40-60 cents per oz, and you see a little screen running it down. You can get half a beer, a quarter of a beer, or the whole 12 oz, or however much is on your card, it's great!
We went to The Pennant and played ms. pac man and ski ball.
Hazel Hill chocolate, where we each got a golf-ball sized cake ball sort of thing for desert. It was really a great amount for desert.
Then there was this big open area with a jumbotron playing Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Arc. My brother-in-law had told us about it, but when we stepped out we heard the music and couldn't escape it. Lots of people had picnic blankets or chairs, we did not, but I said "I've got a yoga mat in my car!" so we got the yoga mat and set it out and saw the whole last half of the movie. Dr. Jones escaped from a terrifying snake pit, survived a car chase, hid from the nazis until he was captured and they opened the arc of the covenant and had their faces all melted off.
come to think of it this movie was a lot more violent than I remember as a kid. the body count rivals pulp fiction for sure.
anyway I am happy that downtown topeka has seen so much revitalization in recent years. it really used to DIE on the weekends, the joke was that nobody would want to LIVE in topeka, a job in topeka meant you needed to commute from Lawrence which has always been the cooler hipper Kansas downtown. But Lawrence has its issues and Topeka never deserved the second class billing, it looks great now. I'm biased because my sister has lived there 20 years now and has been full of Topeka civic pride the entire time, it's rubbed off.
grateful for the non-rainy, not too hot night and the great time, she loved her birthday!