Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, Shawnee, KS

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We took the grandkids out for a treat one evening, since it was Barb's and my birthdays. We went to Fritz’s diner in Shawnee, KS. http://www.fritzskc.com/

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This fifties style diner was established in 1954 and the food is outstanding.

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As you can see the diner has a railroad theme, but the reason makes this restaurant unique. The food is delivered by train.

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The owner invented this unique delivery system when he had trouble getting waitresses.

You can see the food box just below the engine in the above picture with a platform just to the left..

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Once the box gets to the right table an arm pushes it off onto an awaiting platform.

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The food is then lowered mechanically to the table on a miniature elevator.

This was such a great dining experience! We topped our meal with handmade milk shakes.

If you are ever in the Kansas City area just check it out. There are several locations: Kansas City, KS, Shawnee, KS, and The Crown Center, KC MO.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kansas City Hot Air Balloon Invitational, Gardner, KS

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We arrived at Centennial Park in Gardner, KS at about 7:00 PM. Hundreds of others had already come to watch the balloons launch too. Parking was at a premium. We had a long walk once we found a parking spot. Although a few balloons were stretched out on the ground, none were being inflated yet.

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After twenty minutes fans were being used to blow air into the balloon gondolas prior to using the burners to heat them for launch.

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Soon a couple of balloons were ready to launch.

The first one to launch went up and right over our heads.

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The kids played while waiting for more balloons to launch.

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As the sun began to set, more balloons were inflated. Notice the cat balloon on the right complete with protruding face, legs and tail. These balloons were not destined to launch but would sit on the ground and light up the night. The pilots fired up their burns from time to time to keep the gondolas inflated.

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Once the balloons were up with gondolas inflated and all lined up, the crowd was allowed to venture close..

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The pilots were available to answer questions.

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Everyone had a good time and left the festival with fond memories of a special and unique opportunity.

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Balloon Launch Video

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Lighting the Night with Gondolas

Dinosaurs Unearthed, Union Station, Kansas City, MO

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Dylan and Hailey were excited to go to the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit at the Union Station in Kansas City, MO. http://dino.unionstation.org/index.php

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Part of the exhibit was associated with the Science Station which is a permanent exhibit at the Union Station. There are a variety of science activities for youth. Dylan and Hailey check out the helicopter.

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Just keep away from the bonze gators teeth.

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There was a tree house to check out.

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Thank goodness it eats plants. Boy does this look real!

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Young paleontologists can look for fossils.

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He found one! It looks like a turtle shell.

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After finding the jaw bone at right, she looks for more bones.

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Life sized dinosaurs put these beasts in perspective. These animatronic figures move and roar. They are very realistic. Triceratops is quite large.

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If this one gets a sore throat it is in trouble.

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This guy is really scary. We would be only a snack.

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Even these guys could put a hurt on you.

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It looks like Hailey wants to make friends with this scary guy.

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We had a great time at Union Station! we even carried away some loot!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Deanna Rose, Overland Park, KS

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The grandkids had a ball at a 12 acre farm oriented park in Overland Park, Deanna Rose Farmstead . The park is named after a female law officer who was killed in the line of duty after pulling over a man in a traffic stop. Her husband established this park in her memory. On week days there is no entrance fee. There are charges for some activities like feeding milk to the goats, feeding animals, wagon rides, and fishing. The park is patterned after a turn of the century farm.

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They could even take their turn trying to milk a cow. It had all the right parts without a moveable leg to kick the bucket.

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Feeding the goats was fun.

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Just don’t get cornered!

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Fishing was one of the favorite activities.

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Hailey gets help bringing in a fish.

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Dylan brings in a big one.

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Watching the geese was fun.

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Isn’t this a cutie! The prairie dogs were fun to watch.

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Looks like Texas with longhorn cattle.

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More goats, but Hailey was a bit reluctant.

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Did people really do this to get water long ago?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bear Cave Trail, Petit Jean State Park, AR

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On the way to the Bear Cave trail, we stopped at the Cedar Creek Falls overlook.

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It was interesting to look down at the area we hiked just a couple of days earlier. Notice the people on the trail below.

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The grandkids had been begging to stop and look at this “castle” which turned out to be a water tower built by the Conservation Corps.

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Dylan and Hailey check out a likely den along the Bear Cave trail.

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The trail was a short half mile loop with only a gradual incline.

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Another likely bear cave.

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Here are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore.

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This alcove has rocks to climb.

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Back to the truck after a short hike.