Saturday, August 9, 2008

Frugal family on the road - day 3

We spent the morning at the b&b, having a wonderful breakfast prepared by our host, Sabra, and walking around the property and dressing up in the old clothes (DK2) and all the rest. At about 10 we left and drove the 15 minutes to Topeka's Gage Park Zoo. There we spent a lovely couple of hours looking at all the different kinds of animals there, with our special favorites being the apes and the hippos. They have an indoor rainforest with all kids of lovely birds walking around relatively free (beautiful plumage, in't it, squire?). We also are fans of lemurs because of Zoboomafoo and I like flamingos because I associate them with my grandparents (of blessed memory) in Florida.

We spent another half hour or so playing at the playground there, then we had another picnic (cheese and bread for the little ones, leftover chinese food for us, total cost $0) and we also threw down for two rides on the historic carousel they have there in the park.

Then we got in the car and drove over to the State Capitol, which is something DK1 had wanted to do. It's under pretty heavy repair right now, but we went in and took a look at the murals on the first and second floors, which recreate incidents in Kansas history. The most remarkable on is by John Steuart Curry, it represents the Bloody Kansas period and in the foreground is a larger-than-life John Brown, Bible in one hand and rifle in the other, looking pretty darn crazy.
I asked the guide who was there, who explained the murals to us, if it is fair to say that Kansas is proud of Brown. She said as much blood as he shed, it's impossible to say "proud," exactly.

(parenthetically: We happened to see the teardown of a press conference for Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, we liked that because she's a Democrat. Turn Kansas Blue, that's what I say.)

This whole thing was pretty boring for the little kids although there was an elevator with an elevator operator which they found quite amusing. We walked around the block to look at a couple of statues on the Capitol grounds but then we got in the car and drove back to Wichita. The thing about going all day like we did all three of these days is that you really can't keep it up for long. We have downtime at home but I didn't want any on the road but it does wear one out.

Total cost of the day: a tank of gas, $65. Entry to the zoo, $17 (a popular price). $6 for the carousel. A couple of ice coffees for the ride home, $4. Total cost of the trip, let's see, it took us about a tank and a quarter altogether, so $80 in gas, $170 for accommodations, about $120 for food, about $46 for attractions. So about $425 altogether, plus or minus.

Now of course we're broke as broke can be until payday. But we had a good time!

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