Thursday, October 30, 2014


It has been close to a year since we saw Tom and Maddy.  I had put in for vacation time a long time ago.  When Tom got deployed, we kept trying to figure out how long he was going to be gone and whether he would be back before our visit.  Luckily he got home about a week before we got there so it was perfect timing.

Our trip was mostly aviation and space related based on the museums we went to.  And fortunately Tom had the whole time off so we could really enjoy spending time with him.  The day after we arrived, Tom wanted to go to the Cosmosphere Space Museum in Hutchinson.  It was a bit of a drive out there but well worth it.  There was so much to see.  We could have easily spent the whole day there but really only spent about 3-4 hours and didn't get to see everything.  Tom was really interested in all the rocket exhibits and spent a lot of time reading the display explanations. We went to a planetarium show too.  What I really liked best was a demo lab where they demonstrated rocket science and were blowing things up all the time.  We had a whole room full of kids on a field trip with us so it was fun to see it with children. 

On Friday, we decided to to to the Kansas Aviation Museum which is right on the airfield at McConnell Air Force Base.  It is located in the old airline terminal that was used in the 30's and 40's so it had a neat art deco design with lots of airplane features in the design.  After we went to the air museum, we headed to Old Town and saw the Museum of World Treasures which was a pretty interesting but eclectic museum with a lot of different kinds of things.

Thursday evening before we made dinner, we headed to downtown Wichita to see the Keeper of the Plains.  It is located on the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers.  There are beautiful walkways along the rivers and lots of art, sculptures and memorials to look at as you are walking.

And Friday night before dinner, we headed out to Burns to go to the Walters' Pumpkin Patch.  It was a pretty amazing place.   They charge an entrance fee which I thought was a little much for what we wanted to do--just get some pumpkins and maybe go through the corn maze.  But for kids--what a great place to spend a fall day or afternoon.  Tons of fun activities for kids to do.  We did play a little bit of Pumpkinland (think a big version of Candyland) besides going through the corn maze and going in search of the perfect pumpkins. 

After the pumpkin patch, we headed to Chester's--a really nice steakhouse.  One of those places that you get everything ala carte and it is really expensive.  But we were celebrating Tom and Maddy's engagement so we treated it as a really nice celebration dinner.  Bill was really looking forward to getting a good Kansas steak so he and Tom had steak.  Maddy had salmon and I had scallops.  Everything was very good.

Saturday Tom took us to the base and showed us his squadron and office.  Then we went to see "Gone Girl" at a theater in Old Town.  I had read the book and the movie followed pretty well with how the book went.  But you sure get made all over again at the main character and how she planned to "screw" her husband.

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